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Venezuelan-Style Flan (Quesillo)

Venezuelan-Style Flan excerpted from Arepa: Classic and Contemporary recipes for Venezuela’s Daily Bread by Irena Stein.

Venezuelan-Style Flan excerpted from Arepa: Classic and Contemporary recipes for Venezuela’s Daily Bread by Irena Stein.

Venezuelan-Style Flan (Quesillo)

Irena Stein
Note: To decorate the flan with sugar swirls, make a second batch of caramel. As soon as it turns golden, drizzle spoonfuls of the hot caramel onto parchment paper in any shape you like. Leave the caramel decorations to harden, then nestle them into the tops of the flan.
Course Dessert
Cuisine Venezuelan
Servings 6 -8 people


For the flan:

  • 1-2/3 cups minus 1 tbsp (380 ml or 12-3/4 oz) coconut milk
  • 1 400-ml (14-oz) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 4 tsp whole (full-fat) milk
  • 4 eggs plus 1/2 egg yolk
  • 2 tbsp white rum
  • 4 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 1/2 tonka bean (optional)

For the caramel:

  • 1-1/2 cups (300 g or 10-1/2 oz) caster (superfine) sugar, for the caramel
  • 4 tbsp water


  • To make the flan, preheat the oven to 150°C (300°F/Gas 2). Put the coconut milk, condensed milk, milk, eggs and egg yolk, rum and vanilla bean paste in a blender. Grate in the tonka bean (if using) and blitz until smooth. Pass the mixture through a sieve (strainer) to remove any particles and set aside.
  • To make the caramel, put the sugar and water in a heavy-based non-stick pan and over a low–medium heat. Do not stir as this can cause the sugar to crystallize. Once the sugar starts to dissolve, increase the heat to medium–high and watch the caramel until it turns a dark amber color. As soon as the caramel darkens in color, immediately remove the pan from the heat to avoid burning the caramel. If the caramel does burn, discard the contents of the pan and start again.
  • Carefully pour the hot caramel into a 20-cm (8-inch) flan mould with a lid. (If you do not have a flan mould with a lid, you can use a regular cake pan and tightly cover it with foil.) Tilt the mould or pan to evenly coat the base and sides with the caramel. Leave it to rest for a few minutes to allow the caramel to harden.
  • Pour the flan mixture into the mould or pan to cover the caramel layer. Sharply tap the mould or pan on the countertop to disperse any air bubbles in the fl an mixture. Cover with the lid or foil.
  • Place the flan mould or cake pan in a deep roasting pan and pour in enough hot water so that it comes three-quarters of the way up the sides of the mould or pan. Place the pan in the hot oven and bake the flan for 2–2¼   hours. Periodically check there is enough water in the roasting pan and top up as needed.
  • Once the flan is just set, remove from the oven and leave to cool to room temperature. Once the flan is cool, chill in the fridge for 24 hours.
  • To release the flan from the mould, remove the lid or foil and shake it gently until it comes away from the sides. If necessary, slide a knife around the edges to loosen the flan. Invert the flan onto a serving plate and remove the mould or pan. Slice the fl an into individual portions, in the size and shape preferred and spoon over any caramel.


Arepa: Classic and Contemporary recipes for Venezuela’s Daily Bread by Irena Stein (© 2023). Photographs by Irena Stein. Published by Ryland Peters & Small.Recipe reprinted with permission from Arepa: Classic & Contemporary Recipes for Venezuela's Daily Bread by Irena Stein (Ryland Peters & Small, 2023). Photography by Irena Stein.
Keyword Arepa, Coconut Milk, Flan, Irena Stein, Sweetened condensed milk, White rum

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