Given that tres leches cake literally has “milk” in the name (and three types at that), it’s probably one of the last desserts you’d think could taste equally delicious without dairy. Not true. If you’re dairy-free and have resigned yourself to not being able to eat tres leches cake, you’re in luck thanks to this week’s episode of Alt-Baking Bootcamp.
“Personally, I love tres leches, but in my later years I found that I didn’t like dairy as much as I used to,” says nutrition coach and baker. Sasha Handal. In the episode, she demonstrates a dairy-free tres leches cake recipe that “nails” the “creaminess, indulgence and flavor” of a tres leches cake, without any dairy. (Note: this recipe is not vegan, as it calls for eggs.)
The key to getting that creamy dairy-free flavor is using the right milk alternatives. Handal’s recipe calls for coconut, cashew, and oat milk; true to form, it still uses three kinds. “I really like these milks because they’re super high in fat, and that’s what you need to get that really luscious end result that’s going to mimic dairy,” Handal says. Hit play on the video to see the full prep in action and follow the instructions below.
Dairy Free Tres Leches Cake Recipe
1 cup King Arthur AP flour
1/2 cup almond flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
4 egg yolks
4 egg whites
3 1/2 tablespoons vegan butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup of sugar
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup cashew milk
Tres leches “milk”
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup oat milk
1 1/3 cup cashew milk
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Using the paddle attachments of an electric mixer, cream the egg yolks, vegan butter, sugar and vanilla in a bowl. Add 1/2 cup of coconut milk and mix until combined.
2. Combine the remaining dry ingredients for the cake in a separate bowl and mix well. Add half of the mixture to the wet ingredients and mix until fully incorporated.
3. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl, then add the cashew milk. Mix until homogeneous.
4. Add remaining dry ingredients and mix until fully incorporated.
5. Whisk egg whites until light and fluffy and you can see stiff peaks forming. Fold in the dough.
6. Spray a cake pan with coconut oil. Pour the batter into the mold. Bake for 35 minutes, making sure to check halfway through.
7. Take the cake out of the oven. Use a fork to poke holes all over the cake. Make sure the fork touches the bottom of the pan.
8. Mix all the ingredients for the very leche “milk” in a pitcher. Slowly pour the mixture over the cake. Let it cool on the counter until the mold is cool enough to touch, then place it in the refrigerator and let it cool for three hours.
9. Spread a thin layer of dairy-free whipped topping over the cake. Garnish with slivered almonds and toasted coconut flakes. Enjoy!
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