Tres Leches Cake Recipe with Mango: Vegan, Easy & Moistly Delicious!

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Make Tres Leches Cake
vegan mango lime tres leches cake and gluten free best recipe

Are you craving a delectable dessert that will transport your taste buds to Latin America? Let me introduce you to the mouthwatering world of mango tres leches cake.

You can kind of say this is a cross between a mango margarita and tres leches cake, the best of both worlds for Cinco de Mayo!  A little white flour and white sugar is used in this recipe (eeek!!!), but just a little!  This dessert isn’t overly sweet, but surely is suitable for a fiesta!  The addition of lime scented mango makes for a wonderful warm weather dessert… now, just if it was a little warmer out!  I’m not sure how it is where you live, but it certainly doesn’t feel like May on Cape Cod!

Imagine sinking your fork into a moist sponge cake, soaked in not one, but three types of milk. Yes, you heard it right! Tres leches cake is renowned for its rich and creamy texture that melts in your mouth with every bite. It’s a dessert fit for special occasions and celebrations, guaranteed to impress your friends and family.

vegan mango lime tres leches cake gluten free best recipe

Traditionally Tres Leches Cake is made with 3 types of milk, sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk and heavy cream. I switched it up for a non-dairy/vegan version by using coconut milk, soy milk and coconut cream.  The base of this dessert, the cake is a standard vegan vanilla cake, which is soaked in the mixture of milk and topped with coconut cream. I hope you like it as much as we do!

vegan mango lime tres leches cake and gluten free best recipe

Mango Lime Tres Leches Cake Recipe

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Make Tres Leches Cake
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine Gluten Free, Vegan
Prep Time 10 minutes
Baking Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 393kcal
Cost $


For the cake:

  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour Gluten-Free: 1¼ cups of a gluten-free all-purpose flour blend
  • ½ cup all purpose white flour Gluten-Free: ¼ cup of almond flour and ¼ cup of coconut flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup soy milk
  • cup vegetable oil
  • teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 + ¼ teaspoon apple cider vinegar

For the milk mixture:

  • ½ cup coconut milk separated from can of full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 cup soy milk
  • ½ teaspoon pure almond mixture

For the coconut cream:

  • 1 cup coconut cream separated from can of full-fat coconut milk)
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

For the topping:

  • 1 mango peeled and diced
  • 1 lime juiced
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
How many Ounces Are in a Cup?
How many Grams are in a Cup?


  • Place a can of full-fat coconut milk in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight. Gently open and scoop out coconut cream, place in a small bowl. Save milk for recipe.

To make cake:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Lightly oil or spray an 8×8 cake pan with all-natural cooking spray, set aside.
  • In a large bowl, mix together whole wheat pastry flour, all-purpose flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. Make a well and pour in soy milk, oil, vanilla and vinegar. Stir until just combined, do not over mix.
  • Pour batter in pan and bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool. Use a fork and poke cake to create holes for milk mixture to soak into.

For milk mixture:

  • Combine coconut milk, soy milk and almond extract. Pour onto cake and let soak for at least 2 hours.

To make coconut cream:

  • In a small bowl, mix coconut cream on high with an electric hand mixer. Mix in 1 tablespoon of maple syrup at a time. Taste and adjust sweetness as needed. Evenly spread on top of cake soaked in milk.
  • Mix diced mango, lime and zest in a small bowl. Garnish cake right before serving.


Making a delicious tres leches cake is easier than you might think. With a few simple steps, you can create a moist and decadent dessert that will impress your family and friends. Follow this step-by-step guide to whip up the perfect vegan tres leches cake recipe.


Calories: 393kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Sodium: 207mg | Potassium: 333mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 21g | Vitamin A: 518IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 111mg | Iron: 2mg

Making a mango tres leches cake may seem like a daunting task at first, but by following these simple steps, you’ll be able to create a mouthwatering dessert that will impress everyone who tries it. So why not give this recipe a try and indulge in a slice of heavenly goodness? Your friends and family will thank you!

Remember, practice makes perfectSo don’t be discouraged if your first attempt isn’t flawless. With each try, you’ll become more familiar with the process and develop your own unique twist on this classic dessert. So get baking and enjoy every delicious bite of your homemade tres leches cake!

vegan mango lime tres leches cake gluten free recipe

Different Variations of Tres Leches Cake

Gluten Free Tres Leches Cake

If you’re venturing through the world of gluten-free cooking, there’s no need to worry, as there are solutions aplenty. Instead of using 1 cup of whole wheat pastry flour, opt for a warm welcome to 1¼ cups of a gluten-free all-purpose flour blend. And when dealing with the ½ cup of all-purpose white flour, introduce a delightful duet: ¼ cup of almond flour and ¼ cup of coconut flour. Together, these gluten-free alternatives safeguard the true essence of your gluten free tres leches cake, ensuring that your journey through the realms of culinary delight remains uncompromised.

Chocolate Lovers Rejoice with a Cocoa Twist!

Who doesn’t love the rich, indulgent taste of chocolate? Well, if you’re a chocoholic looking to take your tres leches cake experience to the next level, we’ve got just the thing for you! By adding cocoa powder or melted chocolate to the batter, you can create a decadent and irresistible chocolate version of this classic dessert.

Imagine sinking your teeth into a moist sponge cake infused with the deep flavors of cocoa. The velvety smoothness of the chocolate perfectly complements the creamy milk mixture that makes tres leches so unique. With each bite, you’ll be transported to dessert heaven as the flavors meld together in perfect harmony.

Fruity Twists for an Exotic Delight

If you’re craving something a little more adventurous, why not try incorporating fruity flavors into your tres leches cake? Whether it’s juicy strawberries, tropical mangoes, or tangy pineapples, these vibrant fruits add a delightful twist to this already beloved treat.

You have multiple options. You can either mix finely chopped fruits directly into the batter for an explosion of flavor in every bite or use them as a luscious topping that will make your taste buds dance with joy. Whichever way you choose, these fruity variations are sure to impress both your eyes and palate.

Bite-Sized Bliss: Tres Leches Cupcakes

Sometimes we crave individual-sized treats that allow us better portion control and presentation flexibility. That’s where tres leches cupcakes come into play! These adorable mini versions offer all the deliciousness of traditional tres leches cake but in convenient bite-sized form.

With their fluffy texture and moist crumb soaked in three milks goodness, these cupcakes are simply irresistible. They make for perfect party desserts or delightful indulgences when you’re in need of a little pick-me-up. So go ahead, grab one (or two) and savor the heavenly combination of light sponge cake and the creamy milk mixture that defines this classic dessert.

A Lighter Twist with Angel Food Cake

For those seeking a lighter alternative to the traditional tres leches cake, why not experiment with using angel food cake instead? This airy confection is known for its delicate texture and lower calorie content compared to the denser sponge cake typically used in tres leches recipes.

By substituting angel food cake, you can create a dessert that is still incredibly moist and infused with the three milks but with a lighter touch. The fluffy nature of angel food cake allows it to absorb the milk mixture beautifully, resulting in a melt-in-your-mouth experience that won’t leave you feeling overly indulgent. It’s the perfect choice for those who want to enjoy this beloved treat without any guilt.

Tips for Achieving a Perfectly Moist Tres Leches Cake

Avoid Overmixing the Batter

One crucial tip is to avoid overmixing the batter. Overmixing can lead to excessive gluten development, resulting in a denser and less delicate texture. To prevent this, gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet ones until just combined. It’s okay if there are a few lumps remaining; they will dissolve during baking. This method ensures that your cake remains light and airy, allowing it to absorb the milk mixture more effectively.

Let Your Mango Lime Tres Leches Cake Cool Completely

To achieve an evenly soaked tres leches cake, it’s essential to let it cool completely before pouring the milk mixture over it. Allowing the cake to cool not only prevents any heat-related issues but also helps it retain its shape while absorbing the liquid evenly. If you pour the milk mixture over a warm cake, you risk ending up with pockets of excessive moisture in some areas and dry spots in others. So exercise patience and let your cake cool down entirely before moving on to the next step.

Refrigerate for Enhanced Flavor and Texture

For an extra boost of flavor and an even more luscious texture, refrigerating your soaked mango tres leches cake is highly recommended. Once you’ve poured the milk mixture over your cooled cake, cover it tightly with plastic wrap or foil and place it in the refrigerator for at least a few hours or overnight if possible. This chilling period allows all those delicious flavors from the milks – evaporated milk, condensed milk, and heavy cream – to meld together harmoniously with the sponge cake base. It also gives time for the moistness to penetrate every single bite of your tres leches creation.

Add Sweetness and Decoration

While traditional tres leches cakes are incredibly delicious on their own, adding some extra sweetness and decoration can take it to the next level. Consider garnishing your cake with fresh fruits like strawberries, raspberries, or sliced peaches. The vibrant colors and natural sweetness of these fruits complement the richness of the milks perfectly. You can also grate some chocolate over the top for a touch of elegance and additional flavor.

To summarize, achieving a perfectly moist tres leches cake involves being mindful of how you handle the batter, allowing the cake to cool completely before soaking it with the milk mixture, refrigerating it for enhanced flavor and texture, and adding your personal touch with beautiful garnishes. By following these tips, you’ll be able to create a tres leches cake that is irresistibly moist, tender, and bursting with delectable flavors. So go ahead and indulge yourself in this beloved Latin American dessert!

Whipped Cream vs Meringue Topping Options

Whipped cream and meringue are two popular choices. Each option offers its own unique qualities that can enhance the overall flavor and presentation of this classic dessert.

Whipped Cream: A Classic Choice for Creamy Indulgence

Whipped cream is a timeless and indulgent topping that perfectly complements the rich flavors of a tres leches cake. Made from heavy whipping cream, this creamy delight adds a light and airy texture to each bite.

To create the perfect whipped cream topping, start by chilling your mixing bowl and beaters in the freezer for about 15 minutes. Once chilled, pour cold heavy whipping cream into the bowl and add a touch of sweetness with powdered sugar or vanilla extract. Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, whip the cream until soft peaks form. Be careful not to overmix, as you want to maintain a fluffy consistency.

The beauty of whipped cream lies in its versatility. You can experiment with different flavors by incorporating cocoa powder for a chocolate twist or adding a hint of citrus zest for a refreshing burst. For an extra touch of elegance, consider piping your whipped cream onto the cake using decorative tips. This will not only elevate the visual appeal but also make each slice feel like a special treat.

Meringue: Lighter and Less Sweet Alternative

If you’re looking for something lighter and less sweet than whipped cream, meringue is an excellent choice. Made from egg whites beaten to stiff peaks with sugar, meringue creates a delicate yet satisfying topping that balances out the richness of the tres leches cake.

To achieve perfect meringue, ensure your mixing bowl is clean and free from any traces of grease or oil. Begin by whisking egg whites on low speed until they become frothy. Gradually increase the speed while slowly adding sugar, allowing it to dissolve completely. Continue whisking until the mixture forms stiff peaks that hold their shape.

Meringue offers a blank canvas for creativity. You can experiment with flavors by incorporating extracts such as almond or coconut, adding a unique twist to your topping. To achieve a beautiful golden finish, lightly torch the meringue with a kitchen torch or place it under the broiler for a few seconds. This will give your tres leches cake an enticing caramelized exterior while still maintaining its light and fluffy interior.

Elevating Your Topping Game

While whipped cream and meringue are delicious on their own, you can take your topping game to the next level by getting creative with additional elements. Here are some ideas to enhance the overall presentation of your tres leches cake:

  • Sprinkles: Add a pop of color and fun by sprinkling colorful jimmies or edible confetti over your whipped cream or meringue topping.
  • Nuts: Toasted almonds, chopped pecans, or shredded coconut can add texture and depth to your dessert.
  • Caramel Drizzle: Drizzling caramel sauce over the top creates a decadent touch that pairs beautifully with both whipped cream and meringue.

Remember, presentation is key! Experimenting with different piping techniques can make your whipped cream or meringue topping visually appealing. Try using star-shaped tips for elegant swirls or round tips for precise dollops.

Mastering the Art of Tres Leches Cake

Congratulations! You’ve now learned all the essential components to master the art of making a delicious Tres Leches Cake. With the right ingredients, a step-by-step guide, and some handy tips, you’re well on your way to creating a moist and irresistible dessert that will impress your friends and family. So what are you waiting for? It’s time to put your newfound skills to the test and indulge in the sweet satisfaction of baking this classic treat.

But remember, mastering any recipe takes practice. Don’t be discouraged if your first attempt doesn’t turn out exactly as planned. Keep experimenting with different variations, toppings, and techniques until you find your perfect version of Tres Leches Cake. And most importantly, have fun along the way!


Can I make vegan Tres Leches Cake in advance?

Absolutely! In fact, making Vegan Tres Leches Cake in advance can enhance its flavor and texture. The cake needs time to absorb the milky mixture fully, so preparing it a day ahead allows for optimal soaking time. Just make sure to cover it tightly with plastic wrap or store it in an airtight container before refrigerating.

Can I use a different type of milk for the soak?

While traditional Tres Leches Cake calls for evaporated milk, condensed milk, and whole milk for the soak mixture, you can experiment with different combinations or substitute certain types of milk according to your preference. Coconut milk or almond milk can add unique flavors while still maintaining the moistness characteristic of this cake.

How long does Tres Leches Cake last?

When stored properly in an airtight container in the refrigerator, Tres Leches Cake can last up to 3-4 days without compromising its taste or quality. However, due to its high moisture content, it is best enjoyed within 1-2 days after preparation for the ultimate freshness.

Can I freeze Tres Leches Cake?

Yes, you can freeze Tres Leches Cake. Wrap individual slices tightly in plastic wrap and place them in a freezer-safe container or ziplock bag. When you’re ready to enjoy, let the cake thaw in the refrigerator overnight. However, keep in mind that freezing may slightly alter the texture of the cake.

Can I make Tres Leches Cake without eggs?

Yes, it is possible to make an eggless version of Tres Leches Cake. Simply replace each egg with ¼ cup of unsweetened applesauce or mashed bananas for binding purposes. The result will still be a moist and delicious cake that everyone can enjoy, even those with dietary restrictions.

Cristina C. RD LDN

Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating