Tres Leches Mexican Flan Recipe

Tres leches means “3 milks” in Spanish.  This classic Tres Leches Mexican Flan recipe is not low fat or low calorie – it is just delicious!  This dessert is rich with a custard like texture that melts in the mouth.  If you have never made flan before, now is the time to try!

This flan is made using three milks – condensed milk, evaporated milk, and regular milk.  Please do not be intimidated by the looks of this recipe.  It is easier than you think.  This Tres Leches Mexican Flan dessert is so amazing – so rich and custardy!  Mexican flan is slightly denser than the typical Spanish Flan.


Tres Leches Mexican Flan



Tres Leches Mexican Flan Recipe:
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
40 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Tres Leches Mexican Flan Recipe
Servings: 6 servings
Equipment Needed:
  • Heavy-bottom, high-sided saucepan
  • 8 1/2- inch rectangular loaf pan
  • Large high-sided pan to set the loaf pan in - I used my lasagna pan for this.  A large roasting pan would also work
  1. Prepare Caramel - Caramelized Sugar:

  2. In a heavy-bottom, high-sided saucepan over low to medium-low heat, combine 1 cup sugar and a drop of lemon juice (the lemon juice keeps the mixture from hardening or crystalling).  NOTE: I find that maintaining a low heat, I have more control over the caramelizing process, as it is really easy to burn.

  3. Caramel

  4. Cook, stirring constantly, with a wooden spoon or silicone spatula until sugar dissolves and mixture just begins to simmer.  Sugar melts at about 320 degrees F. and will turn to a clear liquid at that temperature.  Continue stirring and cooking, approximately 8 to 10 minutes, or until you get a nice golden brown caramel. Make sure not to overcook as the caramel can burn.  NOTE: Boiling times will vary according to different stove tops and other factors.

  5. Pour the caramel into the loaf pan, making sure that the caramel completely covers the bottom surface of the pan.  Set aside and let the caramel cool while making the flan mixture.

    Caramel in baking pan
  6. Prepare Flan:

  7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. or 180 degrees C.  Adjust oven rack to center position.

  8. In a blender, combine evaporated milk, condensed milk, orange zest, whole or 2% milk, eggs, vanilla extract, and salt; process until smooth.  Let the flan mixture sit approximately 10 to 15 minutes.

  9. After resting, remove any top foam that formed when blending the ingredients and discard.  Stir the flan mixture just before pouring in your loaf baking pan.

  10. Foam

  11. Pour the prepared flan mixture into the loaf pan.  Place the filled loaf pan into an ovenproof roasting or baking pan.  If cooking custards in a metal pan, cover the bottom of the pan with a layer of newspaper to ensure an even temperature on the bottom.

  12. Bring the water for the water bath to a light simmer on top of the stove; carefully pour hot water into the baking pan to come half-way up the sides of the loaf pan. For ease of carrying, first place the larger pan (containing the filled loaf pan) on the oven rack, then pour the boiling water into the large baking pan.  It is so much easier than moving the pans with water in them.

  13. Flan ready to bake

  14. Bake 60 to 70 minutes (depending on depth of your pan) or until set around the edges but still loose in the center.  When the center of custard is just set, it will jiggle a little when shaken, that's when you can remove it from the oven (the flans will continue to set as they cool).  If using a digital instant-read thermometer, inserted in the centers, it should register 180 degrees F.  Begin checking temperature about 10 minutes before recommended times.

  15. Remove from oven and remove the flan pan from the water bath.  Place on your counter and let cool approximately 60 minutes.

  16. Refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.

  17. To Unmold and Serve:

  18. When ready to serve, remove from refrigerator at least 1 hour before unmolding.

  19. Using a thin knife, separate the edge of the flan from the pan to make sure that the flan edges are not sticking to the sides of the pan.

  20. Choose a rimmed serving dish that has a flat bottom just slightly wider in diameter than the inside diameter of the cake pan.  Place your serving dish upside down on top of the flan pan, and holding both together tightly, flip quickly so the serving dish is right side up and the flan pan is upside down.  Do not remove the flan pan immediately.  Let it sit for at least 15 minutes while the caramel drips from the pan all over the top and sides of the flan.

  21. Makes 6 servings (depending on size of your servings).


Thermapen Internal Temperature Cooking ChartI get many readers asking what cooking/meat thermometer that I prefer and use in my cooking and baking. I, personally, use the Thermapen Thermometer. Originally designed for professional use, the Super-Fast Thermapen Thermometer is used by chefs all over the world.  I only endorse a few products, on my web site, that I like and use regularly.

You can learn more or buy yours at: Super-Fast Thermapen Thermometer.

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Flan Recipes    Mexican    Southwest Desserts   

Comments and Reviews

One Response to “Tres Leches Mexican Flan Recipe”

  1. Mira

    I love this recipe. I made this for the first time and i and my family loved this. ;D though I baked this for more than 60mins, used a toothpick to check if the center is already cooked. Will definitely do this again. So easy and yummy!


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