Tres Leches (Milk Cake)

slice of tres leches cake with a dollop of whipped cream

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: sweetened 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.

cleaned black plate with only crumbs of leftover tres leches slice of cake

Yield: 18 servings

Tres Leches (Milk Cake)

This tres leches cake, is a sponge cake—soaked in three kinds of milk: evaporated milk, condensed milk, and coconut milk.

Tres Leches (Milk Cake)


  • 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:


  • 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)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Grease a 9” x 13” baking pan.
  3. In a large mixing bowl combine flour, baking powder, and salt.
  4. 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.
  5. Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and mix these gently until combined.
  6. 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.
  7. Fold egg whites into the flour batter gently.
  8. Pour the batter into a pretty serving pan and spread out until batter looks even.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Whip together the evaporated milk, the sweet condensed milk, coconut milk, and splash of rum (optional). This will make about 3 cups.
  12. 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.


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. *Note: Toast coconut in a warm skillet without any oil. It toasts quickly so don’t leave unattended.
Written by Veronica / Photos by Veronica