It will be love at first bite when you sink your fork into this moist and creamy Banana Tres Leches Cake bursting with flavors of the tropics. Combining three different types of coconut milk, this cool and chilled dessert is the perfect way to bring island vibes to all of your summer celebrations.
There is nothing like the smooth, moist, and light texture of tres leches cake. Drenched in three different types of milk, this beloved dessert is fun to play around with. Whether it’s Strawberry Shortcake Tres Leches Cake or this cinnamon and banana kissed version, it’s a confection that never lasts long.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Make Ahead – Not only does this tres leches cake need to be refrigerated for at least four hours but it gets better over time in both texture and also allowing all of the flavors to marry. This is the perfect dessert to make a day in advance.
- Balance of Flavors – This cake is lightly sweet yet has that warm kiss if spices.
- Accessible Ingredients – This banana cake recipe uses pantry and baking staples. There is nothing complicated required and you can easily pick everything up at your local grocery store.
- Texture – Judt say no to dry, dense cake. Allowing the already moist banana cake to sit in the three different types of milk makes this tender, moist, and luxurious.
Bananas Tres Leches Cake combines baking staples like flour, sugar, and cinnamon with three different types of coconut milk for a tropical twist on an already tropical dessert common in Latin-American cuisine. This cake is as easy to shop for as it is to make. Next time you have those overly ripe bananas that need to be used skip the bread and make tres leches cake.
- Flour – Either all purpose flour or a gluten free 1.1 flour such as Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 Baking Flour will work in this recipe.
- Milk – Adds moisture and richness to the cake itself.
- Baking Soda/Baking Powder
- Cinnamon – Adds warmth to the cake and pairs well with the sweet bananas.
- Bananas – Used in both the cake itself and also the topping. Adds natural sweetness and moisture.
- Vanilla Extract – The better the quality the vanilla, the more pronounced the flavor. Adds delicate sweetness.
- Butter – Gives the cake richness and its moist tender texture.
- Salt – Enhances all of the natural flavors of the ingredients.
- Sugar – Both white sugar and brown sugar give this banana cake recipe its sweetness.
- Sweetened Condensed Milk – Adds sweetness to the combination of three milks the cake is soaked in.
- Evaporated Milk
- Coconut Cream – Adds richness to the combination of three milks.
- Whipped Cream
How to Make Banana Tres Leches Cake
Skip the boxed mixes and make your cake from scratch! This decadent and delicious confection comes together in just a few simple steps while letting you control all of the ingredients.
Time needed: 6 hours
The hardest part of making this luxurious treat is waiting for it to fully soak in the milk mixture.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13x3 baking dish with nonstick baking spray and set aside.
Add the butter, sugars, and banana to a mixing bowl and mix for 3 minutes until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs, vanilla, and milk and mix to combine.
Next add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Don’t over mix!
Spread the batter into the prepared baking dish. Allow the cake to bake for 5-60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out completely clean. Let cool completely.
- Three Milks
Add the three milks to a bowl and whisk to combine.
Use a skewer to poke holes all over the cake. Pour the milk mixture over the cake. Allow the cake to refrigerate for at least four hours. You can do this the day before.
- Finishing Touch
Top the chilled cake with whipped cream and garnish with fresh banana slices.
How to Make This Recipe Gluten Free and Dairy Free
This recipe can easily be made completely gluten free. Use 1.1 gluten free flour when making the cake. The measurements will be the same.
When making this cake dairy free use oat milk for the cake itself. All three of the three milks are coconut based making that portion of the cake already dairy free. Top with your favorite dairy free whipped topping which is also often coconut based.
The cake itself for this recipe can be prepared several days in advance. Allow it to cool completely and then wrap it tightly in plastic wrap before placing it in an airtight container. You can also wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and then place it in a freezer safe bag and freeze it. It will keep for up to three months frozen. Let it defrost overnight in the refrigerator.
Once you have assembled your tres leches cake you will want to keep it refrigerated unless you are serving it. Keep it tightly covered with plastic wrap or foil and it will last for up to five days although it will continue to soften.
Top Tip for Banana Tres Leches Cake
Bananas tend to oxidize easily and turn brown. To help slow down the process you can lightly toss your banana slices for topping this cake in lemon juice. The acid in the lemon juice will slow the natural browning.
Banana Tres Leches Cake
- 1 mixing bowl/mixer
- 1 9x13x3 baking dish
- 3 cups 1.1 gluten free flour
- 1 1/3 cups oat milk
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 2 ripe bananas medium
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup butter, room temperature
- 3 eggs
- pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 3/4 cup sugar
Tres Leches Mixture
- 14 oz sweetened condensed coconut milk
- 12 oz evaporated coconut milk
- 14 oz coconut cream
- 8 oz whipped topping
- 1 banana, sliced
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13x3 baking dish with nonstick baking spray and set aside.
- Add the butter, sugars, and bananas to a mixing bowl and mix on high for 3 minutes.
- Add the eggs, milk, and vanilla and mix to combine.
- Add the dry ingredients and mix to just combine.
- Spread the cake batter into the prepared baking dish.
- Allow the banana cake to bake for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cook completely.
- Add the coconut cream, evaporated milk, and sweetened condensed milk to a bowl and mix to combine.
- Use a skewer to poke holes all over the cake. Pour the milk mixture over the cake.
- Let the cake refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
- Spread the whipped topping over the cake. Garnish with banana slices.