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Tiramisu Tres Leches Cake

Tiramisu Tres Leches cake is the ultimate dessert mashup of Italian Tiramisu and Mexican Tres Leches cake!! Creamy mascarpone whipped cream slathered on a sponge cake that is soaked in espresso infused milk.

Spreading mascarpone cream on tiramisu tres leches cake with an offset spatula

What is Tiramisu Tres Leches Cake?

It is a creative mashup of coffee flavored Italian Tiramisu and Mexican Tres leches cake – A vanilla scented sponge cake is soaked with coffee and rum flavored three milks and then topped with a creamy mascarpone whipped frosting.

If you guys remember this hugely popular Rasamali Tres Leches Cake (which is an mashup of Indian rasmalai sweet and tres leches cake), then this is a similar recipe with an Italian twist!

What is Tres Leches Cake? 

“Tres Leches” means three milks. A sponge cake is soaked with 3 types of milk ( authentic tres leches cake recipe includes sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, and whole milk) and then topped with whipped cream. It is very popular in Mexico and Latin America.
This cake is unlike any other cake that you will eat. Dripping with sweet milk, it is so soft and moist. 

What is Tiramisu?

Tiramisu is a classic no-bake Italian dessert combining espresso-dipped ladyfingers and a creamy lightly sweetened mascarpone cream. With the inclusion of espresso and alcohol, tiramisu is an adult dessert.

Main components:

Sponge cake – A vanilla sponge cake made with beaten eggs to give the volume and spongy structure.

Three milks – Plain milk, heavy cream and sweetened condensed milk along with coffee and rum to get the classic tiramisu flavors.

Mascarpone whipped cream – Mascarpone cheese, heavy cream, confectioners sugar and vanilla extract beaten until stiff

Cocoa powder – The top is dusted with cocoa powder for that authentic tiramisu look.

How to make Tres leches Cake?

This coffee tres leches cake is not an easy, one bowl kinda cake – It takes two days to make. Don’t you worry. I have included a lot of pictures to guide you along the way. You are all set to make your new favorite cake for birthdays, holidays, parties, get togethers or anytime you wanna celebrate. 

First day —> Bake cake. Soak cake with boozy coffee milk.

Second day —> Make mascarpone whipped cream. Finish cake. 

More details: You will need a 9 by 13 inch pan. Or the same recipe in two 8 by 8 inch (round/square) pans to make two cakes.

FIRST DAY:

  1. It is easier to seperate eggs when they are cold. So remove eggs and seperate ’em and leave aside to come to room temperature (1-2 hours before making cake). Remember it is easier to seperate eggs when they are cold whereas room temperature eggs whip to full volume.
  2. Whisk all dry ingredients together in a bowl and set aside.
  3. Beat egg whites and cream of tarter until soft peaks form.
  4. With clean beaters, beat yolks and sugar until very thick.

5. Add milk ( straight out of the refrigerator is ok ), beat for about 30 seconds, until well combined. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold whisked dry ingredients in two additions.

6. Gently fold in whipped egg whites in three additions, taking care not to loose all that air. Pour batter into a greased 9 by 13 inch pan. (refer picture below – right)

7. When is baking, heat milk in stove top or microwave. Take off heat, when warm, stir in instant coffee and let milk cool to room temperature. Mix along with sweetened condensed milk, heavy cream, rum and vanilla extract.

8. When cake is cooled, poke holes all over cake with a fork. Gently pour milk all over cake, cover pan with a foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate over night.

tres leches cake soaked with coffee milk

SECOND DAY 

9. Beat mascarpone cheese, heavy cream, confectioners sugar and vanilla extract until it gets thick.

10. Remove soaked cake from refrigerator, spread mascarpone whipped cream on top and dust the top with cocoa powder. Wrap and store cake in refrigerator until serving time.

Expert tips:

Seperate eggs when cold and let stand at room temperature for at least one hour – Room temperature eggs whip to full volume when compared to cold eggs. But, eggs are easier to be separated when cold.

Fold egg whites without loosing much of the air – We need all those tine air bubbles intact to soak up the coffee infused milk. 

Rum – Plain white rum and not any flavored ones.

A glass casserole dish with tres leches cake dusted with cocoa powder with few slices removes

Can’t get enough Italian food? Check out few popular Italian recipes: Garlic Parmesan Wings, Chicken Parmesan, Parmesan Bread Bites, Soft Garlic Knots, Parmesan Cheese Crackers, Lemon Ricotta Cookies, Chicken Broccoli Pasta Bake, Chicken Baked Ziti, Shrimp Alfredo Pasta, Penne alla Vodka, Spaghetti Aglio e Olio, Meatless Baked Ziti , Garlic Butter Shrimp Rice, Pasta Pizza and Chicken Alfredo.

Frequently asked questions:

Can this be made into a layered cake?

Unfortunately, this tres leches cake recipe is too soft to be made into layer cakes. So, we recommend serving straight out of the pan.

Is there a substitute for cream of tarter?

Though I haven’t used it personally, fresh lemon juice / white vinegar is a common replacement for cream of tarter. You will need 1/4 teaspoon of lemon juice/vinegar for the 1/8 teaspoon cream of tarter.

Can I use regular coffee instead of instant coffee?

Regular brewed coffee will not only thin the milk mixture but also add additional liquid into the recipe which might ruin the recipe.

Can I skip rum, to make it kid friendly?

Absolutely! The quantity of rum in the recipe is much lesser when compared to classic tiramisu recipes. However, you could totally skip rum when feeding children.

a cross section of coffee tres leches cake

More popular Mexican recipes: Spicy Shrimp Tacos, Chickpea Tacos with Cilantro Lime Sauce, Mexican Chickpeas, Tilapia Tacos, Fish tacos with Frozen Fish Sticks, Chickpea Lettuce wraps, Chickpea Burrito Bowl, Chicken Burrito Bowl and Cilantro Lime Rice.

Storage instructions:

The tiramisu tres leches cake can refrigerated (wrap the baking pan tightly with aluminum foil or plastic wrap) for up to 4 days.

Keeping track of the cake recipes? Check out Carrot Walnut Cake, Chocolate Cake with Almond Flour, Almond Flour Cake, Mocha Mug Cake, Red Velvet Mug Cake or Orange Walnut Cake.

white plate with a slice of tiramisu cake garnished with sliced almonds along with a black fork

More creative dessert mashups:

Almond Joy Cookies

Chai Mug Cake

Chocolate Kulfi

Black Forest Mug Cake

Homemade Churros Recipe with Nutella Ganache

Chocolate Chip Cookie Mug Cake

or more sweet recipes

Yield: 12 Servings

Tiramisu Tres Leches Cake

Tiramisu Tres Leches Cake

Tiramisu Tres Leches cake is the ultimate dessert mashup of Italian Tiramisu and Mexican Tres Leches cake!! Creamy mascarpone whipped cream slathered on a sponge cake that is soaked in espresso infused milk.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes

Ingredients

Cake

  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 and 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cream of tarter
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/3 cup milk

Coffee Milk

Mascarpone whipped cream

Additional ingredient

Instructions

(This cake recipe is a two day process)

FIRST DAY

Make Cake

1. Seperate eggs, place egg whites in a medium bowl and yolks in a large bowl and let come to room temperature, for about 1-2 hours.  (Eggs straight out of the refrigerator are easier to seperate when compared to room temperature eggs).

2. Pre heat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9 x 13 inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray and set aside. 

3. Whisk together all purpose flour, baking powder and salt together in a small bowl and set aside. 
4. Using a hand held electric beater (on high speed), beat eggs whites and cream of tarter for about 2 minutes, until soft peaks form. Set bowl aside, Rinse and dry beaters thoroughly. 
5. Using the hand held electric beater (on high speed), beat egg yolks for about 2 minutes, until thick. Add sugar in 3 batches and continue to beat for about 4 more minutes, until thick and falls back as ribbons when beater is lifted. Add milk and beat for a few seconds, until mixed well. 
6. Switch to a rubber spatula and fold in flour mixture in 2 additions. Then, fold in beaten egg whites in 3 additions (be gentle while folding the whites we don’t want to loose all that air). 
7. Pour batter into prepared pan. Spread batter into an even layer. Bake for about 20 minutes, until slightly golden on top and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes clean. 
8. Place pan on a wire rack to cool completely. 

Make coffee milk

(When the cake is baking, make coffee milk)

1. Warm milk either on a stove top or microwave (don't have to come to a boil). Take off heat, stir in instant coffee and let cool to room temperature. 
2. Mix cooled coffee milk, heavy cream, sweetened condensed milk, rum and vanilla extract together until thoroughly combined. 

Soak cake with coffee milk

1. When cake has cooled completely,  poke holes all over the cake with a fork (this will help in the milk seeping into the cake and make it ultra moist).

2. Gently (and slowly) pour coffee milk, all over the cake making sure it is even (else, some parts of the cake might be dry while another part is dripping with too much milk). Cover pan with a foil or plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator overnight. 

SECOND DAY

Make Mascarpone whipped cream

Add heavy cream, confectioners sugar, mascarpone, vanilla extract and salt into a large bowl and continue to beat until it is thick and frosting consistency. 

Finish Tiramisu Tres Leches Cake

1. Spread mascarpone whipped cream evenly on top of the cake and smooth top.

2. Using a strainer, dust cocoa powder all over the top (do not add too much, just enough to barely cover the top).

3. Cover pan with a plastic wrap or foil, store in refrigerator and serve cold.

Notes

Room temperature eggs – room temperature eggs whip to full volume when compared to cold eggs. But, eggs are easier to be separated when cold. So seperate cold eggs and leave at room temperature for 1-2 hours before making cake. 

Make it kid friendly - Skip rum

Storage - Cake can stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Instant coffee - Please do not sub with brewed coffee.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 445Total Fat: 39gSaturated Fat: 24gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 176mgSodium: 285mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 0gSugar: 7gProtein: 7g

I am not a certified dietician or nutritionist. You are ultimately responsible for all decisions pertaining to your health. This information is provided as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. This information is a product of online calculator such as Nutrifox.com.. Although Kitchen at Hoskins attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their fact sources and algorithms. Under no circumstances will Kitchen at Hoskins be responsible for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on the nutritional information. To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete, and useful.

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