Tres leches cake is a popular delicacy in Latin America that has a melt-in-your-mouth sponge cake covered in a delicious three-milk concoction. However, what happens if you’re allergic to dairy or are vegan? Dessert lovers, do not fear! Enjoy the beauty of making vegan tres leches which tastes equally well with the original version of tres leches
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What is Tres Leches Cake?
Tres leches, which translates to “three milks” in Spanish, is a type of sponge cake whose distinctive flavor comes from a rich soak in three different types of milk. Condensed milk, evaporated milk, and whole milk are traditionally used to make tres leches, a rich and custard cake. The preparation is easy but there is a small trick in making holes in the cake and covering it with the milk mixture, which turns the light sponge into a deliciously creamy treat.
The result is a blend of textures and flavors giving a soft, custardy crumb infused with creamy sweetness.
In this recipe, we exclude the dairy in our vegan version, but we don’t sacrifice the indulgence. With plant-based milks and smart leavening agents, we’ll conjure up a fluffy, egg-free sponge cake. Rich coconut milk, delicate agave syrup sweetness, and a hint of almond extract will make for the perfect tres leches.
Every bite is an explosion of flavor and texture – the soft, custard cake, the creamy milk syrup with the delightful toppings.
- All-purpose flour- 1 1/2 cups
- Baking powder- 1/2 teaspoon
- Baking soda- 1/4 teaspoon
- Salt- 1/4 teaspoon
- Granulated sugar- 3/4 cup
- Vegetable oil-1/2 cup
- Unsweetened coconut milk- 1 cup
- Apple cider vinegar- 1 tablespoon
- Vanilla extract- 1 teaspoon
For the tres leches syrup
- Full-fat coconut milk – 2 cups
- Vegan condensed milk – 1 cup
- Agave Syrup – 1/2 cup
- Almond extract- 1/2 teaspoon
Steps For Making Vegan Tres Leches
Baking Up Tres Leches cake
- Set the oven to 350°F (175°C) and coat a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with oil.
- Whisk together the dry ingredients like All Purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl.
- Mix the sugar, oil, plant milk, apple cider vinegar, and vanilla extract thoroughly in another bowl.
- Mix all ingredients until just incorporated, then gradually add the wet components to the dry ingredients. Avoid overmixing!
- Bake the batter in the preheated baking dish for 25 to 30 minutes. When a toothpick put into the center it should come out clean which marks the complete baking.
- once baked, allow the cake to cool at room temperature.
- After allowing the cake to cool slightly in the pan, use a fork or skewer to poke holes all over the top. This allows the tres leche to soak up in the cake.
Soaking the tres Leches
- As the cake cools, make the syrup with tres leches.
- Blend the agave syrup, almond extract, vegan condensed milk, and coconut milk in a saucepan.
- Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat, stirring from time to time. Don’t heat up too much.
- Now pour the mixture all over the cake to soak up thoroughly through the holes.
- To ensure the cake absorbs all of the syrup, cover the pan with plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, or better yet, overnight.
It’s time to let out your garnish skills ! Once the cake has chilled and infused well with tres leches. Add a drizzle of honey or caramel sauce, chopped almonds, fresh berries, or a dollop of coconut whipped cream on top of your tres leches.
Tips for making Vegan Tres Leches
- To achieve a more moist crumb, use 1/4 cup cornflour instead of the all-purpose flour.
- Instead of agave syrup you can try with maple syrup .
- I used almond extract in the recipe to bring a nutty touch. You can use regular vanilla extract.
- In case you don’t have vegan condensed milk, you can prepare it by combining 1/4 cup vegan butter, 3/4 cup sugar, and one cup plant milk in a saucepan and cooking it for twenty to twenty-five minutes while stirring continuously, until it gets thickened and reduced by half.
Feel free to experiment with different plant milks and toppings to personalize your tres leches experience. Soy milk, almond milk, or oat milk works well.