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Student-Friendly Pumpkin Flan

By October 21, 2016March 20th, 2018Student Community


We love any excuse to whip up a delicious treat, but since this month it’s finally fall, we couldn’t think of anything more fitting than Flan de Calabaza – AKA Pumpkin Flan.

We know half of you reading this immediately laughed thinking, “I can’t cook!” Luckily for you, this recipe is pretty easy. You will just need a little bit of patience, the right ingredients and tools, and an open mind – you might surprise yourself with what you can accomplish!


Flan de Calabaza (Pumpkin Flan)

  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: approximately 60 minutes
  • Chill Time: 4+ hours
  • Yield: 8 servings

Ingredients to Make the Caramel 

1/2 cup of granulated sugar

1/4 cup of water

Ingredients to Make the Custard Filling 

1.5 cups of whole milk

1 cup of pumpkin puree

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 cup of granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 large eggs

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Small sauce pan

Medium sauce pan

Oven-safe bowl OR mold of choice


Step 1: Start by mixing the spices into the pumpkin puree

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Step 2: Make the caramel

Heat the water and granulated sugar in a saucepan (stainless steel works best) over a medium heat. Once it starts to bubble and change color, give the pan a shake or a quick stir. Let it cook and turn golden brown, but be careful it doesn’t turn dark brown and burn.


Step 3: Pour the caramel in to baking pan

Once golden brown, quickly pour into a 4.5 cup baking mold (it can be one that is specifically for flan, or any baking dish with that capacity).

Quickly make sure that the caramel coats the bottom and sides of the mold, by swirling around to drag the caramel around the sides of the mold before it hardens.

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Step 4: Prepare the custard

To prepare the custard, put the milk, sugar, pumpkin and vanilla into a saucepan and heat over a medium heat until simmering. Cook until all of the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is evenly heated. Remove the mixture from the heat and let it cool for about 10 minutes, stirring every minute or two.


Step 5: Preheat the over to 325°F 

Step 6: Lightly beat the eggs in a large bowl


Step 7: Temper the egg mixture in to the custard

Making sure that the milk and pumpkin mixture is sufficiently cool (so that it won’t scramble the eggs), whisk in this mixture little by little, until all is incorporated. This process is called ‘tempering’ and basically means to slowly bring up the temperature of the eggs without scrambling them. If you just combine the two mixtures, you’ll end up with cooked eggs in your mixture. We started the process by pouring the custard mixture in to the whisked eggs in 1/4 cup batches.



Step 8: Pour the custard mixture over the caramel


Step 9: Bake the flan for about one hour in a preheated oven at 325°F 

Place the flan mold/pan into a large baking pan. Boil enough water to fill the baking pan halfway. This method of cooking is called ‘bain marie’ and means a container holding hot water into which a pan is placed for slow cooking.


Step 10: Let the flan chill

Remove the mold from the pan of water and allow it to cool completely. Cover with plastic wrap and let chill in the fridge overnight (or for at least 4 hours).


Step 11: Chow down

When ready to serve the flan, run a knife around the edges of the mold to loosen the flan. Then place the serving dish on top, and quickly flip the flan over. Lift off the mold and the flan should slide right out, covered in a golden caramel sauce. We thought it looked nice garnished with some cinnamon sticks and pumpkin decor pieces.


We’re serious, this is good stuff. Keep all eight servings for yourself or be generous and bring this along to your next family gathering. Either way, we don’t judge. 🙂

What is your favorite dish to get in the fall spirit? Share with us in the comments below!

  • **This recipe first appeared on ‘About Food‘, published by Spanish Food Expert, Lauren Aloise


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