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A white plate of Mexican flan with coconut sauce is at the center of the frame with another to the top right, on folded dark and light blue patterned cloth napkins with a fork, on a brown wood surface.

Coconut Milk Flan

  • Author: Shanna Mallon and Meghan Yager
  • Total Time: 10 hours, 10 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x


For a sweet treat at the end of your festive Cinco de Mayo meal, make this flavorful and rich coconut milk Mexican flan.


  • 1 1/2 cups coconut sugar or granulated sugar, divided
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 13.5-ounce cans full-fat coconut milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • 6 eggs, room temperature


  1. Heat oven to 325˚F.
  2. Bring 1 cup sugar and 1/4 cup water to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir constantly until the sugar dissolves. Use a wet pastry brush to wipe off any sugar that sticks to the side of the pan.
  3. Continue to cook without stirring until the syrup turns golden brown, about 10 minutes. Evenly divide the caramel between 6 4-inch ramekins. Set aside to cool.
  4. In a medium pot over low heat, warm the coconut milk until it reaches a low simmer. Stir in remaining sugar, cinnamon, salt, vanilla and lemon zest. Cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens and reduces by 1/3. This will take about 20-30 minutes.
  5. While the milk mixture cooks, whisk eggs together until lightly beaten in a medium bowl.
  6. Slowly add 1/4 cup of the milk mixture to the beaten eggs, whisking constantly to combine. Add another 1/4 cup of the hot milk mixture, and whisk again to combine. Repeat this adding process another two times.
  7. Add egg mixture back to the warm milk mixture in the saucepan, pouring slowly while whisking constantly until combined. Cook over medium heat until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
  8. Divide the custard evenly between the ramekins and place them in a large baking dish. Fill the dish with hot water so it comes 2/3 of the way up the sides of the ramekins.
  9. Bake for 50-60 minutes, until set and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. The centers might still be a little jiggly.
  10. Remove ramekins from the baking dish, cool to room temperature on a wire rack, then chill in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours or over night.
  11. To serve, run a knife around the edge and invert onto a plate.


Inspired by a recipe from The Art of Mexican Cooking by Jan Aaron and Georgine Sachs Salom.

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 hours
  • Category: Flan
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Dessert

Keywords: flan, coconut, coconut milk, dairy-free, Mexican, coconut flan