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Difference Between Flan And Custard

Custard is a Popular dessert that could also be used as a filling for pastries, a topping, or serve as a base for other dessert recipes.

It is a thick creamy dish that is made from a mixture of eggs, milk or cream.

Flan is also a dessert like custard, and there are certain similarities between both recipes.

They are made using some of the same ingredients and both are often cooked in an oven.

However, the main difference between flan and custard is that flan is topped with liquid caramel.

Desserts that have either a custard base or filling are regarded as custard dessert. Flan is made up of a custard base in addition to a caramel topping, and therefore it is considered a custard dessert.

Cheesecakes, Bavarian cream are also custard desserts that are made with custard using different techniques or additional ingredients.

This post discusses the features that distinguishes flan from other custard preparations.


Custard could be prepared in such a way that it has a pourable consistency or It could also made to be more gel-like.

The ingredients for making custard are typically milk, cheese, cream, egg, sugar and flavorings such as vanilla. Some custard recipes may make use of additional ingredients that give the custard a savory flavor.

The egg proteins are responsible for the thickness of custard, although cornstarch may sometimes be added to give the custard a thicker consistency.

The custard mixture is also heated slowly with care so that curds do not form.

How custard is made

Custard may be prepared using a stove over low heat or in an oven.

Based on the techniques used, custard could be classified as stirred custard or baked custard.

When a stovetop is used, the custard has to be stirred continuously so the curds do not form and this leads to the production of a custard with a pouring consistency.

When the custard is baked in a oven, a water bath may be used. This ensures more uniform distribution of heat to the custard and help prevents overheating and curdling.

Custard could be eaten on its own, or used together with other ingredients to create a variety of desserts .

Instant custard preparations which is faster to prepare are also available.

Dessert flan

Flan is also known as crème caramel. It is a dessert that consists of a custard base with a caramel topping.

It has a  French origin  but it is popular all over the world especially in Latin America.

The custard base in flan is baked in an oven to have  a gel-like consistency, and it is topped with caramel.

This dessert combines the rich flavor from the custard base with the sweetness of melted caramel.

Flan is also available as instant preparations.

How flan is made

Ingredients used in making flan includes, milk which could be condensed and whole, cream eggs and sugar, vanilla may be added to give flavor.

Sugar is first cooked until it becomes caramel which is then poured into a mold after which the ingredients for the custard base in added.

This meal could be prepared baked in an oven using a water bath to ensure that it heats slowly ad to prevent curdling.

After heated in a water bath inside an oven until it sets and the custard component becomes gelatinous, the food in the mold is inverted onto a plate. This leaves the crunchy caramel sauce on top of the custard base.

Flan is usually made in small dishes known as ramekins.

Variations in flan recipe

Flan is very popular worldwide, and there are also several variations from the classic flan recipe.

The recipes may vary from one region to another.

Flan recipes could make use of extra ingredients to give their variation of flan a unique flavor or to create interesting mixtures that you would love to try out.

It could also be sweet or savory.

Each type of flan has its peculiarities, some flan recipes are made with coffee, coconuts, fruits, nuts, cheese could also be added to be one of the ingredients used.

Crème burlee

Crème brulee is another custard dessert that is very similar to flan.

It has a caramel topping too, however, the nature of their caramel topping distinguishes the both of them.

The caramel topping in crème brulee is hard while that of flan is soft.

Sugar is caramelized directly on crème brulee using a kitchen torch.

For flan, the caramel goes into the mold together with the custard base and is later inverted onto the surface.

In conclusion  

Desserts like flan and custard are creamy and have a rich flavor.

The consistency of custard could range from a pourable one to a gel like consistency.

Flan is composed of a baked custard base and is topped with a caramel coat.

There are also variations of flan made with other fun ingredients also.