Kulinarya’s theme for the of February 2010 is LECHE FLAN.



Almost in any Filipino occasion/party, Leche Flan is always served as a dessert.  It resembles closely to Crème Caramel but more richer in taste.  Main ingredients are sugar, eggs yolks, evaporated milk and condensed milk.  I remember my mother use to cook this with duck eggs as it produce a more silkier texture and deeper rich taste compare to chicken eggs.  Traditionally Leche flan are cook in “llaneras” (oblong shaped aluminium tins), caramel syrup first then the custard layer on top and then covered with a sheet of aluminium foil and secured with rubber band and then steamed.  Nowadays, you can use any baking pans or ramekins and cook them in water baths in the oven, like cooking crème caramel.

My grandma use to say that Leche Flan was concocted when the Spaniards were building churches in the Philippines as they add egg whites to the building material for the walls and there were lots of left over egg yolks.  So, instead of egg yolks going to waste, the locals made Leche Flan.  I don’t know if this story is true or partly true or old wives tale…but it’s a nice story.

I’m featuring Leche Flan Chiffon Cake for Kulinarya, as I’ve been itching to try to cook this since I’ve tasted some last year.    It is basically, a chiffon cake topped with Leche Flan.  What got me interested in this cake was the concept of layering each of the 3 parts (caramel or toffee/custard/cake batter) without the top 2 layers collapsing.  I think the way Leche Flan Chiffon Cake looks is artful with its layering and a bit of a challenge for a novice baker like me.  I also want to test if you can really cook Leche Flan in the oven, sitting on a water bath.  I have seen so many dark syruped Leche Flan (caramel/toffee burnt?) in parties nowadays that I wonder if the oven is the culprit or just human error.  You see am a Leche Flan traditionalist as I cook Leche Flans on a stovetop steamer and never inside an oven.


LECHE FLAN CAKE adapted from Panglasang Pinoy


Toffee -   1/2 cup white sugar

Custard - 3  eggs, 200g condensed milk, 1/2 cup fresh milk, 1/8 cup white sugar

Meringue – 3 egg whites, 1/4 tspn cream of tartar, 1/4 cup white sugar


1/2 tspn baking powder

1/8 cup fresh milk + 1/8 cup water

a pinch of grated lemon zest

3 egg yolks

1/4 cup white sugar

3/4 cup “Cake, biscuit & pastry plain flour” or cake flour

*used U.S Measuring Cups & Spoons



Preheat oven at 180C.

Round Aluminium Pan (22cm across/6cm depth)


~  In medium-low heat, slowly melt the Toffee-sugar in the baking pan, gently shaking it once in a while to distribute the heat.  When the sugar is halfway melted, stir with a spoon till all the sugar granules are melted.  Set aside and let it cool.

L.flan custard pouring© BUSOG! SARAP! 2010

~  Combine the custard ingredients and whisk till well combined.  Strain through a sieve when you layer it on top of the cooled toffee.


~  In a clean dry bowl, beat egg whites for about 30 seconds in medium speed and then add cream of tartar, beat further till you have soft peaks.  Gradually add sugar while beating the meringue until it becomes smooth and glossy with firm peaks.

~  Sift flour and baking powder, set aside.  Beat eggs yolks and then slowly add sugar.  Beat until it turns pale yellow and there’s no more sugar granules.  Scrape the sides of the bowl while you are beating the mixture to get the strayed sugar granules on the sides.

~  Alternatively add the dry ingredients and the milk/water solution, while beating the cake batter.  Add the pinch of lemon zest and beat the cake batter until it is smooth.


~  Fold lightly the cake batter into the meringue until the mixture is well combined.  Pour the cake mixture on top of your prepared baking pan containing your cooled toffee & custard layers.

~  Prepare your water bath.  The tray have to be bigger than your baking pan.  Use something to raise the bottom of your baking pan, so that it is not in contact with the tray.  Place your baking pan on top of the rack and pour hot water till it is touching the bottom of the baking pan.

~  Carefully place the tray inside the oven, if you can carry the weight.  Another alternative is put the water bath first inside the oven, followed with the baking pan.

~  Bake for 45-60 minutes or prick with a bamboo skewer in the middle of the cake, if it comes out clean, it means it is cooked.  Once done, remove the baking pan from the oven and let it cool down.


~  Using a small knife, carefully run it along the the edge of the cake to loosen it from the baking pan.  Place a large plate on top of the baking pan and flip it over, making sure that you’re holding them tightly together.  Slowly lift up the baking pan…and if the Leche Flan Chiffon Cake God is smiling at you, the cake will come out easily.  Refrigerate before serving.



  • I’ve used ANCHOR Lighthouse Cake, Biscuit & Pastry Plain Flour (box type) that I bought in Woolworths as I can’t find any cake flour.  It said in the box, it is soft flour…so I don’t know if it is the same as cake flour.
  • Cooking Leche Flan in the oven is as good as cooking it by steaming in the stove top.  My suggestion for avoiding burnt Leche Flan topping is don’t let your caramel/toffee gets too dark when you melt your sugar.  Use a rack on you water bath, so that the Leche Flan aluminium moulds are not directly in contact with the bottom of the water tray.  Direct contact of the Leche Flan aluminium moulds with the bottom of the tray, heats up the syrup too quickly (like melting the sugar for the caramel/toffee), because there’s no water between them to cushion the heat.



  • When I let the cake cooled down, the sides of the cake layer shrunk a bit.  Should have I flipped it on a plate immediately once I got the baking pan out of the oven?  But if I did that, the flan might get stuck on the bottom of the pan.  Hhmmm, another thing to think about before I go to sleep…
  • The chiffon layer is a bit eggy in taste and the texture should be more lighter in Mr. H opinion.  Miss M declares it’s delicious! (She loves anything with sugar…)  Mr. Adventurous happily devours it, but note he eats almost anything.
  • I will cook this cake again but I need to do more research (*think what I have done wrong…hehehehhe) on how to make the chiffon more lighter texture wise and less eggy in taste.


  1. Hi!

    your leche flan cake looks so yummy! This is one of my fave childhood eats; I've made this a few times before and yes I think it's eggy too, but it gets better the day after..or you could try adding more lemon zest or lemon essence next time to offset the egg-y taste.. it worked for me :)

  2. OH! what a fantastic idea!!! Combining the rich leche flan with a light cake would be the perfect balance!!! We found the flan in itself a bit too rich for our taste. But I think the cake would counteract that nicely! thanks much for the recipe!

  3. I love the sponge and the leche flan together. I have never tried baking thing because I always think that it won't work. It's so cool that the sponge mixture and the flan stay separated through the baking process. Great job..

  4. I wanted to do the cake/leche flan combo but I didn't know any trustworthy recipes!!! I've never made leche flan in the past so wanted to try out the basic, fundamental leche flan recipe. Now I'm definitely looking forward to making different varieties!

  5. @Olive
    You are totally right about it tasting a lot better the next day, will try to add more of the citrus part next time...

  6. That must taste so good, rich dense flan along with light fluffy cake. Nice story as well with the egg yolks, never heard that before. Leave it to us for not letting anything go to waste. ;)

  7. wow... leche flan on top of a chiffon cake... brilliant idea! It looks so yummy.

    I also like your tip about placing it on top of a rack so it doesn't touch the bottom of the tray. Thanks for that tip.

  8. my aunt used to make this before and oh how we loved it... yours looks decadent...yum!

  9. donuts4ever2.3.10

    hi cusinera...just droppin by see what u been up to hehee.... i have been givin away leche flans last week to friends as i finally got a bamboo first attempt w/ the flans wasnt too good since i always get the caramel wrong (to sweet or too bitter) almost gave up plus i was doin the water thing/oven method. i didnt like it! anyway, isnt amazing how 'our humble leche flan' actually comes in a thousand different version when u search the net??? i use:

    6 eggs
    1 small can condensed milk
    1 evap milk
    lemon juice or vanilla extract.

    for the caramel, i use a tbsp of sugar on each llaneras. llaneras on stovetop na 'para di na hassle palipat lipat :D

    anyway, i would love to try this cake in the future...i hope u try it again and let us know once u figure out what went wrong..but i dunno, that cake, id happy to devour anytime, any day u serve it on my table!

  10. OOOO - I love the idea of the cake below the flan - I need to try this recipe! Well done on this month's challenge - you definitely make us Pinoys proud.

  11. Your leche flans heavenly. This is double indulgence from two textures.

  12. Hello Ms. Cusinera...a suggestion if I may...chiffon cakes uses one of MM's post on leche flans, I posted a recipe for custard cake (leche fan topped cake)...give it a shot and let me know. I can also share with you Mocha Chiffon cake recipe if you don't have one is exactly like the ones in the "Pins" as SL would say!

  13. @betty q.~ oh my! thanks for visiting betty...I've searched MM's post on leche flans and finally found the recipe for the custard cake, will definately try your version. I haven't tried baking a Mocha Chiffon yet and I would love to read yours and try it out=) If you have any suggestions on other things here in Busog! Sarap! you're so welcome=)

  14. pwede po ba steamer rather than oven

  15. @Yepair Doodell ~ I've only cooked this in the oven never in a steamer on top of a can't really tell what it will turn out if you steam it on a stovetop.

  16. Anonymous7.10.12

    i think that the ratio should be 1:3 (custard:cake). The picture above looks like it has too much custard. Anyways, the measurements here is nowhere close to my recipe, which I've used for years. Here it is..

    8 egg yolks
    1 can of condensed milk
    1/2 cup milk
    1tsp vanilla

    8 egg whites
    1/2 tsp cream of tartar
    1/2 cup sugar

    2 whole eggs
    1/2 cup sugar
    1/2 cup milk
    1. 1/2 cup sifted cake flour
    1/2 tsp baking powder
    1/2 tsp lemon zest.

    Procedure is the same as the above recipe, bake at 350/180 for 50-60 min or until toothpick comes out clean.


  17. @Anonymous~ Thanks for sharing your recipe. I prefer the topping of my leche flan cake thick =) I've also done another Leche Flan cake version better then this one, quite happy with the ratio of the flan vs chiffon cake underneath.

  18. Hi i just found your post about this and i tried it out. one question though how do you top the chiffon on top of the flan? do you cook it for a little while or just top it on. I tried topping the chiffon mixture but it drowned into the flan mixture and they blended together.

    1. Hi Rozen, I advise for you to try out the "Best Leche Flan Cake" with Betty Q's Chiffon Cake as the base...just search within Busog! Sarap!

      I just top it on (cake batter) over the uncooked flan mixture. The cake batter should be airy and light. When I pour it slowly, the cake batter just tend to float on top and all I have to do is even up the cake batter surface once I finished pouring it onto the pan before baking.


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