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Classic Flan on a white plate with blackberries, whipped cream, and mint.
5 from 4 votes

Classic Flan | Crème Caramel

Smooth and sweet Classic Flan is a caramel custard treat! Also known as Crème caramel it's the perfect alchemy of eggs, cream, sugar, and a sweet vanilla bean. It may seem a little involved to make but we break it down and you'll see just how easy it is to create a showy dessert for any occasion.

Category Desserts
Cuisine Italian, Spanish
Keyword #Custard, #Organic Eggs, Cream, Vanilla
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Author Mean Green Chef


  • 1 ¾ cups (420 ml) heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup whole milk, do not sub low fat-milk of any kind
  • pinch Pink Himalayan Sea Salt or Kosher Sea Salt, finely ground
  • 1 vanilla bean, cut lengthwise + deseeded
  • 1 cup (200 grams) sugar
  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) water
  • 3 large eggs, organic Pete + Gerry's
  • 2 large egg yolks, organic Pete + Gerry's
  • 7 Tablespoons (105 grams) sugar


  1. Position rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350°F/175°C

    Preheat the oven photo
  2. Slice the vanilla bean down the center with a sharp knife and scrape the seeds to remove them...

    Vanilla bean cut down the middle and scraped of it's seeds.
  3. Add the cream, milk, Pink Himalayan sea salt, vanilla bean, and vanilla bean seeds to a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Bring to a simmer, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, over medium-low heat, after it starts steaming, remove the saucepan from the burner, set aside and steep for 30 minutes.

    Cream, milk, and ingredients in a saucepan for making flan.
  4. Meanwhile, combine the 1 cup of sugar and 1/3 cup of water into a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Stir over low heat until the sugar dissolves. Then increase the heat to high and cook without stirring until the syrup turns a deep amber color, swirling the pan if necessary. See VIDEO above for help with understanding what color you want your caramel. This process takes about 10 minutes but you must watch it like a hawk because it goes from golden to burned in seconds. If you burn it at all toss it and start again.

    Sugar and water in saucepan for making caramel.
  5. Quickly, but carefully spoon or pour the caramel into (6) 3/4-cup ramekins or silicone molds.

    Silicone molds with caramel coating the sides.
  6. Using oven mitts immediately tilt each ramekin to coat sides. Set ramekins into a 13x9x2-inch baking dish that's been lined with a thick kitchen towel.

    Ramekins coated with dark caramel for making flan.
  7. Add the eggs, egg yolks, and sugar to a glass bowl....

    Eggs, egg yolks, and sugar to make custard for flan.
  8. whisk until just blended.

    Eggs beat in a glass bowl for flan.
  9. Remove the vanilla bean and gently whisk the cream mixture into the eggs, being careful not to overbeat the custard. You don't want to add air/foam, so use a gentle stroke.

    Ingredients for flan ready to be blended together.
  10. Pour the custard through a fine-meshed sieve

    Custard being poured through a fine-meshed sieve for Classic Flan.
  11. Divide the custard evenly between the ramekins or silicone molds and then fill the 9x13 baking dish with hot tap water (not boiling) halfway up the molds to create a Baine Marie bath.

    Custard in silicone mold to make flan.
  12. Bake in the preheated oven until gently set and golden about 40 minutes, transfer to a rack to cool for about 2 hours and then wrap with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge overnight.

    Flan after being cooked in the oven to a golden brown.
  13. Run a small sharp knife around the edge of the flan to loosen.

    Flan being released from silicone mold.
  14. Place a plate on top of the mold and invert...

    Silicone mold inverted on plate to release flan.
  15. Shake gently to release the flan.

    Plated flan on large white serving platter for party.
  16. Serve with fresh berries and mint if desired (whipped cream is not a classic addition to flan by any means, BUT we had some leftover heavy cream and our guests thought it was magical)

    Plated flan with berries and whipped cream, ready to be eaten.

Recipe Notes

  • Prep time is approximate (as always) follow the steps you'll be right on target.
  • Classic Flan can be made up to 2 days ahead of time! 
  • Store in the fridge wrapped tightly in plastic wrap up to 5 days.