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Best Flan Recipe Ever (Only Four Ingredients)

Kari loves to eat and thus loves to cook. She makes her own recipes so that they suit her taste buds. Sharing recipes is sharing love.

Only four ingredients, and it's the best flan ever!

Only four ingredients, and it's the best flan ever!

Four Ingredient Flan

My friend from Puerto Rico gave me this recipe; it's a family recipe that she learned from her mother. This flan is fabulous and it's very easy to make, too. The recipe requires only four ingredients.

I must admit I had a little problem with making the caramel the first time I tried. The recipe called for sugar and water. I would put these in the pan and get them to a nice boil, only to find that the water evaporated and left me with sugar! That first time, I kept adding more water, and it kept drying out and leaving me with sugar. How frustrated I was!

I finally called my friend after about an hour to find out what I was doing wrong. (You would think I would have been smart enough to call her after the first few times.) She laughed and laughed when I got her on the phone. "Jou need to let the sugar melt," she told me. (Her "y" always sounded like a "j"—my friends and I loved when she said someone had been "jelling" [yelling] at her.)

She teased me about the sugar for the longest time! "How can jou melt a heart, when jou can't even melt sugar," she would say. (We were much younger then.) "How do jou expect to get a boyfriend if jou can't even melt sugar." She is a wonderful lady with a finely tuned sense of humor.

Back to flan...

Let the sugar melt in the pan. Cook it over medium-high heat and watch it closely every minute. It will brown into that wonderful caramel color.

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

10 min

1 hour 15 min

1 hour 25 min

6-8 servings


  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 (12 oz) cans evaporated skim milk
  • 3 1/2 cups sugar, divided
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
The reduced caramel

The reduced caramel


  1. Make the caramel: Put 2 cups of sugar into a pan (a frying pan or a pot will work). Cook over medium-high heat until the sugar melts and becomes a nice golden brown. Watch carefully and stir often. Important note: Use a metal utensil or wooden spoon. Plastic utensils will melt before the sugar does!
  2. Put the caramel in an 8x3 cake pan or flan pan. Allow it to cool slightly while you mix together the flan ingredients.
  3. Make the flan: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Mix the eggs, evaporated milk, 1 1/2 cups sugar, and vanilla extract together until well combined.
  4. Pour over the caramel in the pan.
  5. Put the flan in a water bath (see instructions below).
  6. Bake in an oven preheated to 350 degrees F for 1 hour.
  7. Check the flan using a toothpick in the middle. If the toothpick comes out clean, flan is done. The center of the flan may still wriggle, but if the toothpick is clean, it is done.
  8. Let the flan cool to room temperature on a wire rack.
  9. Put a large plate over the top of the flan. The plate should be slightly bigger than the flan pan. Flip the flan and plate over quickly. Let the flan come out of the pan onto the plate, with the caramel covering the top and running off the sides.
  10. You can eat it now, or place it in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve. The caramel will not harden. "Jou now have a wonderful, delicious treat!"

Rate This Flan

Water Bath

This flan must be cooked in a water bath. Find a pan that will fit your flan pan. Make sure there is space around all sides of the flan pan. I usually use a roaster pan or lasagna pan for this.

Put the flan pan with the flan ingredients into the outer pan. Put water into the outer pan high enough to come about three-quarters of the way up on the flan pan.

I use boiling water and I have the pans on the oven rack before I add the water.

Cooking Tips

  • How to make perfect caramel: If you've never made caramel before, I recommend checking out David Lebovitz's very helpful, in-depth explanation.
  • Water bath tips: A Family Feast has a lovely description and a very helpful photo tutorial about how to do a water bath.

© 2009 Kari Poulsen