Coconut Tres Leches Cake

Cakes | January 12, 2017 | By

Good morning friend. You need this cake in your life. Because, let’s face it, this was probably your first real 5-day work week in like 2 weeks. Or maybe you finally got your kids back to school and realized that somehow a mini tornado went through your home over Christmas break. Or maybe you spent an hour cleaning out your fridge after being gone for a week. Gross.

Whatever your situation is, I know that you need this cake. Right now. This weekend. At all times. Unless you’re lactose intolerant, in which case this cake probably isn’t for you. And I’m sorry about your dairy allergy. Also, when I was little I had never seen ‘lactose intolerant’ written out before so I thought it was lac-toes-and-tolerant. And does anyone else remember Amanda Bynes playing a lactose intolerant superhero on All That?

But moving past food allergies and TV shows that shaped my youth, this cake goes really well with the guac we made on Tuesday and the taco chili we made yesterday. So this has apparently been the segment of RGL where I write a meal plan for you. And I am so happy it is a Tex-Mex meal plan that ends with this delicious dessert. Stay tuned ’cause on Saturday I’ll have a cocktail that will bring this whole shindig together for you.

The nice thing about tres leches cake is you really don’t have to worry about it being too dry (every cake-bakers worst nightmare, one that I recently experienced with a brown sugar bundt cake I am working on) because you pump the baked cake full of milk. Sounds weird, tastes delicious. I made this cake the night before Christmas Eve (or Christmas Eve-Eve, if you will…) and it took a lot of restraint for Lane and I to not eat the whole thing between the two of us. But we knew we would be heading down to Florida for 4 days of rich Christmas-y food, so we showed some restraint (we did however, eat the entire bowl of guacamole I made; restraint only goes so far people).

When we got back 4 days later, the cake was in the fridge and still super yummy. It paired very nicely with our dinner of snack mix that I suggested. So you know that cake will keep and it’s versatile. Or we just like weird combinations. Personally, I like this cake cold. But you can serve it room temp if you want, just make sure that you plan out when you want to serve it because you either need to eat it or refrigerate it immediately after pouring on the milk and frosting it.

Other than that, the “hardest” part of this recipe is measuring all your ingredients out and poking a bunch of holes into a cooled cake. Easy-peasy.

Coconut Tres Leches Cake
Serves 12
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
1 hr
  1. 6 eggs, separated*
  2. 1 1/4 c. sugar
  3. 1 1/2 c. flour
  4. 1/2 t. salt
  5. 1 T. baking powder
  6. 3 t. vanilla
  7. 1/2 c. coconut milk
Tres Leches
  1. 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  2. 1 can evaporated milk
  3. 1/4 c. coconut milk
  1. 1 c. butter
  2. 4 1/2 c. powdered sugar
  3. 1/2 t. salt
  4. 2 T. coconut milk
  1. 1/4 c. shredded coconut, toasted
  1. Preheat oven to 325 and grease 9x13 cake pan; get three bowls ready. In a large bowl using an electric mixer beat egg yolks until thick and pale. Beat in sugar; stir in vanilla and coconut milk and set aside.
  2. In another bowl whisk together flour, salt, and baking powder. Clean off the beaters. In a third bowl beat egg whites until thick, foamy, and stiff (when you pull the tip of the beater out of the egg whites it should form a peak).
  3. Mix flour into egg yolk mixture. Gently fold in egg whites. Pour into cake pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Cool cake for at least 30 minutes.
  4. While cake is cooling whisk together the three milks. Grab a chopstick (or something similar) and poke holes throughout the cake. Pour milks over cake and refrigerate.
  5. To make the icing get a large bowl and your (cleaned) beaters. Beat butter and add sugar about 2 cups at a time. Beat in salt and coconut milk. Frost cake and garnish with coconut. Serve and enjoy!
  1. *Separating eggs is super easy: Get two bowls ready. Holding the egg over one bowl, crack the egg shell in half. Pass the egg yolk between the two shell halves while the egg white falls into the bowl below. Once all the egg white has fallen into the bowl, pour the egg yolk into the 2nd bowl and repeat with remaining eggs.
Rose Garden Lane
Now I’m going to go watch some old All That episodes on YouTube…

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