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Cuban Flan de Coco (Coconut Flan)

cuban flan de coco coconut flan recipe

This Cuban Flan de Coco (Coconut Flan) is a perfect after-dinner dessert for your friends and family! Coconut tastes fantastic over this traditional Caribbean dessert.

traditional cuban flan de coco coconut flan recipe

How to Make the Best Cuban Flan de Coco

This easy coconut flan recipe removes the “baking” nightmares many people have in the kitchen. If you have made a flan and it comes out as too liquidly or like cottage cheese, then read below to see some tips and tricks on how to prevent flan disasters.

One kitchen product that makes this process way easier is a flanera. A flanera is a flan mold that is made out of stainless steel and has a tight latching lid for efficient closure. This pan is made to make your job 10x easier at molding the flan into the right form.

You can find this product at your nearest latin supermarket or this flanera amazon link if you want it delivered right to your door.

This traditional Cuban flan recipe includes shredded coconut flakes and substitutes the evaporated milk with coconut milk for a slight coconut taste. The addition of condensed milk is also an ingredient that Cubans use in their flan. They’re many other flan flavor variations in the Caribbean Islands. For example, different flavors include mango, pina colada, and a delicious dark chocolate flan.

This is perfect for large special occasions like Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any other holidays when the family is together.

traditional cuban flan de coco coconut flan recipe

Delicious Caramelized Sugar

Some people have trouble making the delicious gooey caramel that covers the flan. It is very simple but many people do this step differently. One way of doing this is heating the sugar inside the flanera instead of doing it in a separate saucepan. We personally use the wet sugar method to caramelize in our recipe and the only difference is the added water. This practice helps with controlling the degree of caramelization as some people heat dry sugar quite quickly, resulting in a burnt taste.

Be careful when heating sugar as this can cause very painful sugar burns. Also, you do not want to walk away or do multiple things at once while caramelizing the sugar. It is easy to mess up this step in many flan recipes.

traditional cuban flan de coco coconut flan recipe

How to Bake a Flan in a Water Bath

Baking a flan in a water bath is essential to perfecting the flans texture. In Cuba, traditionally this is baked in a baño maría (water bath) inside of a pressure cooker instead of an oven.

Because flan is a type of custard, we will want to bake it slowly and not overcook the top or outer sides. To water bath, you place the flanera or similar baking pan into a larger baking pan (preferably one with taller walls). Next, you fill the larger baking pan with hot water up until the halfway mark of the flanera. This water evaporates at boiling point, keeping the water inside the oven at a fixed temperature.

They’re benefits of baking the coconut flan this way. A benefit from water bath baking a flan is insulating the outer part of the flan so it doesn’t cook too fast than the center part. Another benefit of doing this is to prevent the batter from curdling. No one will want to cut into a flan that breaks apart into a cottage cheese texture. Eww.

So, don’t be worried if you check your coconut flan before letting it cool, and it looks under-cooked. It will continue to bake inside of this water bath after taking it out the oven. It is also recommended to refrigerate the coconut flan for at least 4 hours to overnight before serving.

cuban flan de coco coconut flan recipe


Cuban Flan de Coco (Coconut Flan)

This Cuban Flan de Coco (Coconut Flan) is a perfect after-dinner dessert for your friends and family! Coconut tastes fantastic over this traditional Caribbean dessert.
Course Dessert
Cuisine Caribbean, Cuban
Keyword caribbean, coconut, cuban, dessert, flan, recipe
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Resting Time 2 hours
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 6 people


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 4 whole eggs
  • 1 13.5 oz can coconut milk
  • 1 14 oz can condensed milk
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • shredded coconut flakes for garnish


  • Start by preheating the oven to 325℉.  In a medium-sized saucepan, add sugar and water over medium heat. Stir gently. Bring to boil, do not stir and wait until sugar is completely melted and turns into a golden brown. Once melted, quickly pour caramelized sugar into flanera or baking deep dish and completely cover the bottom and sides evenly.
  • In a bowl, whisk together eggs, coconut milk, condensed milk, vanilla extract, and salt until combined. Strain mixture slowly into the flanera or baking dish over the caramel. Create a water bath by placing the closed flanera or baking dish inside a larger baking pan (preferably one with higher edges).
  • Pour hot water inside the baking pan until it reaches halfway up of the flanera. Place the baking pan with the flanera inside the oven. Bake for 50 minutes. (optional) To see if flan is not overcooked, carefully remove and open the flanera to check the texture. The edges should be slightly firm while the middle is very soft and wobbly.
  • Turn oven off and carefully remove baking pan with flanera and let cool inside the water bath. Place closed flanera inside the refrigerator and refrigerate for at least two to four hours before serving. To serve, open flanera and carefully place a knife to slice between the edge of the flan and flanera.
  • Place a larger serving plate with raised edges over the flanera and turn to invert both plate and flanera. The flan should slide right out or wait a minute or two for it to slide onto the plate. Pour caramel over flan and garnish with shredded coconut flakes. 


  1. Coconut milk and shredded coconut flakes can be substituted with evaporated milk to make a more traditional Cuban flan de leche.
  2. You want the flan to be slightly wobbly in the center after taking it out of the oven.
  3. Keep an eye on the sugar while caramelizing because it burns quickly.

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