One of my favorite things about celebrating Cinco de Mayo is having an excuse to make tres leches cake. I’d make it more often, except my husband isn’t really a fan. But that changed in a hurry when I served up this coconut version of the classic three milk cake. Now he goes back for seconds! Which is good, because this cake is seriously amazing! If I wasn’t forced to share, I’d probably eat the entire thing myself.
Don’t be afraid to let your cake get nice and golden. It’s going to soak up a lot of liquid, so it’s okay if it’s a little on the dry side to start. And yes, it really will soak up all of the liquid. You may have your doubts at first–just pour it all on and be patient. You do need to let the cake sit in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours before serving, and overnight is even better. And while the banana garnish is optional, I highly recommend it!
Coconut Tres Leches Cake
For the cake1 box white or yellow cake mix
- 1 cup half and half
- 1/3 cup canola or vegetable oil
- 2 eggs
For the milk mixture1 (14 oz. can) sweetened condensed milk
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1/2 cup half and half
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
For the garnish3 cups whipped cream (store-bought or homemade)
- 3/4 cup toasted coconut
- Sliced bananas (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13 inch pan.
- In a large bowl, beat cake mix, half and half, oil and eggs on medium speed until smooth.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until cake is golden brown. Cool completely.
- Meanwhile, make the milk mixture by combining the sweetened condensed milk, coconut milk, half and half and vanilla in a medium bowl. Whisk until well combined.
- Poke the cooled cake all over with a fork.
- Pour half of the milk mixture over the cake and spread with a spatula to cover. Wait five minutes, or until most of the liquid is absorbed.
- Pour the remaining milk mixture over the cake and spread to cover evenly.
- Refrigerate the cake for at least 4 hours, or overnight.
- To serve, top with whipped cream, toasted coconut and sliced bananas (if desired). Store leftover cake in the refrigerator.