How to Make Leche Flan at Home

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custard flan

What’s Up, Hungry People

This week, we are traveling across the world to experience the famous Filipino leche flan. This dessert is smooth and creamy, reminiscent of crème brûlée or crème caramel. Maybe it’s a delightful combination of both? Whatever it is, it is absolutely amazing.

And the best part? It’s incredibly easy to make. I decided to whip some up one night on a whim because I had a can of sweetened condensed milk and a can of evaporated milk that I had no idea how to use. It turns out, leche flan is the perfect way to use both!

Leche flan is essentially a sweet custard with a caramel-like sauce drizzled on top. It’s like an upside-down version of crème brûlée—with many similar flavors but without the need to light anything on fire! One thing is for sure, I’ll definitely be craving this for the rest of my life. Seriously. It’s so good!

simple leche flan

Here’s What You Need

  • Sugar: Provides the caramelized top layer, adding a rich sweetness.
  • Egg yolks: Thickens the mixture and gives the flan its dense texture.
  • Sweetened condensed milk: Adds creamy sweetness and a smooth texture.
  • Evaporated milk: Offers a concentrated milk flavor and creamy consistency.
custard flan recipe

Let’s Cook

First up, let’s tackle the caramel. Grab a small skillet and melt the sugar over medium-high heat. You’ll want to keep an eye on it as it transforms into a lovely golden brown—no stirring, just swirl the skillet gently to keep it even. Once it’s perfectly caramelized, spoon about three tablespoons into each ramekin. Make sure to coat the bottom evenly, then set them aside to harden.

Mixing It Up

Now, preheat your oven to 375°F while we mix up the custard. Take your egg yolks, sweetened condensed milk, and evaporated milk, and whip them together in a medium-sized bowl with a hand mixer until everything is well combined. To ensure our flan is super smooth, pour this mixture through a strainer to remove any lumps or foam.

Filling the Ramekins

Pour the strained mixture into your prepared ramekins, filling them about halfway to three-quarters full. It’s okay to eyeball it—no need for perfection here!

Baking with Care

Place your ramekins in a shallow pan with high sides and pour water into the pan until it reaches halfway up the sides of the ramekins. This water bath technique helps cook the custard gently, so it stays silky and never rubbery. Slide them into the oven and bake for 50 minutes to an hour. You’ll know they’re done when a toothpick comes out clean from the center.

Cooling and Serving

Once baked, let’s not rush things. Allow the custard to cool until it’s completely set. After cooling, chill them in the fridge until you’re ready to serve. To serve, place a plate over the top of each ramekin and flip it over with confidence! Give it a little jiggle if the flan is shy and doesn’t want to come out. Spoon any remaining caramel sauce over the flan for that final touch of sweetness.

creamy flan

Flan-Tastic Tips

  • Prevent Crystals: To avoid sugar crystallization during caramelization, refrain from stirring the sugar. Instead, gently swirl the pan to ensure even heating and color.
  • Smooth Custard: To achieve a perfectly smooth custard, strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve to catch any solid bits or coagulated egg.
  • Water Bath: Always use a water bath when baking your flan. This method helps cook the custard gently, ensuring it doesn’t curdle or become overcooked.
  • Cooling Time: Allow the flan to cool at room temperature after baking and then chill it in the refrigerator for at least four hours. This ensures the flan sets properly and enhances its flavor.
  • Release the Flan: Run a knife along the edges of the ramekin before inverting onto a plate. If the flan doesn’t release immediately, gently tap or shake the ramekin.
tres leche flan recipe

After diving into the creamy world of leche flan, it’s easy to see why this Filipino dessert holds such a special place in the hearts of those who try it. Each bite melds lush custard with sweet, caramelized syrup, creating a harmonious blend that’s hard to resist. Whether you’re looking for a new dessert to impress guests or just want to treat yourself to a little bit of sweetness, leche flan is a fantastic choice. The process might seem involved at first glance, but the steps are quite manageable, and the results are absolutely worth it.

flan leche recipe

Leche Flan | Filipino Inspired Dessert

The Starving Chef
This leche flan combines rich, creamy custard with a sweet caramel sauce for a perfectly indulgent dessert.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Course Dessert, International
Cuisine Filipino, International
Servings 2



  • Melt the sugar in a small skillet over medium-high heat until it is thick and caramelized. Spoon about 3 tablespoons of the caramel into the bottom of each ramekin and let harden.
  • Preheat the oven to 375°F. In a medium-sized bowl, use a hand mixer to whip together the yolks, evaporated milk, and sweetened condensed milk. Pour the liquid mix through a strainer to remove any foam or lumps.
  • Pour the strained liquid into each ramekin, filling them about 1/2 to 3/4 of the way full.
  • Place the filled ramekins into a shallow pan with high walls and fill with water so that the water reaches about halfway up the side of each ramekin. Bake for 50 minutes to an hour, or until the custard is set and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Use a knife to loosen the custard from the sides of the ramekins.
  • Let the custard cool until completely set, then chill until ready to serve. Place a serving plate on top of the ramekin and flip so that the caramel sauce is on top of the custard. Jiggle the ramekin gently to release the custard. Spoon any residual caramel over the top of the flan. Enjoy!
Keyword caramel, custard, dessert
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