According to Terry, who lived in Mexico for two years, Cinco de Mayo is a fake Mexican holiday. Which is perfect for this cake, because I’m pretty sure there’s nothing authentically Mexican about it, except that it has the words “pina colada” and “tres leches” in it. The taste, however, is authentically delicious. ?
While I normally shy away from any food that is – shall we say, soggy? – I have a real weakness for tres leches. If you haven’t had it before, get yourself to the nearest Cafe Rio and order one immediately. With strawberries, no whipped cream, thank you very much. (And take a moment of silence to remember those of us who are a world away from any Cafe Rio, and thank your lucky stars there are Cafe Rio’s in this world.) And then come back and make this one, which is a delightful twist on something that was already awesome.
Recipe adapted from the coconut tres leches cake at Mel’s Kitchen Cafe
- 1 yellow cake, either homemade or store-bought
- 1 can coconut milk
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup sweetened coconut flakes
- 1 cup crushed pineapple (drained), or sliced pineapple chopped tiny - can use more, to taste
- Whipped cream, either homemade or ready-made
- Make the yellow cake according to instructions and allow to cool completely.
- Using the thin handle of a wooden mixing spoon, poke holes all over the cake, about half an inch apart from each other. Go crazy here. I really do mean all over.
- Mix together the coconut milk, sweetened condensed milk, whipping cream and vanilla. Pour evenly over the holey cake. Chill the cake in the fridge until the syrup is all absorbed, about 2 hours.
- Fold the crushed pineapple into the whipped cream and spread over the cake. (Beware if you use homemade whipped cream - it doesn't stay whipped for more than a few hours and may start to get pretty liquid-y. If you're going the homemade route, you may want to top each piece individually with the freshly whipped cream and then the pineapple.)
- Toast the coconut flakes over medium heat, stirring constantly until they begin to be golden-brown. Remove from heat immediately. Sprinkle on top of the cake.