This mouthwatering delicious chocolate tres leches cake is topped with a creamy dulce de leche mascarpone frosting, toasted coconut, and chocolate shavings. It’s one of those indulgent and irresistible desserts that you have to save room for – even if the meal preceding it is just as amazing. A tres leches or three milks cake, from the traditional and classic vanilla option to this chocolate variation, is very easy to make. You just need to plan ahead to make sure you have time to let it rest and soak up the three milks mix.
Delicious chocolate tres leches cake topped with a creamy dulce de leche frosting and toasted coconut.
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 10 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 12 tablespoons of melted butter – can replace with oil
- 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
- 2 cups water, lukewarm
- 14 oz condensed milk
- 12 oz evaporated milk
- 2 cups of heavy cream – you can also use 1 cup of heavy cream and 1 cup of milk
- 4 tablespoons (2 ounces) of rum – adjust to taste or replace with 1-2 teaspoons of imitation rum extract or vanilla extract if desired
- 8 oz of mascarpone
- 1 cup of heavy whipping cream
- ~6 ounces of dulce de leche, add more to taste
- Toasted coconut
- Chocolate shavings
- Pre-heat the oven to 350F (175C) and lightly grease/flour a 9-inch round cake mold.
- Sift the flour in a medium sized mixing bowl.
- Use a mixing spoon to stir in the sugar and cocoa powder.
- Mix in the salt and baking soda.
- Make three holes: a large one for the melted butter or oil, and a couple of smaller ones for the vinegar and the vanilla.
- Add the water and continue mixing with the spoon until you have a smooth batter.
- Pour the cake batter into the baking mold and bake at 350 for ~45 minutes for a 9X13 cake (~30 minutes for a smaller round cake) or until you stick a toothpick in the middle and it comes out clean.
- Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool down.
- Combine the condensed milk, evaporated milk, and cream/milk with the rum in bowl. Stir until mixed and taste.
- Leave the cake in the baking mold and use a skewer to poke holes all over the cake.
- Gently and slowly pour the three milks mix over the cake. I find it best to pour a little bit over, then let it absorb, then pour some more, and so on.
- Let the cake rest in the refrigerator overnight – 24 hours is ideal. If using a springform mold I recommend placing it on top of large flat bowl or platter, just in case any of the liquid leaks out (none or very little will leak with the mold is very tight).
- Mix the mascarpone with the dulce de leche until you have a smooth mix.
- Use an electric mixer or a whisk to whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks start to form. Use a mixing spoon to fold the whipped cream into the mascarpone dulce de leche mix.
- You can leave the cake in the mold, or if you used a springform mold you can gently place the cake on a large platter (some of three milk liquid will still leak out when you remove the sides of the mold)
- Use a spatula or icing spreader to spread the frosting over the cake – on top and on the sides if removed from the baking mold.
- Add the toasted coconut and chocolate shavings on top of the frosting.
- Chill the cake for an hour before serving and keep refrigerated.
I used my mom’s simple chocolate cake recipe as the base for this tres leches cake, mainly because it’s really easy to make. I would say that you can use a store bought chocolate cake mix if you didn’t have much time, but to be honest it will take about the same time to make this basic chocolate cake recipe – and it will taste better than the box. The dulce de leche mascarpone frosting is so good and definitely adds to the “indulgent” aspect of this dessert.
Step by step preparation photos for chocolate tres leches cake with dulce de leche frosting
For the chocolate cake:
For the tres leches:
For the dulce de leche frosting: