Leche flan (creme caramel) always evoke memories of town fiestas. Although the ingredients are just eggs, milk and sugar, it is always part of the array of special fiesta fare. I don't really know if you can make just one leche flan as the recipe always makes at least two. Thinking about it brings a flashback of kitchen memories: stacks of flaneras (flan molds) being lined with caramel syrup in readiness for the egg custard, steamers billowing steam clouds ready to be loaded with the uncooked flans, and the best pressed glass platters being prepared to serve the flans. As a child, I always wanted to be in the hub of the preparations. I loved watching people cook. I loved being handed little morsels to taste. What I loved most was to sneak out a prepared flanera, crack the caramel at the bottom and eat the shards. What joy!

I have never lost my taste for leche flan but never got to eat a lot of it. It is because I want to reserve it for special occasions. The Kulinarya Cooking Club's theme for April is a memorable and decadent Filipino food. The theme in itself is one mouthful. So I decided to bring to the table a concoction that embodies everything I like. I injected a touch of decadence to the classic leche flan by adding cream cheese to the flan mixture and using a sponge cake as a base. It is cross between a cheesecake and a custard cake. It has all the goodness and creaminess of an all egg yolk leche flan, mixed with cream cheese instead of just pure milk and flavoured with lime zest and vanilla. The base is soft and light vanilla sponge cake instead of biscuit crumb. The two together has an uninterrupted creamy and voluptuous texture. Caramel syrup contrasts with the cheese cake and crowns the dessert. It gives a toasty accent  to this creamy concoction. 

Ingredients for the cream cheese leche flan:

1 c sugar

1/4 c. water

1 can of sweetened condensed milk

8 oz. cream cheese (about a cup)

6 egg yolks 

1 tsp. vanilla

grated zest of 1 lime


Pre-heat the oven to 325°F /170° C. Prepare a 9" diameter cake pan. Mix the sugar and water in a saucepan. On low heat, melt the sugar while stirring. When the sugar melts, stop stirring, and bring the mixture to a boil. Cook on medium heat until the syrup is a deep golden brown. Brush the sides of the pan downwards with a wet pastry brush to prevent sugar crystals from forming. When ready, pour into a 9" diameter cake tin and swirl to coat the bottom. Set aside. Whisk the rest of the ingredients together until smooth. Set aside. Prepare the cake batter.

Ingredients for the sponge cake:

3 whole eggs

1/4 c. sugar

1/2 tsp. vanilla

1/2 c. flour

Whisk the first three ingredients together until very light and fluffy. Sift the flour over it and fold with a metal spoon.


Pour the cream cheese flan mixture into the caramel syrup coated pan. Pour the cake batter on the back of a big spoon into the flan mixture. Do not stir. Bake au baine marie: Fill a baking tray that's big enough to accommodate the cake pan and fill with water to reach up to a quarter of its side. Bake for 50 minutes to an hour. Leave to cool. Invert into a serving dish.

This post is  for the KULINARYA COOKING CLUB theme for April 2011:    Decadent Filipino Food. 

See the posts of the other members by visiting their blogs.

Adora's Box has exclusive rights to all the recipes and photos in this blog.

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