Pumpkin flan, a twist on the classic dish

This recipe is a low-calorie alternative that even provides the same cinnamon- and clove-spice aromas as a fresh-baked pie.

Nothing says Thanksgiving like pumpkins. The over-sized orange gourds provide a variety of decorating options and are a versatile baking ingredient. Pumpkin pie is a staple, but how about a new dessert? Don’t be too hasty and dismiss the idea. Pumpkin flan offers a delicious fall twist on a Mexican dessert standard.

The custard dessert, when adapted for the season, provides a healthy and spicy alternative to pumpkin pie. This recipe is a low-calorie alternative that even provides the same cinnamon- and clove-spice aromas as a fresh-baked pie that so many people love having waft through their homes during the festive seasons . Adding pumpkin to the classic Mexican dessert enhances the sweetness of the dish while adding an earthy depth to the flavor. Pumpkin , naturally sweet, is also full of fiber and versatile enough to use in a number of different dishes.

The pumpkin flan can be served in custard cups or removed from the cups and plated for a more dramatic effect. There are a number of options for garnishing the flan : whipped cream, pomegranate seeds, a mixture of berries, or a mixture of roasted pumpkin seeds and candied pecans.

Feeling inspired to experiment with other recipes?  Try  tequila mousse .

Pumpkin Flan Recipe


  • 1/2 cup unpacked brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 tsp table salt
  • 16 oz canned pumpkin
  • 1 cup evaporated milk (use fat-free evaporated milk for a lighter dish)
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 3/4 cup fat-free egg substitute

Topping options:

  • 8 tbsp whipped topping
  • 3/4 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1 cup berry mixture (blueberries, raspberries, blackberries)
  • 1/2 cup mixture of roasted pumpkin seeds, candied pecans


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray eight six-ounce custard cups with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Stir together sugar, cinnamon, cloves, cayenne, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk in pumpkin, milk, orange juice, and egg substitute. Divide mixture equally among the eight custard cups.
  3. Set custard cups in a high-rimmed roasting pan and pour boiling water around them, to a depth of 1 inch. Bake until firm around edges and slightly puffed, about 45 minutes.
  4. Remove cups from water ( be careful not to burn yourself ), cool completely, cover (plastic wrap works well), and refrigerate. Cooked flan can be left in the cups and refrigerated up to day before serving.
  5. Serve in the custard cup , or remove the flan from cup by inverting the cup onto a serving dish or shallow bowl. Top each cup or dished flan with 2-3 tbsp of your topping of choice.
  6. Yields 8 custard cups.