Light, airy, decadent, and irresistibly moist. Dairy and Gluten Free Red Velvet Tres Leches Cake is the mashup of two classic desserts that come together for the ultimate sweet treat.
Tres leches is the perfect make ahead dessert. Whether it's Strawberry Shortcake Tres Leches Cake or this twist of the southern classic, it's one of those treats that just gets better the next day. This cake is special enough to celebrate with, but easy enough to make it can make a festive end to any meal. This tres leches recipe is begging to be served at your next barbecue while also being equally at home next to your Easter ham.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Familiar Flavors - This Gluten and Dairy Free cake combines the traditional flavors of a red velvet cake with the texture and method of a tres leches cake. The result is the best of both worlds.
- Texture - Soft, tender, airy, and ridiculously moist, this cake will have you going back for seconds and eating straight from the pan.
- Make Ahead - The cake itself can be bake a day or two in advance before assembling the tres leches portion. Once you have assembled your cake with the three different types of coconut milk it needs to refrigerate at least for four hours, ideally overnight. That makes this a great option for a dessert suited to making ahead of time.
Dairy and Gluten Free Red Velvet Tres Leches Cake combines baking pantry staples. The three used in this red velvet cake recipe are all coconut based giving it an extra boost of flavor while also keeping it completely Dairy Free
- Gluten Free Flour - Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free 1 to 1 Baking Flour is my go-to flour for both sweet and savory dishes. It makes it easy to measure for recipes that aren't written as Gluten Free without having to add any additional ingredients.
- Baking Soda
- Baking Powder
- Cocoa Powder - Helps with the color of this cake while also giving it a depth of flavor.
- Dairy Free Milk -
- Vanilla Extract - The better the quality the vanilla, the more pronounced the flavor will be.
- Dairy Free Butter - Gives this cake richness.
- Kosher Salt - Enhances all of the flavors of the ingredients.
- Brown Sugar - Brown sugar gives a more complex sweetness with layers of caramel and molasses.
- Red Food Coloring - Put the red in red velvet cake.
- White Vinegar - The vinegar reacts with the cocoa powder to give the cake an even more reddish hue.
- Three Milks - Sweetened condensed coconut milk, evaporated coconut milk, and coconut cream make up the three milks in this tres leches cake recipe.
- Dairy Free Whipped Topping - Use your favorite. Most are made from coconut which will add even more coconut flavor.
How to Make Dairy and Gluten Free Red Velvet Tres Leches Cake
This tres leches cake comes together in four easy steps. Mix, bake, assemble, and let it refrigerate. The waiting process while it refrigerates is the hardest part because you will just want to dive in. This dessert is promised to be love at first bite!
Time needed: 5 hours and 15 minutes.
Red velvet cake is soaked in three different types of milk for the ultimate mashup of desserts.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13x3 baking dish with nonstick baking spray and set aside.
Add the butter and sugars to a bowl and beat for 3 minutes until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, vanilla, food coloring, vinegar, and milk and mix to combine.
- Dry Ingredients
Add the dry ingredients to the batter and mix until just combined.
Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish and smooth out. Allow the red velvet cake to bake for 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool completely.
Add the three milks to a bowl and mix to combine.
Use a skewer or fork to poke holes all over the cake. Pour the milk mixture over the top, allowing it to sink in. Cover and let it refrigerate for at least four hours.
When ready to serve spread the whipped topping all over the cake. Enjoy!
This cake is completely Gluten Free and Dairy Free. However, you can make the same recipe with all dairy ingredients. The flavors won't be quite the same as the combination of different coconut milks adds incredible depth to this cake, but the measurements will be the same.
Tools for Dairy and Gluten Free Red Velvet Tres Leches Cake
The height of your baking dish is just as important as the length and width. Because you'll be adding the three different types of milk and also the whipped topping, you want to make sure that you have enough height.
Dairy and Gluten Free Red Velvet Tres Leches Cake can be made ahead of time and stored. For the cake portion itself, you can make it up to two to three days in advance. Keep the baking dish tightly covered and refrigerated.
Once you have assembled your cake it will need to refrigerate for at least four hours. If kept covered and refrigerated when not serving the finished tres leches cake will keep for up to five days in the refrigerator. I promise it will get devoured before then!
Top Tip for Dairy and Gluten Free Red Velvet Tres Leches Cake
Don't rush the process. As tempting as it is to cut into this tres leches cake as soon as you pour that decadent mixture of milks over the top, it needs to cure. This will allow the flavors to marry as well as give it that soft, trademark tres leches texture.
Gluten Free Flours
My go to for baking is Bob’s Red Mill 1:1. It is a blend of several different gluten free ingredients and I find it just works consistently well for what I need. I could blend flour myself but I choose to spend my time other ways and the 1:1 is a really good product.
Oat Flour can give you a chewier, more moist product. It can lend a nice sweet flavor to baked foods and is a flour I tend to mix with others if I want a lighter or fluffy result. I am always very careful to buy organic gluten free oats because they can be sprayed with nasty stuff and be processed in a way that they are no longer gluten free.
Almond Flour has a nice nutty flavor but can tend to dry out what you are preparing. I like to balance it with an extra egg if I am adding it to meatloaf for example and add banana or egg if it is in a sweet treat. Your end product could be a bit denser if you are using straight almond flour as well. I do like using almond flour as bread crumbs or a crunchy topping on savory dishes.
Arrowroot is my normal choice for a thickener in sauce or gravy. It is great for things you want a good crunch on that would normally be dredged in flour. Arrowroot can also be used to temper other gluten free flours for sweets and baked goods.
Brown Rice Flour can also be used in combination with other gluten free flours for baked goods. I like to use it when making a roux and brown rice noodles are a favorite.
More Gluten Free Flours
Amaranth is another gluten free flour that works well when blended. It has a nice nutty flavor that makes it good for crusts, tortillas and breads.
Coconut Flour has a bit of a sweet coconut flavor. It tends to absorb liquid so you will need to adjust your recipe but it does give a nice light texture.
Corn Flour is a great thickener, makes delicious tortillas and one of my favorites, corn bread. Just make sure the corn flour you are buying was proceed in a gluten free environment and from a clean source.
Cassava Flour is the most similar to white or all purpose flour but can be expensive if you are using it often and is high in carbohydrates.
Tapioca is a great thickener as well for soups, pies and sauces and works well when combined with other flours.
Chickpea or garbanzo is used often in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine… Think hummus, falafel, flatbreads. It has lots of healthy benefits and a mild nutty flavor. You can also use the water from the beans, called aquafaba, as an egg replacer or instead of cream for whipped cream. Crazy, I know, but it works so stop dumping it down the drain.
Gluten Free Grains
The gluten free grains we grab for most often are…
Quinoa- easy to make and flavor and is high in fiber and protein. It is actually one of the plant proteins that is a complete protein.
Oats are also good for fiber and a bit of protein but make sure they are clean and gluten free.
Buckwheat actually has no wheat in it but does have fiber, protein and trace minerals. I love buckwheat noodles. I also add them to salads and soups for texture and a bit of “chew”.
Dairy and Gluten Free Red Velvet Tres Leches Cake
- 1 mixing bowl/mixer
- 1 9x13x3 baking dish
Red Velvet Cake
- 3 cups Gluten Free 1.1 flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 3 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1 cup Dairy Free milk
- 1 ½ tbsp vanilla extract
- ½ cup Dairy Free butter, room temperature
- 3 eggs
- ¾ tsp kosher salt
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- 2 tbsp red food coloring
- 1 tbsp white vinegar
- 14 oz Dairy Free sweetened condensed coconut milk
- 12 oz Dairy Free evaporated coconut milk
- 14 oz coconut cream
- 8 oz Dairy Free whipped topping
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13x3 baking dish with nonstick spray and set aside.
- Add the butter and sugars to a mixing bowl. Mix for 3 minutes until light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs, vinegar, milk, food coloring, and vanilla and mix to combine.
- Add your dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
- Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish and spread out.
- Allow the cake to bake for 45-55 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool completely.
- Use a skewer or fork to poke holes all over the cake.
- Add the three milks to a bowl and mix to combine.
- Pour the milk mixture over the top of the cake. Cover the cake and allow it to refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
- When ready to serve spread the whipped topping over the top. Enjoy!
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