Butter Caramel Leche Flan

Butter Caramel Leche Flan

The picture above is steamed.

LECHE FLAN UPDATE (6.11.20): The results: BOTH oven baked and steamed leche flans are incredibly creamy and delicious! At first, I was gearing towards steaming the leche flan 100% because of the air bubbles I got from baking it. But, I found out after 24hrs or more in the fridge, both leche flans came out very creamy and super tasty. The air bubbles that I truly dislike disappeared! TIME is the key ingredient of any leche flan recipe. So, in the end you can hardly tell one from another. This is great news because we don’t have to fear making leche flan in the oven or steamer! Both methods are amazing! What a relief! YAY! =) 

As a little girl growing up in the Philippines, I watched a number of people in my Nanay’s (Grandma/Lola) kitchen making a big batch of leche flans. Once a year, neighbors, relatives, and there of course my Nanay teaming up  with everyone to make delicious leche flan a few days before a big fiesta. Fiesta is this huge celebration for gathering specific to your town. Everyone you know is invited to come to your house and eat! I’m pretty sure there’s a deeper meaning for fiestas but this is what I remember and no I’m not going to Google it. I want my childhood memory naturally explain it to you. 

Cooking or baking was not my cup of tea growing up. But, Nanay bought me this mini stove made out of clay to play with and I loved it. Anyways, going back to my Nanay’s kitchen, the sound of busy hands cracking eggs carefully separating the egg yolks from egg whites are in harmony. Then, the next thing I remember is the antiquated way of caramelizing the sugar directly to the mold and stove fire. Then, my memory is quickly switching to the endless pouring of the egg mixture into gazillion molds of llaneras. Llaneras are oval-shaped molds made of thin aluminum used mainly for leche flans which are still widely used in the Philippines for traditions sake. The leche flans I know were never baked,  always steamed. Chilled overnight and served the next day. Fiestas are incomplete without the sight of this crowd favorite dessert. People would go straight for leche flans and judge how well you made it. 

My Nanay’s leche flans were delicious. I know this because the serving plate was full of sweet caramel but no signs of leche flan. What happened? I had to investigate. The moment she flips that mold onto the serving plate, hungry forks are ready to go to battle for a pure slice of heaven. To ration her popular leche flans,  she waited  quite a bit before refilling her serving plate again. Her recipes were never passed down to anyone including her 5 daughters and son. She was very protective of her recipes. All kept and written in her own mind until Alzheimer’s took it away from her. I don’t blame her for doing that. She was a full-time homemaker and her recipes were her pride and joy that people will forever remember her of. I’m just grateful to have a glimpse of her cooking and a picture of her smiling even after a long day of standing, holding a long wooden spoon making something extraordinary for her not so tiny family of 20 including grandchildren at that time. I hope one day, I can live up to her standards and let her know that cooking on my own clay stove as a little girl was one of my best memories of her. Maraming Salamat Nanay! (Thank you very much, Nanay!) 

Ok, now let’s see how I came up with my own version of leche flan. 

Leche flan a.k.a. Creme Caramel, Flan, custard caramel, egg pudding, or caramel pudding is one of the most loved dessert in the world. In this recipe, I added a tbsp. of butter in the caramel just to make it interestingly different. This one really takes the traditional caramel topping to a whole new level. But, if you want to keep it traditional, the recipe will still work. You can simply cook the sugar and water without adding the butter at the end of carmelization. I’m also going to share making leche flan in 2 ways: steam and bake. Here’s the result on appearance, texture, taste, and cooking time: 

Steaming = Silky, smooth, 35-45 min cooking time 

Baking = Rich, dense, 1Hr & 15 min baking time 

I used the same recipe for both methods so the taste stays absolutely amazing. Some of you might only have one option available, either one is fine. But, if you have both available, choose the one that’s right for you. Happy baking! Happy steaming! Enjoy Butter Caramel Leche Flan!

The picture below is oven-baked.

Butter Caramel Leche Flan

Special Leche Flan -The most loved dessert in the Philippines with rich and dreamy butter caramel.
Prep Time15 mins
Total Time1 hr 30 mins
Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: Filipino
Keyword: butter caramel, Leche flan, Philippines Dessert
Servings: 2
Author: Dhin of gemframboise.com


Butter Caramel/Decoration

  • 4 tbsp. Sugar
  • 3 tbsp. Water
  • 1 tbsp. Butter Elevated Version but Optional

Leche Flan Custard Mixture

  • 5 Eggyolks
  • 3/4 cup Fresh Milk
  • 1/2 cup Condensed Milk
  • 1/2 tsp. Fresh Lemon Juice Elevated Version but NOT Optional
  • Just trust me on this one ; )
  • Garnish with Lemon Zest Elevated Version but hmmm okay, it can be Optional (You should try it though! )


  • In a small saucepan, add sugar and water. Stir until sugar has dissolved.
  • Cook in medium heat.
  • After caramel color changes, about 10-12 minutes, add butter. Mix.
  • Pour onto ramekins or any mold you have.
  • For caramel decoration, drizzle caramel on a parchment paper. Let it set on a cool surface.
  • Grab two bowls, separate yolks from egg whites.
  • Add fresh milk, condensed milk, and lemon juice to egg yolks. Stirring in between.
  • Strain custard mixture 3-4 times.
  • Transfer strained custard into the mold.
  • Cover with aluminum foil.


  • Use water bath. Fill baking dish with hot water half way.
  • Place molds in the baking dish filled with hot water.
  • Cover the whole baking dish with aluminum foil.
  • Bake at 350-375 F (150-190C) for 1 Hr and 15 minutes.


  • Bring water in the steamer to boil.
  • Place ramekins in steamer and cover.
  • Steam for 35-45 minutes.
  • After baking or steaming, let it cool completely.
  • Run a sharp knife on the edge of the mold, cover with plate, and flip it over.
  • Garnish with lemon zest.


1. Begin recipe by making the caramel topping to give it some time to set before adding custard mixture.
2. For creamy leche flan, use egg yolks only. I tried with whole eggs and the texture is not the same. 
3. It is easier to separate yolks when eggs are cold. The yolks will also less likely to break.
4. I use shell method every time I'm separating yolks from egg whites. Using egg shell to help in the separation works for me. 
5. For smoother flans, strain custard 3-4 times before steaming or baking.
6.  If making caramel decor, double the caramel recipe. 
7. Lemons do wonders with this recipe. Don't skip it. 
8. Refrigerate for 24 hrs or more before devouring to get that highly coveted smooth creamy texture flan whether you're baking or steaming. My biggest discovery for this recipe!

WATCH The Butter Caramel Leche Flan Step-By-Step Video Tutorial: 

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Hi and welcome to Gem Framboise!
My name is Dhin. I'm delighted that you are here to join me in cooking delicious food and baking adorable pastries. Working in the kitchen became my therapy when the pandemic struck all of us. Join me on my journey, one bite at a time.

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