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Coconut-Pineapple Tres Leches Cake

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My friends know that I have a slight obsession with Tres Leches Cake. It is one of my favorite cakes and it reminds me of the days I used to live in San Diego, California – where I got to try it for the first time. It was love at the first bite.

Moist and decadent, this fairly easy cake is thought to be “too sweet” for some (not for me!).

So, in an effort to please all kinds of crowds, I decided to come up with a variation. My Coconut-Pineapple Tres Leches has diced canned pineapple for a slightly refreshing twist, and also coconut milk and shredded coconut flakes - piña colada fans will appreciate this version.

So, if you are feeling tropical these days - and you are in total denial that fall is here – keep the summer vibes alive and try this delicious recipe. After all, we can’t live out only on pumping dishes, right?! Enjoy!

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Coconut-Pineapple Tres Leches Cake

Serves 10 to 12

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup unsalted butter (1 stick), plus more for the pan
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 cups self-rising flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • ¾ cups sugar, plus 2 tablespoons
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 can full-fat coconut milk (13 ½ ounces)
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk (14 ounces)
  • 1 ½ cups whole milk
  • 1 can diced pineapple (20 ounces), drained
  • 1 pint heavy cream, chilled
  • 2 teaspoons lime zest
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut

Directions:

Start by placing a medium mixing bowl in the fridge, as well as the mixing beaters – they will be used much later.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter a 9x13 baking dish (see pictures below). Melt the butter and honey together and set aside.

Whisk the flour and salt together in a medium bowl.

Beat the eggs, sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl until everything lightens in color and it is nice and smooth (see pictures below). Now on lower speed, add in the flour slowly until the batter is just smooth. Fold in the butter and honey mix and beat until it is fully incorporated.

Pour the batter into the pan and bake 25-30 minutes, rotating cake once halfway through, until it is golden and a toothpick comes out clean. (See Cook’s Notes 1*)

While the cake bakes, mix the coconut milk, sweet condensed milk and whole milk together. Also, spread the shredded coconut out on a baking sheet. When the cake comes out, place the coconut into the oven to toast. Check and stir every 3-4 minutes. It should only take 6 to 8 minutes to get golden brown. Remove from oven and allow it to cool completely.

Use a toothpick or wooden skewer to poke little holes all over the warm cake. Then, slowly pour the three milks over it. (See Cook’s Notes 2*). Allow the cake to cool completely and spread the diced pineapple on top.

Using the chilled bowl and beaters, whip the heavy cream, 2 tablespoons of sugar, and lime zest together until stiff peaks form. Spread the cream over the cake, and then sprinkle the coconut over the top. Serve immediately or keep it in the fridge for 3-4 days.

Cook’s Notes:

1* When the cake is baked and you remove it from the oven, you might think that the cake is sort of shallow. This is perfectly normal.

2* When pouring the milk, it is going to look like a LOT of liquid. It is not. Wait a few seconds and you will notice that 95% of it is going to be adsorbed into the cake.

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Butter a 9x13 baking dish.

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Beat the eggs, sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl until everything lightens in color and it is nice and smooth.

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Add in the flour slowly until the batter is just smooth.

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Fold in the butter and honey mix and beat until it is fully incorporated.

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Pour the batter into the pan and bake 25-30 minutes.

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The cake is done when it is nice golden on top and a toothpick comes out clean.

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Use a toothpick or wooden skewer to poke little holes all over the warm cake.

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Slowly pour the three milks over.

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The cake will absorb all that liquid.

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Allow the cake to cool completely and spread the diced pineapple on top.

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Whip the heavy cream.

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Spread the cream on top.

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Covering all the cake.

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Sprinkle the coconut and enjoy!

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