Photo by Leslie Limón

Piña Colada Tres Leches Cake

Cuisine: Latin
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 16 servings
Tres leches gets a tropical makeover with the addition of pineapple and coconut. Top with maraschino cherries and you've got a new classic dessert.

This tropical piña colada tres leches cake combines a classic Latin dessert with a world-famous Puerto Rican cocktail. You get all the flavors of a creamy piña colada in a tres leches cake topped with whipped topping, crushed pineapple, toasted coconut, and maraschino cherries. You can add rum but that's totally optional. Either way, I promise it tastes as good as it sounds!

Tres leches is a popular Latin American dessert that consists of soaking a cake in a mixture of three types of milk: evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk and whole milk or half-and-half. But to give this cake a creamy coconut flavor, I’ve substituted two of the three milks for cream of coconut and coconut milk. Just be warned that this cake is so good that everyone is going to ask for seconds.


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  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly spray a 9x13-inch baking pan with cooking spray.
  2. Drain the cans of pineapple, reserving 1 cup of the juice. Set aside 1/3 cup of drained crushed pineapple to use for garnishing the cake.
  3. Whisk together the cake mix, eggs, vegetable oil, and 1 cup of the reserved pineapple syrup in a large mixing bowl until well combined. Stir in the two cans of crushed pineapple and 2/3 cup of the coconut. Pour batter into the prepared baking dish. Bake cake at 350°F for 30 to 35 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  4. While the cake is baking, whisk together the evaporated milk, cream of coconut, and coconut milk (and the rum, if using).
  5. Remove from oven. Immediately poke holes all over cake with a butter knife or fork. Ladle the tres leches mixture over cake. Let cake cook to room temperature.
  6. While cake is cooling, toast the remaining 1/3 cup coconut in a medium nonstick skillet over low heat, stirring constantly to avoid burning, until a light golden brown. Remove from heat and transfer to heat-proof bowl.
  7. Once the cake has cooled completely, frost the cake with whipped topping. Garnish with the reserved crushed pineapple, toasted coconut, and maraschino cherries. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.
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