Coffee Tres Leches

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Coffee Tres Leches Cake tastes like a delicious cross between Tres Leches cake and tiramisu and is a real crowd pleaser that’s perfect for a Cinco de Mayo celebration or any summer potluck.

Coffee Tres Leches


I’ve adapted this recipe from Sweet & Southern: Classic Desserts with a Twist , a cookbook I got for Christmas and am just getting around to using. It’s full of creative and modern southern twists on classic desserts like Satsuma Whipped Rice Pudding, Mint Julep CrΓ¨me Brulee, and Ambrosia Pavlova.

This coffee-spiked Tres Leches Cake is perfect for celebrating Cinco de Mayo.

Since I’m a huge coffee fan, this Tres Leches was at the top of my list to try and I found it to be an exceptionally good cake. I made a few alterations, using regular cocoa instead of Dutch process, coffee instead of espresso, and I added a coffee-flavored whipped cream topping and chocolate curls.

This coffee-spiked Tres Leches Cake is perfect for celbrating Cinco de Mayo.

This cake starts with a coffee (or espresso) spiked cake batter that is exceptionally aerated with whipped egg whites, leaving lots of airy space within the cake for the cream mixture to soak into when it is poured on top.

Tres Leches (3 milks) gets its name from this mixture which consists of heavy cream, evaporated milk, and sweetened condensed milk.

This coffee-spiked Tres Leches Cake is perfect for celebrating Cinco de Mayo.

The cake soaks up all this liquid (it will look like it’s swimming in liquid at first) and becomes exceptionally moist and creamy.

Served cold from the refrigerator, it’s a refreshing make-ahead dessert for the spring and summer months.

The cake also has some cocoa powder in it, giving it that awesome mocha flavor.

If you want more coffee flavor, add a splash of Kahlua to the homemade whipped topping.

This coffee-spiked Tres Leches Cake is perfect for celebrating Cinco de Mayo.

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Coffee Tres Leches

Coffee Tres Leches

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 50 minutes
Servings: 24
Calories: 269kcal
Author: Christin Mahrlig
Coffee Tres Leches Cake tastes like a delicious cross between tres leches and tiramisu and is perfect for celebrating Cinco de Mayo.
Print Recipe


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 large eggs separated, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup strong coffee, cooled

Whipped Topping

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Kahlua, optional
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • chocolate curls made from grating a bar of chocolate, for garnish


  • Heat oven to 325 degrees and coat a 9X13-inch pan with cooking spray.
  • In a bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt until there are no lumps.
  • Use a stand mixer with a whisk attachment to beat the egg whites until soft peaks form (if you lift the whisk attachment up, the eggs are just starting to have enough form to stay attached to the whisk.)
  • With mixer on medium, gradually add the 1 1/2 cups sugar. Increase to high and beat until stiff peaks form (egg whites completely hold their shape even if you move the whisk attachment around.)
  • Whisk in the egg yolks.
  • Whisk in milk and vanilla extract.
  • Remove bowl from mixer and use a rubber spatula to gently fold the flour mixture in until no pockets of flour remain.
  • Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Cool completely.
  • In a bowl, whisk together 1 cup heavy cream, sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, and coffee. Slowly pour over cooled cake. Most of it with sink down around the edges and it will look like there is way too much liquid, but it will all get absorbed. Cover with plastic wrap (Try not to let the plastic touch the cake) and refrigerate at least 2 hours (can be done a day in advance).
  • To make whipped topping, use electric mixer to beat heavy cream. Once it starts to thicken, add confectioners' sugar, vanilla, and Kahlua. Beat until cream gets thick. Spread on top of cake.
  • Sprinkle with chocolate curls.


Calories: 269kcal

Recipe Adapted from Sweet & Southern: Classic Desserts with a Twist

Β More Tres Leches Cakes

Tres Leches Cake with StrawberriesTres Leches Cake with Strawberries

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

20 thoughts on “Coffee Tres Leches

  1. Just made the cake… will frost it tomorrow. Looks wonderful… BUT…. my cake sunk in the middle, any ideas why? Or is that normal.

      1. We sure did enjoy it! I made it for a retirement party at work, and everyone loved it. I think next time I would modify the recipe slightly…a bit less evaporated milk and much stronger coffee. (mine was strong, but the coffee flavour didn’t come thru as much as I’d hoped). Thanks for posting this. I would make it again.

  2. This looks incredible, Christin! I love coffee in desserts! I’ve always wanted to try a tres leches cake and a coffee one sounds even better πŸ™‚

  3. Oh my gawsh – Christin – I don’t think I’ve ever feasted my eyes (or tastebuds) on something this decadent – A Tres Leches Cake that tastes like a cross between Tres Leches cake and tiramisu??? Oh my!!!! Brilliant!

  4. This cake looks so creamy and decadent.. . .and I have to admit that I can’t stop looking at it. I’m not a coffee drinker myself (100% tea drinker here); however, as long as the flavor is mild I think coffee does a really nice job of elevating chocolate flavors in desserts. I bet it tastes great in this.

  5. I’ve been thinking about buying Sweet & Southern. I’m disappointed that it isn’t available on Kindle, but maybe I’ll have to take the plunge and buy the hard copy, because this looks seriously amazing!

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