Quesillo de Auyama / Pumpkin Cream Caramel

Yields: 6 Servings Difficulty: Medium Prep Time: 30 Mins Cook Time: 40 Mins Total Time: 1 Hr 10 Mins

In my previous post “ the pumpkin series”. I promised to include a Venezuelan recipe which is, indeed, my first Venezuelan cuisine recipe on my blog!! A well-known version of the traditional quesillo including pumpkin, yes, this time around we are using an actual pumpkin or Auyama, the fruit’s popular name in Venezuela.

The actual pumpkin recipe is here

At this point, you must be wondering what is quesillo? Quesillo is a dessert, typically served in a family gathering or celebration, it is a must in every piñata (kids birthday party) served together with gelatin and cake. Quesillo is also served in restaurants and sold in supermarkets. It is an iconic dessert in the Venezuelan cuisine.

El quesillo has two components, custard and caramel. The custard is cooked in a recipient covered by a caramel coat, using a water bath or double boiler method. In Venezuela  you may find a pan known as “quesillera’ especially designed for the making of quesillo, and if one does not have the quesillera, a can of danish cookies will do the job.  Once cooked, the custard or flan is turn around and you will see the caramel sliding on the custard until it reaches the serving plate, when you see that, you cannot resist to the quesillo charm anymore.

Every Venezuelan family has the recipe for a perfect quesillo, it means that you will hardly find a quesillo with the same taste or texture when you go visit a family home. Moreover, some people like to add a slightly little flavour by incorporating pineapple juice, coffee, coconut milk and, of course, pumpkin. That’s why we are here.

In this recipe, we will use home-made pumpkin pure made by steaming the flesh of seeded and peeled auyama. It also includes sweetened condensed milk. I used, as you my expect, a Dutch brand which happens to be a little bit less sweet than the one I used back Venezuela but it works just fine. My recipe includes those spices that I love: ground cinnamon and cloves, the magic duo, same I used in my carrot cake recipe. The custard was perfumed with golden Venezuelan rum.  For presentation, I baked the custard in small size ramekins, and plated the individual portions decorated with dutch redcurrant,  the best of my two home countries merge in one beautiful and delicious dessert.



For the caramel, I prefer to use brown instead of white sugar since it adds not only sweetness but also a sugar cane flavour that pairs well with the spices in the custard. I might call this recipe Spiced up Pumpkin Quesillo. What do you think? Should I change the name of the recipe? Add your comment below.



Did you know? 

  • A few well known Venezuelan rum brands rank in top 20 worldwide?
  • Venezuelan rums are produced under very high standards, even  the processes are regulated by law, which  prohibits, for example the use of artificial, flavorings or colours. They provide an strict and unique set of  rules that encourage a superb final product appreciated by rum connoisseurs and rum lovers.
  • Since 2003,  a  selected group of Venezuelan rums count with the designation of origin  “Ron de Venezuela”, granted by the country’s Autonomous Service of Intellectual Property (SAPI).

This topic deserves a full article in the blog, wait for it!

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0/8 Ingredients
Adjust Servings
  • Caramel


0/8 Instructions
    Prep: Homemade Pumpkin pure and Caramel
  • Steam about 400 grams of peel and seed pumpkin until soft and tender. The quesillo calls for 300 grams, however, I steam a bit more in case there are product loses during the steaming process. In a blender, process the pumpkin until you have a fine and soft purée.
  • In a small saucepan bring sugar and water to a boil, stirring by moving the pan in small circles until sugar is dissolved. Set the heat to medium and cook the syrup slowly, without stirring, until golden caramel.
  • Custard
  • Pour the hot caramel into the ramekins, dividing it evenly. Make sure the bottom is fully coated. Set aside.
  • In the blender containing the pumpkin puree, add the condensed milk, rum or vanilla, ground cinnamon, cloves and a pinch of salt. Mix until fully incorporated.
  • Divide the custard into the ramekins. Cover them tightly with aluminum foil and place them in a ovenproof baking pan .Fill the pan with warm water to about half-way up the sides.
  • Bake for 35 to 45 minutes in the oven at 180°C (350°F), until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Keep an eye on the level of water ,you may add more if it you notice it evaporates. Do it carefully, It is important that no water goes in to the ramekins.
  • Once cooked, remove from the oven and water bath and let it cool completely, then refrigerate to chill for at least two hours before serving.
  • To serve, run a knife around the edge of the ramekin place the serving platter on top, and invert the entire thing. I topped it up with redcurrant which brings an extra freshness to the dish.


  • If  the skin  is very difficult to remove, cut your pumpkin into wedges (say 8 wedges) , seed and microwave them for one minute at the time, checking that the skin is soft enough and the flesh can be scooped out with a spoon with almost no effort, do not overcook it.
  • Most likely you will have left over pumpkin . You may dice it and freeze it to be used another day. Frozen pumpkin may last up to 6 months, if stored correctly.


  1. Amo el Quesillo y me encanta la calabaza y el Ron. Así que sera la combinación perfecta gracias por la receta

  2. Hallo Tatiana!, congratulations on your blog, the pictures are amazing and the recipes look so yummy! I went to South America last year and was amazed by the food there. I will definitely try your recipes and look forward for more
    Groetjes, 🖐🏼🇳🇱

  3. Tati, it´s amazing and delicious recipe, flavors from ours country (venezuela) I´ll try it and share with friends….

  4. Me encanta el quesillo, pero de ahuyama nunca lo he probado, así que me la guardo. Gracias

  5. Que delicia de quesillo, es muy parecido al flan español, pero desde luego tiene su diferencia, me encanta y como tengo calabaza seguro que lo preparare

    1. El quesillo es muy parecido y muy probablemente sea un derivadodel Miami, espero te guste la receta al probarla

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