Chocolate Tres Leches Cake (Gluten Free)

June 2013

There is a simple question I ask myself quite frequently in my baking endeavors- “would this be better with chocolate?” There is a simple answer that follows quite frequently in said baking endeavors- “YES! Absolutely, this would be better with chocolate!”

Chocolate Tres Leches Cake

When a friend asked if I could come up with a dessert for a tropical/Caribbean, gluten-free dinner party he was catering, chocolate was absolutely the answer! Tres leches cake tastes like a spongy cake saturated with a milkshake. Though I sent this cake into the world before tasting the result for myself, I was told its eaters agreed with the chocolate upgrade.

Chocolate Tres Leches Cake


6 large, organic eggs, separated, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon fine salt

1 cup raw sugar

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract, divided
2 teaspoons spiced rum

1/2 cup organic unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus more for baking pan

1 cup almond meal
1/2 cup pure cocoa powder

2 1/2 cups organic heavy cream, divided
1 can (13.75 ounces) unsweetened coconut milk
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup spiced rum
2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 ripe mango, peeled and diced
1 organic lime, zested


Preheat the oven to 350F and butter an 9×13 baking pan.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine egg whites, baking soda, and salt. Use an electric mixer to beat on medium speed until soft peaks form, about 3-4 minutes, depending on the strength of the mixer.

Add the egg yolks to the mixer and continue beating until well combined.

Add sugar in a slow, steady stream and whisk until well blended. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla and rum and mix to combine.

Stop the mixer, remove the whisk, and fold in the melted butter with a spatula.

In a separate bowl, combine the almond meal and cocoa powder.

Add 1/4 cup flour mixture and fold to combine. Repeat with remaining flour, folding in 1/4 cup at a time.

Pour batter into the prepared pan; bake until golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes.


While the cake is baking, whisk together 1 cup heavy cream, the coconut milk, the condensed milk and the cinnamon. Reserve ½ cup of the mixture. Set aside.

As soon as cake is removed from oven, pour the bulk of the cream mixture over cake. Let cake cool in the pan on a wire rack. Cover cake with plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least 5 hours and up to 8 hours.


Just before serving, whisk the remaining heavy whipping cream (1 1/2 cups) and the milk mixture reserve until soft peaks form and add remaining 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract.

Spread the whipped cream over cake and smooth with a spatula. Pipe remaining whipped cream into rosettes. Top with a mango chunk and sprinkles of lime zest.

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