Matcha and Coconut Tres Leches Cake

For someone who is semi-lactose intolerant (unfortunately), I still wanted to try the infamous tres leches cake! Tres Leches Cake is usually made with 3 components: cake sponge, milk filling, and the toppings. There are usually 4 different types of milk in the filling and topping (whole milk, condensed milk, evaporated milk, and heavy cream), which makes this an excellent cake for milk lovers! However, I actually wanted to enjoy the remainder of my Saturday afternoon so I experimented with a milk substitution of coconut milk, and took out the evaporated milk. I love coconut, so this substitution didn’t bother me at all and still yielded an extremely moist and milky cake. The addition of matcha gave the cake a lovely green tea taste, which went surprisingly well with the rich coconut flavor. This is completely optional though.

The cake is a light, almost chiffon-like sponge. I highly recommend separating the egg yolks and egg whites, as whipping the egg whites will give the cake a lovely lift and incorporate lots of air. However, if you don’t want to, Ina Garten’s version of this cake has her whipping whole eggs in a mixer on high-speed for 10 minutes. Just make sure you’re whipping until everything is light and fluffy – this is key! As for the filling, yes it’s a lot of liquid, but don’t panic as everything will soak into the sponge!

Overall, this cake is definitely a winner and would be a lovely dessert addition to any party or event. I liked topping mine with whipped cream, strawberries, and cinnamon. Other toppings could include toasted pistachios, coconut, sprinkles, other berries, and etc.

  • Taste: ★★★★
  • Difficulty: ★★
  • Ingredients: ★★★★
  • Time: ~3 hours (depending on how long you leave it in the fridge to soak)

Ingredients (makes one 8×8 cake)

  • 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp matcha powder (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup sugar (for yolk mixture) + 1 tbsp (for egg whites)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 13 1/2 ounce can coconut milk
  • 1 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 tbsp whole milk or cream
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tbsp icing Sugar
  • Butter for the pan
  • Toppings
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and butter the base of a 7×9″ or 8×8″ baking pan.
  2. Separate the egg yolks and egg whites into separate bowls.
  3. Add 1/2 cup sugar to the egg yolks and whip for few minutes (electric or hand) until pale, light, and fluffy.
  4. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt to the yolk and sugar mixture. Fold the mixture gently with a spoon or spatula until just combined. Set aside and move onto the whites.
  5. Whisk the egg whites by hand or by an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Add the tbsp of sugar and continue whisking until stiff peaks form.
  6. Add the fluffy egg white mixture to the yolk mixture in thirds. Fold in the egg whites gently each time so as to not knock out any air.
  7. Once the egg whites have JUST been incorporated into the yolk mixture and you don’t see any more white fluffy bits, stop mixing! Pour into a buttered baking pan and bake for 18-20 minutes.
  8. When the cake is baking, make the milk filling by combining a can of coconut milk and a can of sweetened condensed milk.
  9. Once the cake is done, let cake cool for 10 minutes. Once the cake is cooler, poke many MANY holes in the cake with a fork or skewer ( I mean a LOT of holes ). Then pour on the milk filling slowly across the entire cake. There will be a lot of liquid but don’t worry!
  10. Spread out the milk mixture so the filling soaks into the holes. Then cover and put in fridge for at least 1 hour to soak (overnight is best).
  11. Once the mixture has been mostly soaked, top with whipped cream* and any toppings you’d like!

*beat heavy whipping cream and sugar until soft peaks form

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