Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Tres Leches Cake

This Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Tres Leches Cake is so creamy, decadent and delicious you won’t even know it’s not the classic recipe.

Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Tres Leches Cake #treslechescake #glutenfreedairyfreetresleches #glutenfreetreslechescake

Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Tres Leches Cake

Tres-leches cake is by far my family’s favorite cake. It was what Matt and I had as our wedding cake and what we always buy for our kids’ birthday parties. It also always used to be the cake we would get for my dad’s birthdays since it is also his absolute favorite. However, after he discovered a gluten and dairy intolerance a couple of years ago, we have had to turn to other desserts for his special day.

For a while now I have had the idea of creating a gluten-free and dairy-free tres leches cake so the whole family can once again partake in its sweet, creamy goodness. After many hours of reading, studying, and analyzing various baking and cake recipes I finally began testing out the idea. It has taken a couple of tries, but I am so happy to finally have a recipe my whole family, and especially my dad, approves.

The cake is so creamy, decadent and delicious that you won’t even know it is gluten and dairy free.

Special Notes for Tres Leches Cake

The Flour

First, you need a gluten-free all-purpose flour to replace the regular flour. I always use one that already has xanthan gum included. My top favorites are:

I also added almond flour to the mix. I love the texture and flavor almond flour adds to baked goods and it works great in this recipe with the gluten-free flour.

The Eggs

Use room temperature eggs.

  • As I’ve learned from years of watching Ina Garten, room temperature eggs are more easily incorporated with other baking ingredients, they help cakes rise, and are easier to whip (a necessary step in many of the regular tres leches recipes I found).

The Three Milks

Traditionally the three milks used in tres leches cakes are condensed milk, evaporated milk, and whole milk. So after brainstorming and a few tests, these are the non-dairy milk substitutes I found to be most effective:

    • Sweetened condensed coconut milk in place of the condensed milk. Did you know such a thing exists? Let me tell you, not only does it have the same consistency as regular condensed milk, but condensed coconut milk has a delicious flavor and a coconut taste is hardly noticeable.
        • I found the condensed coconut milk at Walmart, but there are also some available through Amazon.
    • Soy milk in place of evaporated milk. I love the taste of soy milk and found that vanilla soy milk added a delicious touch of sweetness that reminds me of evaporated milk. You can also heat soy milk to reduce it so it has more of the consistency of evaporated milk. However, I used it right out of the carton and it worked great in the recipe.
        • There is also evaporated coconut milk. However, I preferred the idea of having three distinct milk alternatives to truly round out the flavors. I am sure it would be great with evaporated coconut milk though if you want to give that a try.
    • A thick coconut/nut based creamer instead of whole milk. Whole milk is thick and has a slight sweetness to it. The best alternative I found was a coconut-almond coffee creamer that has a similar thickness to that of half and half.

Now let’s get to the recipe.

How to Make Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Tres Leches Cake

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9×13 baking dish or pan.

Combine 1/2 cup of almond flour, 1 cup of all-purpose gluten-free flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon in a bowl.

Next, separate 5 eggs into two different mixing bowls, placing the yolks in one and the egg whites in another.

Using a hand or stand mixer, beat 1/2 cup of granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon of softened butter and the egg yolks until the mixture is a pale yellow. Then, add 1/3 cup of almond milk (or other nut milk) and 1 teaspoon of vanilla and mix until combined.

In a separate mixing bowl, use a hand or stand mixer to beat the egg whites and another 1/2 cup of sugar until soft peaks form.

Click here to watch a video on how to whip egg whites.

Pour the yolk mixture into the dry flour mixture and combine. Then, carefully fold in the egg whites until just combined, do not over mix.

Pour the batter into the greased pan, making sure you spread the batter evenly.

Batter for tres leches cake #dairyfreetreslechescake #glutenfreetreslechescake

Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.

Place the pan on a cooling rack and let the cake cool completely.

Once cooled, mix 3/4 cup of sweetened condensed coconut milk, 1 1/2 cups of vanilla soy milk, and 1 cup of Original Nutpods (or other coconut-almond coffee creamer).

Use a fork to poke holes throughout the top of the cake. The more holes you poke the more evenly saturated your cake will be. Also, be sure you poke the holes all the way down so the milks can soak all the way to the bottom of the cake.

Evenly pour the milk mixture all over the cake. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, but it is definitely best if soaked overnight.

Tres leches cake with holes and milk #glutenfreetreslechescake #dairyfreetreslechescake

Making the Frosting

You can buy coconut whipped cream, but is so easy to make your own.

First, place a can of full-fat coconut milk in the refrigerator for at least an hour.

After the hour, open the can and scoop out the thick coconut cream from the top of the can into a mixing bowl. Do not use any of the liquid coconut milk left on the bottom. Save that milk in the fridge for other recipes or smoothies.

Use a hand mixer or stand mixer to whip the cream, 1/4 cup of powdered sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla until airy and creamy.

Spread the top of the cake with the coconut whipped cream and garnish with fruit such as strawberries, blueberries, mango, pineapple or kiwi.

The last time I made this my whole family raved about it and my dad gave it his seal of approval.

I hope you enjoy!

Please leave me a comment below if you make this or tag me on Instagram @everydaylatina.

Check out the following links for other great gluten-free recipes:

Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Tres Leches Cake #treslechescake #glutenfreedairyfreetresleches #glutenfreetreslechescake

Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Tres Leches Cake

This Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Tres Leches Cake is so creamy, decadent and delicious you won't even know it's not the classic recipe.
Author Gemma from Everyday Latina

Ingredients

Tres Leches Cake

  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1 cup gluten-free all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp gluten-free baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 5 large eggs (room temperature)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar (or coconut sugar) divided
  • 1 tbsp softened butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup almond milk (or other nut milk)
  • 3/4 cup sweetened condensed coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 cups vanilla soy milk
  • 1 cup coconut-almond coffee creamer (such as Original Nut Pods or Califia Farms Unsweetened Better Half)

Topping

  • 1 14 oz. can full-fat coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

Tres Leches Cake

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9×13 baking dish or pan.
  • Combine almond flour, gluten-free flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in a bowl.
  • Next, separate 5 eggs into two different mixing bowls. Place the egg yolks in one and the egg whites in another.
  • Use a hand or stand mixer to beat 1/2 cup of sugar, softened butter and the egg yolks until the mixture is a pale yellow. Then, add 1/3 cup of almond milk and 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Mix until combined.
  • In a separate mixing bowl, use a hand or stand mixer to beat the egg whites and the other 1/2 cup of sugar until soft peaks form.
  • Pour the yolk mixture into the dry flour mixture and combine. Carefully fold in the egg whites until just combined.
  • Pour the batter into the greased pan, making sure you spread the batter evenly.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.
  • Place the pan on a cooling rack and let the cake cool completely. Once cool, mix the sweetened condensed coconut milk, vanilla soy milk, and Nutpods (or other coconut-almond coffee creamer).
  • Use a fork to poke holes throughout the top of the cake. The more holes you poke the more evenly saturated your cake will be. Also, be sure you poke the holes all the way down so the milks can soak all the way to the bottom of the cake.
  • Evenly pour the milk mixture all over the cake. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, but it is definitely best if soaked overnight.

Topping

  • Place the can of full-fat coconut milk in the refrigerator for at least an hour or overnight.
  • Open the cold can and scoop out the thick coconut cream from the top into a mixing bowl. (Save any remaining liquid in the fridge for other recipes or smoothies.)
  • Use a hand mixer or stand mixer to whip the cream, powdered sugar and vanilla until airy and creamy.
  • Spread the top of the cake with the coconut whipped cream and garnish with fruit such as strawberries, blueberries, mango, pineapple or kiwi.

Notes

See blog post for additional notes.

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2 Comments to “Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Tres Leches Cake”

  1. Kat

    I’m excited to try this recipe but I noticed that it says 1 1/2 baking powder, what are the measurements for the baking powder? Thank you!

    Reply

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