Cheese Flan (Flan de Queso) | I recently posted a pumpkin flan celebrating fall. This time I thought I would share my favorite flan of all the flans. There is no doubt that if you attend a Puerto Rican party or dinner you will find flan on the table.
We are typically known as a giving and sharing people but, I confess I find it hard to share flan. I’m a bad flan-sharer. But you can’t hold it against me because once you try this flan you too will be a bad flan-sharer.
Initially, you will think to yourself, “Oh, I will make some flan for my family, friends or co-workers.” But when you get your first taste of this flan, you will end up eating the whole thing while hiding in the closet. Trust me, you will turn into a rabid bad flan-sharer, attacking any hand that reaches out to take any of your flan.
Flan De Queso Recipe Ingredients
1 cup sugar
8 oz block of cream cheese
1 14 oz can evaporated milk
1 12 oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
There are many different kinds of flan. Cheese, coconut, pumpkin, vanilla, rum, coffee, chocolate–you think of it, it’s probably been done. I gravitate toward cheese, vanilla, or coconut. There are a lot of things that make a flan delicious. The creamy texture, the caramel and for some of us it reminds us of home. Many things can make a flan delicious but, there are just as many things that can make it bad.
Traits of a Bad Cheese Flan:
- Strong eggy flavor (So bad!)
- Cheese flan with a lumpy cheese layer
- Burnt caramel
- Grainy texture or air pockets
- Skin. Skin is bad.
I am going to show you how to avoid making a bad cheese flan and how to make a flan that will make you a bad flan-sharer.
cooking tips for flan de queso
Strong eggy flavor
There is a debate about how many eggs make a good flan. The more eggs the firmer the flan. Egg quantities can range from 4-8 eggs. That is a pretty big spread. Personally, I think any more than 6 and you are begging for a flan with a strong egg flavor. Eggy flans are bad…very bad.
I find that the magic egg number is five. If you see a recipe that calls for more than six eggs in one flan run in the opposite direction.
Grainy texture or air pockets
This can happen from over whisking your batter. Whisking will incorporate air into your batter. I find it is better to use a paddle instead of a whisk. Also, cooking at too high a temperature can cause the custard to curdle and result in graininess. Cook your flan low and slow and DO NOT forget to cook it in a water bath.
When making a cheese flan, you want to make sure all your ingredients are room temperature. This means your eggs and cream cheese, too. If your cream cheese is room temperature and your eggs are cold, your cheese will lump up and make your flan chunky.
Skin isn’t a deal breaker but it’s not great either. Skin happens from overcooking. As soon as you see your flan has set and stopped jiggling, pull it and let it cool.
WATCH YOUR CARAMEL! The moment you walk away from the stove I promise you it will over brown and burn. Also, you may be tempted to turn up the heat and hurry the process. DON’T DO IT! Be patience it will melt and it will be the perfect golden brown.
Over stirring or working sugar while melting will cause it to crystallize. When melting the sugar keep stirring to a minimum. I like to periodically swirl the pot as the sugar melts, working the melted sugar on the outside in and sugar out to the sides. I then keep any whisking to the very end.
Now take the flan that you made for your family, friends or co-workers and hide in a closet. Trust me, this is a dessert that you will not want to share. When you dig into it, it should be smooth, creamy, bubble, lump and skin free. Very close to the texture of a really creamy cheesecake, but it’s better than cheesecake because it’s flan!
Are you in search of even more Puerto Rican flavors? Pork is a large part of Puerto Rican cuisine but, explore more Puerto Rican flavors by visiting my entire collection of Puerto Rican recipes.
more flan recipes:
- chocolate and coffee flancocho
- chai spiced orange flan with cranberry compote
- pumpkin flan (flan de calabaza)
Flan de Queso (Cheese Flan)
Flan is a traditional holiday treat. This cheese flan is the perfect combination of custard and cheesecake.
- 1 cup sugar
- 8 oz block of cream cheese, softened
- 1 12 oz can evaporated milk
- 1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 6 eggs, room temperature
- 9 in round cake pan
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Have cake pan out and ready. Heat sugar in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Let sugar sit for about 2 minutes until sugar begins to melt. Be sure to keep an eye on the sugar. Once the sugar begins to melt, stir with a wooden spoon. Continue to stir until sugar melts smooth, careful not to over brown the sugar. Immediately pour caramel into round cake pan, evenly coating the bottom of the pan. You will have to move quickly before the caramel sets. Set pan aside until ready to use.
- Add cream cheese and 2 tablespoons of evaporated milk to the bowl of a stand mixer. With a whisk attachment, whisk the cream cheese and milk until smooth.
- Changing to a paddle attachment, beat in eggs one at a time. You want to change to a paddle attachment so not to incorporate air into the batter. Mix in evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk and vanilla. Strain flan batter into another bowl to strain out any leftover cheese lumps.
- Pour batter into prepared cake round. Place flan into a large roasting pan in the oven and pour water into the roasting pan outside of the cake pan until the water covers the flan half way. Bake for 1 hour or until set.
- Let flan cool in pan for 5 minutes. Run a knife along the edge of the pan and carefully invert onto a large rimmed platter. Place in refrigerator to cool completely.
- Be sure that all your ingredients are room temperature. If you mix cold eggs in with the cream cheese it will lump.
- Taking the steps to beat the cream cheese with 2 tablespoons of milk and straining the finished custard will ensure a smooth creamy texture.
- Be sure not to use a whisk when adding the eggs. If you do you will end up incorporating air into the custard and that will create air pockets in the cooked flan.
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I know this was published years ago, but let me just say that every year I make your recipe since you posted for my family who by the way are the pickiest Puerto Rican eaters and it’s always a hit! It one of those dishes I make they ask me to make for everything! I’m making it again for thanksgiving and I wanted to say thank you! So delicious and truly one the greatest flan recipes!
Oh wow! I am feeling inspired! I have never tried to make this before as I have been afraid it would not turn out, but with your tips of what not to do, I am not so afraid now. Thank you!
Recently I made both your queso and calabaza flan, and they were the best homemade flans I’ve ever had. I’m a total convert to the creaminess and ease of using the canned milks. I halved each recipe successfully and baked them using three individual ramekins. I lowered the heat to 325, and they were done after about 40 minutes. Thank you!
My fiancé’s loved this! Thank you for making this dummy proof. ?
This is exactly my mom’s flan recipe, except we always make ours in Angel Food Cake or bundt pan (o sea, con el boquete en el medio). Thanks so much for sharing!
This is the perfect flan recipe! Tastes just like my mom’s 🙂
Would it be ok to use a regular hand mixer if you don’t have a stand with a paddle attachment? Thanks!!
Yes, but make sure you beat the cream cheese until it is smooth and creamy.
Made this and loved it! Way better than an ordinary flan. But would like to know what the shelf life is. Can I leave it at room temperature, for how long? How about inside the refrigerator?
Maria M. says
I made this last night following all your instructions and OMG!! Even the pickiest of eaters in my house loved it!! The technique really is everything. Thank you so much!
Marissa Logrono says
I made this recipe and the caramel in the bottom of the pan didn’t re-melt. When I flipped out the flan and some of the caramel melted over the top and some was still hard as rock in the bottom of the pan. What did I do wrong? When I poured the batter in I heard the caramel crack and it looks like some of the batter may have leaked under the hardened caramel, would that do it?
Wow…Loved it, I made your cheese flan recipe for a New Years Eve Party last night and it was a hit, even my daughter made me laugh she really does not like flan and she asked me: Did you make this? And actually asked for seconds, My brother in law is a pastor and said he would like me to make one of these for one of his events. I just have one question How do you make the cheese a little less stiff? By putting more eggs or less eggs? I put 5 eggs? Can you please let me know? Thank you so much for putting this up!
What do you mean by making the cheese less stiff? When I make the flan I make sure that the cream cheese is room temperature. The recipe does call for 6 eggs which, will also contribute to a softer mixture.
Oh cause I put five eggs only and it was good but the it was a bit stiff, so maybe it will be less stiff and more smooth like flan usually if but even though I only put 5 eggs people are still talking about it, thank you so much! Plan to make another one….. God willing!
Use whipped cream cheese instead of the regular bar of cream cheese. It mixes way better.
Thank you for your recipe. I make “Flan de Queso” often as it is my husbands favorite. I use coconut milk instead of evaporate and use only 4 large eggs. Instead of cooking it in the oven, I use an electric frying pan so it cooks in 20 mins. Sometimes I add some toasted coconut flakes after it is done.
Nora @ Savory Nothings says
Oh I LOVE flan! Never knew how to properly making it at home – thanks for sharing Meseidy!
My pleasure! It’s may mission to make sure every flan is bad flan free. 😉
So loved how you said: You would make us into Non sharing Flan people… Instead, I had people get upset cause there was not enough to go around or wanted seconds, the second batch I made no one left me any….Not nice….But I guess that is a compliment they all screamed out for more. Thank you again…
I am so glad they enjoyed it! Next make yourself one and don’t share it with anyone. 😉
Donna Godfrey says
Thanks…I will be trying this to be sure!
Marisol Gonzalez says
I have never made flan before but love it!! I’m going to give it a try this Christmas!
Betty Arce says
I’ve made flan de coco y queso using your recipe except I use coconut milk instead of evaporated milk. I also sprinkle toasted shredded coconut on the finished flan for a little flair. I agree that too many eggs no es bueno! My flan is a favorite with family and friends because it doesn’t taste eggy.
although this receipe looks insanely tasty .. can I omit the cheese for those in my family that not a fan of cheese. would it alter the flan receipe?
What you want is a basic vanilla flan. You can leave out the cream cheese and replace it with an additional can of evaporated milk.
I recently acquired this recipe from a wonderful Puerto Rican lady at work and make it often. Thank you so much for identifying the pitfalls! My only improvement suggestion (from my co-worker) is to cover the flan with aluminum foil to prevent browning on top (and that extra nasty skin).
Lorin E says
OK just put my flan in the oven. I’ve been searching for a recipe for a flan that I had in a restaurant. This is my 3rd try, fingers crossed this is the one.
Lillian O says
Flan De Queso is my fav! going to try & make this soon
I have to try this. Alexis loves other custards like brulee so I bet this will knock her socks off.
Se te olvido que tambien hay flan de pana y de calabaza! Yum!
Love, love, love flan! I will make this!