Growing up, I took a number of trips to Central Mexico. While my family is Middle Eastern by heritage, I have a lot of family who immigrated to the Coahuila region of Mexico instead of the United States, and because of this, our family somewhat incorporated various Mexican traditions and foods into our lives. When it's my mother's birthday, my father wakes her up with "Las Mañanitas". When my sister and I were little girls, my grandmother taught us Mexican nursery rhymes and children songs. Traditional Mexican food was some of our favorite go-to comfort food. Pan dulce, tamarindo candy, and fruit sprinkled with lime and Tajín were some of our favorite treats. And to this day, pastel de tres leches is my favorite dessert!
Tres leches cake is usually made with three different types of milk: evaporated milk, condensed milk, and heavy cream. So I know what you're already thinking - how could you even make this vegan? Fortunately for vegans, we've already got three milks (even more!), and for this recipe, we use almond milk, soy milk, and coconut milk! Try it the next time you're wanting to add a delicious dessert to your spread of vegan Mexican food. It's definitely worth the effort!
Vegan Pastel de Tres Leches (Tres Leches Cake)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup vanilla almond milk
1/3 cup warm coconut oil
1 tbsp. pure vanilla extract
1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 (15 ounce) can coconut milk (do not shake can before opening)
Vanilla soy creamer
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and grease a 9-inch square baking pan.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda and salt.
3. In the bowl of stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine almond milk, coconut oil, vanilla extract and vinegar. Blend on medium until smooth. Add flour mixture and blend on medium until ingredients are well combined.
4. Pour batter into a prepared baking pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Do not over bake. Set aside to cool.
5. Meanwhile, carefully open the can of coconut milk and spoon the thick cream into a medium bowl. Place this cream in the refrigerator.
6. Pour the remaining thin, watery coconut milk into a 2-cup measuring cup and add enough vanilla creamer to make 1 1/2 cups total liquid. Invert the cake onto a rimmed platter and poke holes on the top of the cake using a dowel.
8. Pour the creamer mixture all over the cake, using a spoon to evenly distribute the liquid and fill the holes in the cake. Set aside for 30 minutes for the liquid to soak in.
9. Use an electric hand mixer to whip the chilled coconut cream until fluffy. Spread whipped coconut cream over the cake. Slice and serve.