The Daring Bakers – Coconut Tres Leches Cupcakes


Inma of la Galletika was our Sept. 2013 Daring Bakers’ hostess and WOW did she bring us something decadent and delicious! Pastel de Tres Leches or Three Milk Cake, creamy yet airy, super moist but not soggy.. just plain delish!


Now one thing I love about being part of the Daring Kitchen is the fact that I often make things that I have never tried before.


It may be things I have never heard of; or things I just wouldn’t normally think to make; or something I’ve wanted to make for a long time but haven’t got round to it.


The latter was the case this month. I have wanted to make a tres leches cake since pre-vegan times, and it has since been on my list of traditionally non-vegan recipes to make a vegan version of.


This list mostly consists of pre-vegan loves, foods I simply can’t live without for too long like Sticky Toffee Pudding or Carrot Cake, but it also contains recipes that I simply love the idea of and/or those that appear challenging to make vegan due to their heavy reliance on dairy or eggs.


When this months challenge offered links to some interesting vegan versions of this South American classic Pastel de Tres Leches – Three-Milk Cake, I was hooked on this recipe from SheKnows and knew it was the recipe I wanted to work with. I upped the coconut love for a truly decadent, moist, sweet coconut affair and decided to make cute little cupcakes instead of a large cake.


The result was amazing, moist cake with a sweet, nutty topping with a hint of cinnamon. They were also so very easy to make, one bowl, one whisk and a jug.


Ingredients: Makes 12 cupcakes

  • 250ml/1 cup almond milk
  • 5.5 tbsp/1/3 cup melted coconut butter
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 210g/1.5 cups plain flour
  • 150g/3/4 cup coconut sugar (or other unrefined sugar)
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 x 400ml (15 oz) can coconut milk (refrigerated for at least 4 hours)
  • Almond milk (as needed)
  • 2 tbsp desiccated coconut, soaked in warm water
  • Whole or ground cinnamon for dusting



  1. Preheat oven to 180’C/350’F and line a muffin tin with cases.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the almond milk, coconut butter, vanilla extract, and vinegar until smooth.
  3. Add the flour, sugar, bicarbonate of soda, and salt and mix until you have a thick batter and all ingredients are combined.
  4. Divide the batter between the cases. Bake for 15 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Remove from the oven and carefully remove the cupcakes to a wire rack to cool.
  5. Meanwhile, carefully open the can of coconut milk and spoon the thick cream into a medium bowl. Place this cream in the refrigerator.
  6. Pour the remaining watery coconut milk into a measuring jug and add enough almond milk to make 250ml/1 cup total liquid.
  7. Place the wire rack over a tray to catch drips. Poke holes all over the cakes then pour the milk mixture all over the cakes, using a spoon to try and get it into the holes. Set aside for 10 minutes for the liquid to soak in, then repeat with the liquid caught in the tray using a spoon.
  8. Whisk the chilled coconut cream until fluffy then stir in the drained desiccated coconut. Dollop on the cupcakes and grate over fresh cinnamon or a dusting of ground cinnamon.


Calorie Count :: New Recipe

This entry was posted in Cupcakes, Daring Bakers, vegan, Vegetarian and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

51 Responses to The Daring Bakers – Coconut Tres Leches Cupcakes

  1. If I could like this post twice, I would. Rich, yummy, custard-y, pudding-y cake is something I have been missing since going vegan. I’m going file this post in the back of my brain and pull it out again on a sad, rainy, I’m-craving-dessert-waaah! type day. 😉 …so, probably tomorrow. 🙂

    • Poppy says:

      I love that ‘If I could like this post twice, I would’!! Thank you!
      I absolutely understand what you have been missing, and I know these will hit the spot. The kind of cupcake that is so moist you need a fork!!
      I hope you get to make them on your next dessert craving, in need of comfort day! 😀

  2. mandyjoy says:

    Those look spectacular!

  3. Liane says:

    I just recently heard of tres leches cakes (and thought it would never be possible vegan). Glad to see it is. These look great 🙂

    • Poppy says:

      Oh wow, sounds like perfect timing then! I heard of them years ago but never tried one and was pleased I could trial my curiosity to veganise it, and it worked! If you like coconut you’ll love these! 😀

      • Liane says:

        I would have to make them glutenfree as well, so that´s gonna take a while. Til then I´ll probably stick to good ol’ chocolate cake 🙂

      • Poppy says:

        I think a ready made gluten free flour blend would work just fine here. I often sub gluten free flour in many cake recipes with the same technique as this one and it works perfectly! As long as you use one with xantham gum or add it in yourself it should be fine 😀

  4. Dayna says:

    Reblogged this on Pretty Little Daydream and commented:
    These look AMAZING!

  5. Oh yum! I am drooling over here.

  6. Anneli says:

    Thank you for this recipe! I keep an eye out for recipe’s that are vegan, don’t contain soy, and nuts for my son, who is in university now, and has many food allergies. He had issues with his digestion for years and now that he has pin pointed the culprits he is feeling much better. I will definitely make these as they look very good.

    • Poppy says:

      It must be such a relief to have finally pinpointed the causes of the issues. These are a great example of how allergy free and vegan foods can be just as delicious as the counterparts! I hope your son loves them! 😀

  7. KittNoir says:

    Lookx so delicious!

  8. Looks like you succeeded! They look delicious 🙂

  9. I can see why tres leches cake was on your must-make-someday list…your cupcakes are stunningly delicious! Thanks for sharing the recipe! 🙂

  10. These look amazing!! i love coconut anything and these look almost caramel like! Must must make! Loving the ingredients list too.
    Daring Bakers sounds like such fun.

    • Poppy says:

      Thank you Emma! I love coconut anything too! You’re right, they are caramel-like from the coconut sugar. Have you tried it before? It’s so rich and delicious! The Daring Bakers is fun, and it helps me to tick things off the ‘to-bake’ list too!! 😀

  11. kellygetthin says:

    Reblogged this on kellygetthin.

  12. myninjanaan says:

    I love that you were able to veganize these! They look amazing!

  13. Oh. Oh my. Must make these immediately. I’ve been so sad about tres leche treats that I couldn’t eat! Poppy to the rescue!

    • Poppy says:

      Yayyy! Tres leches is back on the menu! I reckon with the lovely coconut flavour that it’s better than the original anyway ;D Coconut makes everything delicious….hope you get to make them Annie!

  14. aishazd says:

    It looks delicous!!!

  15. Poppy, I sent this to a facebook page called “finding vegan.” I hope they re-post and share it there because I think everyone should enjoy your creations! 🙂

  16. chefjulianna says:

    These look so delicious!! I don’t bake very much, but I am going to bake these – without a doubt!! I can’t wait!

  17. I love the idea of coconut and cupcakes for a tres leches cake!

  18. misscruciferous says:

    I love this healthy version of tres leches! Your cupcakes look downright dreamy.

  19. Kelli says:

    These look amazing, Poppy! I’d never had Tres Leches Cake before going vegan, and now I can! I can’t wait to make them…..

    • Poppy says:

      Thank you so much Kelli! I too hadn’t tried it before going vegan and it’s great that it can be made vegan and delicious! I hope you love them! 😀

  20. These look amazing, I love tres leches cake!! I can’t wait to try this version!!

  21. These look SO GOOD! Have to try it out!

  22. kellygetthin says:


Leave a Reply to Poppy Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s