This cake is for my dear friend and housemate K. I don’t say this lightly – I am seriously lucky to have this amazing lady in my life. I knew we’d be friends when I stepped into the kitchen and saw an amazing book collection and a cupboard full of roughly a dozen kinds of vinegar! She’s always ready for some girl talk over dumplings and wine, she’s a great travel companion and I (almost) don’t even mind that the cat likes her better than me these days.
She doesn’t really go for sweet desserts, but she loves all things dairy, so when making her a birthday cake, I thought this triple hit of milk would be perfect. The cake itself is a really nice simple one that is very easy to make. The special part comes in the way of the three milk mixture. Keeping in line with the things that she loves, I used coconut milk as one of the three, along with sweetened condensed milk and regular milk.
I’ve been much more fussy with cakes lately – I’m much more into pies and puddings just generally – but Tres Leches will always be an exception. I think it’s the most delicious, moist cake ever. I love that you can get creative with the milks and flavourings you use, like my crazy Pandan version from a few years ago. I loved the slightly tropical twist that the coconut milk and passionfruit gave this version. If summer fruit is in season where you are, it would also be delicious with mango!
I’m happy to say that K loved her birthday cake, and we shared a piece while watching an especially beautiful sunset from our front window. Can’t wait to share many more adventures and many many more glasses of champagne with you K!! xx
- 180g butter, softened
- 1 cup (220g) caster (superfine) sugar
- 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 5 eggs
- 1½ cups (225g) self raising flour, sifted
- 1 cup (250ml) milk
- 1 cup (250ml) sweetened condensed milk
- 1 cup (250ml) coconut milk
- 2 cups (500ml) pouring cream, to serve
- fresh passionfruit pulp, to serve
- coconut chips, to serve
Preheat oven to 180ºC (350ºF). Place the butter and sugar in an electric mixer and beat for 8–10 minutes or until pale and creamy. Add 1 tablespoon vanilla extract and lemon zest and beat to combine. Gradually add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually add the flour and beat until just combined. Spoon the mixture into a lightly greased 20cm cake tin lined with non-stick baking paper and bake for 30–35 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer.