This Coconut Vanilla Bean Flan is the creamiest, thickest, most decadent flan recipe you’ll taste. It’s adapted from my mother’s classic flan recipe, with a little extra something for good measure.
Flan, the quintessential Latin dessert. Every country in the Caribbean, Latin, and Central America has a version. The Europeans have their own versions, with creme caramel. It’s a dessert that mostly everyone loves and for good reason. It’s sweet, smooth, and can take on a variety of flavors easily!
Recently, found myself with a few cans of coconut milk and I wanted to test out and create a luscious coconut flan. Quite literally on the first try, the recipe turned out perfectly and I knew I had to share this with you.
This Vanilla Bean and Coconut Flan is going to become a staple in your homes. The batter, speckled with vanilla bean seeds from the vanilla bean paste, takes it over the top. The mirror-like glaze of the syrup over the flan is my favorite.
Flan is a custard based dessert, and one that can be easily adapted for any tastebuds. Here are some of my favorite flan recipes online from a few foodie friends:
- Chamomile & Star Anise Flan by House of Bren
- Gingerbread Flan by Dessert for Two
- Classic Flan by Dominican Cooking
- Vanilla Rumchata Flan
- Guava Flan
A few tips on cooking flan, specifically on cooking times. Don’t overcook it! You might see it jiggle a bit, but after an hour, it’s probably done. Touch the center of the flan at 45 minutes and you’ll get a sense of how it’s going. It’s a pretty easy recipe – and the results are magnificent.
Note: Flan pans vary and the one I used was an old one handed down to me from my Dominican mother. I can’t find that specific pan online, as it is the pan and a double boiler pot method that cooks the flan on the stove pot. But any 8-9 inch round pan with at least 4 inches of depth can work with this recipe. Amazon sells some “flan pots” if you’re interested.
Other vessels you can use for flan:
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup water
- 6 large eggs
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 can full fat coconut milk
- 1 can evaporated milk
- 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste or extract
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon coconut extract (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- To make the syrup, mix the sugar and water throughly and cook over high heat carefully, making sure the sugar doesn't crystalize. Do not stir. This takes about ten minutes and will burn quickly.
- Have your flan pan ready - you're going to be working fast.
- Carefully swirl the hot sugar syrup all around the pan, covering sides and bottom well. Set aside.
- Whisk together all the flan ingredients - you can also use a blender for this.
- Pour into flan pan and bake in a water bath for about 1 hour, until not jiggly in the center.
- Let sit overnight and to unmold, place pan in warm water to loosen syrup.
- Quickly flip over on a plate and serve chilled.
DID YOU TRY THIS RECIPE? I want to see it! Follow Cooking with Books on Instagram, take a photo, and tag me in it. I love to know what you are making and how you made this recipe your own!