Comida Latina, Recipes, Sweets

Coconut Tres Leches Cake + A Tangle of Knots

August 12, 2013
 It’s time to talk books. This month’s Zoobean post is for the older crowd—relatively speaking. Until now we’ve strictly covered picture books but today we are featuring a chapter book from Zoobean’s Love CollectionA Tangle of Knots by Lisa Graff.

This enchanting book takes place in a mysterious, magical world where everyone has been granted a Talent. The main character, Cady, has the gift of cake baking and prides herself on knowing a person’s perfect cake within moments of meeting them. Destiny takes her to a lost luggage emporium run by a man who’s Talent is to steal the Talents of others. Little does she know her world could become changed forever. This playful book is perfect for those just getting into chapter books and also includes recipes for many of Cady’s creations, like Miss Mallory’s Peach Cake, Will’s S’more Cake, and The Owner’s Peanut Butter Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting.

If Cady were to meet me she would immediately know my perfect cake is this Coconut Tres Leches wonderbomb. This recipe was developed by my dear friend Regan Burns when we worked together at If I could make an olympic-sized pool version of this cake, I would. When are they going to make cake diving an olympic sport? I would be the world champion.

Coconut Tres Leches Cake

 Back to the cake…. first you take a light as air sponge cake, soak it head to toe in coconut milk then top with fluffy whipped cream and crisp coconut flakes. The stuff dreams are made of people…I’m telling ‘ya.


Coconut Tres Leches Cake

 Regan’s original recipe has rum in it which truly defines decadence—follow the link below to find her boozy version. I left out the rum seeing as I’m hoping you’ll check out this great book then maybe make the cake with your kiddos. So before school starts make some time to read and bake with your kids, the mad dash will start soon.


Coconut Tres Leches Cake

 And for more great cake + book inspiration check out Zoobean’s A Tangle of Knots  board on Pinterest!

Coconut Tres Leches Cake + A Tangle of Knots

Yield: 12

Adapted slightly from


  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1 (14oz) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2/3 cup vitamin D evaporated milk (not nonfat)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened canned coconut milk (not lite)
  • 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar


  1. Heat oven to 325°F and arrange rack in the middle. Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with baking spray and set aside.
  2. Separate eggs placing the yolks in the bowl of a stand mixer and placing whites in a clean medium bowl. Add sugar and almond extract to the yolks and beat with the paddle attachment until thick and sugar has dissolved, about 5 minutes.
  3. Transfer yolks to a large mixing bowl and thoroughly clean and dry the bowl of the stand mixer. Pour egg whites into the stand mixer bowl and whip with the whisk attachment until they form medium peaks, about 1-2 minutes.
  4. Add about a third of the whites to the yolk mixture and gently fold in with a rubber spatula to loosen up the yolks. Add the remaining whites and gently fold them in until only a few pockets of whites remain. Combine flour and salt in a fine mesh sieve and sift the two over the egg mixture. Fold in flour until just combined, being careful not to overmix.
  5. Scrape batter into prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean and cake is starting to pull away from the sides. Meanwhile, combine sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, and coconut milk in a medium bowl. Whisk until smooth.
  6. Let cake cool 15 minutes then poke cake all over with a skewer or fork. Pour milk mixture over cake and spread evenly. Let cake cool for another 45 minutes then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  7. Once you are ready to serve place sweetened coconut flakes in a large frying pan and toast over medium heat, stirring frequently, until golden and crisp. Remove immediately to a bowl and let cool. Combine heavy cream and powdered sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and whip with the whisk attachment until fluffy, firm peaks form. Spread cream evenly over cake then sprinkle toasted coconut on top. Cut into squares and serve.

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  • Melanie @ Just Some Salt and Pepper August 13, 2013 at 6:56 pm

    Yum, soaking tres leches cake in coconut sounds SO GOOD!!

  • Kate Ramos August 13, 2013 at 11:14 pm

    Oh, it is… ….good!

  • aida mollenakmp August 15, 2013 at 5:25 pm

    What a cute pic of you and lady L!

  • Kate Ramos August 15, 2013 at 7:50 pm

    Awww, thanks!