Tres Leches Cake Recipe With Rum and Toasted Coconut

Tres leches cake with rum and toasted coconut

  • serves 15
  • Easy

Try our tres leches cake recipe, translated from the Spanish as ‘three milks cake’, a popular dessert in central and South America


Tres leches cake, translated from the Spanish as ‘three milks cake’, is a speciality of central and south America. Sponge is soaked in a mix of cream, condensed milk and evaporated milk. Although it may sound unusual, the soaked-sponge method is similar to a British trifle or Italian tiramisu. This cake keeps well, chilled in the fridge, for 2-3 days.



  • eggs 5, separated
  • caster sugar 200g
  • evaporated milk 100ml
  • vanilla extract 1 tsp
  • plain flour 200g
  • baking powder 2 tsp


  • evaporated milk 300ml
  • condensed milk 397g tin
  • whipping cream 150ml
  • golden rum 4 tbsp (optional)


  • whipping cream 300ml
  • icing sugar
 3 tbsp
  • dark rum 2 tbsp (optional)
  • coconut flakes 100g, toasted until golden


  • Step 1

    Heat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Butter and line a 22-23cm square cake tin. Whisk the egg whites to soft peaks in a large bowl with electric beaters. Add the sugar a third at a time, whisking really well in between. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, again whisking well in between. Pour in the evaporated milk, add the vanilla and whisk until combined.

  • Step 2

    Sift the flour and baking powder onto the egg mixture and fold through gently with a large metal spoon, trying not to knock too much air out of the mixture. Pour into the cake tin and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a skewer pushed into the centre comes out clean.

  • Step 3

    Cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then invert the tin onto a large, lipped plate. Peel away the baking paper. Leave the cake bottom-side up, as this creates a nice flat surface to pour over the soaking liquid. Use a skewer to pierce the cake all over, making holes all the way down through the cake to the plate.

  • Step 4

    In a large jug, mix together the evaporated and condensed milks and the whipping cream, adding the rum if you’re using it. Slowly pour over the warm cake, allowing it to soak in before continuing. Some of the liquid will puddle onto the plate. This is fine as it will soak in over time, but try to go slowly to get most of it to absorb through the sponge. Cool completely, then transfer to the fridge for a minimum of 8 hours, or overnight.

  • Step 5

    To make the topping, softly whip the cream in a large bowl with the icing sugar and rum, if using. Spread all over the top and sides of the cake and sprinkle over the toasted coconut flakes.

Try our sweet coconut recipes here...

Coconut Cake Recipe For Coconut Loaf

Nutritional Information

  • Kcals 422
  • Fat 22.5g
  • Saturates 14.5g
  • Carbs 45.2g
  • Sugars 34.8g
  • Fibre 1.8g
  • Protein 8.6g
  • Salt 0.4g