Creme Caramel, also known as Flan or its Middle Eastern name كريم كاراميل, is a sweet, creamy, custard-like dessert. A show-stopping recipe, it looks gourmet but is easy to make!
Pair it with main courses like Middle Eastern chicken, spaghetti arrabiata bake, and lemon garlic shrimp and rice for a restaurant-worthy meal!
What Is Creme Caramel?
Creme caramel, also known as flan or كريم كاراميل, is a popular custard dessert that is typically made with eggs whole milk (or cream or condensed milk) covered in a sweet caramel sauce. Typically, it is served in individual ramekins, but it can also be found in a full cake-like portion as in our creme caramel recipe.
Although the dessert is largely considered to be French, the exact origins remain debated as the English and Spanish also claim to be the original inventors. The dessert is made slightly differently wherever you go but always maintains its silky texture and rich flavor. Today, it can be found across the globe and remains a staple on many dessert menus in restaurants.
What is Creme Caramel Made Of?
Although it looks super fancy and has a complex flavor, creme caramel is made with just a handful of simple ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Eggs – Used to enhance the rich taste, the egg proteins also help provide structure to the dish and create the smooth, almost gel-like texture we’re looking to achieve.
- Sugar – Regular granulated sugar is used to sweeten the custard and create the caramel sauce.
- Vanilla Extract – Use high-quality pure vanilla to enhance the rest of the ingredients.
- Whole Milk and Heavy Cream – These are used in conjunction to create the rich, creamy custard center.
How to Make the Best Creme Caramel Recipe
Creme caramel takes a bit of planning. However, as long as you allow enough time for the dessert to set, it’s super easy to make. Just follow the steps below!
- Create the Caramel Sauce. In a small saucepan, heat the sugar over medium-high heat until it caramelizes and turns golden brown, swirling the sugar every few minutes to prevent it from burning.
- Coat the Pan. Pour the caramel into the bottom of a bundt pan, and swirl it around to coat the edges.
- Create the Custard. In a separate pot, heat the milk and heavy cream just until it is warm. In a bowl, beat the eggs and sugar together, and slowly add the milk mixture to the bowl. Stir in the vanilla.
- Bake. Pour the custard mixture into the bundt pan over the caramel sauce. Place the bundt pan into a large baking dish, and pour simmering water into the dish to create a water bath. Place the dish in the oven until the flan is still jiggly but firm.
- Chill. Let the creme caramel cool at room temperature for 1 hour. Then, cover it with plastic wrap, and place it in the fridge for at least 4 hours or up to overnight.
- Serve. Run a thin knife around the sides of the bundt pan to loosen the creme caramel. Place a large plate on top of the pan, and invert the dessert. Slice, serve cold, and enjoy!
Given how decadent it is, this creme caramel recipe is perfectly satisfying when served on its own. In fact, it’s rare to find the dessert served with any additions or sides. However, for a pop of color and a little extra garnish, we sometimes like to top it with fresh fruit like raspberries, strawberries, or blueberries.
Creme Caramel Recipe Common Questions
Containing a similar flavor and made with nearly identical ingredients, the names creme caramel and flan are often used interchangeably. However, they aren’t quite the same. The primary difference between the two is that creme caramel is made with a combination of whole eggs and egg yolks while flan uses only whole eggs.
Creme brûlèe is a custard dessert that is made with a rich, creamy center and a hard caramelized sugar topping. Meanwhile, creme caramel is made with a caramel syrup poured over soft custard.
Yes! When kept covered with plastic wrap, you can store this dessert in the fridge for up to 5 days.
More Dessert Recipes You’ll Love
These gourmet-looking homemade desserts are guaranteed to knock your socks off!
- Hazelnut Chocolate Tart with Candied Hazelnuts
- Chocolate Pots De Creme
- Easy Chocolate Tiramisu Recipe
- Tiramisú Bread Pudding
Creme Caramel Recipe
For the Caramel:
- 1 cup granulated sugar
For the Creme Caramel:
- 3 cups whole milk
- 1 ¼ cups heavy cream
- 9 large eggs
- ½ cups + 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 375° Fahrenheit.
- Fill a saucepan with water, and warm it over medium heat until it comes to a simmer.
- In a small saucepan, cook the sugar over medium-high heat for 6-8 minutes or until it caramelizes and turns dark brown, swirling it around every few minutes. Be careful not to let it burn! Pour the caramel into a bundt pan, swirling it around to coat the edges.
- In a separate pot over medium heat, add the milk and heavy cream. Heat the mixture just until it is warm. Do not bring it to a boil!
- In a bowl, beat the eggs and sugar until smooth. Working slowly, pour milk into the bowl. Stir in the vanilla.
- Pour the custard filling into the bundt pan over the caramel. Place the bundt pan in a baking dish, and pour 2-3 inches of simmering water into the dish.
- Bake 60-70 minutes or until the crème caramel is firm enough to hold its shape but still slightly jiggly when gently shaken.
- Let the crème caramel cool at room temperature for 1 hour. Then, cover it with plastic wrap, and store it in the fridge for at least 4 hours or ideally up to overnight.
- Run a thin knife around the sides of the bundt pan and along the center. Place a large serving plate over the pan, and invert the dessert onto the plate.
- Serve cold, and enjoy!
- Store covered in the fridge for up to 5 days.