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Gluten Free/Non-Dairy Tres Leches Cake Recipe

There are so many delicious choices for cakes, but one of my favorites is a tres leches cake.  This cake is similar to a sponge cake. In some recipes, it would be a vanilla butter cake that was soaked in three kinds of milk: evaporated milk, condensed milk, and heavy cream.

When I was growing up, my mother made a similar type of soaked cake called tiramisu, which is a rich coffee flavored Italian dessert served all year long. However, as I got older, my sister and I became very sensitive to most dairy products, making it nearly impossible for my mother to make this type of cake without us sulking. That’s where this gluten free tres leches cake recipe by our Sharp Chef Michelle of Sunkissed Kitchen comes in. Using coconut and almond milk , this is a welcoming way to enjoy a moist, soaked, flavorful dessert for anyone allergic or sensitive to dairy.

This paleo version of the classic Mexican Tres Leches Cake is a fluffy vanilla almond flour cake made to perfection in the Sharp Superheated Steam Countertop Oven, soaked in sweetened coconut milk, and then topped with a creamy coconut whipped cream.

To begin, line an 8×8 or similar size baking pan with parchment paper, and set aside. To prepare the cake, you’ll want to combine the almond flour, arrowroot, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a medium size mixing bowl whisking to combine.

Then, in a smaller bowl, add the egg yolks, coconut oil, honey or date syrup (whichever you prefer), almond milk, and vanilla, whisking until well mixed. When a recipe states that a batter needs to be “well mixed”, it means that you should not be able to see any ingredient separated from the whole mixture by the time you are done mixing the batter. After a while, you can eyeball a batter and know that all the ingredients are completely mixed in, but if you are new to baking, mix for about 5 minutes.

Once you have combined your wet ingredients in one bowl and your dry ingredients in another, add the wet ingredients to the dry, and stir until combined. If you see some ingredients not fully incorporated into this batter, it is okay as it does not have to be completely smooth, and you will not want to over mix.

You certainly will have to run your dishwasher after finishing this recipe, but it will be well worth it! In a separate bowl, use a hand or stand mixer to beat the egg whites until soft peaks form, and then add the whipped egg whites to the cake batter. Use a spatula to gently fold in the egg whites until the two are mixed. Be careful not to stir too much of the air out of the batter. Once finished, add the mixture to the baking dish, smoothing out the top with a spatula.

Bake your tres leches cake in a Sharp Superheated Steam Countertop Oven on Bake/Reheat at 325º F for 32 minutes, allowing the cake to cool for at least 10 minutes. If you are impatient like I am, while you are waiting for your cake to cool, whisk together 1 cup of coconut milk and 2 tablespoons of honey or date syrup. Once the cake is cooled, remove the cake from the pan, taking the parchment paper off the cake, and “flip” the cake upside down back into the cake pan. Use a fork to pierce the cake with holes, and then drizzle the coconut milk mixture over the cake to be absorbed. Refrigerate and allow the milk to soak into the cake for at least 2 hours.

Once your cake has soaked in the coconut milk, top it off with a thick layer of coconut whipped cream and fresh strawberries.

Let’s talk about this whipped cream recipe. It is so fluffy and light but creamy and delicious at the same time.  It’s unbelievable! I would recommend keeping this coconut whipped cream recipe nearby for other recipes as well, such as strawberry shortcakes, and any variation of pie (specifically pudding).  The possible uses for this are endless!

This is not exactly an impulse baking recipe, as many ingredients do need to be cooled before using. Start off by placing a mixing bowl into the freezer to chill and then refrigerate several cans of regular coconut cream overnight. Before opening the cans, “shake” well to see if you can hear the liquid sloshing. If you don’t hear the sound, your coconut cream has separated. Don’t panic, that is a good thing. Then, flip the can upside down, and open the can from the bottom because the liquid will have settled overnight, and you will need to discard the liquid in order to separate the cream. Stressful, but worth it, I promise!

Once you’ve accomplished this, add the solid coconut cream to the chilled mixing bowl, and then use a hand mixer or a stand mixer to whip the coconut cream.  While you are whipping the coconut cream, add your sweetener of choice, and continue whipping until the cream has stiffened.

 

Gluten Free Tres Leches Cake

A paleo version of the classic Mexican Tres Leches Cake. A fluffy vanilla almond flour cake is soaked in sweetened coconut milk, and then topped with a creamy coconut whipped cream.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Cool time10 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Gluten Free Cake, Gluten Free Dessert, Paleo Cake, Tres Leches Cake
Servings: 10 Slices
Calories: 617kcal
Author: Sunkissed Kitchen

Ingredients

Almond Flour Cake

  • 2 cups almond flour blanched
  • 1/4 cup arrowroot
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 5 eggs separated
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup honey or sub date syrup
  • 2 tbsp almond milk unsweetened
  • 2 tsp vanilla *or scraped vanilla bean, for Paleo
  • 1 cup coconut milk full fat (from can)
  • 2 tbsp honey or sub date syrup
  • 1 cup strawberries *optional

Coconut Whipped Cream

  • 2 cans coconut cream full fat *see notes
  • 2 tbsp honey light in color or sub date syrup

Instructions

Almond Flour Cake

  • Line an 8x8 or similar size baking pan with parchment paper, and set aside.
  • Prepare the cake by combining the almond flour, arrowroot, baking powder, salt and baking soda in a medium size mixing bowl, and whisking to combine.
  • In a smaller bowl, add the egg yolks, coconut oil, honey (or date syrup), almond milk and vanilla, and whisk until well mixed.
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry, and stir until just combined, without over mixing.
  • Use a hand or stand mixer to beat the egg whites until soft peaks form, and then add the whipped egg whites to the cake batter. Use a spatula to gently fold in the egg whites until the two are mixed, being careful not to stir too much of the air out of the batter.
  • Add the mixture to the baking dish, smoothing out the top.
  • Bake the cake in the Sharp Superheated Steam Countertop Oven on Bake/Reheat at 325º F for 32 minutes.
  • If using a conventional oven, preheat the oven to 325º F, and bake the cake for 50-55 minutes, until the cake is fully cooked in the center.
  • Allow the cake to completely cool.
  • Whisk together 1 cup of coconut milk and 2 tablespoons of honey (or date syrup).
  • Once the cake is cooled, remove the cake from the pan, take the parchment off the cake, and "flip" the cake upside down back into the cake pan.
  • Use a fork to cover the bottom of the cake with holes, and then drizzle the coconut milk mixture over the cake. Refrigerate and allow the milk to soak into the cake.
  • Top the cake with a thick layer of coconut whipped cream and fresh strawberries.

Coconut Whipped Cream

  • Add a heavy mixing bowl (or bowl from stand mixer) to the freezer to chill.
  • Refrigerate cans of full fat coconut cream overnight. Before opening, "shake" cans to see if you can hear the liquid sloshing. If you don't hear the sound, your coconut cream has separated.
  • Flip the can upside down, and open the can from the bottom. The liquid will have settled to the bottom, and you need to pour off the liquid in order to separate the cream.
  • Add the solid coconut cream to chilled mixing bowl, and then use a hand mixer or a stand mixer to whip the coconut cream. Add sweetener of choice, and continue whipping until the cream has stiffened.

Notes

*Whole Foods 365 brand, and Native Forest are brands I recommend. Other brands might not separate and therefore won't work.
 
Calories: 617kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 54g | Saturated Fat: 38g | Cholesterol: 81mg | Sodium: 185mg | Potassium: 359mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 2.4% | Vitamin C: 2.8% | Calcium: 9% | Iron: 20.9%

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