Vanilla sponge cake soaked in a coconut milk mixture, topped with whipped cream and toasted coconut.
A light-airy sponge cake soaked overnight in a coconut milk mixture garnished with fresh whipped cream and toasted coconut. This cake has a perfect balance of sweetness and coconut flavor. It is easy to make but must be made in advance, so the milks have time to absorb.
The sponge cake for this recipe is made a little differently than most sponge cakes. Instead of whipping the yolks and whites separately, then mixing them, the yolks and whites get whipped together over a water bath. Gently cooking the eggs stabilizes the structure of the mixture allowing the air to be incorporated. This process takes less time than the double whipping process and uses fewer dishes!
To further stabilize the eggs, a mixture of cornstarch and flour is used. The cornstarch gels the eggs resulting in a light, springy cake when baked.
To give the cake its coconut flavor, I used coconut milk and coconut sweetened condensed milk mixed with evaporated milk. Coconut milk and evaporated milk are easy finds, but sweetened condensed coconut milk might be a rarity. You may also find evaporated coconut milk. I suggest using at least two coconut milk products. If you can only find one, add some coconut flavoring to the milk mixture. If you are feeling real coconutty, use all three coconut milks and substitute coconut whipped cream for the topping.
Coconut Tres Leches
- 1 cup cake flour
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 6 eggs
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 5 tbsp butter melted
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 11.25 ounce can sweetened condense coconut milk
- 12 ounce can evaporated milk
- 13.5 ounce can coconut milk
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1 1/2 cups coconut shaved
- Combine flour and cornstarch. Combine butter and vanilla. Set them both aside. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease and flour a rectangular cake pan. 9×13 Bring a small pot of water to a simmer on the stove.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine eggs and sugar. Place the bowl on top of the simmering pot of water. Whisk constantly until the mixture reaches 110 degrees. Remove from the heat and place on the mixer with whisk attachment. Whip the egg mixture to full volume. Soft peak. Fold in the flour mixture. Then fold in the butter mixture. Pour into the cake pan and smooth the surface. Bake for 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Whisk together the 3 milks and the vanilla. Poke many holes in the cake with a fork or toothpick. Pour the milks over the cake and allow to sit overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Toast the coconut for 5-8 minutes and allow to cool. Whip the cream, sugar, and vanilla together until stiff peaks form. Spread the cream over the cake. Top with toasted coconut and serve.