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
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and butter the base of a 7×9″ or 8×8″ baking pan.
- Separate the egg yolks and egg whites into separate bowls.
- Add 1/2 cup sugar to the egg yolks and whip for few minutes (electric or hand) until pale, light, and fluffy.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- When the cake is baking, make the milk filling by combining a can of coconut milk and a can of sweetened condensed milk.
- 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!
- 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).
- 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