Thursday, June 13, 2013

Tres Leches Coconut Cake

There was leftover coconut milk at home. So I thought about what I could make with it.

You know what? I reckon my bakes almost always start from these two reasons - either there was something that I really wanted to get (in season produce), or there was something lying around (leftovers). I wonder if it's the same with you guys.
 Tres Leches Coconut Cake

 Triple milks - Coconut, regular and condensed; Toasted coconut flakes

Then I thought about a tres leches cake. A cake that involves baking up a fluffy soft sponge cake soaked in a mixture of three types of milk (typically whole milk, condensed milk and evaporated milk). I found a recipe that used coconut milk instead and was quite excited on how it would turn out (since I've not tried such a cake before).

The total amount of liquid was really quite a lot, and I was quite doubtful whether it would be too much for the piece of sponge that I had baked up and left to cool. Feeling a bit apprehensive (and with crossed fingers), I poked loads of holes throughout the top of the cake with a fork, before drizzling the milks mixture over the cake. The cake did managed to soak all that liquid up (amazing), and the end result yielded a really moist cake.

Since I've not tried a tres leches cake before, I wasn't sure if my cake texture was spot on or not. But anyway, I was quite surprised that the Sis actually quite liked the cake, since she's not a big fan of cakes in general. I personally thought that the cake was just too moist (I know, can there ever be such a thing? Yes, apparently ha!), and I would have liked it much better if it was less, you know, wet. Nevertheless, it was quite a tasty cake, and I'm glad that I've striked off yet another new thing off my baking list. Now, the next to-bake cake - a red velvet...

Tres Leches Coconut Cake (adapted from Kristin at Pastry Affair)

5 large eggs, separated
225g granulated sugar, divided into 165g and 60g
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup whole milk
110g plain flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 175C. Grease a 9 x 13-inch cake pan.
In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks with 165g sugar until the yolks are thick and pale yellow. Whisk in the milk and vanilla.
Fold in the flour, baking powder, and salt and mix until just combined.
In a clean bowl, beat the egg whites till soft peaks form. Add the remaining 60g sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form.
Gently fold a third of the egg whites into the cake batter, mixing until just combined. Repeat with remaining egg whites two more times till all the egg whites are folded in.
Pour the batter into prepared pan and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until cake is lightly browned and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in pan until cake reaches room temperature.
Using a fork, pierce the top of the cake all around so that the glaze can soak through later.

1 can (14 ounces) coconut milk
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup milk

In a medium bowl, whisk together coconut milk, sweetened condensed milk, and milk. Pour evenly over cooled cake, making sure to get the edges and corners as well as the center.
Refrigerate cake overnight so the cake can absorb the milk glaze mixture thoroughly.

2 cups whipping cream
2 tbsp icing sugar, sifted
splash of vanilla
coconut flakes, toasted

Combine whipping cream, icing sugar and vanilla in a large bowl. Whip till soft-stiff peaks. Spread over cake, then top with toasted coconut flakes. Slice and serve.


  1. I grew up eating tres leche in Miami and it's meant to be very moist. Dripping in milk is how it's supposed to be, and I love adding coconut milk, looks good.

  2. hi! thanks for the clarification that it's meant to be as moist as it was ! :)

  3. I live in Miami and have had quite a bit of Tres Leches. Yes, they're meant to be moist, some even still with a puddle of milk at the bottom of the cake..... Yours look good.

  4. Sounds delicious. I've been seeing tres leches cakes pop up quite a bit in blogland, but haven't yet tried it. I think this would be a place to start.

  5. Tried this recipe it's really yummy! The cake just melts in your mouth. However, I only use 1 can of condensed milk and 1/3 of milk. Thank you for the recipe :)


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