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A couple of weeks ago, I was talking to one of my few female co-workers, and of course, the conversation turned to food. (I swear some people think that’s all I have to talk about!) I can’t remember exactly how the conversation went, but she asked me if I had a good recipe for flan because she wanted to make it for a dinner she was doing. I immediately got excited because I had bookmarked this recipe for Coconut Cream Flan from this month’s cookbook of the month – The Pastry Queen. I told her I would get the recipe for her, and I was really excited so that we would be able to share our experiences about the flan.

My husband was super excited for me to make this flan, as flan is one of his favorite desserts. I’m surprised it has taken me so long to make it!! But because of things going on this month, I didn’t get around to making this until Wednesday night, and we ate it last night.

I had actually never made flan before this. But just to compare recipes, I took out my Baking From My Home to Yours to compare the flan recipe in there to this flan recipe. I remembered seeing some wonderful flans when the Tuesdays With Dorie group made her recipe. And to compare these recipes – they are very different! With this recipe, everything is just mixed together, poured into the baking dish, and baked. Dorie’s is much more complex, making a custard before baking. While I can’t compare the two, since I haven’t had Dorie’s, I can say that this recipe is much easier – especially if you are afraid of making custards. As for the taste, though, (again, I can’t really compare since I haven’t had both), I am guessing that Dorie’s is probably creamier than this recipe. I really liked this recipe, but I do wish it was a bit creamier.

The biggest issue I had with this recipe was making the caramel. It is just melted sugar for this recipe. You are supposed to melt the sugar, then pour it into your dish and swirl it to coat the bottom and sides. This did not work for me. The first time, I know I overcooked the sugar and it immediately hardened once it hit the dish. The second attempt wasn’t much better, even though I didn’t cook the sugar as long. Still turned hard as soon as it hit the dish. I just went with it at that point. In the end, only a little of it was still stuck to the top of the ramekin, but I do think there are probably better methods for this. I thought I had troubles because I often have issues with melting sugar, but my co-worker said that she had problems with it too. In fact, it took her 3 tries until it mostly worked for her!

One word of advice for any of you that haven’t worked with cream of coconut before – it separates in the can, so it’s best if you dump it out of the can and whisk it all together. In fact, I wish I would have put it in the blender and really smoothed it out, but I didn’t, and it still worked out. But it might give you a bit of trouble if you just dump the can into the whole mix and then try to smooth it out.

So, how did I like it? My husband absolutely loved it. I halved the recipe and made it into two large portions. He devoured his, plus half of mine. I really liked it, but it was a bit too sweet for me. I made it through half of mine, and then I was sweeted out. I really loved the coconut flavor – it really does have a starring role in this. I think this would make a great dessert for the upcoming Cinco de Mayo, but I would keep the portions on the smaller side if you don’t like things overly sweet.

Coconut Cream Flan
From The Pastry Queen

1 cup sugar
6 large eggs
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (15-ounce) can cream of coconut, such as Coco Lopez
1 cup half-and-half
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup dark rum

Preheat oven to 325F.

Place the sugar in a small, uncoated skillet. Heat the sugar over medium-high heat until melted and golden brown. Pour it into a 1-quart baking dish or distribute evenly among eight 1-cup capacity ramekins. Tip and turn the dish or ramekins to coat the bottom and sides with the melted sugar.

Whisk the eggs in a large bowl until foamy. Stir in the condensed milk, cream of coconut, half-and-half, vanilla, and rum. Pour the mixture into the baking dish. Put the baking dish in a larger baking an and set it in the oven. Pour enough boiling water into the larger pan to reach halfway up the sides of the baking dish or ramekins.

Bake 1 hour for the 1-quart or 45 minutes for the ramekins, until the center is almost set. Remove the flan from the pan of water and cool on a rack. Invert onto a serving plate; cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving*. The flan will keep for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.

Makes 8 servings

*I made this the night before I was going to serve it, and was afraid all of the caramel would leak out if I inverted it so early. So I left it upright, covered it, and the next day, I just ran a knife around the edge before inverting onto a plate. Worked like a charm!

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32 Responses to Cookbook of the Month Recipe – Coconut Cream Flan

  1. Elle says:

    Deborah–that looks delicious! I’ve always wanted to make a flan. And coconut is one of my absolute favorites, too! this would be great for Cinco de Mayo.

  2. glamah16 says:

    I have a can of Cream of Coconut sitting all by its lonesome in the pantry. As for the caramel, mine has always hardned. It softens and penetrates the flan as you bake it.Then when released its liquified. So I think you were Ok the first few attempts.I have to try both to compare.

  3. Medena says:

    This is one dessert I am scared to make, I have a feeling I can never make something so delicate…
    I absolutely love coconut, and I might just try making flan, and see what happens…
    Your first time certainly looks like you have done it before! Very detailed, I am saving this whole post :))

  4. Brilynn says:

    After seeing the TWD flans I’ve been meaning to make one, yours is just encouraging me even more to do so!

  5. dobetter says:

    Deborah- you have combined two of my favorites into a luscious dish! That looks great! I’m saving this one!

  6. mimi says:

    i am usually not a flan girl, but your’s looks absolutely light and delish!

  7. Barbara Bakes says:

    I have never made a flan. This looks delicious. Thanks for the tip about cream of coconut. I’ve never used that either.

  8. Katie B. says:

    Such a pretty flan! I love the coconut version!

  9. noble pig says:

    I adore flan. My biggest issues have always been the caramel as well. There is these few second window before it burns to make it work. I also have many burns from making the caramel…I never respect it.

  10. Cakespy says:

    Flan-tastic! Flan is one of those things that is so good when it’s done well, so awful when it’s done poorly. Yours looks to be in the former group–completely mouthwatering!

  11. Kevin says:

    I have never had/made flan but it is definitely something that I am looking forward to trying. Your coconut cream flan looks and sounds really good!!

  12. Pearlsofeast says:

    Deborah, all the ingredients seems to be rocking for a perfect dessert.It has tiltated my taste buds.

  13. Gretchen Noelle says:

    Yum! This sounds much more like a latin crema volteada…the condensed milk really makes these delicious! Sounds great. I would try this one!!

  14. farida says:

    Deborah, I just found you from the Daring Bakers! What a nice blog you have here! I am going to subscribe to you to read more from you. Oh, by the way, this flan looks mouthwatering! You take great pics, too!

  15. Marc @ norecipes says:

    Yummm looks delicious. Flan is definitely one of my favourite desserts!

  16. Emiline says:

    It sounds so tropical and delicious. I’ve never made flan before. I made creme caramel before, so I guess that’s pretty similar.

    At work, if the managers choose to talk to me, guess what they ask me questions about? Yep, food. They really don’t know anything about me, except that I like to cook.

  17. Jenny says:

    Oh man,
    Look at that little piece of heaven. This has my name written all over it. Very beautiful!

  18. Pixie says:

    I think it’s difficult to capture flan in a photograph and you did a superb job of it. It’s been a very long time since I had one and love the sound and look of this one. Starred.

  19. Grace says:

    “flan-tastic.” cakespy cracks me up.

    let’s see, we’ve got coconut, half and half, sweet milk, and rum. how could this not be swoon-worthy? nice post!

  20. Lina says:

    I am a sucker for flan! I really want to try making this sometime soon!!

  21. Shandy says:

    Deb, I have never made a flan of any type and have wanted to try the Pastry Queen’s recipe. Yours turned out beautiful but I wonder why the caramel part of her recipe is so hard to work with? I think I am going to research other recipes for flan and see if there is a better way before trying The Pastry Queen’s recipe. Thank you for all the information =D.

  22. Shelley says:

    Deborah, I do not drink alcohol, is there any substitution for the rum?

  23. nicole says:

    I have never made flan but this looks so delicious I might have to try it.

  24. Deborah says:


    I don’t drink alcohol, either, but I do use it in cooking when the alcohol will be cooked out. I actually think it would be fine if you left it out altogether, because there is such a small amount, but you could also add a bit of imitation rum flavoring as well. If you try it, you’ll have to let me know how it goes!

  25. Peabody says:

    Good tip about the canned coconut. I will have to give this a try and compare since I did make the Dorie recipe.

  26. StickyGooeyCreamyChewy says:

    Deborah, your flan looks lovely! It makes me want to dive right in! Flan is one of my all time favorites.

    If you want a creamier product, you might try some cream cheese in the batter next time. My fave flan recipe has it and the flan is so silky and creamy. It might also cut the sweetness. Just a suggestion. 🙂

  27. Sarah says:

    Mmm…I am drooling just looking at this photo! I always get a little bummed when I hear someone tell me they’ve never had flan. Flan = goodness, Coconut = goodness, so obviously together it’s probably a perfect combination…thanks for the recipe!

  28. glutenfreeforgood says:

    I don’t eat dairy very often, but I use coconut milk all the time. In my pre-no-diary days, flan was one of my favorite desserts. I’m saving this recipe and when I want to treat myself big-time, I’ll try this. You’re right, it sounds like an awesome Cinco de Mayo dessert.

    Great blog, by the way! I’ll be back…


  29. eatme_delicious says:

    Ooo I love coconut! This sounds delicious. Frustrating about the caramel though. I’ve never made anything like this but heard that the caramel for creme caramel is hard when you put it in, but it becomes liquidy when you leave it for 24 hours. Where do you find cream of coconut? I’ve never seen it.

  30. foodnerd says:

    Ooh! This looks awesome. My bf LOVES flan, I’ll have to give it a try.

  31. Joi says:

    So gorgeous! It looks like it would be sinfully good. Can’t wait to try it and find out.

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