Flan de café

One of the best desserts that I loved as a kid was flan. My mom is not a baker by any means necessary, but she always bought flan. It is a prepackaged flan that it is addicting. As in, I bought 2 packets (each packet has 3 flans) and I had to use all of my self-control to not eat them in one sitting. It also was one of the things I ate when I felt super stressed out because of the earthquakes.

The first time I had Flan de cafe (coffee flavored flan) was in college. I had a humanities class that ended in a pot luck (it was at 7:30 am; horrible, I know) and we brought things. If you think midwestern potlucks are a hot mess in terms of what people bring, add college kids to a mix. The only place where you would get lasagna (at 7:30), rice and beans, carnitas, flan de cafe, snickers bars, and cereal. Again. 7:30 am with college kids.

This recipe takes some time, but if you’re patient, you won’t regret it.

Oven: Preheated at 325
Prep Time: 1 hour
Rest time:
Serves: 6 small ramekins or a 9” pie dish

Cook time (flan in the oven): max 50 minutes.


  • 2 1/2 cups of whole milk
  • 1/4 cups of coffee, coarsely chopped (I added it to the coffee grinder and pulsed 4 times)
  • 1/2 cups of granulated sugar (for the flan)
  • 2/3 cups of granulated sugar (for the custard)
  • 3 tablespoons of vanilla extract (if you have vanilla beans, use 1, split)
  • 6 large eggs.
  • 1/4 cup of water

How to:

1. Combine milk, coffee beans, and sugar (1/2 cup) in a small sauce pan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Once at a simmer, take off the heat and let sit for 30 mins.

2. Preheat the oven to 325. Place the ramekins or your desired dish close to the stove (once you start making the caramel, you don’t want to wander off).

3. Cook the 2/3 cup of sugar and 1/4 cup of water in a small sauce pan over medium low heat. Stir constantly until the sugar dissolves. Once dissolved, crank up the heat to medium high. Swirl the saucepan constantly until the caramel is cooked until its golden brown and you begin to see some smoke. This is where you have to be patient.

4. Immediately place caramel into your dish(es). If you’re using ramekins, use enough so that it coats the bottom of the dish. You need to work quickly because the caramel hardens and you’ll be stuck (literally) with that caramel.

5. Whisk the eggs in a medium bowl. reheat the coffee mixture until it’s steaming. Add the vanilla extract now. If not it completely evaporates. Mix well. Add the coffee mix to the eggs slowly, whisking so that the eggs heat up, but not too much at once, so that they don’t scramble.

6. Pour eggy mixture through a sieve or a mesh so that you separate the coffee grounds.

7. Boil some water (electric kettle or a stove kettle).

8. Add egg mixture to the ramekins evenly.

9. Transfer the flans to your roasting pan (I use two pans because my roasting pan is HUGE) and add enough water to come halfway up the custard. For my ramekins, it was about an inch high of water.

10. Bake in the 325 oven for as max of 50 minutes. Until the custard is set, but jiggles just a bit in the center. Take off the oven and let cool.

Once the flans are done they can keep in the oven for 5 days.

To take them out of the ramekin, using a butter knife (making sure it stays in the bottom of the dish) run the knife around the edges. Place a plate over the ramekins and flip. Tap the bottom of the ramekin to help it along. Serve with some whipped cream over the top! Enjoy!

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