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Rich and creamy with a cream cheese twist and a delicious sweet caramel topping, this variation of Flan is incredible! Made with just 8 simple ingredients it’s a super quick and easy baked custard dessert that is sure to please any crowd!
Creamy Flan Recipe
If you like vanilla custard and baked cheesecake then you are going to love this flan recipe with cream cheese, also known as flan de queso! This dessert resembles a fusion of the two, topped with a delightful caramel sauce. It features a smooth, creamy custard base made from standard flan ingredients like eggs, sugar, and milk, just like the Spanish classic, but also includes delicious cream cheese blended into the batter! It’s absolutely scrumptious!
But not only is this flan incredible in taste, but you can also make this homemade custard dessert in just a few easy steps. In fact, this flan recipe only calls for 8 simple ingredients that you likely already have on hand. For the caramel sauce, simply combine sugar and water, then simmer the mixture in a saucepan over medium heat until it turns into a beautiful amber color. It’s one of those desserts that once you make you will never buy it premade again!
Typically, flan de queso is served on its own or with a dollop of whipped cream. But you can also top it with some fresh fruit, melted chocolate, or even my Berry Sauce!
Why You’ll Love This Flan Recipe
- Easy Dessert Recipe! With just a handful of basic pantry ingredients, you can make this simple recipe, which doesn’t require any special baking skills or much prep time.
- Caramel Topped Custard! With a rich and creamy texture this baked custard is layered with vanilla flavor and topped with the most delicious homemade caramel sauce.
- Family Favorite! This homemade flan will disappear before your eyes when you serve it to your friends and family. Not to mention, it’s a great make-ahead recipe.
- Sugar – White granulated sugar is the base of the caramel.
- Water – Just a bit of water is added to the sugar to make the caramel sauce.
- Cream Cheese – The ingredient that makes this flan special! I love Philadelphia cream cheese and use it in all my recipes.
- Eggs – Whole eggs help to create the structure of the flan and add richness.
- Sweetened Condensed Milk – Makes the flan sweet and creamy. Be sure to use sweetened condensed milk.
- Evaporated Milk – Very similar to condensed milk without any added sugar. You can not substitute regular whole milk for the evaporated milk.
- Vanilla Extract – You definitely want to use pure vanilla extract in this recipe for the best-tasting custard.
- Salt – A pinch of salt helps to balance the sweetness.
This popular dessert recipe found all over Spain and Latin America is quite easy to make! Just make sure to properly measure your ingredients, follow my easy instructions, and bake the custard mixture in a water bath.
To begin, you need to make the caramel topping. First, put the sugar and water in a small saucepan and then cook it over medium-low heat for about 15 minutes while occasionally stirring it with a whisk. When the caramel is done the sugar will have completely dissolved and the liquid should be a golden amber color. Then immediately pour the hot caramel mixture into an ungreased 9-inch x 2-inch round cake pan or ramekins if you prefer.
I used 2 oval flan molds 8.9×4.4×2.2inch. Now, tilt the baking dish at different angles to coat the entire bottom surface with the caramel sauce.
Next, start getting ready for baking by preheating your oven temperature to 350°F (177°C). Then fill a kettle or pot with water and bring it to a boil over medium-high heat. You will need some hot boiling water for your water bath in a later step.
Now, it’s time to make the custard. Put the room-temperature cream cheese into the bowl of a stand mixer and then use the paddle attachment to beat it until it’s nice and smooth. Then add the eggs and beat them into the cream cheese until they are fully incorporated.
Next, add the condensed milk, evaporated milk, vanilla extract, and salt and keep beating everything together until the mixture is well combined. You can also use an electric hand mixer for this step.
Next, you’ll want to strain the cream cheese mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean bowl to remove any lumps and ensure a smooth texture.
When the flan mixture is ready, pour it over the caramel sauce in the cake pan. Then place the cake pan with the flan inside the large roasting pan. Now, pour about an inch of boiling water into the roasting pan, but do your best not to get any water in the flan mixture. Finally, place the large roasting pan with the flan pan inside it into the oven, and bake for 60 minutes or until the center sets and the flan still jiggles a bit. If you are using ramekins the flan only takes about 25 to 30 minutes to cook depending upon the size of the dishes.
Once the flan finishes baking, take the pan out of the water bath in the roasting pan and let it cool at room temperature for an hour.Then put the flan in the refrigerator to set for at least 4 hours or up to overnight. The flan will fall apart if you don’t let it firm up and set properly.
Once the flan has had plenty of time to set, you can unmold it and serve. First, run a knife around the edges of the pan. Next, flip the pan over onto a large rimmed plate or cake platter. Then cut the flan into slices and enjoy.
How Do I Know My Flan Is Done?
When the flan is ready it should be slightly golden in color and firm to the touch, but still jiggly. If the flan doesn’t jiggle, it means you’ve overcooked it. It should not be dry or hard at all.
Can I Flavor My Flan?
Yes! The recipe must remain exactly the same, but you can mix things into the batter like cinnamon, ginger, pumpkin spice, or lemon zest. You can also use different flavored extracts like almond or coconut. And it’s easy to make coffee flan by adding a few teaspoons of instant espresso to the batter.
Can I Make This Recipe Ahead Of Time?
Yes, you can make cream cheese flan ahead of time. In fact, it’s best to refrigerate the flan for at least 4 hours or overnight, which allows the flavors to meld and the texture to set properly.
- Room temperature ingredients. The cream cheese and eggs should be at room temperature. If not, the cream cheese can clump up and make the flan lumpy.
- Watch the caramel. Keep an eye on the caramel sauce and whisk it from time to time as it’s cooking. It can quickly go from golden amber to burnt in just a matter of minutes.
- Let it set. You must give the flan enough time in the fridge to chill and set before serving. If you try to unmold the flan or slice into it too soon it can fall apart.
You can store cream cheese flan, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Make sure to keep it in an airtight container or cover it tightly with plastic wrap to prevent it from absorbing any other flavors.
You can freeze flan! However, keep in mind that freezing might change the texture slightly once you thaw it. To freeze, wrap the flan tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil, or store it in an airtight container. To thaw, transfer the flan to the refrigerator and let it defrost for several hours or overnight. Consume within 2-3 days after thawing.
Other Delicious Dessert Recipes To Try
- 1¼ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup water
- Add the sugar and water to a saucepan and cook over medium-low heat until the sugar dissolves and turns into a golden/amber liquid, about 10 minutes. Whisk occasionally. Keep a close eye on the mixture to prevent burning.
- Pour the caramel mixture immediately into an ungreased 9 inch round cake pan that's about 2 inches deep or 2 flan pans 8.9×4.4×2.2inch. Tilt the pan around to make sure it coats the entire bottom surface of the pan.
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Fill a kettle with water and bring to a boil.
- To the bowl of your mixer add the cream cheese and beat until smooth. Add the eggs and beat until throughly incorporated. Add the condensed and evaporated milk, vanilla extract and salt. Continue mixing until well combined.
- Strain the cream cheese mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean bowl to remove any lumps and ensure a smooth texture.
- Pour the flan mixture over the caramel in the cake pan. Place the cake pan in a larger baking pan such as a roasting pan. Pour the boiling water into the roasting pan, at least 1 inch in depth.
- Transfer the flan to the oven and bake for 60 minutes or until the center is just set but the mixture will jiggle. If using the smaller pans, start checking for doneness after 30 minutes.
- Remove the cake pan from the roasting pan and cool for 1 hour then refrigerate for 4 hours to overnight.
- To unmold, run a knife around the edge of the flan, then invert it onto a rimmed cake platter. You want the plate to be rimmed so that caramel doesn't drip down. Cut into slices and serve.
- Use room temperature ingredients: Bring the cream cheese and eggs to room temperature before mixing them. This ensures a smoother batter and better blending of ingredients.
- Make sure the caramel doesn’t burn: Keep a close eye on the sugar and water mixture while making the caramel. It can go from golden amber to burnt very quickly. Remove it from the heat as soon as it reaches the desired color.
- Strain the batter: For an extra smooth and silky texture, strain the cream cheese mixture through a fine-mesh sieve to remove any lumps before pouring it into the pan.
- Use a water bath: Baking the flan in a water bath helps to ensure even cooking and prevents the custard from overcooking or developing a rubbery texture.
- Monitor doneness: The flan is done when the center is just set, and the edges are slightly pulling away from the pan. It should still have a slight jiggle in the center. Overcooking can lead to a less desirable texture.
- Chill thoroughly: Allow the flan to cool to room temperature before refrigerating, and then chill it for at least 4 hours or overnight. This helps the flavors meld and the texture set properly.
- Loosen the flan before unmolding: Run a thin knife around the edge of the pan before inverting the flan onto a serving plate. This helps release the flan from the pan and ensures it retains its shape.
- Garnish: For an extra touch, garnish the flan with fresh berries, a dollop of whipped cream, or a light dusting of cinnamon before serving.
Notice: Nutrition is auto-calculated for your convenience. Where relevant, we recommend using your own nutrition calculations.