Coconut Flan

Flan.  One of those traditional Latin American desserts I grew up with. This one in particular is one of the easiest and yummiest flan recipes I’ve made. It’s also fool proof and consistently good time after [baking] time. The coconut milk and toasted coconut give the ordinary flan an interesting twist without overshadowing any of the flavors. Every time I bake this sucker I have people raving about it and asking for the recipe. In fact, it’s the dessert most often requested by our friends at pot luck dinners (though I like variety, so I don’t always give in to their demands!) It’s a beautifully simple and fancy tasting dessert – here for your baking and tasting pleasure!

Coconut Flan


~ 1/3 cup sugar

~ 3 eggs

~ 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

~ 1 1/2 cups coconut milk

~ 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

~ 1/4 cup shredded coconut flakes

~ 1/4 cup shredded coconut flakes, toasted, for garnish


Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the sugar until it caramelizes. Be careful not to burn the sugar as that can happen very quickly. It should be an amber color when it’s ready. Pour it into a flan dish, pie plate or  round souffle baking dish with shallow sides, swirling it around to coat the bottom.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs until foamy with a wire whisk. Beat in the condensed milk, coconut milk, vanilla extract and 1/4 cup coconut. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish. It will need to bake in a water-bath in the oven. Set the dish into a large baking pan with sides and carefully pour water around the flan to come 2/3 the way up the sides. Carefully transfer to the preheated oven.

Bake for about 1 hour, until the flan is set and the center only jiggles a little bit, like a cheesecake would. Remove from the oven and water-bath and allow to cool completely. Run a paring knife around the edges and turn the flan out onto a flat serving platter. The platter can be square or round, just make sure it’s big enough for the flan and the caramel sauce that will ooze out once you flip the flan onto the plate. Garnish with toasted coconut. Cut into slices for serving.

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