Strawberry-Coconut Tres Leches Cake

Add a tropical twist to a classic “three milks” cake with coconut milk, coconut pieces, and a splash of rum. It’s a sweet new way to enjoy this legendary spring & summer dessert. Don’t forget to use fresh, local strawberries!

Prep Time
30 minutes
45 minutes cooling time
4 hours chilling time (preferably overnight)
Bake Time
20 à 25 minutes
A single serving of Strawberry-Coconut Tres Leches cake on a pink plate with a gold fork, alongside a white baking dish of the same cake and a small bowl of sliced strawberries, all on a grey countertop with a pink cloth napkin

Redpath® Golden Yellow Sugar & Redpath® Icing Sugar

Redpath® Golden Yellow Sugar

Redpath® Golden Yellow Sugar

Light-coloured and just right for baking, the subtle notes of caramel and moist texture make it ideal for allowing delicate flavours to shine through in your creations.

Redpath® Golden Yellow Sugar

Redpath® Icing Sugar

Redpath® Icing Sugar

Use it to make the smoothest frostings, icings, and glazes you’ve ever seen for the finishing touch on your cakes, cupcakes, and more.

Scale OR dry measuring cups

Large liquid measuring cup 

Chef’s knife

Cutting board

Small heavy-bottomed saucepan x 2

Heatproof spatula OR wooden spoon

Large bowl

Immersion blender OR blender

9 x 13-inch baking pan

Medium bowl


Stand mixer (paddle attachment and whisk attachment) OR large bowl with handheld mixer

Fine-mesh sieve

Chopstick OR skewer 

Wire cooling rack


Parchment paper OR aluminum foil OR plastic wrap

1 9 x 13-inch cake (18 to 24 servings)
For the strawberry tres leches:
  • 1⅓ cup (192 g) strawberries, fresh (washed, pat dry, hulled) or frozen
  • ¼ cup (54 g) Redpath® Golden Yellow Sugar, packed
  • 1 cup (250 ml) canned coconut milk
  • 1 cup (250 ml) evaporated milk
  • ⅔ cup (167 ml/208g) sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) coconut or dark rum (optional) (see Chef’s Tips)
For the sponge cake:
  • 1⅔ cup (208 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp (5 g) baking powder
  • ½ tsp (3 g) salt
  • ¼ tsp (1 g) baking soda
  • ½ cup (125 ml) canned coconut milk (see Chef’s Tips)
  • 3 tbsp (39 g) coconut oil
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 cup (217 g) Redpath® Golden Yellow Sugar, packed
  • 2 tsp (10 ml) pure vanilla extract (see Chef’s Tips)
For the garnish:
  • 1¾ cups (438 ml) heavy cream (35%)
  • ½ cup (60 g) Redpath® Icing Sugar
  • Fresh strawberries
  • Shredded or flaked coconut (toasted or untoasted)
  • Ground cinnamon (optional)
For the strawberry tres leches mixture:

Step 1

Roughly chop the strawberries and place them into a small heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add the Redpath® Golden Yellow Sugar to the saucepan and mix to combine. Let the mixture macerate, stirring occasionally to ensure strawberry pieces are coated in sugar; 20 minutes.

Step 2

Place over medium heat and bring the macerated strawberries to a boil while constantly stirring. Reduce heat and simmer for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Cool to room temperature.

Step 3

In a large measuring cup or bowl, combine coconut milk, evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, and rum if using. Add in the cooled strawberry mixture.

Step 4

Use an immersion blender and blend until smooth and no lumps remain. Alternatively place all the milk ingredients, strawberry mixture, and rum into a blender and process until smooth. Place mixture into the fridge until needed.

For the sponge cake:

Step 1

Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Lightly grease the bottom and sides of a 9 x 13-inch pan with coconut oil. Lightly flour only the bottom of the pan, tapping out any excess flour.

Step 2

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda until well combined. Set aside.

Step 3

In a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine coconut milk and coconut oil. Place and stir over medium heat and heat until coconut oil is melted and the coconut milk just begins to bubble around the edges; do not boil. Turn off heat.

Step 4

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat eggs with sugar on medium speed until well combined. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until eggs are pale in colour, thick, and doubled in volume; about 5 minutes.

Step 5

Sift in the flour mixture. Mix on low speed until just combined. While the mixer is running at low speed, gradually add in the warm coconut milk and vanilla extract. Mix until just combined.

Step 6

Transfer and evenly spread batter into the prepared pan. Place into the preheated oven, and bake; 20 to 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.

Step 7

Remove from oven and place onto a wire cooling rack to cool slightly; 5 to 10 minutes.

Step 8

Poke the entire surface of the cake with a chopstick or the base of a skewer.

Step 9

Whisk the strawberry tres leches and pour a quarter of the mixture over the surface of the warm cake. Use a spatula to spread the tres leches over the surface. Wait a few minutes before repeating the process to allow cake to absorb the milk.

Step 10

Let cake stand and cool at room temperature; 45 minutes.

Step 11

Cover the pan with a piece of parchment paper (or aluminum foil or plastic wrap). Place into the fridge to allow the cake to absorb the strawberry milk mixture; at least 4 hours, but preferably overnight.

For the whipped cream:

Step 1

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (see Chef’s Tips), add the heavy cream. Whip on medium speed until slightly thickened.

Step 2

Add the Redpath® Icing Sugar. Whip on medium speed, increasing the speed to medium-high after the icing sugar has been fully incorporated. Whip until stiff peaks form; do not overwhip.

Step 3

Remove cake from the fridge and, using an offset spatula, evenly spread the whipped cream over the surface of the cake.

Step 4

Decorate with strawberries and shredded or flaked coconut, and dust with cinnamon if desired.

Step 5

Serve immediately. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Strawberry-Coconut Tres Leches cake slice on a pink plate with a gold fork, with the remaining cake in a white ceramic baking dish and fresh strawberries nearby, set on a textured grey surface with a pink linen napkin.