A delicious baked egg custard dessert. Easy to follow instructions on how to make a silky smooth caramel leche or flan to die for!

Creme Caramel Custard, Flan.
A delicious baked egg custard dessert. Easy to follow instructions on how to make a silky smooth caramel leche or flan to die for!

Creme Caramel, or milk leche, or custard flan, is an international favorite. The variation of names is a testament to how far-reaching across the globe this favorite dessert really is.

From the Philippines to Spain, from Puerto Rico, to India, each country has it's own version of the popular creme caramel custard, with varying ingredients, substituting fresh milk for condensed milk, or coconut milk.

You may have eaten creme caramel custard before. What did you notice about it?

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Have you ever come across a creme caramel custard with a load of bubbles in it, or had a grainy texture? Here you will be able to get a very smooth, silky, velvety dessert, which will want you eating more!

It truly is delicious! Follow the easy steps below and you are sure to wow anyone that eats your creation. It's simply sublime!

This is definitely the BEST caramel custard recipe out there!

Equipment you'll need

a baking tin to put the ramekins in and fill 2 cm high with water.
4 ramekins. Mine are 10 cm wide and 5 cm deep.
a sheet of foil to cover the baking tin
2 saucepans (a small one non stick if possible)
A sieve or tea leaf strainer

Prep time

20 minutes

Baking time

45 minutes

Serving size

4 servings

Ingredients

There are 3 simple parts to this recipe as follows;

The Caramel

1/2 cup or 80 g sugar
5 Tablespoons boiling water

The Milk

13.5 fl oz or 400 ml milk
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 Teaspoon of vanilla extract

The Eggs

2 Whole eggs
4 Egg Yolks (save the egg whites for our meringues recipe or something else)
2 1/2 Tablespoons of sugar

Instructions

Heat oven to 140C, Gas 1, 275F. Grease your ramekins with butter.

Make the Caramel

1. Place the sugar in a small non-stick pan and heat on a medium heat until the sugar turns brown.

Creme Caramel Custard, Flan showing sugar in the pan

2. Have the kettle on ready for some boiling water.

3. The heating process will take about 5 minutes on a gentle heat. As soon as the sugar starts to turn brown, tilt the pan to distribute the liquid (you may get parts where the sugar hasn't turned brown yet.

Creme Caramel Custard, Flan showing sugar heated and color it should be
Can you see there is still unmelted sugar in the middle of the pan. I tilt the pan to distribute it and wait for it to bubble

4. As soon as it starts to bubble, add 5 Tablespoons of boiling water (I measure the water into a cup so I can tip it in one go).
***Be careful when you add the water. The caramel may spit slightly and it will be HOT!

5. As soon as you have added the water, swirl it around in the pan so it is combined with the sugar and turn off the heat.

6. Pour the caramel into each ramekin, evenly sharing it between the 4 ramekins.

Creme Caramel Custard, Flan showing caramel being poured into ramekins
Be careful when pouring the caramel. It is HOT!

7. Tilt the ramekins so the caramel covers the entire bottoms.

8. Place the ramekins in the baking tray and add cold water to the tray so the water level comes 2 - 3 cm up the sides of the ramekins.

Creme Caramel Custard, Flan showing amount of caramel poured in to ramekins
Caramel covers all the bottom of the ramekins

When the caramel is ready, you need to work fast as the caramel will start to set once you turn the heat off, so pour into ramekins immediately!

As soon as you have poured the caramel, place the pan in hot soapy water for ease of washing later.

Make the milk part and egg part

1. Heat the milk and sugar in a pan on gentle heat.

2. Keep the measuring jug that you used for your milk handy as we will need it.

3. Whisk the 2 eggs and 4 egg yolks together with the sugar on a medium speed. Try not to whisk so hard you get loads of bubbles. We don't want bubbles!

Creme Caramel Custard, Flan showing milk ready to be added to egg mixture

4. When the milk has started to boil, transfer back to your measuring jug.

5. Keeping your mixer on a LOW speed, very slowly add the milk until everything is combined. Then add the vanilla.

Top Tips

If you add the milk too fast, you may scramble your eggs and result in a very lumpy mixture.

6. Place your sieve over the measuring jug and transfer your mixture back into the jug through the sieve.

Creme Caramel Custard, Flan showing egg mixture being passed through a seive to remove any lumps and bubbles

Top Tips

By sieving the mixture, you will remove a lot of the bubbles and also any bits of cooked egg lumps. This is the part which will give you the smooth, silky, velvety texture so don't skip it!

7. Pour the mixture into the ramekins.

Creme Caramel Custard, Flan showing egg mixture in ramekins ready for the oven, in a water bath
See the water level. Add more water up to 2 cm high

7. Make sure your water level in the baking tin is up to 2-3 cm high. Cover the baking tin with the sheet of foil and gently transfer to the oven and let it gently cook for 45 minutes.

This method of cooking of often called Bain Marie.

Bain Marie is a term used for 'water bath'. It is used when you want to evenly cook something gently and gradually.

8. Once 45 minutes is up, remove the tray from the oven and leave as it is with the foil over it until it cools. The caramel will still be cooking gently.

9. Now, this is the hardest bit of the whole recipe. When cool, cover with some plastic wrap and leave in the fridge to chill for a minimum 3-4 hours.

10. When you are ready to serve, use a thin-bladed sharp knife and run the blade around the sides of the ramekins, taking care not to wobble or slip with the knife - this will damage the set custard inside.

11. Take a serving saucer and place over the top of the ramekin, and holding both the saucer and the ramekin, turn upside down so the saucer is on the table.

Gently lift the ramekin off. If the custard won't come out, gently tap the top, or leave for a few minutes. Gravity will win in the end and it will come out.

12. Be aware you will get caramel liquid coming out of the ramekin too, so make sure your saucer is not too shallow.

We'd love to hear from you and what you thought of our post. Did you make any changes or add some other goodies? Let us know in the comments below. Thanks for reading and happy cooking!

Creme Caramel Custard, Flan. 
A delicious baked egg custard dessert. Easy to follow instructions on how to make a silky smooth caramel leche or flan to die for!
Creme Caramel Custard, Flan. 
A delicious baked egg custard dessert. Easy to follow instructions on how to make a silky smooth caramel leche or flan to die for!

Recipe Card

Creme Caramel Custard / Flan Easy to follow instructions on how to make a silky smooth dessert to die for!

The Best Creme Caramel Custard

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

A delicious baked egg custard dessert. Easy to follow instructions on how to make a silky smooth
caramel leche or flan to die for!

Ingredients

The Caramel

  • 1/2 cup or 80 g sugar
  • 5 Tablespoons boiling water

The Milk

  • 13.5 oz fl or 400 ml milk
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon of vanilla extract

The Eggs

  • 2 Whole eggs
  • 4 Egg Yolks, save the egg whites for meringues or something else
  • 2 1/2 Tablespoons of sugar

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 140C, Gas 1, 275F. Grease your ramekins with butter.

Make the Caramel

  1. Place the sugar in a small non stick pan and heat on a medium heat until the sugar turns brown. Have the kettle on ready for some boiling water.
  2. The heating process will take about 5 minutes on a gentle heat. As soon as the sugar starts to turn brown, tilt the pan to distribute the liquid (you may get parts where the sugar hasn't turned brown yet.
  3. As soon as it starts to bubble, add 5 Tablespoons of boiling water (I measure the water into a cup so I can tip it in one go).

***Be careful when you add the water. The caramel may spit slightly and it will be HOT!

  1. As soon as you have added the water, swirl it around in the pan so it is combined with the sugar and turn off the heat.
  2. Pour the caramel into each ramekin, evenly sharing it between the 4 ramekins.Tilt the ramekins so the caramel covers the entire bottoms. Place the ramekins in the baking tray and add cold water to the tray so the water level comes 2 - 3 cm up the sides of the ramekins.
  3. When the caramel is ready, you need to work fast as the caramel will start to set once you turn the heat off, so pour into ramekins immediately! As soon as you have poured the caramel, place the pan in hot soapy water for ease of washing later.

Make the milk part and egg part

  1. Heat the milk and sugar in a pan on gentle heat. Keep the measuring jug that you used for your milk handy as we will need it.
  2. Whisk the 2 eggs and 4 egg yolks together with the sugar on a medium speed. Try not to whisk so hard you get loads of bubbles. We don't want bubbles! When the milk has started to boil, transfer back to your measuring jug.
  3. Keeping your mixer on a LOW speed, very slowly add the milk until everything is combined. Then add the vanilla.

If you add the milk too fast, you may scramble your eggs and result in a very lumpy mixture.

  1. Place your sieve over the measuring jug and transfer your mixture back into the jug through the sieve.

By sieving the mixture, you will remove a lot of the bubbles and also any bits of cooked egg lumps. This is the part which will give you the smooth,silky,velvety texture so don't skip it!

  1. Pour the mixture into the ramekins.

Make sure your water level in the baking tin is up to 2-3 cm high. Cover the baking tin with the sheet of foil and gently transfer to the oven and let it gently cook for 45 minutes. This method of cooking of often called Bain Marie.

  1. Once 45 minutes is up, remove the tray from the oven and leave as it is with the foil over it until it cools. The caramel will still be cooking gently.
  2. Now this is the hardest bit of the whole recipe. When cool, cover with some plastic wrap and leave in the fridge to chill for a minimum 3-4 hours.
  3. When you are ready to serve, use a thin bladed sharp knife and run the blade around the sides of the ramekins, taking care not to wobble or slip with the knife - this will damage the set custard inside.
  4. Take a serving saucer and place over the top of the ramekin, and holding both the saucer and the ramekin, turn upside down so the saucer is on the table. Gently lift the ramekin off. If the custard won't come out, gently tap the top, or leave for a few minutes. Gravity will win in the end and it will come out.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 4
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 292Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 286mgSodium: 115mgCarbohydrates: 42gFiber: 0gSugar: 37gProtein: 11g

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Leave a Reply to Shruti Chhabra

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44 thoughts shared

  1. Comment author image

    Shruti Chhabra

    says:

    I’ve been wanting to make Crème Caramel since a while now but have been scared to attempt it as I hate the ones which are lumpy and taste too eggy. But thanks to your detailed pictorial recipe I’m going to attempt this in a day or two.
    But I have a small question…in case I want to make this in an 8inch pan, do I need to double the recipe and what will the cooking time be.
    Thanks in advance.

    1. Hi Shruti,
      I’ve never tried this in a large dish, simply because I know when it comes to turning it out, there is a high chance it will break up due to the custard being so fine and delicate. If you wanted to make it in the large dish, I would suggest you don’t attempt to turn it out but just serve it as it is. Obviously the caramel wont spread as it does when it is turned over so you’ll need a spoon to drizzle it once you have portions.
      For the bake time, so long as the depth is the same as the rammekins, it should be the same time. Just make sure there is a gentle wobble in the centre when checking if it’s done.

      1. Thank you for your prompt reply. I guess in that case I’ll make it in the rammekins itself as the beauty of it is that beautiful golden caramel on top. Will surely try it soon and let you know how it turns out.

      2. Comment author image

        Susan Rochford

        says:

        My Mum always makes hers in a 20cm cake tin. I have never seen a broken one. The original cake tin on the other hand, ended up with holes in it after children used a fork to crack off the left over toffee one too many times. I bought a tin from the op shop to use so I don’t ruin my good cake tins. 30 mins or less at 190 celsius in a water bath.

  2. Comment author image

    Karen @BakingInATornado

    says:

    I’m absolutely drooling. I love caramel and the presentation is so impressive. And a bonus is that my kids love meringues, so I’ll easily be able to use the egg whites.

    1. sounds like you’ve got your dessert menu all worked out karen! Don’t forget, the meringues will keep for quite a few weeks in an air tight container at room temp…So handy if you make them for later!

  3. Comment author image

    Cynthia Landrie

    says:

    I wanted to let you know that your recipe was chosen by me as my host favorite from last week’s In and Out of th eKitchen link party. I am so glad you shared this. Your recipe will be featured at this weeks link party.

    I look forward to seeing what you bring to the In and Out of the Kitchen party tonight. The party goes live at 7:00 p.m. EST.

    See you there! Cynthia at http://FeedingBig.com

      1. Stop on over tomorrow, you were featured. Thanks for sharing at Memories by the Mile. See you next week at Tuesday Trivia.
        xoxo
        Wanda Ann @ Memories by the Mile

      2. Oh Gosh! Thank you very much Wanda. That makes me feel very happy indeed that you liked the recipe and you want to feature it! Many thanks for your appreciation!