Tres Leches Cake w/ Coconut

My husband says a cake can use a fancy name, to distinguish it from any average cake. Of course, a good recipe helps too!

Tres Leches Cake with Coconut- no leftover syrupThere are a lot of recipes for this type of cake, but I wanted one that wouldn’t leave me with pools of leftover Tres-Leches liquid. Yes, we managed to gag down the extra liquid the first time, when I had to leave some of the mix out to avoid an over-soggy cake. (We had some especially-good coffees.) But I didn’t want to make a habit of that!

I discovered I could sub coconut manna (found on Amazon here), for the evaporated milk–the cake had just the right consistency. (But I’ve also included directions for using the traditional ingredients too, sans coconut.)

I made this cake yesterday for a going-away party for two of our New Deli staff. I topped it with chocolate leaves, writing on it, “So sorry you have to leave”. That was fun!

Serves 12 or so.


  • 4 eggs, divided
  • 1 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1 tsp. + 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 1/2 c. flour
  • 1 TBS. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 c. whole milk
  • 1 can sweetened, condensed milk
  • 1 c. + 1 c. cream
  • 1/2 c. coconut manna (ie “spread”, “manna”, “concentrate”, “butter”)*
  • Optional: 14-oz. can evaporated milk to sub for coconut manna
  • 1/4 c. confectioner’s sugar
  • Optional: maraschino cherries

Beat to soft peaks: > 4 egg whites

Add slowly, beating until stiff: > 1 1/2 c. sugar

Lower speed and mix egg yolks in one at a time, plus the vanilla: > 4 egg yolks > 1 tsp. vanilla

Mix dry ingredients together: > 1 1/2 c. flour > 1 TBS. baking powder > 1/2 tsp. salt

Slowly add the dry ingredient mix to the whipped egg mix, alternately with the milk: > 1/2 c. whole milk

Bake in buttered, floured 13×9″ (or 2- 9″rounds), at 350 for 30 minutes

Prepare the “three-milk mix”, stirring until smooth: > 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk > 1 c. cream > 1/2 c. melted coconut manna* (see directions below to sub evaporated milk for the coconut milk

Pour the mixture over the cake after it has cooled a few minutes. For that, poke holes in the cake with fork tines, and pour the three-milk mix over it. Loosen edges of cake as needed, for mix to flow everywhere.

Let cake soak for hours or overnight.

To frost, whip cream with the sugar until light. (For a layer cake, use double these amounts). Whip: > 1 c. cream > 1/4 c. confectioner’s sugar > 1 tsp. vanilla

Sorry you have to LEAVE (chocolate leaves decorate going away cake)Frost cake with whipped cream frosting. Traditionally, maraschino cherries might garnish the top, or festive, colored sprinkles. I’ve used candied citrus peel—also very good!

Chocolate Leaves worked well to decorate our going-away cake!

* Or sub 12-oz. can evaporated milk (the traditional ingredient), boiling the evaporated milk and cream down to about a third (1 1/3 c. volume or so)

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