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Japanese Flan (Caramel Custard)

by momen
Japanese flan custard pudding recipe

Japanese flan custard pudding recipe

This is my go-to recipe of Japanese flan, caramel custard pudding. It’s smooth, soft and giggly texture inside. If you have a large frying pan / saucepan and a tight fitting lid, you must try this easy Japanese flan! You will love this melt-in-your-mouth texture with whipped cream and want to make them again and again.

While many of flan recipes take oven baked method, Japanese flan is commonly made by steaming. Oven-baked one seems easier than steaming, though I always messed up my flan cooked in the oven. Every time it turned to be over-baked with many bubbles inside or under-baked that was still runny. I’d never made perfect flan just like the picture of recipes I followed. I think that flan is one of those dessert easily affected by slight oven temperature differences of each household. After all, I changed the direction to steaming method. Then I finally made my ideal flan without any failure. And it’s extremely silky.

Tips for Japanese flan (caramel custard)

There are 2 tips to make this Japanese flan below. First one is the most important step to create silky texture. The sieve must be fine mesh that you normally use to sift flour. And the second one is an essential equipment. If there are spaces between a pan and a lid, the egg mixture will take unknown time to be cooked.

  • Strain egg mixture 3 times with a fine mesh sieve
  • Use a tight fitting lid

Japanese flan custard pudding recipe

Japanese flan custard pudding recipe

The powdered sugar is optional ingredient to dress up. I just imitated my favorite flan from a local confectionery shop. But you can’t miss the whipped cream on top. Because it’s a great combination with the creamy flan!

If you like glass dessert, also check out my Coffee jelly and Strawberry dango.

Inspired by Oryorimatome

Japanese flan custard pudding recipe
5 from 1 vote

Japanese Flan (Caramel Custard)

Author Matcha and Tofu
Servings: 4



  • 3 egg
  • 5 tbsp (75 g / 2.6 oz) granulated sugar
  • 2 cup (500 ml / 17 fl oz) whole milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract Optional


  • 5 tbsp (75 g / 2.6 oz) granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp water


  • 100 ml (3.4 fl oz) heavy cream / whipping cream



  • Place the 5 tablespoons of sugar and 1 tablespoon of water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook and gently swirl the saucepan occasionally until the sugar evenly golden brown. 
  • Remove from the heat, then tilt the saucepan and add 1 tbsp of water. It may splatter on you, so please be careful. Oven mitts may protect your hands. Then quickly swirl the caramel and pour into individual serving cups (heat-proof) or ramekins. Set aside. 


  • Pour the milk and the 5 tablespoons of sugar in another small saucepan and bring to simmer. Stir with a spoon, and as soon as the sugar dissolved, remove from the heat. 
  • Beat the eggs in a large bowl and pour the milk little by little while constantly stirring with a hand whisk. Then add the vanilla extract and mix.  
  • Strain the egg mixture with a fine mesh sieve 3 times. Scrap off the bottom of the sieve if needed.
  • Pour the egg mixture in the cups filled with the caramel. 
  • Boil plenty of water for a water bath in the kettle or on the stove.
  • While boiling water, tightly cover the individual cups with aluminum foil. Then place the cups in a large frying pan / saucepan. 
  • Once the water boiled, gently pour into the pan filled with the cups until the hot water covered a half the height of the cups.
  • Put on a tight fitting lid and cook on low heat for 15 minutes. Then turn off the heat and leave it for another 15 minutes with the lid on. Throughout the steaming process, don't open the lid. 
  • Open the lid and the aluminum foil. Slightly tilt the flan. If it's not runny, your flan is done. It's extremely hot, so protect your hands with oven mitts or a towel. Let it cool to room temperature. 


  • While letting them cool down, beat the heavy cream until soft peaks. Once the flan cooled, pour the whipped cream on top and put them in the fridge for at least 3 hours and serve within 2 days.

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Recipe Rating

1 comment

Chaim Leib 20th 1月 2021 - 3:45 am

5 stars

5 stars
Went perfectly on my first attempt! Even if the caramel hardens initially, the moisture from the custard will convert it to syrup if left for several hours in the fridge. However, if you pour more than ~4 mm of caramel, some of it may remain a hard candy, making cleanup slightly more difficult.