Tres Leches Pumpkin Flan

I have had a lot of fun cooking dishes with fresh pumpkin this season. I steamed my children’s leftover jack-o’-lanterns and have made quite the array of pumpkin recipes like Pumpkin EmpanadasSpicy Acorn Squash and Apple Soup, and easy mini-pumpkin pies which I plan to post soon.

This recipe was a complete experiment. I had pumpkin puree leftover and wanted to experiment making a pumpkin flan but then remembered one Thanksgiving my mother ordering a tres leches pumpkin flan that was unbelievable. Every thanksgiving I always wished I had that recipe. Well enough was enough and I figured I’d make my own. To be honest I had never even made a flan before and always left the flan making to my sister. But being that I had some pumpkin puree leftover I figured why not. It’s only a few ingredients and what’s the worst that can happen.

With any flan the trick is to cook it in a water bath to ensure gentle heat so it won’t break or curdle. When I made this recipe I was nervous about the texture. Then the next tricky part was flipping it over on a serving platter. Jeanine (our photographer) left the room because she was so afraid to see it break apart. Finally after a second attempt at running a knife around the edges to loosen it, it finally slipped out and it looked beautiful. But just know I was still leery and afraid to taste it.

It was not the common velvety texture you find in most flans. Jeanine and my friend Michelle were my guinea pigs and after hearing the delight in their moans and groans I finally took a bite. WOW! The texture that I was so afraid of ended up being what I loved the most – the consistency of the real pumpkin. The colors were beautiful and the taste was thankfully amazing.

If you don’t have fresh pumpkin puree in your freezer or fridge I’m guessing the flavors would be just as fantastic using an organic pumpkin puree. And did I mention how simple this recipe is? If you want to add this to your Thanksgiving menu you will have to make it the day before because it needs time to chill.

Tres Leches Pumpkin Flan


½ cup sugar

1 (8 ounce cream cheese), softened

2 large eggs (room temperature)

2 egg yolks (room temperature)

1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

1 (12 ounce) can evaporated milk

1 ½ cups milk

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

¾ cup fresh pumpkin puree or organic pumpkin from a can

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1/8 teaspoon ground ginger

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg


Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Spray a bundt pan with cooking spray.

Cook sugar in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring often, 5 to 7 minutes or until melted and medium-brown in color. Drizzle the sugar mixture into the bundt pan and then swizzle the sugar around so as to coat the bottom.

Beat cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer in a large bowl for 1 minute.

Reduce speed to low, and add eggs and egg yolks, and beat until well blended.

Add all three milks slowly, beating at low speed for 1 minute.

Add pumpkin puree and spices and continue to mix for 1 to 2 minutes. Mixture may be slightly lumpy. Pour mixture over the sugar into the bundt pan.

Place cake pan in a roasting pan and add hot water halfway up sides of cake pan.

Bake for 1 hour 20 minutes or until edges are set (the center will not be set).

Remove from oven; remove cake pan from water, and place on a wire rack and let cool completely for at least 1 hour.

Then transfer to the refrigerator and chill for 4 hours or overnight.

Run a knife around edges to loosen, and invert onto a serving platter.

Note: The flan will continue to set as it cools and will set completely when it is chilled.

Photography by Jeanine Thurston

  Pin It


  1. I am so trying this. I love flan, but have never made it. I love tres leches cake, but again, have never made it. Then I’m going to tease Jeanine like crazy, because even if it falls apart coming out of the pan I’m going to get a spoon and it eat. There’s a chance I won’t even share. 🙂

  2. That flan looks amazing and ever so exquisite! Lovely pics.



  3. I’ve got this ear-marked for when my son, born and raised in Mexico, comes home to Mexico for Christmas! Thank you. It looks wonderful!

    • We’d LOVE to hear back from you Victoria! I actually made it again for Thanksgiving but decided to strain the mixture and the flan was beautiful, smooth, and velvety. Either way the taste is amazing. It just depends on what type of texture you decide to try. Best of luck with this easy recipe.

  4. I love how new recipes are created — on hope!

    I discovered that if I dip the pan into cold water for a few minutes, it helps the flan come out with coming apart. Mine has come apart before and it is devastating! (Glad yours survived.)

    It sounds delicious, as anything with the words “tres leches” often is!

    • Gracias Carrie. I made it for Thanksgiving and again I was nervous to flip it. It truly is an easy recipe, but because it’s so delicate I just wanted to be sure it didn’t fall apart. Thankfully it came out perfectly and delicious and all of our guests loved it!

  5. That’s really pretty and I bet really tasty. Would be a nice update to any Thanksgiving table.

  6. OMG– this looks amazing!!! I have never made flan before so the cold water tip is a good one!

  7. mija, that looks ultra decadent for days to come! love. you know i’m a huge pumpkin flan! like your version.

  8. Pumpkin flan? I can’t imagine how insanely good this must be.

  9. Sounds yummy amiga.. Ayla aw the picture and said” ” lets make that cake mama” she is such a little baker.. I still have to attemp emanadas.. we’ll see which one we do first.

  10. I am SO tempted to try this for Thursday! It looks divine. Thank you for sharing this…

  11. WOW

    I would pay serious money for this – because there’s really no way I could do this on my own. Ever.

  12. Boy, do I wish we were neighbors! Not only is this a beautiful flan, but I love your serving dish too! I’m going to have to try this out for sure. We’re huge tres leches lovers AND flan lovers in our house.

  13. I love Pumpkin Tres Leches Flan!!! It’s on my list of things to make as soon as I find some pumpkins in my pueblito! (I’m hoping it’s this week, because this would be perfect for Thanksgiving!)

  14. This looks amazing!! I love tres leches, but have never tried it with pumpkin! Thanks for sharing!

  15. Pingback: Mexican-Style Thanksgiving Fiesta « Muy Bueno Cookbook

  16. Incredible recipe! Congratulations!

  17. Nothing short of fabulosity, in all it’s deliciousness! The photos are divine, too. I have a similar recipe, but took easy street:

  18. This looks fantastic!!! I would love to be in your neighborhood, too, and have this dessert with a cup of coffee. I will try it, de todas maneras.

  19. Pingback: Your First Flan: Dessert Recipes and Memories

  20. Pingback: Spice Up Your Thanksgiving With 6 Latin Sweet Potato Recipes |

  21. I finally got to try this awesome recipe!!! It definitely taste as good as it looks! I do have a question, what is the consistency of your flan? I have tried Puerto Rican flan which has a thicker consistency like cheesecake. Does yours have more of a jello-ish consistency like Mexican flan or a thicker one? BRW!! We had a competition today at my school for the best pumpkin recipes and this won second place!!!!!! I didn’t do a good job of flipping it onto my platter so it didn’t look as cute as yours but it’s still won!!! I know i would have gotten first place if I had done a better job at flipping it. I am so going to do it again and bring it back for my coworkers to see it in all it’s glory 🙂

  22. I made this flan last thanksgiving and it definitely did not last, but I was very proud that this year while planning Thanksgiving my mother actually begged me to make this flan again!

  23. I purchased your cookbook and made this for a luncheon we had at the pottery studio. Everyone that tried it absolutely LOVED it. I didn’t think I’d have any left to take home for me for a snack.

  24. When I made this the batter is really runny.  What consistency is it supposed to be?  I’m praying it sets up in the oven. 

  25. Hello,
    In thinking of trying this for Thanksgiving and I had a question! I don’t need a box of cake mix right? Just the ingredients listed

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *