Jose's Cuban Flan

José cooked this tasty treat for our annual Poor Seminarian’s Cook-off. It’s a creamy, eggy dessert with a burnt caramel syrup on top.


-1/2 cup sugar (for 1.5 qt. flan mold or 2 loaf pans), 1/4 cup each loaf pan
-1/3 cup water
-1 can evaporated milk
-1 can condensed milk
-1 can whole milk, (use can from condensed milk)
-6 eggs
-3 Tbsp. sugar
-1 Tbsp. vanilla
-a few dashes of cinnamon


-Preheat oven 350°F.

-In a small, heavy saucepan add sugar and stir in water. Heat sugar over medium heat until sugar caramelizes, swirling pan occasionally as it caramelizes (it should be a light amber color to medium amber color). This can take up to 15 min, but once it starts turning amber it can burn and blacken quickly.

-Remove caramelized sugar from heat and pour into 1 metal flan mold (called a flanera) or split into 2 Pyrex loaf pans. Do not delay or the caramel will begin to solidify. Turn mold or pan to coat bottoms evenly with caramel. Don’t coat sides. Let cool.

-While caramel is cooling, blend together all remaining ingredients for the flan in a blender. Set aside.

-Once pan is cool to the touch, pour flan mix through a sieve into flanera mold or loaf pan with caramel (you may hear the sugar crackling – this is normal). The sieve is used to catch any pieces of eggshell that might have found their way into the blender.

-Place mold or pan inside a larger roasting pan and fill with tap water halfway up the outside of the flan mold or pan. Cover flanera with its cover or the 2 loaf pans with foil. Bake at 350°F for 1 hour.

-Flan will be slightly jiggly when removed from oven. That’s good! As it cools, it will solidify more, but it ensures that it will be creamy as opposed to solid and gelatin-like. You may have to play around with this depending on your oven. One time you can try 50 or 55 minutes and see if it is creamier. Remove flan from roasting pan with water and allow to cool to room temperature and then refrigerate overnight, covered with plastic wrap.

-Don’t put the plastic wrap on until it has cooled considerably, otherwise you will get a lot of condensation and water on top of the flan. When ready to serve, loosen flan by running a wet knife around inside edges of pan and turning flan onto a plate (I use a pie plate to catch all the caramel). Store chilled.

Additional comments: 

The flan mold that he uses is called a “flanera” in Spanish. You can find them on Amazon!