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Coconut flan with orange caramel {Flan de coco}

My recipe for homemade coconut flan, a Latin style coconut custard dessert. This coconut flan is made with grated coconut, coconut milk, eggs, milk, and sugar, and has an orange caramel.

How to make homemade coconut flan or custard

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This is my recipe for homemade coconut flan, a Latin style coconut custard dessert. Flan is one of those easy desserts that everyone (or almost everyone) loves. This flan de coco or coconut flan has an orange caramel, as well as grated orange zest in it, which gives it a great citrusy taste that goes great with the coconut.

Ecuadorian coconut flan, queso o quesillo de coco
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My husband loves flans, and when I met him he made one of the most basic flans ever by blending eggs, sugar and milk. I was shocked to see that he baked it in a baking pan without using a water bath. I was so sure there was no way that it was going to work, but it did. Even though I found his super quick guy-flan very egg-ey it was still edible. I was somewhat impressed that he knew how make it – even though I didn’t consider it a real flan since it lacked caramel, and yes he ended up eating most of it.

Coconut flan recipe

Personally, I have to have caramel with my flan – it’s the best part! I love a classic traditional flan, but also really enjoy making different variations, from this coconut flan to pineapple flan, passion fruit flan, candied pumpkin flan, and more. It’s very easy to use your favorite fruit or a seasonal fruit to give your flan a delicious touch.

Recipe for coconut flan or quesillo

I love coconuts and have had some of best coconut flans made with fresh coconut in coastal towns in Ecuador. I tried making this recipe with fresh coconut in the US and was disappointed that the quality of fresh coconuts was so bad. I found that my favorite Asian grocery store carries very good frozen grated coconut, which turned out to be better than buying and grating a fresh coconut.

Easy recipe for coconut flan

Of course, in Ecuador, or any country with access to fresh local coconuts, I would recommend using those. You can make this coconut flan using small individual ramekins or you can also make it in a large pan for all to share. I served it with some fresh berries and some toasted coconut flakes.

Coconut flan with orange caramel
Recipe for coconut flan or quesillo

Coconut flan with orange caramel {Flan de coco}

Recipe for homemade coconut flan with orange caramel. This coconut flan is made with grated coconut, coconut milk, eggs, milk, and sugar, and has an orange caramel.
4.85 from 73 votes
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Course: Dessert, Sweets
Cuisine: Ecuadorian, Latin, South American
Keyword: Coconut, Coconut custard, Coconut flan, Coconut flan with orange caramel, Flan, Flan de coco, Queso de coco, Valentine’s Day
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Refrigeration time: 4 hours
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 8 to 10 portions


For the orange caramel:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¼ cup of water
  • ¼ cup of freshly squeezed orange juice

For the coconut flan:

  • 6 eggs
  • 1 14 ounce can of coconut milk
  • 1 12 ounce can of evaporated milk
  • 1 cup grated coconut
  • ¾ cup sugar adjust to taste
  • 1 tbs grated orange zest
  • 3 tbs corn starch
  • Pinch of salt

To garnish:

  • Fresh berries and toasted coconut


For the orange caramel:

  • Combine water, orange juice and 1 cup sugar in a saucepan over medium high heat to make caramel.
  • Bring to a boil and cook until the caramel starts to turn a light brown honey color, be careful as it can burn very quickly. It takes about 7-9 minutes to get to the point where you start to see the caramelization start, don’t stir the caramel mix as it cooks, just let it boil until it starts to darken. Because this caramel sauce has orange, it won’t get as dark as the regular caramel.
  • Quickly and carefully pour the caramel into ramekins or flan molds.

For the coconut flan:

  • Pre-heat oven to 350
  • Using an electric mixer mix eggs, coconut milk, grated coconut, orange zest, sugar, evaporated milk, corn starch and pinch of salt together until all the ingredients are well blended
  • Pour the flan mixture into the ramekins
  • Place the ramekins in a baking pan with water, the water should fill up to about ½ of the height of the ramekins or molds,
  • Bake for 40-50 minutes – or until the flan has set. The exact time will vary depending on the size of the molds and each person's oven.
  • Cool down and refrigerate the coconut flan for 2-4 hours before serving.
  • To remove from the molds, bring the flans to room temperature. Use a knife to help loosen the edges, and place it upside down on the serving plate. Garnish with berries and/or toasted coconut.
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  1. Hello, i am planning on making your recipe but I Can not have starch. Can i leave the corn starch out ?
    thank you

  2. Hello,
    Thank you for posting this delicious recipe :). My question is about the size of the ramekins that I see on your pictures is that 6 oz or 8 oz? Because I’m planning on buying some but I would like to know the size and how many I would need. Thank you in advance!

  3. Can you suggest a specific type of grated coconut? I normally buy the fine grated, but have found that it is sometimes too fine for a recipe that suggests just grated. This looks delicious. Can’t wait to try it.

    1. Hi Maria – I like using frozen grated coconut, just let it defrost and it’s the closest to fresh grated coconut. They sell frozen grated coconut at both Latin and Asian grocery stores.

    1. Flan originated in Spain, the coconut variations are popular in most Latin American areas that have coconuts (Caribbean, Central America, South America).

  4. they looks so good and i really like the coconut flavor. But do i have to cook or warm up the mixture (‘coz there’s cornstarch in it)? If there’s no need to cook, i guess the electric mixer is necessary to distribute the cornstarch and coconut well in the mixture? I’m trying it tonight but i dont have the mixer handy. I hope the flan turns out great. :D

  5. Hi Laylita,

    I was just wondering why you have not posted your wonderful amazing recipes since January 2010?
    I hope that you would continue to post these amazing recipes and pictures because you are truly an inspiration for me and my family to get together and start cooking in the kitchen. I truly hope that you can post again soon.



  6. OMG this sounds sooooo yummy. I’m also using it for spanish class. We are doin a project on spanish-speaking-countries’ foods. I thouhgt this looked delicious and wanted to try it out. I sure hope everyone likes coconuts! :)

  7. i love this recipe so much that im going to make for a project in my spanish class,For half my grade . i Hope that it is as tasty as it looks.

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