Coffee Tres Leches Cakes

Coffee Tres Leches Cakes

For these Coffee Tres Leches Cakes, luscious mini pound cakes get soaked in the classic trinity of milks, with shots of espresso and coffee liqueur added in for good measure. Topped with meringue and a sticky coffee syrup drizzle, this cake offers custard-like texture with oodles of coffee flavor.

Coffee Tres Leches Cakes
Makes 3 (5½×3½-inch) cakes
  • 5 large eggs (250 grams), room temperature
  • ¾ cup (150 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon (4 grams) vanilla extract
  • ½ cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1½ cups (188 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon (5 grams) baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon (1.5 grams) kosher salt
  • ½ cup (120 grams) sweetened condensed milk
  • ½ cup (120 grams) evaporated milk
  • ¼ cup (60 grams) heavy whipping cream
  • ¼ cup (60 grams) brewed espresso, chilled
  • 3 tablespoons (45 grams) coffee liqueur*
  • Meringue Topping (recipe follows)
  • Coffee syrup*, to serve (optional recipe follows)
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Butter and flour 3 (5½×3½-inch) loaf pans. (See Note.)
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat eggs, sugar, and vanilla at medium-high speed until thick, pale, and doubled in volume, about 5 minutes. Reduce mixer speed to medium. Add melted butter in a slow, steady stream until combined. (It’s important to add the butter very slowly. If added quickly, the air whipped into the egg mixture will deflate.)
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. With mixer on low speed, gradually add flour mixture to egg mixture, beating just until combined. Divide batter among prepared pans.
  4. Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, in a liquid-measuring cup, whisk together condensed milk, evaporated milk, cream, espresso, and liqueur until well combined.
  6. Remove cakes from oven; using a wooden skewer, immediately poke holes about ¼ inch apart into cakes, piercing through to bottom. Immediately pour ¼ cup milk mixture over each cake, allowing mixture to soak into cakes. Divide remaining milk mixture among cakes. Let cool in pans for 1 hour. Wrap pans in plastic wrap, and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  7. Just before serving, use a small of set spatula to loosen cakes from sides of pans; remove from pans. Using a serrated knife, remove rounded tops from cakes. Place Meringue Topping in a piping bag fitted with a jumbo rose tip. (See Note.) Starting at short end of each cake, hold piping bag vertically, and pipe in a zigzag motion down length of cake. Using a kitchen torch, lightly brown Meringue Topping. Serve with coffee syrup.
*We like Dave's Coffee Syrup in Vanilla, but you can also make your own Coffee Syrup (recipe follows).

Note: We used Williams Sonoma Goldtouch Nonstick Mini Loaf Pans, available at, and Wilton #127D Giant Rose Petal Decorating Tip, available at

Meringue Topping
Makes about 3 cups
  • ½ cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup (60 grams) water
  • 2 large egg whites (60 grams), room temperature
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • ½ teaspoon (1.5 grams) kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon (2 grams) vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon (2 grams) coffee extract
  1. In a small saucepan, bring sugar and ¼ cup (60 grams) water to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Cook until a candy thermometer registers 248°F (120°C).
  2. Meanwhile, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites and cream of tartar at medium speed until soft peaks form.
  3. With mixer on high speed, add hot sugar syrup to egg white mixture in a slow, steady stream, being careful not to hit sides of bowl. Beat until smooth, glossy peaks form, about 3 minutes. Fold in salt and extracts. Use immediately.

Coffee Syrup
Makes about ¾ cup
  • 1 cup (200 grams) turbinado sugar
  • 1 cup (240 grams) water
  • 1 cup (240 grams) cold brew coffee concentrate
  1. In a small saucepan, bring turbinado sugar and 1 cup (240 grams) water to a boil over medium-high heat; cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat; stir in coffee concentrate. Return to heat, bring mixture to a rolling boil, and boil over medium heat until reduced to ¾ cup, about 45 minutes.


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