Coconut Tres Leches Cake


There is a Portlandia episode that I think about more than any other Portlandia episode. It’s where Andy Samberg plays the mixologist and makes Carri Brownstein that tannish/grey sherbert looking mixed drink.

“I made you that drink because I love you.”

“I know.”

And then she makes a ‘Mixed Drink’ mix tape for him. But before, they stop at Around the World in 80 plates and the waiter asks if they want to super spike their meal…”we pour Jack Daniels all over your meal”.

Man, that episode is so wackadoodle. So good. As you can tell, I’ve been watching Netflix in unhealthy amounts lately. I mean, the number of Frasier episodes on there is absurd! Absurdly great.

On an unrelated note, there is this cake. A friend of mine asked if I had a tres leches recipe that I liked, and I responded “I do indeed!” (no I didn’t). It comes from an inspiring blog,, and you should totally check it out.


Tres leches simply means three milks, with a traditional tres leches cake using regular milk instead of coconut milk. This cake is getting saucy with a tropical spin. Rawr.


Fluffy egg whites give this cake some va-voom, as well as allowing the cake to be porous in order soak up the tres leches once it’s baked.


Pretty peaks.


Into the egg whites goes the yolks, whipped gently. Adding the yolks after whipping the egg whites allows for even more air bubbles to be present throughout the batter. It’s like one big air bubble party in this cake.


Egg yolks whipped in egg whites above ^.


And then! Some coconut flake folding action. Fold it in, ya’ll.


After the coconut, flour is sifted then folded in a quarter cup at a time. Real slow like, so that we keep those air bubbles happy.


Keep a’ folding, but gently, and just until there are no more streaks of flour left. Get in touch with your nurturing side.


Pour your fluffy coconut batter into a prepared pan. Woo!


The batter will be loose and light. Spread gently into your pan.


While the cake is baking, we mix our milks. Coconut milk, sweetened condensed, and heavy cream are whisked together. Soooo crreeammyy.


Whisk it real, real good.



As soon as you pull the hot cake out of the oven, pour the tres leches over it. This will ensure extra absorption of the milks throughout the whole cake.


In the real world, my baking attempts aren’t always a 100% success. On this go around, my cake didn’t absorb the milks as well as it usually does. Most likely, I over-folded my eggs whites, causing them to deflate and leave little to no air bubbles for the milk to soak in to. While I have never messed this recipe up in the past, this was a humbling (and sad) experience. But lesson learned, big time. This will most assuredly not happen to you because you guys will follow the recipe closely, duh.


Once the cake is refrigerated for a few hours, or overnight, We slap some whipped cream on top of that bad boy. Luscious.


Top with an assortment of your favorite berries! Berriez 4 lyfe.


A semi-failed tres leches cake does not mean a semi-eaten tres leches cake. No sir.

Enjoy this!


recipe from

Serves 12 to 14

1 stick unsalted butter, melted & cooled, plus more for pan
6 large eggs, separated
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup flaked unsweetened coconut
1 cup all-purpose flour, divided
2 cups heavy cream, divided
1 can (14 oz.) light unsweetened coconut milk
1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
3 cups mixed berries for serving

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 9×13 inch pan. Whisk together egg whites, baking soda, and salt with a mixer until soft peaks form, 4 to 5 minutes.

Add yolks to egg white mixture and and whisk until completely combined. Gradually add sugar, whisking until combined. Fold in the melted butter and coconut with a rubber spatula until just combined.

Sift 1/4 cup flour onto mixture, fold to combine. Repeat with remaining flour, folding in 1/4 cup at a time. Pour batter into pan, bake until golden, about 18-20 minutes.

While the cake is baking, whisk together 1 cup heavy cream, the coconut milk and condensed milk. As soon as the cake is removed from the oven, pour cream mixture over cake. Let cake cool completely in pan. Cover cake with plastic wrap and refrigerate 5 hours or up to 8 hours.

Before serving, top with your favorite assortment of berries.



3 thoughts on “Coconut Tres Leches Cake

  1. Pingback: I love lists, Friday! – Shutterbean

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