Coconut Tres Leches Cake

photo 2-30

Tres leches cake is one of my favorite desserts.  The tres leches, or three milks, make this sponge cake moist and slightly sweet without being overpowering.  This recipe is courtesy of Pati’s Mexican Table.   I substituted coconut milk for the evaporated milk called for in the recipe and I like this version of the cake even more than the original one.  A bit of toasted coconut on top of the cake dresses it up and makes it dinner party worthy.

As an added bonus the cake keeps well.  You can make the cake one day then store, tightly wrapped, in the refrigerator for up to three more.  The longer the cake sits the more of the milk it absorbs making it taste even better.  You can add the whipped cream before storing it but be sure to add the coconut right before serving.  Enjoy.

COCONUT TRES LECHES CAKE

For the cake:

9 large eggs, separated

1 cup granulated sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

For the sauce:

1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk

1 12-ounce can coconut milk

1 cup whole milk

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

For the topping:

2 cups heavy cream

1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar

1/2 cup toasted flaked coconut

To make the cake:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly grease a 9 x 13 inch baking pan and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer on medium-high speed for 4-5 minutes or until they hold soft peaks.  Reduce the speed to medium and slowly add the sugar, beating until the whites hold stiff, shiny peaks.  Set aside and wash the beaters.
  • Place the egg yolks in a separate large bowl and beat on medium-high speed until fluffy and pale yellow, about 5 minutes.  Add the vanilla and continue beating for another minute.
  • Gently and slowly fold the egg yolk mixture into the egg white mixture, taking care not to deflate the egg whites.  Fold in the flour, 1/4 cup at a time, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl with the spatula to mix well.  The batter will look a bit streaky.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 22-25 minutes.  Place the pan on a wire rack to cool.
  • Invert the cake onto a rack and remove the pan.  Inverting the cake again, move the cake to a rimmed platter that is large enough to hold the cake and the sauce.  Using a fork, poke holes in the top of the cake so that it will absorb the sauce.

For the sauce:

  • In a large bowl, combine the three milks and the vanilla extract, stirring until well blended.
  • Pour all of the milk over the top of the cake.  Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

For the topping:

  • Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.  Spread the coconut flakes onto a rimmed baking sheet and place in the oven.
  • Watching carefully, toast until browned 5-7 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and cool completely.
  • Place the heavy cream in a medium-sized bowl and using an electric mixer beat on medium-high speed for 3 minutes.
  • Sprinkle the confectioners sugar over the cream and continue to beat until soft peaks form.
  • Spread the whipped cream over the top of the cake and sprinkle with the toasted coconut.
  • Serve immediately or wrap tightly and return to the refrigerator for up to three days.

Serves 10-12

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One thought on “Coconut Tres Leches Cake

  1. Heidie Makes April 18, 2014 at 14:14 Reply

    Happy Easter!:)

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