Flan vs Creme Caramel: What’s The Difference?

Flan vs Creme Caramel

As we all know the list of desserts is endless and there is always a struggle to decide what to make or choose at a restaurant. Flan and Creme caramel are some of the most famous desserts nowadays.

They usually appear at the top of the desserts list, making it hard not to choose one of those to try. Also, both of them are not so hard to make at home, and they are often compared and even considered as the same thing. But that’s where we are wrong.

They are similar but there are many differences between them. One of the main things is that Flan is not just a dessert, but it can be served as a dish. Creme caramel, on the other hand, is just a dessert.

Since this is one of the main things, you probably wonder, what are the other things that will make us distinguish them. What are the differences between flan and creme caramel?

Besides flan being a dish, not just dessert, there are other differences like the ingredients that are used to bake them, how you can serve them meaning hot or cold, and the origins of both desserts.

However, before we go on with the differences and comparison, first you should read more on flan and creme caramel.

What is Flan?


Flan is a Spanish dish which you can eat practically anywhere in the world. The thing with flan is that it’s not just a dessert but it can be served as a main dish as well.

The flan has a base of open sponge or just like a round pastry which can have many tastes like salty, sweet with a spicy filling.

Actually, there are two types of flan: 

  • The sweet flan has a filling known as fruit flan. This type of flan is baked in a ring that doesn’t have a bottom. Meaning, there is a baking sheet underneath. You can add various fruits like strawberries, raspberries, or apricots. Pastry cream is also a good option.
  • Flan baked with caramel and considered as a type of dessert. This is the second option, which means that the texture of the flan can have many tastes like coffee, mango, coconut flan, vegan flan, etc. 

What is Creme Caramel?

Creme Caramel

One of the oldest and classic desserts is creme caramel.

The origins of the creme caramel are from France. However, you can find it all around the world. This is actually a custard dessert that has a topping of caramel sauce.

It is a perfect recipe idea for family gatherings or whenever you feel like it. The main ingredient in the creme caramel is eggs. The final texture should be creamy and somewhat slimy. Thus, you have to be careful with the custard since it’s easy to overturn. You can either eat it hot or cold.

Make sure that the cream is not overcooked or undercooked. Also, the caramel must be cooked in a bain-marie for the best results.

Key Differences Between Flan and Creme Caramel

Now that we know more about each dessert, let’s summarize the key differences between them.

  • Type of desert

Flan is like a sponge, round pastry. It can be served as both dessert and dish. Creme caramel, on the other hand, is only a dessert with the most delicious caramel topping. 

  • Ingredients

To make flan, the main ingredients that you need include pastry, vegetables, and custard, while eggs are the main ingredient in the creme caramel. 

  • Serving

Flan is only served cold, but creme caramel is based on your choice, both hot and cold versions are incredible. 

  • Origins

Flan has its origin in Roman cuisine. Creme caramel, on the other hand, is French.

Flan vs Creme Caramel: Comparison Chart

Comparison Flan Creme caramel
Types Round and spongy.

Can be considered as a dish, not just dessert

Dessert with caramel topping
Ingredients Pastry, vegetables, and custard  Eggs
How can be served Cold Hot and cold
Origin Roman cuisine French

Related Questions

Is creme caramel-like flan?

Both creme caramel and flan are French names, but flan has a different meaning. They look similar and they are both very delicious.

What is the difference between flan and creme?

When you compare flan with the cream you’ll notice some differences.

For one flan is a base of open sponge or you can say round pastry which can have various fillings like sweet, salty, and even spicy. The creme, on the other hand, is a custard dessert that has a coating of caramel sauce.

What is the difference between caramel custard and flan?

The main difference between caramel custard and flan is the caramelized topping. The flan does not caramelize sugar on top and it is usually cooked in a saucepan.

What is the difference between flan and creme brulee?

When it comes to flan and creme brulee, there are differences in the texture when baked. The creme brulee is made with cream, sugar, and egg yolks with a thin top of caramelized sugar. Flan is also made with cream sugar and egg yolks but it is baked until the texture becomes soft and jiggly.

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