Tres Leches (Milk Cake)

Remember eating a humongous piece of cake with a tall glass of milk? Well now imagine putting the milk into the cake, but not just any milk – three different types of milk: sweet condensed milk, evaporated milk, and my favorite, coconut milk. In a nutshell this is a sponge cake soaked in milk which is why it has milk oozing out its pores and screamin’ to be eaten. Yes oozing. Oh and another thing, its eaten cold – ice cold, with a dollop of freshly whipped cream and if you like, topped with your favorite fruit. Either way you’re gonna love it.

I love using coconut milk and decided to replace the heavy cream with coconut milk and the result was magnifique. Be sure to make it the day before you plan to serve it, this will give the cake time to get really cold and all three milks to become one with the cake. The cold and creamy texture of this cake is perfect after a spicy meal. I also love it in the morning with a hot cup of coffee. That’s if my kids don’t beat me to it. This cake never lasts long in my home and I love that the kids get so creative with their fruit toppings.

In planning my Easter menu this year I thought this would make a lovely addition to our table.

Wishing you a warm and happy springtime and an Easter bright with joy.









Tres Leches (Milk Cake)

Yield: 18 servings


1 cup all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 eggs, separated
1 cup sugar, divided
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup coconut milk, make sure it’s milk not cream

Tres Leches:
1 (12 ounce) can evaporated milk
1 (14 ounce) can sweet condensed milk
¼ cup coconut milk
Splash rum or brandy (optional)

2 cup heavy whipping cream, cold
1/4 cups sugar

½ cup toasted coconut
Chunks of pineapple (or fruit of choice)
Mint sprigs for garnish (optional)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Grease a 9” x 13” baking pan.

In a large mixing bowl combine flour, baking powder, and salt.

Separate egg yolks and egg whites. In a separate bowl beat the yolks with ¾ cup of sugar. Mix in the vanilla and coconut milk.

Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and mix these gently until combined.

In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites on high until you have soft peaks. Add ¼ cup sugar and beat on high until stiff peaks form.

Fold egg whites into the flour batter gently.

Pour the batter into a pretty serving pan and spread out until batter looks even.

Bake for 20-25 minutes. Check to make sure cake is ready by inserting a toothpick into the center of the cake. If toothpick comes out clean it’s ready. Remove from the oven and let it cool for about 20 minutes.

While cake is still warm, pierce the cake all over with a fork making sure you pierce the edges. This will allow the milk mixture to drain into the cake when you pour it over the pierced cake.

Whip together the evaporated milk, the sweet condensed milk, coconut milk, and splash of rum (optional). This will make about 3 cups.

Slowly pour about 2 ½ cups over the entire cake. The milk will puddle over the cake. Make sure to get around the edges. Don’t worry about the puddling of the milk the sponge cake will absorb it in about 30 minutes. Save the rest of the milk for later. Cover the cake with plastic wrap, place in the fridge, and chill for about 4 hours or overnight.

In a large mixing bowl add the cold whipping cream and sugar and mix on high until fluffy, about 1-2 minutes. Reserve in covered container in the fridge until ready to use.

Ladle a tablespoon of the leftover milk onto serving plate. Place a piece of cake on the milk, add dollop of whipping cream, sprinkle with toasted coconut, and top with pineapple chunks or your favorite fruit. Garnish with mint spring.

*Note: Toast coconut in a warm skillet without any oil. It toasts quickly so don’t leave unattended.

Written by Veronica / Photos by Veronica

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  1. Oooohhh…I love the idea of using the coconut milk. Inspired! I can’t wait to try this recipe on my son when he comes home next–Tres Leches is is favorite!

  2. Hmmm coconut milk! I’ve never had it that way but now i want to try it!

  3. This sounds fantastic! I keep meaning to make a version of Tres Leches with coconut – I’ll probably do it for mi esposo on his birthday this year. Thanks for the inspiration! And crazy – our recipes are almost identical!!

    • Heather hope you like it with the coconut milk…it’s a nice suttle taste…add more to the drizzle milk if you want a bigger coconut flavor.

  4. This cake looks amazing!! Congrats on your Saveur nominations 🙂

    • Gracias Marla…we were shocked at the nomination and to be amongst so many talented bloggers is truly amazing…I guess some people do like our blog and are certainly watching. Thank you for stopping by.

  5. Hi Girls!
    This looks amazing…..been waiting to stumble upon a good recipe for tres leches ever since I learned that I can make evap and cond milk with milk from our dairy! Yum! Congratulations on your nomination in Saveur…really lovely blog you have =) xx

    • Imen Gracias for stopping by…so jealous that you can make your own evaporated milk and condensed milk…when can we stop by for a demo? Thank you for the congrats…you have a beautiful blog too amiga! Hope to meet you sometime soon. Please let us know how your tres leches turns out.

  6. This is on our table for Easter Sunday meal!!!

    • Hola Pete, Hope you were able to get the Tres Leches on your table for Easter and that it was gobbled up…my sister served it too and she said it was a big hit!

  7. I looove tres leches cakes. I have to make this one specifically. Oh, Lord! It contains 2 of my fav ingredients: Condensed milk and coconut milk too. Thanks so much for the recipe. xxx for each one of you.

    • Hola Denise…tres leches is addicitve…my kids and I sneak into the fridge with forks to steal bites when there is any leftover and before you know it it’s all gone and no one fesses up as to who ate it….bit by bit…hehehe…XXX to you too amiga!

  8. Mmm coconut… Puerto Ricans use condensed milk, evaporated milk, and cream of coconut.

  9. It seems like only 1 cup of flour wouldn’t be enough to make a whole 9×13 cake?? I’m making it for a bit of a crowd, so I want to make sure I have enough. Should I double it? Looks yummy!!

    • HI Whitney, I know 1 cup does not sound like enough but it is. If you have a big crowd and want to make enough to feed everyone you can cut smaller pieces or make two cakes. Caution: This is a BIG hit every time I make it so you may want to plan accordingly. It also tastes even better 1-2 days after it’s made because the milk has time to really soak into the cake. Add the whipped cream and fruit just before serving. Enjoy!

  10. Wow, you really nailed it with this one! One of my favourite desserts and this is my new favourite version. Gracias señoritas muy mucho!

  11. Tres Leches is my favorite dessert and this one by far has been my favorite because of the coconut milk. My husband made it for me a couple of months ago and everyone at the house loved it. I have made it 3 times myself for company lunches and it is always a hit!

  12. I just made this because I had some random coconut milk and it was DELICIOUS! The coconut flavor wasn’t very strong/overpowering, but it added just.. something nice! Everyone loved it!

  13. It was great! But I ran into one issue…I made the cake twice and it was a bit dense. How can I make it more fluffier?

  14. This sounds so wonderful & I saw it is also in your lovely cookbook. I’m going to make it for a party to celebrate my aunt’s 94th birthday.

  15. Just a tip…I used coconut rum and it was soooo good!

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