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Paleo Coconut Lime Tres Leches Cake

A tres leches cake that would make your Nana proud.

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by Angela Gallardo in Desserts, Recipes

tres leches

tres leches

In preparation for Cinco de Mayo, I’ve been dreaming of Mexican desserts, specifically tres leches cake.  One of my indulgences while living in Honduras included stopping by the local bakeries after the bus dropped us off from a long day of teaching – the dessert I ordered most, hands down, was tres leches.

For the unfamiliar, it’s traditionally a spongy vanilla cake which is soaked in a milk glaze and topped with whipped cream. With as much as I love this dessert, I needed to find a way to lighten it up. I took my standby basic coconut flour cake and made it mas mejor (much better).

Coconut is the star in this Paleo version of the classic.  My tres leches cake features coconut flour in place of all-purpose, the “milk bath” is done with a coconut milk glaze, and it’s topped with a coconut whipped cream. The airy, moist and slightly sweet coconut flavor is accentuated by fresh lime zest and juice. This cake is so good, you could probably split it with a friend and still not have that full, sickly feeling you get when eating heavy, rich cakes.

Dairy-free, grain-free, and no processed sugars.


Paleo Coconut Lime Tres Leches Cake

The Cake:

  • 6 eggs
  • 1 c. coconut water (see instructions)
  • 1/2 c. raw honey
  • 1 tbsp. extra virgin coconut oil, plus some for greasing the pan
  • juice and zest of 1 lime
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3/4 c. coconut flour
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/4 c. dried, unsweetened coconut flakes (optional)

Coconut Milk Glaze:

  • 1/2 c. coconut water, approx. (see instructions)
  • 1 tsp. raw honey

Coconut Whipped Cream:

  • 1 c. coconut cream, approx. (see instructions)
  • 3 tbsp. extra-virgin coconut oil, warmed
  • 1 tsp. raw honey
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. First, make the coconut whipped cream.  Open 2 cans chilled full-fat coconut milk.  Skim only the thickened coconut cream off the top, reserving the coconut water for use in the cake and glaze, and add it to a mixing bowl.
  2. To the coconut cream, add 2 tbsp. melted coconut oil, 1 tsp. raw honey, and 1 tsp. vanilla extract.  Whisk well to mix the coconut oil in.  Place the bowl in the fridge until the cake is ready to be served.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  4. Fit a stand mixer with paddle attachment and combine eggs, 1 cup reserved coconut water, honey, coconut oil, juice/zest of the lime, and vanilla extract. Beat on low speed to combine; increase to medium speed and mix until light and fluffy, about 60 seconds. Sift in coconut flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; mix on low speed for 30 seconds, just to combine.
  5. Pour the batter into an 8-inch springform pan greased with extra-virgin coconut oil.  Bake for 40 minutes or until cake is set in the middle but appears springy.
  6. While the cake is baking, make the coconut milk glaze by whisking 1/2 cup reserved coconut water with 1 tsp. raw honey until honey has dissolved.  Once the cake has cooked, remove from the oven and pour the glaze over top.  Set on a cooling rack and allow to let the glaze seep in and cool, about 1 hour.
  7. To assemble:  Remove the cream mix from the fridge and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 min.  Remove the springform frame from the pan and top with coconut whipped cream and dried coconut flakes, as desired. Best enjoyed immediately.

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