Luscious… Creamy… Sexy. This Cherry Coconut Tres Leches Cake is soaked in a delicious coconut flavored three milk mixture. Then! It is stacked with a delicious sweetened whipped cream and tart cherry filling – A slice of this and you’re in heaven!!
Little Red Corvette…
Ever heard that song?
When this song hit the airwaves, and Prince was spinning bareback in high heels, I was six. It was 1983 and I had yet to discover pop music and MTV.
Spanish was still my primary language, so like any young Latina of the time I was heavily into Menudo and the music associated with my culture; merengues. bachatas, and mami’s boleros.
It wasn’t until in my teens when Prince and the New Power Generation dropped Diamonds and Pearls that I even cared about a dude I viewed as second rate to Michael Jackson.
Yeah… I said it.
Then one day Prince and his overt sexual innuendo, coupled with raging teen hormones prompted me to look deeper into his music, immerse myself in his lyrics. I liked what I was listening to. And while it would be some time before I could relate to what Prince was dropping in his lyrics – I dug every single word.
To this day, I cannot eat a cherry or roll the cherry stem in a knot (You know what I mean. We’re all adults here, right?) without thinking of Prince or his Little Red Corvette.
Flow with me. We’re going to talk about this Cherry Coconut Tres Leche Cake.
First things first: This Cherry Coconut Tres Leches cake is a sexy motherf*****.
It starts with a little sponge cake action of sorts. Eggs yolks are beaten till thickened, egg whites are beaten to nice stiff peaks. Flavored with vanilla extract and sweetened cream of coconut. There’s folding involved. It’s an experience.
Once the cake bakes and cools it is then soaked in a vanilla bean and coconut flavored three milk mixture – Coconut, condensed, and heavy cream.
Then it’s stacked and in between those two stacked layers is a sweetened whipped cream and a red cherry filling. In the interest of time I used a canned cherry filling. Use the real thing if you’re averse to anything canned. This cake has to be placed in the fridge to chill and allow the leches to soak through, so I’m not above a canned situation.
Finally, this cake is topped with about 2 jars of maraschino cherries. And yes, I did that cherry stem thing again.
I couldn’t help myself.
A moist cake, soaked in three delicious milks, an oozing cherry filling, a sweetened whipped cream, and topped with an insane amount of cherries.
Just to make a point.
That this cake is a sexy, sexy motherf*****.
- Yield: 10
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
Nutrition facts (per portion)
- Calories: Um... A whole lot.
Cherry Coconut Tres Leches Cake
- For the cake
- All-purpose flour, lightly spooned into measuring cup then leveled - 1 cup
- Baking powder - 1 1/2 teaspoon
- Kosher salt - 1/4 teaspoon
- Large eggs, separated at room temperature - 5
- Granulated sugar for the egg yolks - ¾ cup
- Whole milk - 1/3 cup
- Vanilla extract - 1 tablespoon
- Granulated sugar for the egg whites - ¼ cup
- For the soaking liquid
- Sweetened condensed milk - 1 (14-oz.) can
- Coconut milk - 1 (15-oz.) can
- Coco Lopez - 2 tablespoons
- Heavy cream - 1/2 cup
- Vanilla bean paste - 2 teaspoons
- Kosher salt - Large pinch
- Filling & topping
- Cherry filling - 1, (15 ounce) can
- Heavy cream - 2 1/2 cups
- Vanilla extract - 1 ½ teaspoons
- Coco Lopez - 2 tablespoons
- Confectioners’ sugar - 1/3 – ½ cup
- Maraschino cherries - 2 (10 ounce) jars with stems
Bake the cake:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and position a rack in the center of the oven.
Spray the bottom and sides of two 8 inch pans with cooking spray. Line the bottom of the pans with parchment paper and spray the parchment paper with cooking spray. Set aside. Place an 8 inch spring form pan over a large rimmed platter and also set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
Separate the yolks from the whites. Set the whites aside momentarily in a small bowl.
To a bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment (you can use a hand mixer), beat the egg yolks with ¾ cup of sugar on medium/high speed until the yolks are thick, creamy, and pale – About 2 minutes or so. Lower the speed to medium. Add the milk and vanilla extract. Whisk until combined, about 1 more minute. Transfer the egg yolk mixture to a large mixing bowl and set aside.
Clean and dry the whisk attachment and mixer bowl. Add the egg whites to the bowl and whisk the egg whites, over medium/high speed until it forms soft peaks, about 2-3 minutes. Increase the speed to high and add the ¼ cup of sugar in a stream. Whisk on high until the egg whites form firm peaks, about 1-2 more minutes.
Add 1/3 of the flour mixture into the egg yolks and fold with a rubber spatula until combined. Gently fold 1/3 of the egg whites until no white streaks remain. Alternate between the flour mixture and the egg whites in two more batches until incorporated. Make sure no flour or egg white streaks remain, but don’t overbeat the mixture.
Pour the batter into the prepared pans. Bang the pans on the counter a couple of times to even out the batter. Place in the oven and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 15-20 minutes.
Remove pans from the oven and allow the cakes to cool in the pans for about 7 minutes. Invert the cakes onto a wire rack, remove the parchment paper, and allow to cool completely. Once the cakes are cooled, poke holes on the entire surface of the cakes with the tines of a fork or a butter knife. Don’t be shy about poking. Just when you think you can’t poke anymore holes, poke a few more. While the cakes cool, prepare the soaking liquid.
Prepare the soaking liquid:
In a large bowl, combine the condensed milk, coconut milk, Coco Lopez, heavy cream, vanilla bean paste, and kosher salt. Whisk vigorously until combined and pour into a 4-cup measuring cup. Place in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Filling and topping:
Add the cherry filling to a bowl and set aside.
In a bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, pour about 1/3 of the heavy cream and mix over medium/high speed until thickened. Add another third of the heavy cream and also mix until thickened. Add the rest of the heavy cream and vanilla extract. Beat until thickened and forms medium peaks.
Reduce the speed to low and add the confectioners’ sugar and the Coco Lopez. Beat on low until combined then increase the speed to high and beat until firm peaks form. Remove the heavy cream from the mixer, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator until ready to use.
To assemble the cake:
Place one of the poked cakes in the prepared springform pan. Slowly pour half of the soaking liquid, starting at the edges, pausing to allow the liquid to soak into the cake before adding more liquid. A turkey baster (a new one or one designated for this purpose) works very well for this.
Spread half of the whipped cream filling onto the soaked cake with an offset spatula. Spread cherry filling over the whipped cream, making sure to cover the surface of the cake. It’s fine if the cherry filling spills over the sides.
Place the second cake on top of the filling. Slowly pour the rest of the soaking liquid, once again starting at the edges and pausing to allow the liquid to soak into the cake before adding more liquid. Top the cake with rest of whipped cream filling and maraschino cherries.
Cover the cake loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate until the cake is well chilled, at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours. Remove the cake from the spring form pan. If you’d like, spread the whipped cream onto the sides of the cake evenly with an offset spatula.
Tres leche cake will last about 3 days, well covered in refrigerator.
Servings: About 10