Learn how to make this Easy Creme Caramel Recipe with just six ingredients and a few simple steps, and enjoy a gourmet restaurant-worthy dessert from the comfort of your own home! 

A creme caramel flan recipe on a plate.

What Is Creme Caramel? 

Creme caramel, also known as flan, caramel custard, egg pudding, or its Middle Eastern name كريم كاراميل, is a popular dessert enjoyed all over the world. It consists of a creamy custard base made from eggs, sugar, and milk or cream which is baked or steamed until the mixture sets and holds its shape. 

Once chilled, it is coated with a caramel sauce and served cold. The end result is a velvety custard that is soft and sweet. 

Origins of the Creme Caramel Recipe

Creme Caramel is largely believed to be a French recipe, because of the French origins of its name. However, the exact origins of the dish remain unknown and widely debated as the French, the English, and the Spanish all claim the be the first inventors of the recipe. 

No matter its origins, the dessert is always scrumptious! 

Is Creme Caramel the Same as Flan? 

Creme caramel and flan have very slight differences but are largely the same things. The different names are often due to regional variations with “creme caramel” being more common in European countries and “flan” being more common in Latin American and Spanish-speaking regions. 

That said, creme caramel is often made with a combination of whole egg sand egg yolks while flan uses only whole eggs and often doesn’t contain sweetened or condensed milk. However, the end results are desserts that are nearly identical in taste and texture and the different names are used interchangeably. 

What’s the Difference Between Crème Brûlée and Creme Caramel?

Both desserts are served chilled and have a custard base, contributing to the word “creme” in their name. However, they are not the same things. 

For instance, creme caramel recipes are served inverted on a plate and have a smooth, creamy texture with a jiggly, Jell-O-like consistency. On the other hand, crème brûlée recipes are served in a ramekin and have a more liquid-like center with a crisp, sugar shell that has been hardened with a torch. 

 Crème brûlée recipes are also more compact and do not contain the caramel coating creme caramel is known for having. 

What’s the Difference Between Mexican and Vietnamese Flan?

Mexican and Vietnamese flan recipes are both custardy desserts, but they have distinct differences in their taste, texture, and appearance. 

For instance, Mexican flan is made with sweetened condensed milk, whole milk, and cream and is flavored with vanilla. As a result, it is creamier and richer in flavor and has a velvety texture. 

On the other hand, Vietnamese flan is made with coconut milk and is often infused with pandan leaf extract. The result is a custard treat that has a subtle green hue and a light coconut taste. It also lacks the rich caramel sauce associated with Mexican flan.

Easy Creme Caramel Recipe Ingredients

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: 

  • Granulated Sugar – Regular granulated sugar is used to sweeten the custard and create the caramel sauce.
  • Whole Milk and Heavy Cream – These are used in conjunction to create, the creamy custard base of the dessert. 
  • Large Eggs – These help enhance the richness of the dessert, and the protein provides structure to the custard, creating the smooth, almost gel-like texture we’re looking to achieve. 
  • Vanilla Extract – Use high-quality pure vanilla extract to enhance the rest of the ingredients. You really can taste the difference! 

Impress Your Guests with the Easy Steps of this Homemade 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! 

  1. Simmer Water. Fill a saucepan with water, and warm it over medium heat until it comes to a simmer. 
  2. Caramelize the Sugar. In a separate small saucepan, cook the sugar over medium-high heat until it caramelizes and turns dark brown, swirling it around every few minutes. Pour the caramel into a bundt pan, swirling it around to coat the edges. 
  3. Combine the Milk and Cream. In a pot over medium heat, combine the milk and heavy cream, heating it just until it’s warm. 
  4. Beat. In a large bowl, beat the eggs and sugar with a hand mixer or stand mixer until smooth. Then, working slowly, pour in the milk. Once combined, gently mix in the vanilla. 
  5. Bake. Pour the egg custard filling into the bundt pan, and place the bundt pan in a baking dish. Pour a few inches of the simmering water into the baking dish, surrounding the bundt pan. Place the pan in the oven just until the creme caramel is firm enough to hold its shape. 
  6. Cool. Allow the dessert to cool at room temperature. Then, cover it with plastic wrap, and store it in the fridge. 
  7. Serve. Run a knife along the edges of the pan and along the center. Place a large serving plate over the pan, and invert the dessert onto the plate. Enjoy cold! 
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Overhead image of creme caramel flan on a plate.

Tips for Success

  • Don’t Overmix. Combine the separate components just until smooth. Continuing to mix and beat will only result in a runny or tough recipe. 
  • Avoid Overbaking. Remove the creme caramel from the oven as soon as it has set enough to hold its shape but is still jiggly. Continuing to bake will only cause it to solidify and become hard! 
  • Allow Plenty of Cooling Time. We recommend letting your creme caramel recipe chill in the fridge overnight so that it cools and sets completely. However, you definitely don’t want to pull it out before four hours! 
  • Tap the Pan. Once the creme caramel has cooled, and you’re ready to serve, run a knife along the edges of a pan. Then, invert it onto a plate, and gently tap or giggle the pan to remove the dessert, keeping it in one piece. 

Serving Suggestions

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. Or, you could add a dollop of whipped cream! 

side view of a slice of creme caramel on a plate.

Common Questions About this Creme Caramel Recipe

What can I do with leftover egg whites? 

Use them to make an egg white omelette! Or, add them to recipes like our high-protein healthy pumpkin pancakes or this easy chocolate soufflé

Can I make this recipe ahead of time?

Yes! When kept covered with plastic wrap, you can store this dessert in the fridge for up to five days. 

What is the serving size for this recipe?

 This creme caramel recipe makes up to twelve servings, depending on how hungry you are, of course! 

More Dessert Recipes You’ll Love

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a slice of creme caramel on a plate.

Creme Caramel Recipe

5 from 1 vote
Author: Food Dolls
Servings: 12 servings
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 1 hour
Chill Time: 4 hours
Total: 2 days 10 minutes
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!

Ingredients  

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

Instructions 

  • 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.
    1 cup granulated sugar
  • 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!
    3 cups whole milk, 1 ¼ cups heavy cream
  • In a bowl, beat the eggs and sugar until smooth. Working slowly, pour milk into the bowl. Stir in the vanilla.
    9 large eggs, ½ cups + 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 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.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 266kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 158mg | Sodium: 77mg | Potassium: 162mg | Sugar: 29g | Vitamin A: 641IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 110mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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Meet Alia & Radwa

Welcome to Food Dolls! We’re so glad you found us. We are Alia and Radwa, sisters who want to share simple and easy recipes with you. We hope you find recipes here that you enjoy making as much as we do! Learn more about us!

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