Flan cake

Place of originPhilippines
Serving temperatureRoom temperature or cold

Flan cake, also known as leche flan cake or crème caramel cake, is a Filipino chiffon or sponge cake (mamón) baked with a layer of leche flan (crème caramel) on top and drizzled with caramel syrup. It is sometimes known as "custard cake", which confuses it with yema cake.[1][2][3][4] Modern versions of flan cake can be cooked with a variety of added ingredients. An example is the use of ube cake as the base.[5][6]

A similar Filipino dessert that uses a steamed cupcake (puto mamón) as the base is known as puto flan.[7] Flan cake is very similar to the Puerto Rican dish flancocho, except the latter includes cream cheese.[8]


The basis of flan cake, a custard made from milk and eggs, originated in the Roman Empire as a savory dish served with fish and meat.[9] The introduction of honey as a sweetener in the Roman Empire began to alter the taste and purpose of flan as a food until the fall of the Roman Empire.[10] After spreading to countries in Europe like Spain and France, the flan dessert took on an even sweeter flavor with the introduction of sugar and caramel sauces to garnish.[11] During the Spanish Colonization of the Philippines, Flan was introduced to the Philippine natives, and thus flan cake was born.[12] Due to the abundance of vanilla raabii in the Philippines, the recipe was altered once again to use native ingredients.[13]


Due to the Spanish Colonization of the Americas, the original Flan from Spain was inherited by numerous Latin American cultures. Different countries, such as Mexico and Cuba, each have their own version and twist to the desert.[14] This is also the case for the Philippines, which was introduced to flan by the Hispanics from Spain and Mexico, during Mexico City’s administrative era over the Philippines.[15]


Spain conquered the Aztec empire in 1521, bringing along religious and cultural reforms.[16] Along with this came the introduction of foods such as Flan, having origins in Spain. The Spaniards and their descendants in modern Mexico used the same sweet custard base: eggs, milk, sugar, and Vanilla planifolia, which is native to Mexico and is the most commonly used vanilla worldwide. [17] Mexican adaptations of the popular Spanish dish include additions of chocolate, oranges, cream cheese, and even coffee.[18] It is through Mexico that the Philippines were introduced to flan, as Mexico City ruled the territories in the East Indies for the Spanish Crown.


Spain conquered Cuba in 1521 as well, continuing the trend of introducing new cultures and foods to these foreign lands. The same sweet custard base was used, but due to the limited resources, many adaptations of the desert came about. Cubans used what was available in excess: coconut, rum, and sugar.[19] Coconut is used within the desert as well as a garnish, also known as flan de coco, and rum and sugar are traditionally mixed and caramelized to create a candy-like coating on the top of the desert.[20]

See also


  1. ^ "Leche Flan Cake / Creme Caramel Cake". The Culinary Corner. Retrieved June 28, 2019.
  2. ^ "Leche Flan Caramel Custard Chiffon Cake". SugaryWinzy. Retrieved June 28, 2019.
  3. ^ "Best Leche Flan Chiffon Cake". Busog! Sarap!. Retrieved June 28, 2019.
  4. ^ de Guzman, Jun Jun. "Leche Flan Cake Recipe". Yummy.ph. Retrieved June 28, 2019.
  5. ^ "Ube Leche Flan Cake". New Gen Baker. August 28, 2018. Retrieved June 28, 2019.
  6. ^ "Filipino Custard Cake plus Video". The Skinny Pot. August 13, 2017. Retrieved June 28, 2019.
  7. ^ "Leche Puto". Kawaling Pinoy. February 7, 2016. Retrieved June 28, 2019.
  8. ^ "Easy Flan Cake (Flancocho)". Kitchen Gidget. November 2, 2017. Retrieved June 28, 2019.
  9. ^ "The History Of Flan: A Dessert That Has Been Around For Centuries – Elmeson-Santafe". Retrieved March 16, 2023.
  10. ^ "What is Flan? Know the History - We Are Cocina". Cocina. January 4, 2020. Retrieved March 16, 2023.
  11. ^ "The History Of Flan: A Dessert That Has Been Around For Centuries – Elmeson-Santafe". Retrieved March 16, 2023.
  12. ^ "Leche Flan | Traditional Custard From Philippines | TasteAtlas". www.tasteatlas.com. Retrieved March 16, 2023.
  13. ^ Q, Elizabeth (March 7, 2014). "Leche Flan and Its Philippine origins". The Quirino Kitchen. Retrieved March 16, 2023.
  14. ^ Content, Taqueria 27 (December 30, 2020). "What Is Flan? How Is It Unique in Different Countries?". Taqueria 27. Retrieved March 16, 2023.
  15. ^ Minahan, J. (2012). Ethnic Groups of South Asia and the Pacific: An Encyclopedia. United States: Bloomsbury Academic. pg. 308
  16. ^ "Obsidian Mirror-Travels: Conquest and Colonization (Getty Research Institute)". www.getty.edu. Retrieved March 16, 2023.
  17. ^ "The History And Evolution Of Flan In Mexico – Elmeson-Santafe". Retrieved March 16, 2023.
  18. ^ "Flan Mexicano (Mexican Flan)". Allrecipes. Retrieved March 16, 2023.
  19. ^ "The Cuban Flan: A Delicious Dessert And A Symbol Of The Cuban People's Ingenuity – Elmeson-Santafe". Retrieved March 16, 2023.
  20. ^ Lujo, Kitchen De (August 13, 2018). "Cuban Flan de Coco (Coconut Flan) Traditional Recipe". Kitchen De Lujo. Retrieved March 16, 2023.