Pina Colada Tres Leches Cake

A great tres leches—a spongecake soaked with a mixture of “three milks” (heavy cream, evaporated milk, and sweetened condensed milk) should be moist but not mushy. It should be sweet but not sickeningly so. Here’s what we discovered: Test Kitchen Discoveries ** Most recipes for spongecake use just egg whites. Since we needed to make our cake sturdy enough to handle the milk mixture, we used whipped whole eggs. ** Although some tres leches recipes use equal amounts of evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, and cream, we found that cutting back on the cream produced a thicker mixture that didn’t oversaturate the cake.
Pina Colada Tres Leches Cake
Pina Colada Tres Leches Cake

PREP TIME

--

minutes

TOTAL TIME

--

minutes

SERVINGS

12

servings

PREP TIME

--

minutes

TOTAL TIME

--

minutes

SERVINGS

12

servings

Ingredients

  • Milk Mixture

  • 1

    (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

  • 1

    (12-ounce) can evaporated milk

  • 1

    cup unsweetened coconut milk

  • 1

    tablespoon light rum

  • Cake

  • 8

    tablespoons unsalted butter , plus extra for preparing baking dish

  • 2

    cups all-purpose flour , plus extra for preparing baking dish

  • 2

    teaspoons baking powder

  • 1

    teaspoon salt

  • 1/2

    teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1

    cup whole milk

  • 4

    large eggs , room temperature

  • 2

    cups sugar

  • 2

    teaspoons vanilla extract

  • Frosting

  • 1

    cup heavy cream

  • 3

    tablespoons corn syrup

  • 1

    teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1

    cup sweetened shredded coconut , toasted

Directions

1. For the Milk Mixture: Pour condensed milk into microwave-safe bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Microwave on 30 percent power, stirring and replacing plastic every 3 to 5 minutes, until pale brown and slightly thickened, 9 to 15 minutes. Remove from microwave and slowly whisk in evaporated milk, coconut milk, and rum. Let cool to room temperature. 2. For the Cake: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour a 13 by 9-inch baking pan. Whisk flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon in bowl. Heat butter and milk in small saucepan over low heat until butter is melted. 3. With electric mixer (see note) on medium speed, beat eggs until foamy, about 30 seconds, then slowly add sugar until incorporated. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until egg mixture is very thick and glossy, 5 to 7 minutes. Reduce speed to low and slowly mix in melted butter mixture and vanilla. Add flour mixture in three additions, scraping down bowl as necessary, then mix on medium speed until fully incorporated, about 30 seconds. Using rubber spatula, scrape into prepared pan and bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 30 to 34 minutes. Transfer cake to wire rack and let cool 10 minutes. 4. Using skewer, poke holes at ½ inch-intervals in top of cake. Slowly pour milk mixture over cake until completely absorbed. Let sit at room temperature 15 minutes, then refrigerate at least 3 and up to 24 hours. 5. For the Frosting: Remove cake from refrigerator 30 minutes before serving. With electric mixer on medium speed, beat heavy cream, corn syrup, and vanilla to soft peaks, 1 to 2 minutes. Frost cake and top with toasted coconut. Slice into 3-inch squares and serve.

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