Tres Leches Cake – Moccha

Tres leches cake is one of my favorite desserts of all time. Every bite melts in your mouth delivering exceptional flavor and exquisiteness. Traditional tres leches cake is made with a vanilla cake. I made this one with an airy and light chocolate base and added coffee to the milks for an ultimate Moccha cake that will linger in your memory for a long time.

Tres leches literally means three milks in English. Precisely what you will be using to make this little piece of Heaven completely moist and over the top. I normally use evaporated milk as one of them but sometimes, outside the US, it is hard to find. If that is the case, go ahead and substitute it by 1/2 cup heavy cream mixed with 1/2 cup whole milk.

This extraordinary dessert is reminiscent of Tiramisu.

This is what you are going to need to do for this fantastic tres leches cake:

Serves twelve

½ TBS softened butter for pan
2/3 cup flour
1/3 cup dark, unsweetened cocoa powder
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
5 eggs, room temperature – separated
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup whole milk
1 tsp. vanilla

Butter a rectangular cake pan. Line it with parchment paper (if you have no parchment paper available you can use the inside of a paper bag). Butter the paper. Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt.

Start beating the egg yolks for a couple of minutes – until they start turning pale. Add ¾ cup of sugar and beat for about 3 minutes until creamy and light yellow. Add the milk and vanilla and mix for one more minute. Set aside.

Wash your beaters and start beating the egg whites. When they are frothy, add ¼ cup of sugar. Beat the whites until soft peaks form. Set aside.

Whisk in 1/3rd of the flour and cocoa mixture to the eggs yolks. Mix well and add 1/3rd of the egg whites. Softly fold them into the batter. Now add another 1/3rd of the flour and fold that in, followed by another 1/3rd of the egg whites. Finish up by folding in the final 1/3rd of the flour, mixing in, and the final 1/3rd of egg whites.

Pour the batter into the pan. Softly bang the pan on the kitchen counter to remove all air bubbles. Bake the cake for 20 minutes. Check it by inserting a toothpick or cake pin. If it comes out clean your cake is ready. Do not over-bake this cake as the bottom will get hard and you will ruin it.

Remove it from the oven and let it cool down completely.

1 cup whipping cream
1 – 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1 – 14.5 oz. can evaporated milk — (if you can not find evaporated milk use half cream/ half whole milk)
1 TBS instant coffee

Place all of the ingredients in a pot. Whisk until the coffee dissolves. Warm until you start seeing bubbles on the edges. Do not boil the milks. Remove from the heat and allow to cool down a little bit.

Make some small holes on the whole cake, using a skewer or a toothpick. Slowly ladle in the milks, waiting a bit between each ladle full. Add all the milk. Do not worry about it being too much liquid. The cake will absorb it.

Cover the cake pan with plastic and refrigerate it for a minimum of 2 hours. You can make this overnight if you prefer. The longer it soaks the better.

1 ½ cups of cold whipping cream
¼ cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 TBS cocoa

Place the whipping cream in a bowl. Start whipping until the cream starts to get firm. Add the sugar and beat a little longer. Add the vanilla and beat until the cream forms hard peaks.

Spread the cream on the cake. Sift the cocoa powder on the cream. Serve and enjoy!

CALORIES 444.91.; FAT 22.91 grs (sat 13.64; mono 6.95; poly 1.09); PROTEIN 10.14 grs ; FIBER 0.91 grs; CARBS 5.96 grs; CHOLESTEROL 151.05 mg; IRON 1.24 mg; SODIUM 225.86 mg; CALCIUM 288.46 mg

Print the Moccha Tres Leches Recipe Here


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  • Sounds good, I really enjoy the more traditional tres leches I’ve made in the past,since I love coffee as well, I think this is a match made in heaven.

  • If I were to put double the ingredients how long would I cook the cake? And this cake was delicious my family wanted more!

  • Hi Lizeth!
    Sorry for the delay! I would never recommend doubling baking recipes as the final result will not be optimal. Thank you for stopping by. I am happy this worked for you!
    Mary Ann

  • I love to bake, and I can’t remember the last time one of my desserts failed…until this one. I don’t know what I did wrong. The cake came out beautiful, I poked many holes w/a toothpick…poured the milk over the cake, waiting in between pouring…there was lots of milk on the sides of the cake when I put it in the fridge last night. I was hopeful the cake would absorb it, but it didn’t. I’ll probably try this again sometime, but learned my lesson…don’t make a new dessert when you’re going to someones house for dinner 🙂

  • Hi Robin!
    I am so sorry this recipe did not work for you! The cake should have absorbed the liquid . . . this is very odd as I make this all the time and have never had an issue with it! Argh! And for it to fail when you are taking dessert to a friend’s house! Ugh. I really have no idea what would of happened. Thank you for giving it a try, nonetheless. Take care!
    Mary Ann

  • I made this one few days ago, and it turns out pretty good. My husband can’t get enough of it! It was really tasty. Thanks for sharing the recipe… 😀

  • Was this all purpose flour or cake flour? I understand the cake needs to be sturdy enough so it doesn’t get mushy on the bottom with the milk mixture.

  • I made the mocha tres leches cake for an office pot luck and it was a big hit. Now I have to make it for all office functions.

  • Hi Melinda!
    I am so happy to hear this! I personally love this cake. It is so moist and exquisite! Thank you for taking the time to let us know. I really appreciate it!
    Mary Ann

  • Hello,
    For the cake , you mention unsweetened cocoa powder but for the topping is it unsweetened too?

  • Hi Micaela,
    Thanks for stopping by! No. I used the same cocoa powder on the top that I used inside the cake. It cut down on the sweetness a little bit. I hope you make this and love it as much as we do! Thanks for stopping by!
    Mary Ann

  • I made this cake for a Mexican dinner party. I was nervous never having made anything like this before but I followed your recipe closely (I did cut out a bit of the sugar, we don’t tend to eat things quite as sweet in Australia) and it was amazing! So delicious and moist, yet it held its form perfectly when cut. Thankyou for sharing this recipe

  • Hi Kath!
    Thank you so much for making this and for letting me know! I really appreciate it. We love this cake at home. Thanks again for stopping by. Have a wonderful week!
    Mary Ann

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