Traditional recipes

Excellent creme caramel recipe

Excellent creme caramel recipe

  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Dessert
  • Creme caramel

A softly baked custard turned out into a pool of caramel.

15 people made this

IngredientsServes: 4

  • 110g (4 ounces) caster sugar
  • 2 tablespoons tap hot water
  • 150ml (1/4 pint) milk
  • 275ml (10 fl oz) single cream
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 drops vanilla essence

MethodPrep:20min ›Cook:1hr ›Ready in:1hr20min

  1. Preheat the oven to 150 degrees C (Gas Mark 2).
  2. To make the caramel, melt the caster sugar in a medium saucepan until it bubbles and darkens, a little darker than golden syrup. Take of the heat and stir in the water, CAUTIOUSLY! IT WILL SPIT. Stir until smooth and pour to coat a 1 1/2 pint souffle dish, swirl round the sides.
  3. To make the custard, heat milk and cream in a saucepan until steaming hot. Meanwhile whisking the brown sugar, eggs and vanilla in large bowl. Whisk the steaming hot milk into to the mixture.
  4. Pour custard mixture into the souffle dish. Place souffle dish in a roasting dish in oven and pour hot water into it to make a 'bath'.
  5. Bake for 1 hour in the preheated oven, or until the custard has an even jiggle.
  6. Cool to room temperature, then chill in refrigerator, preferably overnight. Run a knife around the edge, give it a little shake to loosen. In one movement (with plate over top of dish), turn out.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(6)

Reviews in English (2)

WOW! I really impressed my family on Easter Sunday with this one! It really is as easy as the recipe says!-09 Apr 2010

Yummy and very easy to make.It really does spit when you add water to the melted sugar though! Ouch!-19 Mar 2010

34 Recipes for Flan

Whether you know it as flan or crème caramel, this creamy dessert has a cult following throughout the world. From traditional Latin American and Japanese versions to more innovative recipes and even savory flans, our users have come up with some of the dreamiest and creamiest flan recipes for you to try.

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Delicious! I made these for a cooking competition - and the judges were impressed. The creme caramel itself is smooth, sweet, full of spicy flavor. The pistachio phyllo crisps were an absolute hit, no one could stop eating them (including me!) I made full sheets and extra crisps to use for decoration on the final product. I would warn against using too many raspberries, especially if not in season. Their tartness is a nice accent to the sweet dessert, but just a few are needed.

This is a fabulous recipe and a beautiful presentation! I highly recommend trying it.

Iɽ love to make this, but I'm serving a lactose-intolerant crowd. I can use lactose-free whole milk, but does anyone know a lactose-free substitution for heavy cream. Or is that just an oxymoron?!

YUM! what an exquisite marraige of flavors and textures. don't be tempted to skip the raspberries--they offer an important fruity note. the lengthy process is worth every minute of effort. serving sizes are large--the second time I used smaller ramekins.

for the poster from white rock, "chai" also means tea in hindi. although, i do agree that starbucks charges too much. i thought this was excellent! the crisps were too much work but the presentation was nice!

Made this recipe when the in-laws came to visit. Not one drop was left on anyones plate. Lots of compliments. Need help regarding making the carmel. I melted the sugar in a sauce pan and then poured it into the ramekin. When I inverted the ramekin, the "carmel" was rock hard and had to be chiseled out of the bowls.

i loved it. it tasted so good. my family even liked it. they are usually picky but they asked me to make it again

The creme caramel was superb and a lovely end to an Indian style meal, grilled chicken "tandoori". I will definitely make the cremes again - the flavor was delicate but delicious. The phyllo dough is possibly more trouble than it's worth, but it adds a nice touch especially with the sweetened ground pistachios. The raspberries were fine, but they weren't entirely necessary.

This recipe is incredible! The subtle chai flavor combined with the caramel and the crunchy phyllo was extraordinary! I'm dissapointed others where not as impressed. This is a recipe well worth repeating although next time I will divide it into 4 ramekins instead of 2.

You want to know what chai means? It means tea in czech and I know that Starbucks charges WAY too much for it. Don't buy the hype.

To the Cook from Long Island: You'll find "chai" tea drinks at Starbucks and the like. According to an Indian guy I know, it's a bit of a misnomer, because in India "chai" IS tea. Masala chai is sweet spiced tea, which is what you're really getting when you order chai here in the U.S. The spices listed in this recipe are some of the usual ones in the "chai" drinks you see here:cardomom, fennel seed, cinnamon, cloves, sugar or honey - that is the sweet spice flavor of "chai". Hope this helps!

Please tell what "Chai" spice means before I try this

Usually onecan find whole cardamom pods in a health food store.

Really expensive dessert! A bit too sweet. but the chai flavor really came out well. I had a lot of leftover pistachio crisps. maybe using half of the phyllo sheet would be better. The creme caramel didn't turn out as smooth as the photo. I must've done something wrong.

You need to use whole cardamon pods as they are only simmered in the cream and then discarded. They should have them in the spice section of your grocery or store. However I would suggest you make a different creme caramel or flan instead. I was disappointed with the results. I felt the chai spice did not ad to the dish, and I love chai tea.

Iɽ imagine youɽ be able to use ground cardamon since you probably have to open the pods in this recipe anyway before putting them in the cream mixture. Or you can go to an Indian or Asian grocery to find whole roasted cardamon pods. I haven't made this recipe, so I don't know what's best.

I have problems with this recipe--it sounds terribly delicious and extravagant and impressive but I have no idea where to find cardamon pods. Is it possible to use ground cardamon instead?


Excellent recipe. The only one I use because I never have the condensed milk etc in the house. The only thing I added was cinnamon to the syrup after it's been poured into the cups. Just wonderful.

Perfect! Immaculate texture, exquisite taste, right enough sugar. I have been looking for a recipe without condensed and evaporated milk and this one really has made the dessert I tasted many years ago in Spain. I allowed for some amendments - cooked in a small pan 5 minutes longer and closed the lock in the middle of the time. My first recipe on Epicurious and happy to find such quality content.

Me and my family LOVED creating this recipe. The end results were AMAZING and we recommend you try this recipe

It didnt work! Horrible Recipe!

I followed this recipe exactly, other than not having enough milk. So I used a little half and half. It was absolutely perfect. Even after having a power loss during the cooking process. My in-laws totally were floored. So was I.

Flan is entirely different from creme caramel, in a way the hint is in the name ( cream in general is a liquid and flows), flan should be solid.

The caramel is tricky but once you get it, you're golden! Those of us who use water know that it takes at least 6-7 minutes for the water to boil off (at medium-medium high heat), then you have to watch patiently (but closely!) for the color change which follows within about 2-3 minutes. You want it a medium dark amber, like the color of maple syrup. If you just want to get the caramel on the sides of the ramekins, you may have to work in batches, say four at a time. But if you're just getting the caramel on the bottom on the ramekin (which is fine, especially if this is frustrating you) then you can probably get them all done at once. Leave the saucepan under running hot water and it'll clean up easy. I didn't rate this recipe since I use my own recipe for the custard but wanted to chime in on the caramel issue since I make flan several times a year. (And yes, use HOT or boiling water for your Baño Maria.)

The first half of this reciepe is a bust, DO NOT do the caramel with the water, I tried it exactly as described and it did not ever turn amber the water evaporated before it ever changed color. I looked up several other reciepes and found several that heated the sugar directly in a pan without the water. and it worked perfectly every time.

I'm not sure why so many people like this recipe. The flavor was really nice, but the texture was soggy and loose. Also, I had to bake for 10 more minutes than it said.

This is the perfect recipe for me, not too heavy, just right! well balanced flavor, I love it.

I made this flan in a large corning casserole because I was planning to make it for a crowd and couldn't deal with ramekins. It worked well, but I thought the flan had too strong of an eggy taste. Maybe 2 eggs and 2 yolks instead of 4 whole eggs would have made it a bit smoother and less eggy.

I grew up knowing flan as crème caramel. Simple recipe! However the caramel topping takes too long to make. Like katanas I recommend the "dry" method of caramelizing sugar. The texture of the flan is smooth and silky. The first time I made this I forgot to heat the water for the water bath and the flan took twice as long to set. If this happens to you, just tent the custard cups with aluminum foil and check custard periodically with the toothpick test. FYI, used vanilla bean instead of extract but it didn't seem to have much impact because of the strong flavor of the caramel.

I had trouble with the caramel sauce. First batch I pitched it never got to amber. Second time around I just caramelized the sugar without water. I know from experience it works just fine that way. Cleanup is pretty easy--simply add water and boil the caramelized remnants will dissolve into the water, dump, wash, done.

Easy and delicious. I used 1 TB of vanilla, 1% milk, and chilled it for 3 hours with great results. A great make ahead dessert for a party. I daresay you could eat it for breakfast.

Easy to prepare dessert that is packed with lots of flavor. It's firm but still creamy. I'm with everyone else. a few seconds makes the difference between carmel sauce with deep amber color and burnt carmel sauce. I doubled the recipe and made 8 larger flans. I found running a knife around the edges and dipping the ramekin in a bath of hot water helped the flan to come out quickly and easily. It's a sure crowd pleaser!

Made this for my brother's birthday because it's one of his favorite desserts and it was great. I did change one thing - instead of two cups whole milk I did one cup whole milk and one cup sweetened condensed milk and then decreased the sugar to 1/4 cup. I could have cooked the sugar and water a bit longer, but I was paranoid about burning it. It still tasted good, but didn't have the beautiful amber color.

I have tried many flan recipes over the years but this is the most simple and reliable one available. The difficult part is making the caramel due to the fact that once the sugar is really hot the difference between a nice flavorful syrup and a burned, smelly hard to clean pan is about 30 seconds. this dessert ALWAYS elicits favorable comments from guests.

delicious, easy. I followed the directions, except I made a 1.5x batch b/c I was cooking for 8. That made enough sauce for 8 ramekins w/ a little extra custard. Big payoff for a little prep.

definitely need to cook the caramel/syrup until thick in its pan! ten minutes seems about right. i used a round corningware instead of six ramekins, and it turned out well. i just rolled the thick syrup around the rims after using a pastry brush to "paint" the sides first, then allowed the syrup to thicken slightly on the bottom & sides. i also recommend boiling the water or using very hot water for the pan that surrounds the flan dish -- i used lukewarm water the first time, and it took about two hours to bake. this flan was firm-ish, but made a wet "sweaty" goo on its plate when served. the second time, using boiling water from my kettle for the pan, took 45-50 minutes to bake and looked much better! i also used mexican vanilla for a really flavorful taste. this is otherwise surprisingly simple with just a few (and common!) ingredients.

OK, the caramel syrup part is tricky- -you have to stay very close to the bubbling syrup because it goes from clear to gold to amber very quickly. Also, you need to lift it off the heat and pour it into the ramekins or big dish immediately. . .if you let it sit it will keep cooking and burn on you. You can use a soup spoon to distribute the syrup among six ramekins. It helps if you have someone to 'rock' them as you pour to better cover the bottoms, but don't fret if the caramel hardens without spreading. . .it will soften as it bakes. I found it wasn't enough to run a knife around the edges of the ramekins I dipped each one in a hot bath for a few seconds, then gave it a good tap to invert. Picture perfect and very delicious!

It was very easy to make and tasted delicious. I would make it again. The only problem is that you have to empty the strainer very often.

Ok, so I haven't inverted the pan yet onto my cake plate. That will be the real test. I did taste a bit and it was delicious, classic. I found the caramel sauce to be difficult: i did 2 batches, the first one i used unbleached sugar and it really never turned amber. i dumped it. the second one i used the same sugar, but i could tell it was heading in the same direction so i added about 1/4 cup more of reg. sugar and it was perfect. what the recipe doesn't tell you is that when the caramel cools in the baking pan is hardens like candy. i couldn't imagine how it would possibly turn out ok, but now the caramel sauce is liquidy, just as it should be.

I'm not sure what I did wrong here. The first time I made the caramel, it went quickly from deep amber to burnt, and I had to toss it. The second time, I cooked it to more of a medium amber, but then when it baked it turned almost clear, with no caramely taste at all. The custard itself had an unpleasant eggy taste at the first bite, but subsequent bites were better. I was hoping for a beautiful turnout like in the photo, but got a pale, insipid flan instead.

Followed the recipe to the letter, and the results were great. Perfect, sure-fire, make-ahead dessert.

Nothing in the world is easier to make than a flan, or its mother, the gracious French lady called crème caramel. For Latin Americans, our love of flan is in our genes, in our blood, and in our surprisingly sweet palate. It is popular all across Central America, South America, and the Caribbean, and even though it may have lots of regional variations, it’s chore is always the same: baked milk and eggs covered in caramel. I have eaten it since I was a little girl, so did my parents, and so have my children, and I don’t think this continuity is going to end any time soon.

In Peru children start their love affair with flan at a very early age. There isn’t one single kid who hasn’t carried a portion of flan in his/her school lunchbox, or a house or restaurant that doesn’t make it regularly. It’s a dessert to celebrate everything, to comfort anyone, and to have in hand just to satisfy the cravings for something sweet. Nobody is free from indulging in this velvety, vanilla flavored custard covered with caramel sauce… So rich and addictive, but at the same time so innocent and homey.

The name is confusing for many people, especially because in French pastry vocabulary, a flan is a kind of tart with a baked crust and a creamy filling. What we Latinos know as flan is something quite different but equally delightful. Peruvians also call it crema volteada, which literally means “upside down cream”, and have turned their love for this ubiquitous dessert into a creative force, producing many versions of the original with as many flavors and textures as is possible to imagine: cream cheese, apple, pear, raisins, quinoa, lúcuma, coconut, corn, prunes, cinnamon… However, hands down, the original plain vanilla is the favorite all over the country.

Leche asada is another dessert from Colonial times that resembles flan, even though it´s less sweet, not as rich, and has a burnt top layer. It’s made with fresh milk instead, baked without the caramel, and the outer surface is burnt with a hot cast iron, (so it definitely is not a crème brulée or crema catalana either).

Here is our very simple and surefire recipe for flan. We use evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, and eggs, all mixed together in a blender, and baked in a water bath, a.k.a. “bain marie”, to get that soft, creamy, delicate texture. It’s so easy that you can make it with success even if you’ve never boiled a pan of water in your life. The amount of eggs varies from recipe to recipe, and if you prepare it with whole milk instead, the result will be lighter and less creamy, but still delicious. A disfrutar!

Burnt Caramel Cream Recipe

Burnt Caramel Cream is excellent served on pound cakes and over fresh fruit. This sauce is a a by product of over cooking your carmel. Making carmel requires timing, temperature and patience. On occasion your carmel sauce may go too far and become burnt. DO NOT THROW IT OUT. As you can see from this recipe, Burnt Caramel sauce can be used on on many wonderful recipes. In case you want to make this sauce on purpose, follow the recipe and instructions.

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream

In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine sugar, water, and salt let sit until well blended. Cook, without stirring, until mixture turns a golden brown. Immediately remove from heat.

Off the heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, very gradually add whipping cream (mixture will clump and harden). Return to medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is smooth.

In a medium bowl, place caramel cream. Cover and chill until very cold (about 1 1/2 hours in the freezer or 3 hours in the refrigerator). May be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Up to 6 hours before serving, beat the caramel until stiff peaks form. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Thai Coffee Creme Caramel

I am a big fan of Thai coffee and Thai iced tea. The iced tea, which is regular iced tea sweetened with [usually a lot] of sweetened condensed milk, is probably a bit more common than the coffee version, but the coffee is made the same way, with sweetened condensed milk. The milk is thick and very sweet, with rich caramel flavor to it, and it makes an amazing pairing with both drinks. When I saw this recipe for Thai Coffee Creme Caramel in the New York Times Dessert Cookbook, I was intrigued and couldn’t wait to see how the flavor translated from drink to dessert.

I’ll cut to the chase: it was fantastic. I can’t remember the last time I had such a light, smooth and creamy flan. It wasn’t tough or gelatinous at all (which some of the less-good flans I’ve tried have been), but incredibly silky and light. The only reason that there are little flecks of flan sitting in the caramel around the dessert in the photo above is that I have never been particularly good at unmolding creme caramel and tend to slice into the custard slightly if I slide my knife around it I usually just cheat and eat it straight out of the ramekin, caramel and all. The coffee and caramel notes in the dessert were excellent and really represented the original coffee drink well. As an additional bonus, this dessert has only a couple of ingredients and is remarkably easy to make.

I didn’t make the caramel for the dessert – which is poured into the bottom of the ramekin before baking – too dark because I didn’t want a burnt sugar flavor to dominate the dish. Stop at a light or medium amber color, nothing darker than that. The recipe calls for a strong coffee extract to provide the coffee flavor, and has a base made with egg yolks, condensed milk and water. Save the egg whites to make angel food cake or angel food cupcakes the day you’re planning to make these.

This creme caramel is best served chilled, and while it can be eaten at room temperature, it is best to give it a few hours in the fridge to firm up a little further before serving. To unmold, dip the ramekin in a bowl of very hot water for about 20 seconds and invert onto a serving dish. You can slide a thin knife around the edge to loosen the custard, if necessary, but keep in mind that this method might not result in an unmolding that is quite as clean as the hot-water-only method (although it really helps in getting the thing out!).

Thai Coffee Creme Caramel
(from the NY Times Dessert Cookbook also online here)
7 large egg yolks, room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp coffee extract
1 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk
14-oz water
3/4 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 300F. Get out 6 8-oz ramekins and a 9吉-inch baking dish.
In a large bowl, whisk together egg yolks, vanilla extract, coffee extract, sweetened condensed milk and water (use the can from the sweetened condensed milk to measure the water) until smooth. Let stand for 20 minutes.
Put a large saucepan of water, about 4 cups, over medium heat and bring to a simmer.
Meanwhile, place sugar in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until sugar caramelizes and turns an amber color, about 5-10 minutes. Pour a little of the caramel into each of the 6 ramekins and swirl to coat the bottom. If there is leftover caramel, evenly distribute it in the ramekins. Let set for 2-3 minutes
Strain egg mixture into a large measuring cup. Pour into ramekins. Place ramekins in 9吉-inch baking dish and put the dish in the oven. Before closing the oven door, carefully pour hot water from the large saucepan into the baking dish to form a water bath.
Bake custards for about 30 minutes, until set. When jiggled, the custard should move evenly and should not be wet in the center.
Remove custards from water bath and let cool at room temperature. Custards can be refrigerated.
To serve, dip each ramekin in very hot water for about 20 seconds to loosen the caramel. Turn out onto individual serving dishes.

Basic crème caramel

  • ⅔ cups (150g) caster (superfine) sugar
  • ⅓ cup (80ml) water
  • ¾ cup (180ml) milk
  • ¾ cup (180ml) single (pouring) cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 egg yolks extra
  • ⅓ cup (75g) caster (superfine) sugar
  • extra 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 150°C (300°F). Place the sugar and water in a saucepan over high heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Bring to the boil and cook for 8–10 minutes or until the mixture is dark golden. Pour into 4 x ¾ cup-capacity (180ml) ovenproof dishes. Set aside for 5 minutes or until the caramel is set.
  2. Place the milk and cream in a saucepan over medium heat until it just comes to the boil. Remove from heat.
  3. Place the eggs, extra yolks, extra sugar and vanilla in a bowl and whisk until well combined. Gradually add the milk mixture, whisking to combine. Strain the mixture and pour into the dishes.
  4. Place dishes in a water bath. Bake for 35 minutes or until set. Remove from the dish and refrigerate for 2 hours or until cold. Remove the crème caramels from the fridge 30 minutes before serving. Turn out onto plates to serve. Serves 4.

+ Make a water bath by placing dishes in a baking dish lined with a folded tea towel and pour in enough boiling water to come halfway up the sides of the dishes. A folded tea towel in the base of the baking dish stops the dishes from sliding around and ensures the crème caramel cooks evenly as the dishes don’t touch the baking dish directly.

3. Start with white sugar

I asked Oriol Balaguer, the Barcelona-based master of chocolate and sugar, about the sugar question, as now even small supermarkets stock a bewildering array of sugars, syrups and substitutes. "I practically always use white sugar (sucrose) to give a pure sweet taste to caramel", says Balaguer, "and though you can and I do use other sugars, syrups or derivatives like fructose and dextrose, I find I almost always prefer sucrose." At first, using white sugar will make gauging the colour of the caramel much easier. But with practice you should be able to try unrefined ('golden') sugar. Damian Allsop, one the most innovative of the new artisan confectioners in the UK, is a fan of unrefined sugar. "Unrefined sugar is a big thing in my kitchen. It has more flavour, and a flavour that's more complex. So you can do what you do with a classical caramel but just experiment with different combinations to get different intensities. I like to substitute a third of the light sugar in a recipe with muscovado for a powerful flavour."

My advice: if you're making a caramel for a tarte tatin or crème caramel, use all refined sugar. If you're making soft caramels or sauces try replacing half the refined white sugar in the recipe with brown sugar (any sort), but only caramelize the white sugar. Then add the remaining brown sugar when you add the butter and cream.

The perfect creme caramel

The perfect creme caramel. Photograph: Felicity Cloake/Guardian

For the creme:

500ml whole milk

1 vanilla pod

100g caster sugar

2 eggs plus 4 yolks

For the caramel:

60g caster sugar

60g soft dark brown sugar

Grease six ramekins with butter and set aside. Pour the milk into a small pan, cut the vanilla pod in half and scrape the seeds into the pan. Add the pod and bring to a simmer, then turn off the heat, cover and leave to infuse while you make the caramel.

Put the sugars for the caramel in a deep saucepan (as light as possible so you can see the colour better) and just barely cover with water. Bring to a simmer over a fairly gentle heat, then cook until thickened, syrupy and toasty-smelling. (To check if it’s done, take off the heat and put a blob on a plate. If it sets, it’s ready.) Divide between the moulds, working quickly before it sets, and swirling to cover the bases. Set aside.

Put the eggs and yolks into a heatproof bowl and whisk together. Add the sugar and whisk gently to just combine. Remove the pods from the milk and slowly pour into the bowl, stirring all the time, then leave to settle for 15 minutes while the caramel sets. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 150C/300F/gas mark two and boil a kettle.

Skim the foam from the top of the custard, pour through a sieve into the ramekins and cover each one tightly with foil, then put in a baking tin. Pour hot water into the tin to two-thirds of the way up the ramekins. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for another 12-15 minutes, or until the custard is just set but still slightly wobbly at the centre. Remove from the bain-marie and leave to cool. Refrigerate until completely cold.

To unmould, run a slim knife around the outside of each mould and invert on to plates,

Creme caramel: a culinary classic or the poor relation of the creme brulee? Which other fancy French foods of the 70s and 80s would you like to see revived?

Top Photo: The perfect creme caramel. Photograph: Felicity Cloake/Guardian