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Japanese Pudding vs Flan: What’s the Difference?

If you’re a foodie, you know the world of pudding and flan can be complicated.

While both make delicious desserts that are loved around the globe, there are some subtle differences between Japanese pudding and flan.

Whether you want to impress your guests with an intriguing dessert or just satisfy your curiosity around these two classic confections, we’re here to guide you through the nuanced world of Japanese pudding vs Flan.

Get ready for a journey full of history, flavor excitement and plenty of helpful suggestions about how to pick out your perfect puddings.

What is Japanese Pudding?

Japanese pudding is a classic dessert from Japan.

It’s made with three main ingredients: milk, eggs, and sugar.

It’s cooked until it turns into a soft custard-like consistency.

It’s not as dense as traditional Western puddings, and has a silky texture.

You can add different flavors to the pudding.

For example: matcha (green tea powder), black sesame, caramel, or strawberry.

This makes it popular around the world.

What makes Japanese pudding special is its texture.

It’s not like flan.

Japanese pudding uses regular milk, which makes it lighter.

And, it’s usually served plain or with fresh fruit.

No caramelized sugar on top like in Mexican-style flan.

What is Flan?

Flan is a beloved dessert, found in Latin America, Europe, and Asia.

It’s known for its creamy texture and golden-brown sugar coating.

To make it, a custard mix of milk, eggs, sugar, and flavorings is baked or steamed until set.

It’s usually served cold, and can be jazzed up with coffee, vanilla, or citrus.

Topping it with whipped cream or fruit compote can make it extra sweet.

Where did this delightful dish come from? This is widely disputed, but one thing is for sure: it’s a popular way to end any meal.

Ingredients Used in Japanese Pudding and Flan

Japanese pudding and flan may be alike in many ways, but their ingredients are quite different.

Both include cream, milk, sugar and eggs.

However, Japanese pudding also contains cornstarch, while flan has condensed or evaporated milk.

This gives them distinct textures and tastes.

Japanese pudding is denser, while flan is more delicate.

Toppings on each dessert also depend on the region.

Caramel syrup or berries pair best with Japanese pudding.

Whipped cream or nuts go best with flan.

Cooking and Preparation Methods

Cooking and preparing Japanese pudding and Flan have a few things in common.

But they differ significantly too.

Pudding and Flan share the same ingredients: milk, eggs, sugar, and a water bath.

But the special ingredients set them apart.

Pudding has agar-agar, and instead of cream, Flan has condensed and evaporated milk.

The different cooking processes yield unique textures.

Pudding must be boiled first.

Then chilled until the agar sets.

This gives it a firmer texture.

On the other hand, Flan is baked in a caramel-lined dish directly in the oven.

No matter what you prefer, it’s important to know the differences.

If you want to experiment, you need to understand them.

Texture and Consistency Comparison

Japanese pudding and flan are renowned desserts worldwide.

What separates them in terms of texture? Both have a soft, creamy texture.

Japanese pudding is firmer and custard-like.

On the other hand, flan is jiggly and silky smooth.

The texture difference originates from preparation practices.

Pudding usually has more eggs and cornstarch, resulting in a denser and pudding-like consistency.

Flan has more eggs and milk/cream, giving it a lighter and silkier feel.

Caramel sauce also affects their textures.

Usually, caramel is added before serving.

With pudding, the caramel creates a firm base layer.

For flan, caramel is poured over the top before baking, creating a softer texture.

In summary, Japanese pudding and flan have similar tastes and appearances, but different textures.

Whether you like dense and creamy or light and jiggly, these two desserts offer unique experiences.

Flavor and Taste Differences

Japanese pudding and flan vary in flavor and taste.

Pudding has a creamy texture ideal for caramel or vanilla sauce.

While flan has a unique eggy flavor and smooth consistency.

Pudding is made of milk, cream and eggs.

It contains more milk than custard powder, making it milder with less sweet taste.

In contrast, flan uses condensed milk and eggs to produce a velvety texture.

Japanese pudding has a lighter feel compared to flan.

Plus, flan is usually sweeter due to added sugar in condensed milk.

In conclusion, both desserts are creamy and sweet.

It all comes down to your preference.

Similarities Between Japanese Pudding and Flan

Japanese pudding and flan are two popular desserts.

They are creamy and custard-like.

Usually served cold, with caramel on top.

Both use sugar, eggs, milk and vanilla extract.

However, there are differences.

Flan is from Spain and usually made with cream cheese or evaporated milk.

Japanese pudding uses cornstarch as a thickener.

It is firmer.

And, often flavored with matcha or soybean powder.

These desserts are alike, yet different.

Unique preparation techniques give them distinct textures.

Cultural and Regional Variations

Japanese pudding and flan may appear alike, however, the differences in taste and texture stem from cultural and regional variations.

Japanese pudding usually has a more intense caramel flavor and a firmer consistency than flan.

On the other hand, flan is smoother and includes more eggs.

Toppings also differ depending on the area; Japanese pudding often comes with cream or fruit whereas flan could be served with dulce de leche or caramel sauce.

These slight contrasts point out the diversity of worldwide dessert customs.

Serving and Presentation Styles

Japanese pudding and flan have exclusive presentation styles.

Flan is usually served in small ramekins with caramel sauce, while purin is mostly placed in a bigger bowl and decorated with whipped cream or fruit.

Flan is typically removed from its container and put on a plate.

But, Japanese pudding is usually left in its original dish.

Both desserts are attractive.

They have a creamy texture and vivid colors.

These desserts will look great on any dinner party table.

Whether you prefer the classic flan or the playful purin, they are both incredibly yummy.


Japanese pudding and flan are two custard desserts with unique origins and ingredients.

Pudding is made with egg yolks, sugar, milk and cream.

Flan is made with eggs, sugar, vanilla extract, evaporated milk and condensed milk.

Pudding is firmer and has a subtle sweet taste, while flan has a richer flavor from the milk.

Pudding originates from Japan, introduced in the Meiji era.

Flan has Hispanic roots and is found in Latin American countries.

It’s up to you which you prefer.

But understanding their differences will help you better appreciate these delicious desserts.

Japanese Pudding vs Flan: What’s the Difference?

Andrew Gray
Curious about the nuances between Japanese pudding and flan? Delve into the distinctions between these two creamy desserts to discover their unique textures, flavors, and cultural origins.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course This vs That
Servings 1 Serving


  • Japanese Pudding
  • Flan


  • Choose between Japanese pudding and flan based on your preference and desired taste.
  • Follow the recipe instructions for your chosen dessert, ensuring you have the necessary ingredients.
  • Prepare the pudding or flan mixture according to the recipe, incorporating the specified ingredients in the proper ratios.
  • Pour the mixture into individual serving dishes or a larger dish, depending on your preference.
  • Bake or steam the dessert according to the recipe instructions, ensuring it sets and achieves the desired consistency.
  • Allow the pudding or flan to cool and refrigerate for a few hours to enhance its texture and flavor.
  • Serve chilled and enjoy the creamy and luscious goodness of your Japanese pudding or flan.
  • Experiment with variations and toppings to customize your dessert and explore different flavor profiles.
  • Delight in the unique characteristics and cultural influences of each dessert as you savor their delectable taste.
Keyword Japanese Pudding vs Flan
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