Coconut Tres Leches Cake – A Hint of Honey

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This one I never considered making before I made it. And then immediately regretted the 20+ years I’ve lived without it. I know that sounds dramatic. After all, it is just a dessert. But it’s a shame to be missing out on something this wonderful. I suspect there are less-than-spectacular tres leches cakes out there. But this was the first I’ve tasted and I (we) loved it. I think you’ll be wowed as well.

I came across this coconut tres leches cake searching for a dessert to pair with tacos. I went all out a couple Sundays ago and slow-cooked a pork shoulder and fixed an array of toppings, and felt the need to serve a Mexican-themed final course. This recipe was highly touted on CHOW and I barely messed with it except for the addition of some cinnamon (don’t skip it!) and using vanilla extract instead of Bourbon. The coconut was the highlight for me. Coconut milk is one of the “tres leches” (three milks) and the whipped cream smothered cake is topped with toasted coconut flakes. Despite the detailed instructions, it is quite simple to make. And perfect for a party since it must be prepared ahead of time and allowed to refrigerate.

Coconut Tres Leches Cake

butter, for coating the baking dish
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. cinnamon + extra for dusting
6 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk
2/3 cup evaporated milk (not nonfat)
1/2 cup unsweetened canned coconut milk (not light)
1 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract, divided
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 Tbsp. powdered sugar
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