With Easter approaching, I wanted to do a dessert with coconut, but not your run-of-the-mill Easter cake. I wanted something luxurious and decadent, and well - internet worthy. Now, this is no “cookie shot glass” (then again what is?), but it is a pretty delcious cake with all the creamy trimmings and um, coconut! I call it dulce de leche coconut tres leches.

So I found Chow’s Coconut Tres Leches Cake Recipe, which seemed to be pretty well received and tried that first. The cake was good, but I found it needed a little more milk for the soaking to really achieve that tres leches consistency and also a bit more sweetness - which is not something I usually say about cake recipes.

So I did my usual meddling of the recipes. I actually increased the amount of evaporated milk in my tres leches soaking liquid to get a more concentrated milk flavor in my sponge cake. I also added more sugar and a little bit of cream cheese to the cream topping I spread on top of the cake. The original recipe basically called for whipped cream that was very mildly flavored and that made sense to pair a light whipped cream with a denser and sweeter cake. But the dichotomy was so different that it actually tasted a little strange. I didn’t make it a ton sweeter, so don’t worry, and just a tad of cream cheese gave the topping a little more body and backbone. Oh right, I almost forgot. I topped the whole thing off with dulce de leche. I thought since we were soaking with milk, it would only be fitting to top it off with milk.

Some notes about this recipe - the leavening in the cake is purely from the whipped yolks and whites, so make sure when you mix them to fold them gently. Resist the urge to fold until everything is combined because you will deflate the eggs that way. There can still be little pockets of whites in your yolks. With flour, it’s a bit more tricky, but just do enough until you don’t see it. You’ll see in the pictures I took how this looks like.

It’s also good when you’re whipping eggs to have them at room temperature or even warm them a bit. They get more volume that way. With the egg whites, remember to only whip them to medium peaks, which can still look a bit foamy. They are at their highest volume then, so resist the urge to whip to that pretty glossy stage, which I know is tempting, but by the time your whites look like that, it’s overwhipped.

1. Grease 13x9 Inch Pan

2. Separate 6 Eggs

3. Combine Yolks with Sugar and Whip Untill Light and Fluffy

Pale Yellow Yolks

4. Beat Eggs Whites to Medium Peaks

5. Lighten Yolks with 1/3 of Whites

6. Fold Rest of Whites in Remembering Not to Over-Folding.

7. Combine Eggs with Sifted Flour and Fold Gently

Combined Flour and Eggs

8. Gently Spread Batter in Pan and Bake for 20 Minutes

9. Meanwhile, Combine Evaporated Milk, Coconut Milk, and Condensed Milk in a Bowl

10. Toast Coconuts for Topping. Spread Coconuts Evenly on Sheet Pan and Bake at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for 5-8 Minutes

Toasted Coconuts

11. When Cake is Done, Poke Holes in it with Toothpick

12. Soak Cake with Milks

After Cake Has Soaked

13. Prepare Whipped Cream Topping by Beating Together Heavy Cream, Sugar, and Cream Cheese.

14. Top Cake with Whipped Cream and Coconuts. Drizzle with Dulce de Leche.

Ingredients

For the cake - 1 cup all-purpose flour - 6 large eggs - 1 cup granulated sugar - 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk - 1 (14-ounce) can evaporated milk - 1/2 cup unsweetened canned coconut milk - butter for greasing pan

For topping - 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut - 1 1/2 cups heavy cream - 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract - 3 tablespoons powdered sugar - 2 tablespoons cream cheese

For dulce de leche - 4 cups whole milk - 1 1/2 cups sugar - 1 teaspoon vanilla extract - 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Direction 1. Preheat oven to 325°F and grease a 13-by-9-inch pan with butter 2. Separate the eggs and whip yolks with sugar for 5 minutes on high speed until pale and light.
3. In a clean bowl, whip egg whites until medium peaks, about 2 minutes. 4. Gently fold 1/3 of whites into yolks to lighten mixture. Then fold the rest of the whites in.
5. Sift in flour and gently fold until there are no streaks of flour. 6. Pour mixture into baking pan and gently level the top with a spatula. Bake for 20 minutes. 7. Meanwhile, place the three milks in a bowl and combine. 8. Remove the cake from the oven and let cool for 15 minutes. Using a toothpick, poke holes throughout cake. 9. Pour milk mixture over cake and let sit for 45 minutes before putting it in the refridgerator to sit for at least 5 hours, but preferably overnight.
10. When the cake is ready to serve, spread the coconut in an even layer on a sheet pan. Bake at 325°F until coconut is golden brown, about 5 minutes.
11. Place the heavy cream, powdered sugar, vanilla, and cream cheese in large bowl and beat until medium peaks. 12. Spread whipped cream over cake and top with toasted coconuts. 13. Drizzle top with dulce de leche (directions follow)

Directions Dulce de Leche

  1. In a 4 quart pan, combine milk, sugar, and vanilla over medium heat.
  2. Once sugar is melted, reduce heat until mixture is at a low simmer. Add baking soda.
  3. Cook for 2 to 2 1/2 hours stirring occassionally until mixture reduces to about a cup.
  4. Store in container.