A cheesecake-like custard bakes over a layer of caramel in my attempt at making flan that tastes like cheesecake. Much to my (pleasant) surprise, I ended up with a flan-flavored cheesecake instead, thanks to the power of caramelized sugar. Careful, that thin layer of caramel can be overpowering. Whether or not you make a successful graham cracker crust topping, I hope you give this gorgeous recipe a try soon.

Recipe Summary

10 mins
50 mins
2 hrs 20 mins
3 hrs 20 mins
4 5 1/2-ounce flans


Original recipe yields 4 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
For the Ramekins:
For the Custard:
For the Topping:


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (160 degrees C). Rub the insides of four 5 1/2-ounce ramekins with oil.

  • Melt 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, without stirring, in a skillet over medium heat. Swirl the skillet occasionally until sugar caramelizes to an amber color. Quickly pour caramel into each ramekin to cover the bottoms. Place ramekins in a baking dish.

  • Combine cream cheese, Parmesan cheese, vanilla extract, salt, and eggs in a bowl. Whisk until smooth.

  • Heat 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk until almost simmering. Stir in sugar and pour into the cream cheese mixture.

  • Ladle mixture into the ramekins. Fill the baking dish with enough hot water to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins.

  • Bake in the preheated oven until custard is just barely set, 45 to 60 minutes. When shaken, custard should jiggle as one mass. Remove ramekins from baking dish and let cool to room temperature.

  • Mix graham cracker crumbs with melted butter and spread some of the mixture over each flan. Refrigerate until fully chilled, at least 2 hours.

  • Run a knife along the edge of each chilled flan and invert onto a plate. Drizzle any remaining caramel on top.

Chef's Notes:

I used four 5 1/2-ounce ramekins, and had a little custard mixture left over, so you can probably get 5 out of this recipe if you use slightly smaller ramekins, or fill them with less batter.

Ramekins can also be greased with melted butter.

Editor's Note:

Nutrition data for this recipe includes the full amount of custard. The actual amount consumed will vary.

Nutrition Facts

542 calories; protein 11.2g; carbohydrates 71.1g; fat 24.6g; cholesterol 194.4mg; sodium 344.9mg. Full Nutrition

Reviews (8)

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Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
This turned out beautiful! I made it exactly how instructed and everyone loved it! Thank you for sharing Read More
8 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 8
  • 4 star values: 0
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
This turned out beautiful! I made it exactly how instructed and everyone loved it! Thank you for sharing Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Great Dessert! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
I am not the most experienced baker and I was afraid I would botch this recipe, but it truly is easy to follow and perfect just the way it is. If you want a recipe that will impress the “foodies” in your life but won’t require a private tutor, this one has your name on it. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
i followed this recipe exactly. i love chef john and use a lot of his recipes! it does taste more like cheesecake than flan but... its in the title! great job chef Read More
Rating: 5 stars
So good. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
I made this with no crust and brown sugar sauce instead of white sugar caramel (since I ran out of white sugar) and with double the ingredient portions. The cheesecake flan was really good and everyone raved about it and you could really taste the cheesecake in there too. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Excellent recipe! I made it exactly as shown. I wasn't even sure what a flan was until after making this recipe. The whole family raved over it. It was so light, with only a hint of cheesecake. This one goes in the re-do pile for sure. Read More
Rating: 5 stars