Slow Cooker Flan


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This flan recipe is so easy to make and only requires 5 ingredients. The best part about this dish is how it tastes. It will leave your guests asking for more!

You can make fabulous chilled desserts that are made in your slow cooker! Also, try my Slow Cooker Banana Nut Cake and Slow Cooker Peanut Clusters!

up close image of flan with caramel on top
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Why this recipe works

We love the fact that this rich and creamy caramel flan recipe is so easy to make with minimal ingredients, yet it tastes as you slaved over it for hours! The Slow Cooker is the perfect vessel to make moist and tender flans. You can also make baked custard in the crockpot!

This dish will impress your family and friends when they come over for dinner because of its fancy presentation and because it tastes amazing.

What is flan?

  • Another name for flan that is often used is crème caramel or caramel custard.
  • Flan is a type of custard dessert made with eggs, milk, and sugar. The difference between this dish and others like a baked custard or crème brûlée is the caramel sauce on top!
ingredients for flan on table with text overylays

How to make flan in the slow cooker

The flan comes out of the slow cooker beautifully set and creamy, with a delicious caramel sauce that’s ready to pour over top. It only takes about 15 minutes of prep time and is the perfect finale for Taco Tuesday!

  • Sweetened condensed milk – This is what sweetens the recipe. Be sure to find sweetened condensed milk not evaporated milk, for evaporated milk will not work in this recipe.
  • Milk – Use 2% or whole milk for the best results.
  • Eggs – This is what thickens the flan.
  • Vanilla – Adds great flavor the flan.
  • Caramel Sauce– I use Smucker’s Caramel Sundae Syrup
  • Ramekins – I got my six ounce ramekins from World Market. I only fill them up to the inner lip of the ramekin.
  • Whipped Cream – For serving, Reddi whip works great.
2 image collage of how to put caramel in ramekins

Should I make a homemade caramel sauce?

There are many recipes that make a homemade caramel sauce, but I find that the bottled Smuckers caramel sauce works just as well and is much easier to use.

To get that restaurant-style sauce, add two tablespoons of the Caramel Sauce to each ramekin, swirling it around. To coat the sides of the ramekins, use the back of a spoon to spread the mixture evenly.

ramekins full of flan mixture

Should I add water to the slow cooker with the flans?

  • Yes! You do not want to start the slow cooker without adding water around the bottom layer of ramekins.
  • I add about 1 inch of water to the slow cooker around the ramekins. Add the ramekins first, then slowly pour the water on the edge, you don’t want to spill water into the flan mixture.
6 ramekins full of flan mixture in slow cooker (with water surrounding them)

How long should I cook?

  • The flans are done when the mixture starts to thicken and puff up a bit. Cook on HIGH.
  • The flans should take 1 hour and 45 minutes to cook. The centers will be jiggly but not liquidy like when you started them.
6 cooked ramekins of flan

How to remove flan for serving

  • After the custard cools to room temperature, you can carefully remove the flan from the ramekin.
  • The best way to do this is to run a butter knife around the edge of the pan and invert the ramekin onto your serving plate.
6 cooked flans in ramekins on cooling rack

Flan FAQ’s

Is flan served hot or cold?

Flan is a chilled dessert. Wonderful served with whipped cream and a cup of coffee.

Can I use something other than caramel?

Yes! You can use butterscotch for a sweeter flavor. You can even use sea salt caramel sauce if you’d like. I have even tested this recipe with Smucker’s blueberry syrup and it works great!

Can I overcook flan?

Making flan in the slow cooker is pretty forgiving; as long as you keep an eye on it and don’t go over the cooking time, you’ll have great results.

How should I store flan?

The flan should be refrigerated after making. They will last one week in the fridge.

Can I make one big flan instead of using ramekins?

Yes, you can! Make sure to use plenty of caramel and spread it right in the slow cooker, then pour in the flan mixture. No need to add water. Cook on high for 1 hour and 45 minutes. You will not be able to flip the entire large flan onto a plate; instead, scoop each serving out of the slow cooker.

plated flan with caramel on top.

More easy slow cooker desserts:

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close up image of flan with whipped cream

Slow Cooker Flan

4.94 from 15 votes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours
Servings: 6
Caramel flan made in ramekins right in the slow cooker.

Ingredients 
 

  • 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 1/2 cup 2% or whole milk
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 12 Tbsp. Caramel Sauce
  • Whipped Cream for serving

Instructions 

  • In a medium bowl, mix the sweetened condensed milk, the regular milk, vanilla, and eggs with a whisk until smooth. Keep whisking until you can not feel the heaviness of the sweetened condensed milk on the bottom of the bowl.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of the Caramel Sauce to each ramekin, swirl around with a back of a spoon, to coat all sides.
  • Add the milk mixture to the ramekins, I only filled them up to the inner lip, so it would be easier to remove later. Depending on the size of your ramekins you may have extra flan mixture.
  • Add the ramekins to the slow cooker. Depending on the size of your ramekins, you will have to stack (balance) these carefully. I usually do 4 at the bottom then stack the remaining two on top.
  • VERY IMPORTANT! Add about an inch of water to the slow cooker around the bottom layer of ramekins.
  • Cover, and cook on HIGH for 1 hour and 45 minutes, this is when I check on the flans. The flans are ready when they begin to puff slightly on the edges. The center will be jiggly but not liquidy.
  • Remove the flans carefully with a pot holder . Put the flans of a wire rack to cool in the fridge for 3 or more hours.
  • After the flans have chilled completley, take a knife and swirl around the edge of the ramekin, and flip over on a serving plate.
  • Top each serving of flan with whipped cream. The spray can of whipped cream is actually really good on these, this is what restaurants do. Do this right before serving for this type of whipped cream melts within a few minutes.

How to Video

Sarah’s Notes

Where can I find the ramekins?
I find these at World Market, though you can find them in most cooking stores.
Can I use something other than caramel?
Yes! You can use butterscotch for a sweeter flavor. You can even use sea salt caramel sauce if you’d like. I have even used Smucker’s blueberry syrup!
Can I make one big flan instead of small ones?
Yes, you can! Make sure to use plenty of caramel and spread it right in the slow cooker, then pour in the flan mixture. No need to add water. The cooking time will remain the same. You will not be able to flip the entire large flan onto a plate; instead, scoop each serving out of the slow cooker.
Tips and Tricks:
  • Before you flip the flan onto a plate, briefly set the bottom of the ramekin in hot water. The caramel will melt slightly and have a silkier appearance.
  • Make these individual flans the day before for stress-free entertaining.
  • These flans last about a week in the fridge but taste best if you eat within 3 days.

Nutrition

Calories: 376kcal | Carbohydrates: 65g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 109mg | Sodium: 283mg | Potassium: 393mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 39g | Vitamin A: 392IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 292mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition info is auto-generated. This information is an estimate; if you are on a special diet, please use your own calculations.

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Recipe Rating




38 Comments

  1. Pam says:

    5 stars
    Can’t wait to try this looks awesome.

  2. Maria says:

    5 stars
    I loved this recipe. I used fat free condensed milk, fat free half and half (for the milk) and sugar free caramel sauce. Delicious!!! Cooked it about a little under 2 hrs and it was perfect.

    1. Sarah Olson says:

      Great to hear that it works with those ingredients.

  3. Joanie says:

    5 stars
    My husband used to make this on special occasions but he never knew that you could cook it in the crock pot. Now that I know it I will try making it myself, thank you.

  4. Shar from N. California says:

    Hi again,
    1);At what point do I start the time of 1hr and 45 min on high?
    After I pour the water or when I see it bubbling?

    2) What would happen if I left it on high for more than 1:45?

    3) Can I do this on low for a longer time? If so, how long?

    1. Sarah Olson says:

      You start the time when you add the water in and the ramekins. That’s how slow cooker recipes work. No warming up necessary. I would not cook any longer.

  5. Shar from N. California says:

    5 stars
    I have a family flan recipe which my aunt bakes in a water bath in an oven. I’m loving this method as it mimics a bain-marie (waterbath), instead of an oven. Some countries do not have the luxery of an oven, so I have seen recioes where it is steamed or a make shift bain-marie. Almost all recipes place a foil (aluminum or tin) sheet on top of flanera or llanera. Can I place a foil over my ramekins? I’m just worried about the condensation dripping on the flan mixture. What’s your thoughts?

    Btw i have a 6 quart oval shaped crockpot (the kind that wider left to right) and 4 ramekins fit on the bottom and 2 on top) Just like your pictures

    1. Sarah Olson says:

      You sure can do the foil if you want. Or you can put a dishtowel or paper towel under your slow cooker lid. But honestly I never have it to drippy with how fast this cooks.

  6. Suzie says:

    5 stars
    I have one of the CAsserole Crocks and can’t wait to give it a try in it.

    1. Sarah Olson says:

      I think it would do great in there!

  7. Yoda says:

    5 stars
    The whole family loves it! Easy, simple and looks “professional” lol. Thank You!

  8. Heather says:

    5 stars
    I love this recipe! I have made it several times and it is so perfect. I do have to stack the ramekins in my crockpot but it turns out perfect! Thank you for this recipe! My favorite next to creme brulee!

  9. Karen Levin says:

    5 stars
    Ok mine is a 7 quart. I got the ramekins at World Market. 6 oz of liquid goes to that line below the lip. Hmmmmmm wonder why mine don’t fit? There is a smaller size at World Market that are 3 oz. Are you talking about the 3 oz ramekins for this recipe rather than the 6 oz?

    1. Sarah Olson says:

      Hi Karen, I went measured water in mine. 6-ounces of water goes all the way to the top on mine. I wonder if we have different ramekins?

      1. Karen Levin says:

        Ok, that makes sense…..yours are the 3oz size! Thx Sarah for solving my question 🙂