Instant Pot Flan

Bring a Taste of Latin America to Your Home With This Creamy and Delicious Dessert

This Instant Pot flan is so creamy and silky smooth. And the caramel on top is absolutely heavenly. This is my family's treasured flan recipe converted to the Instant Pot which means it's both rich in flavor and super easy to make. This quintessential Latin American dessert is absolute perfection!

taking a slice of flan

If you haven’t tried flan, you are missing out! It’s a delicious caramel glazed custard-like dessert traditional in many Hispanic countries including my own, Honduras. It is usually baked in a water bath, but now you’ll be able to easily make it in the Instant Pot!

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Flan, It’s What’s for Dessert

I grew up on flan! In Honduras, it’s a very common dessert found in most restaurant menus. My mom used to make flan all the time, no special occasion needed! She would sometimes make it from scratch and she would sometimes buy the little, boxed packs, like pudding boxes that are easy to make.

My sister-in-law made all kinds of different flans, including the harder-to-make choco-flan which is a layered flan and chocolate cake dessert. I also have an easy and delicious recipe for Instant Pot Chocoflan you can try!

a slice of flan

Another popular flan in Honduras is Flan de Coco (Coconut Flan). The flan infused with sweet coconut flavor is amazing. In this post, though, I will show you how to make a delicious Instant Pot Flan that I’ve been making in the oven for years. It’s not your regular jiggly flan, it’s a bit denser and creamier. It’s simply amazing!

Flan, Flan Everywhere

I can’t tell you how many times I had to make this flan in order to get the timing and ingredients just right for the Instant Pot! I had flan coming out of my ears! My neighbors were also recipients of plenty of flan during the trial and error period. They didn’t seem to mind!

cream cheese leche flan

I tried all kinds of different pans and ramekins and finally found the perfect flan pan. If you don’t have one you will be able to use any other pan that fits in your Instant Pot, and you will still get a delicious flan. Do not, however, use a pan that is not sealed, like a springform or push pan. Caramel and flan will leak out during cooking. I will say this, though, if you will be making flan often, I highly recommend you get one of the flan pans. I love mine!

Finally Perfect Instant Pot Flan

So after many tries, I finally achieved exactly what I wanted. This Instant Pot Flan is so easy to make and so crazy delicious, you will want to make it often!

Just a few simple steps and you’ll be enjoying some amazing Instant Pot Flan ….. Here we go!

Now it’s your turn to give this Instant Pot Flan recipe a try!

If you are an Instant Pot beginner, I have included a step-by-step below or you can jump straight to the recipe card.

How to Make Flan in the Instant Pot

You are really not going to believe how easy this Instant Pot Flan is to make. Just a few ingredients that you probably already have on hand and you’re good to go!

So, let’s get started making this wonderful Hispanic dessert.

Step 1: Gather the Flan Ingredients

Flan is made from just a few simple ingredients: eggs, evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, cream cheese and sugar for the caramel. That’s it!

The cream cheese in this flan is the special ingredient that makes it extra creamy and much denser than a traditional flan. I would describe the texture of this flan as falling somewhere between that of a traditional flan and a cheesecake.

Doubling This Recipe

If you’d like to make two flans, this recipe doubles perfectly. In fact, the original recipe I make in the oven is a doubled recipe. I had to half the recipe for the Instant Pot since the pans that fit in the pot are smaller.

So if you have a party and want to make two, just double the ingredients, and follow the rest of the recipe exactly. For the cooking portion, I would personally make them one at a time instead of cooking both in the pot at the same time.

See the recipe below for exact measurements.

Step 2: Gather the Essential Equipment

This recipe requires some specific equipment:

  • Instant Pot: We, of course, will need an Instant Pot. I use my 8-quart pot, but a 6-quart will work for this recipe also.
  • Trivet: To keep the flan pan off the bottom of the liner and sitting above the water, you’ll want to set it on a trivet.
  • Blender: The eggs, evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, and cream cheese will need to be thoroughly blended. Any blender should work for this, but I love my Ninja blender.
  • Non-Stick Fry Pan: When making the caramel, I use a non-stick frypan. I’ve tried other pans in the past, but a non-stick frypan makes it easier to transfer the hot caramel to the flan mold. Plus, clean up afterward is much easier as well. Now, I always use my 10-inch GreenPan when making the caramel.
  • Flan Pan: You can make flan in just about any pan in the Instant Pot as long as it fits in the pot and is covered tightly with foil. I have used bundt pans for making flans. The only exception would be a push pan. Definitely, do not use a push pan when making flan because the flan will leak out of the pan into the Instant Pot liner.
  • Flan Mold: Flan molds are specially made for making flan in the Instant Pot. The mold below is the flan mold that I mentioned previously. It’s perfect for making flan and among everything I’ve tried, it was the best performing mold. I particularly like the fact that it has latches that keep the lid tightly secured to the mold.

Step 3: Making the Caramel

This is probably the hardest part of making flan – making the caramel. I must admit, I leave this task to my hubby Ryan since I have burnt one too many caramels on the stove! It really isn’t hard, you just can’t be distracted, and you have to focus on the caramel and the caramel ONLY.

Add the Sugar to the Pan

All you need is ½ cup of sugar. Pour the sugar into your pan on the stove and cook it on medium-high heat. You’ll want to mix it continuously while it is cooking.

The Sugar Will Begin to Clump and Then Dissolve

You will see clumps of sugar start to form. Keep mixing until all the clumps have dissolved and the sugar looks like caramel (as seen in the pictures below).

Once all the sugar has dissolved into a caramel, it will get darker and darker the longer you leave it on the burner – eventually burning. You don’t want to leave it on the heat long at this point because it will burn very quickly.

Remove the Caramel from the Heat

Once the caramel has turned a beautiful amber color, remove it from the stove immediately, so it doesn’t burn. Trust me, it happens quickly!

Step 4: Coat the Flan Pan With the Caramel

For this next step, please be very careful. The caramel is EXTREMELY HOT and can cause bad burns if it comes in contact with your skin, so don’t try to taste it by sticking your finger in it!

If you don’t believe me, ask Ryan!

Carefully pour the caramel into your flan pan.

Swirl the caramel around the pan, allowing the caramel to cover the bottom as well as the sides of the pan. Keep swirling the pan around until the caramel no longer moves, and there’s a thin layer of caramel on the bottom and sides.

The pan will get very hot, so I usually use a kitchen towel or some oven mitts when doing this step.

Set the pan aside and let the caramel cool. That was the hard part! From this point on, it’s a breeze.

Step 5: Mix the Flan Ingredients in a Blender

All your ingredients will go into a blender, it couldn’t be easier than that! I usually put my ingredients into the blender in a particular order, but surely you can just throw them all in there and be OK. This is how I do it:

Add the Evaporated Milk

I add the evaporated milk first.

Add the Cream Cheese

The cubed cream cheese is next. I cube the cream cheese, so it ensures everything mixes entirely and there are no huge chunks of cream cheese left over.

Add the Sweetened Condensed Milk

Next, I pour the sweetened condensed milk in. Since the recipe calls for half a can, I usually just estimate how much I pour in.

Add the Eggs

Finally, I add the eggs.

Blend All the Ingredients

I then blend everything on high speed until all the ingredients are mixed well.

Step 6: Pour the Flan Mixture Into the Flan Pan

Next, you’ll pour the flan mixture into the caramel-coated pan. You may hear cracking from the caramel as you pour, that is OK.

Step 7: Cover the Flan Pan

My flan pan comes with a nifty cover. If you don’t have one, then cover your flan tightly with aluminum foil. The pan also has three latches to keep the lid tightly sealed. I can’t vouch for how long the latches will last since I’ve only had the pan for about a month. But they do look and feel sturdy. If they do break though, I don’t see why I wouldn’t be able to keep using the lid without them. Just a random thought.

I’ve had this flan pan for over a year and have made countless flans in it. I have had no issues with the latches whatsoever. They are sturdy and have held up well to all my flan-making.

Step 8: Place the Pan in the Instant Pot

First, pour the 3 cups of water in the Instant Pot and, using your trivet, carefully lower your flan into the pot. My new flan pan fits perfectly into my 8-quart pot. It’s a 7-inch pan.

Step 9: Close the Instant Pot and Set the Cook Time

Place the lid on your pot and set it on sealing. Cook the flan on Manual High Pressure for 14 minutes. (On some models the “Manual” button is labeled “Pressure Cook”)

Once the flan has finished cooking, allow for a full Natural Pressure Release (NPR), which means you do nothing until the pin drops.

Step 10: Remove the Flan From the Instant Pot

After allowing for a full NPR and your pin has dropped, open your pot and carefully take the flan out. Allow it to cool on the counter for about 20 minutes before placing it in the refrigerator.

The flan pan will be very hot, so I usually set it on a kitchen towel or trivet to cool.

Step 11: Place in the Refrigerator

This step is super important and cannot be skipped. As much as you’ll want to eat the flan now, just don’t!

Once the flan pan has finished cooling on the countertop, place it in the refrigerator for 3 hours or more. My absolute best result was when I made the flan at night and refrigerated it overnight.

Step 12: Time to Open the Pan

Finally, it’s time to enjoy your flan! Uncover it and run a knife around the edge of the pan to separate it.

Step 13: Unmold the Flan

Time to flip it! Placing a plate on top, quickly but carefully turn the pan over to unmold your flan.

Tada!!! Instant Pot Flan perfection!

Don’t Waste Any Caramel

I try to scrape as much caramel as I can from the pan, but you should know you will always have some hard caramel left in the pan.

Step 14: Cleaning the Mold

After scraping out as much caramel as possible, you will notice that there is still quite a lot of hard caramel stuck in the pan. This is normal.

The easiest way to clean the pan is to leave it soaking in water for a few hours. The hard caramel will dissolve and then wash right off.

Another good thing to keep in mind, is that the longer you leave the flan in the refrigerator, the more the caramel will liquefy and you’ll have less hard caramel left in the pan when unmolding.

Step 15: Smooth & Creamy Instant Pot Flan

This Instant Pot Flan is so smooth, creamy and delicious! In my opinion, it’s so much easier than making it in the oven.

Step 16: Cut & Serve

Make sure to use a good, sharp knife when cutting the flan, so your pieces come out smooth. Of course, this is if you’re serving it for guests. Or you can do like my kids and husband, and just stick a spoon right in and start eating it! Your choice!

Look at that deliciously delightful slice of flan. Yum!

I always like to scoop out some extra caramel from the bottom and top my piece with it.

Time To Enjoy a Slice of Flan!

Enjoy this delicious Instant Pot Flan! It really is such a fantastic dessert that everyone will absolutely love. Why you try this wonderful Instant Pot recipe, please let me know how much you love it in the comments below!! I’m looking forward to hearing from you.

taking a slice of caramel custard flan
instant pot flan

Instant Pot Flan

A RICH AND CREAMY CUSTARD TOPPED WITH CARAMEL SAUCE

4.48 from 67 votes
Servings
8 slices
DifficultyEasy
Cooking Method(s)
  • Pressure Cooking
Pressure LevelHigh
Program SettingManual / Pressure Cook
Prep Time
15 minutes
Cook Time
14 minutes
FULL NPR
31 minutes
Total Time
1 hour
Recipe by: Valerie Cooper
This traditional flan recipe adapted for the Instant Pot is so rich, creamy and silky smooth and the caramel topping is absolutely heavenly.
taking a slice of flan

Essential Equipment

  • instant pot
  • ninja professional blender

Ingredients

for the Flan

for the Caramel

for the Instant Pot

  • 3 cups water

Instructions

make the Caramel

  • Caramelize Sugar: Heat the sugar in a skillet over medium-high heat. Stir the sugar constantly. It will first start to clump and once it begins getting hot enough it will start to turn a golden brown and melt into a caramel. Continually stir until all the sugar has been liquefied and there are no more clumps left in the skillet. Do not leave the stove. Your caramel can go from perfect to burnt in the blink of an eye!
  • Pour Caramel into Flan Mold: Once all the clumps are gone, immediately pour the caramel into the flan pan. Leaving it on the stove any longer could cause the caramel to burn. When pouring the caramel into the flan pan, make sure that it is spread evenly across the bottom of the entire pan.
  • Coat Flan Mold: Very carefully rotate the pan so that the caramel will also cover the sides of the pan as well. The caramel is extremely hot and can cause severe burns if you get it on yourself, so make sure to always handle it very carefully. Keep rotating the caramel until it cools and hardens to the point that it no longer moves around.
  • Set Mold Aside: Set the flan pan aside and allow the caramel to cool.

prepare the Flan Mixture

  • Blend Ingredients: Add the evaporated milk, cream cheese (I cube the cream cheese), condensed milk and eggs to a blender. Blend on high speed until fully mixed.
  • Add to Flan Pan: Pour the flan mixture into the flan pan, over the caramel coating. Place and fasten the cover over the flan pan. If you don't have a covered flan pan like I do, use foil to cover your flan.

set the Cooking Time

  • 14-Minute Cook Time: Pour 3 cups of water into your Instant Pot. Use your trivet and set the covered flan pan in the Instant Pot. Cook on Manual High Pressure for 14 minutes. (The Manual button is labeled Pressure Cook on some models).
  • Full NPR: Once the 14-minute cook time has completed, allow for a full NPR (Natural Pressure Release). After the NPR is finished and the pin has dropped, open the Instant Pot and carefully remove the flan pan. Set it on the counter to cool for 10 minutes before placing in the refrigerator. Place in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours. I know it's hard to wait, but please don't skip this step. Letting the flan sit in the refrigerator overnight will give the best results.

Unmold and Serve

  • Unmold Flan: After the flan has been refrigerated for at least 3 hours (overnight is best), run a knife along the sides of the pan, separating the flan from the edges of the pan. Use a plate to carefully flip the flan over and expose the beautiful caramel covered dessert.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 229kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 91mg | Sodium: 128mg | Potassium: 201mg | Sugar: 28g | Vitamin A: 400IU | Vitamin C: 1.1mg | Calcium: 154mg | Iron: 0.4mg

Notes

A longer cool time is better. It is perfectly normal for some of the caramel to remain stuck to the bottom of the flan pan. The longer the flan is left in the refrigerator, the less caramel will be left in the pan. To clean any remaining caramel, allow the pan to soak in water until the caramel has fully dissolved.

Common Questions & Answers

How long should I leave the flan in the refrigerator? At a minimum, you should leave the flan in the refrigerator for 3 hours. However, for the very best results, I recommend that you leave it in the refrigerator for 8 hours or more. If you can leave it over night, even better. The longer you leave the flan sitting in the refrigerator, the more the hard caramel topping will dissolve into liquid.

Can I double this recipe? Of course! This recipe doubles perfectly. However, you will need to split the flan mixture between two flan pans. You can even find stackable pans that will allow you to cook both flans at the same time.

instant pot flan

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143 thoughts on “Instant Pot Flan”

  1. Hey Valerie,
    Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful recipe. Flan came out perfect and it was luscious. I used mascarpone cheese in place of cream cheese. Thanks

  2. Just made this today and it came out great! I used a 7 inch “fat daddio” cake pan in a 6 qt. instant pot. I didn’t have evaporated milk, so I subbed 6 oz. water with 8 Tbsp. milk powder. Thanks for the great recipe–I’ll definitely make it again!

  3. Just bought an instant pot but haven’t used yet. Looking forward to ur recipes n the flan recipe. I usually make flan in the oven but looking to make in the instant pot… Thank u… Merry Christmas

  4. VALERIE, I love your recipe! I have a 3 quart Instant Pot with a 5 inch flan mold so I had to modify the cooking time to 13 minutes; and most importantly, I had to CANCEL the Keep Warm function during NPR. This function ruined the first batch. By the third batch, I was adding vanilla to the mixer which is delicious. On the fourth batch, I left the mixer alone but modified the caramel by adding 1/4 cup bourbon to the medium sauce pan; then I burned off the alcohol and added the sugar per your recipe. Needless to say, I love you magnificent recipe, thank you for sharing!

    1. Hi Daniel! I’m so glad you love the flan and you’ve gotten to play around with the recipe. The bourbon addition sounds delicious! Thanks for stopping by and commenting with your results!

    1. Hi Macey! I haven’t tried this particular recipe without the cream cheese. My only concern would be that the flan would not harden enough but it may work fine. I would not add more condensed milk as it may end up too sweet. Let me know if you try it without the cream cheese! Thanks for stopping by.

  5. Hi! I have a suggestion for the caramel that I just tried. Instead of med-high heat and stirring I tried a med-low to low heat and no stirring. It worked wonderfully! I only started stirring once I could see the amber colored caramel showing around the edges and had almost melted all the sugar. I stirred long enough to dissolve the rest of the sugar. I also only poured the caramel around the bottom of the pan, not up the sides. I have the flan cooling in the fridge now so fingers crossed it turns out.

  6. I would like to make this recipe in my Instant Pot Mini. I have a rounded pan that is just under 6.5” x 3.25”. Do you think this pan would hold the recipe without modification? If not, how would you modify? Also, do you know what temperature the flan should reach (by inserting thermometer) to assure it is done?

    1. Hi Nancy! If it fits in that pan, my concern would be that it would be a taller flan and it would take much longer to cook. I couldn’t tell you how much longer. You could try making two flans in that pan, or cook it for a longer amount of time. I do not know the temperature to know if the flan is fully cooked. That’s the problem with flan, you have to let it rest in the fridge to allow it to set before cutting into it. Please let me know what you decide to do!

    1. Hi Amed! I’m guessing you used a push pan or a springform pan. You cannot use these, you have to use a pan with a solid bottom. The caramel turns to liquid when it’s in the heat so if you use a pan with an opening, everything will leak out. I have a flan pan (flanera) linked in the post. It’s wonderful for making flan.

  7. I have a question about the amount of evaporated milk you use. I know there are many recipe variations of flan on the internet. I was wondering why you decided on a half of a can of evaporated milk rather than the full can. Was there a difference in creaminess or texture to the finished product ?

    1. Hi Paul! My original recipe, which is made in a larger pan and in the oven, calls for 1 whole can of evaporated milk. I had to cut the recipe in half for the Instant Pot so it would properly fit in the flan pan that fits in the pot. Hope this helps!

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