Coconut Flan

Flan de Coco


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • 8 to 10


Appears in

Muy Bueno: Three Generations of Authentic Mexican Flavor

Muy Bueno

By Yvette Marquez-Sharpnack

Published 2013

  • About

The texture and taste of flan is similar to another one of my favorite desserts, crème brûlée. However, instead of a crystallized sugar coating and eating it from the ramekin, flan is turned out of the ramekin and served on a plate, allowing the amber-colored and caramelized sugar to ooze over the top and down the sides of the flan further enhancing its creamy texture. Flan is quite versatile. You can make it plain or give it a boost of flavor with a tinge of vanilla. And if you’re even more adventuresome you can play with plain flan by adding some of your own favorite flavors. I especially love coconut and thought this would make a refreshing tropical flan. After lots of experimenting I finally got the sweet, light, and creamy coconut flavor I was looking for by using coconut milk. Stay away from coconut cream as it gives the flan a lumpy texture.


  • 4 cups milk
  • 1 cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon coconut extract
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • cup coconut flakes


Bring the milk and ½ cup sugar to a boil and mix well until the sugar has dissolved. Keep the mixture at a low boil for about 45 minutes, mixing occasionally during cooking time.

While you are reducing the milk, prepare the caramel: Put the remaining ½ cup sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Allow the sugar to melt, about 5 to 7 minutes. No need to stir, just swirl the saucepan around over the heat until it starts to melt. Once the sugar is a deep maple color it is ready. Quickly drizzle the caramel into the bottom of 8 4-ounce ramekins. The caramel will harden and crackle as it cools off. Don’t worry, it will liquefy once it’s in the oven with the flan.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and place the oven rack in the middle of the oven.

Beat the eggs, egg yolks, coconut extract, and coconut milk in a mixing bowl.

Strain the reduced milk into a separate bowl. (Straining will remove any solid particles or milk skins.) Quickly whisk the egg mixture into the reduced milk mixture. Slowly pour into the prepared ramekins.

Place ramekins in a roasting pan and put on the middle rack in the oven. Carefully add warm water halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake for 35 minutes or until edges are set (the centers will not be set).

Remove roasting pan from the oven and remove ramekins from the water and place on a wire rack to cool completely for at least 1 hour.

After 1 hour, cover ramekins with plastic wrap and transfer to the refrigerator and chill for at least 8 hours or overnight. (These can be made several days in advance and still taste delicious.)

When ready to serve, toast coconut in a dry pan just until it has a nice golden color. Carefully run a paring knife around edges of the ramekins to loosen the flan, invert onto serving plates, sprinkle with some of the toasted coconut and serve.