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Caramel Dessert Recipes: How To Make Creme Caramel (Flan)

Updated on February 2, 2011

Easy To Make Creme Caramel

Creme caramel or flan is also known in the Betty Crocker International Cookbook from the 1970s as caramel custard .

I almost prefer the name caramel custard because I think some people are intimidated to think of making flan or creme caramel just because of the name. It is a super simple recipe to make, takes no time at all, and the result is delicious! Somehow when I came across this recipe decades ago, I was not daunted by the name as it sounded so simple!

There are also a billion recipes and variations out there that are equally delicious with different ingredients but the most important thing to remember is that it is a custard so always test for doneness - a paring knife inserted halfway between the pan edge and the center of the custard should come out clean. Most recipes are baked as in the 'old days' - in the oven with the custard cups inside a larger pan with water surrounding the cups or ramekins.

Creme Caramel - Flan - Caramel Custard

4 Servings


  • 1/2 cup sugar (** see note below)
  • 3 eggs slightly beaten (can substitute 3/4 cup egg substitute)
  • 1 can 13 ounces evaporated milk (1-2/3 cups) - can use nonfat evaporated milk
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Heat the 1/2 cup sugar in 1-quart saucepan over low heat.
  3. Stir constantly until melted and golden brown. (This is making the syrup)
  4. Divide syrup among four 6-ounce custard cups or ramekins.
  5. Rotate cups to coat the bottom.
  6. Allow syrup to harden in cups or ramekins – about 5 minutes.
  7. Mix remaining ingredients, pour into custard cups or ramekins.
  8. Place cups or ramekins in square pan 9 x 9 x 2 inches - place on oven rack.
  9. Pour very hot water into the pan to within 1/2 inch of tops of cups.
  10. Bake at 350 degrees until knife inserted halfway between center and edge comes out clean, 40-50 minutes.
  11. Immediately remove from water.
  12. Serve warm or refrigerate and unmold at serving time if desired.


Stir into the beaten eggs

  • 2 tablespoons brandy
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Or substitute a liqueur for the 2 tablespoons brandy

** Sometimes the making of the syrup with sugar alone is very hard to do so I researched and found another method that works and is a little more foolproof.  Instead of just the sugar, you can use 1/4 cup of sugar and 2 tablespoons of water.  Combine the sugar and water in a small heavy saucepan over medium-high heat and cook until sugar dissolves, stirring frequently.  Continue cooking for 4 minutes or until golden - then pour into the custard cups or ramekins and proceed as before. 


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    • profile image

      Faith 6 years ago

      looks goood!

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 7 years ago from Washington

      There are many recipes and don't be afraid to try one of them or all of them - that's how I find what works for me and I wish you happy cooking! Thanks so much for reading!

    • Anamika S profile image

      Anamika S 7 years ago from Mumbai - Maharashtra, India

      Yummy! This is one of my favorite desserts. But i have so far not attempted making it at home.

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 7 years ago from Washington

      Thanks for stopping by lilly_dens - we can't have too many good dessert recipes, can we?

    • lilly_dens profile image

      lilly_dens 7 years ago

      mouthwatering desserts! lurve it!

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 8 years ago from Washington

      You betcha....just like my a million of 'em...thanks for stopping by! Happy New Year!

    • profile image

      ralwus 8 years ago

      Oooo, and frozen it excels over ice cream. Thanks for sharing this Audrey.bookmark