Sometimes you need to take nostalgic flavors and give them an update. Dairy Free Strawberry Shortcake Tres Leches Cake gives you all of the summertime vibes of the classic Good Humor strawberry shortcake bar in the ultimate form of cake.
Tres Leches cakes are one of my favorite desserts, such as my Dairy Free Pineapple Coconut Tres Leches Cake. They're a great make ahead dessert and also the perfect confection to celebrate any and all occasions with. Even if it's just Wednesday.
All tres leches cakes are about that incredible tender, delicate texture. It will be love at first bite with Dairy Free Strawberry Shortcake Tres Leches Cake.
The magic of tres leches cake is the combination of milks that soak into every nook and cranny, transforming a traditional baked cake into something entirely new. This is a dessert that you want to plan on making ahead of time as it only gets better the longer it sits.
The base of this cake starts with a Gluten Free yellow cake. Diced fresh strawberries add the first layer of strawberry flavor while orange zest gives it a kiss of citrusy brightness.
After the cake it baked, it is split in half. Half of the combination of three milks, in this case Dairy Free sweetened condensed coconut milk, evaporated coconut milk, and coconut cream are cascaded over the first half. Fresh strawberries are added before the second layer of cake is stacked on.
The remaining mixture of milks is poured over the top, and then the long rest. The magic of tres leches cake happens as it refrigerates. The finishing touch for this cake is a topping of Dairy Free whipped cream and then crushed Gluten Free vanilla wafers and freeze-dried strawberries...reminiscent of those Good Humor bars!
How to Make Dairy Free Strawberry Shortcake Tres Leches Cake
While there are a couple of steps to making this delicious dessert, this is a sweet treat that can be made well ahead of time. Get out your mixing bowl, and let's make some cake!
Time needed: 9 hours.
The hardest part of making this tres leches cake is simply waiting to eat it!
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13 baking dish with nonstick baking spray and set aside.
- Batter Up
Add sugar, orange zest, and Dairy Free butter to a mixing bowl and mix on high for 5 minutes. It should become lighter in color. Mix in the eggs, vanilla extract, and Dairy Free milk. Finally mix in the dry ingredients, careful not to over mix.
- Bake it Up
Pour the batter for the Dairy Free Strawberry Shortcake Tres Leches Cake into the prepared baking dish. Allow it to bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let the cake cool completely.
Once the cake is cool, slice it in half. Add the bottom half back into the baking dish. Use a fork to poke holes all over the cake. Mix together the three types of coconut milk and pour half of the mixture over the top. Add the strawberries. Stack on the top of the cake and repeat with poking holes all over. Pour the remaining milk mixture over the top. Cover and allow it to refrigerate for at least 6 hours.
- Finishing Touch
Top the cake with Dairy Free whipped topping, crushed Gluten Free vanilla wafer cookies, and freeze-dried strawberries.
Top Tip for Dairy Free Strawberry Tres Leches Cake
This cake is the ultimate make ahead dessert. Not only does it get better the longer it sits, but all of the components can also be made ahead of time. The cake itself can be baked a couple of days in advance and stored in an airtight container. The combination of milks can also be mixed together and refrigerated until you're ready to pour it over the top of the cake.
Dairy Free Strawberry Tres Leches Cake
- 1 Mixing Bowl
- 1 9x13 baking dish, at least 2 ½" deep
Gluten Free Strawberry Cake
- 2 ⅓ cups Gluten Free 1.1 flour
- 2 eggs large
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- 1 ⅓ cups sugar
- 1 cup Dairy Free butter, room temperature
- 1 cup strawberries, finely diced
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp orange zest
- ½ cup Dairy Free milk, such as oat milk
Strawberry Shortcake Tres Leches
- 14 oz Dairy Free sweetened condensed coconut milk
- 12 oz Dairy Free evaporated coconut milk
- 14 oz coconut cream
- 1 cup freeze dried strawberries
- 8 oz Gluten Free vanilla wafers
- 2 cups fresh strawberries, diced
- Dairy Free whipped cream
Gluten Free Strawberry Cake
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13 cake pan with nonstick baking spray and set aside.
- Add the butter, sugar, and orange zest to a bowl and mix on high for 5 minutes until lighter in color and fluffy.
- Add the eggs, vanilla extract, and oat milk and mix until combined.
- Add the remaining ingredients and mix until just combined. Be careful not to over mix.
- Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Allow the cake to cool completely before continuing on with the next step.
Strawberry Shortcake Tres Leches Cake
- Mix together the three types of coconut milk. Set aside.
- Cut the cake in half. Place the bottom half back into the baking dish.
- Use a fork to poke holes all over the cake.
- Pour half of the milk mixture over the bottom half of the cake.
- Sprinkle half of the fresh strawberries over the top.
- Stack the top part of the cake over the strawberries.
- Use a fork and repeat the process of poking holes all over the cake.
- Pour the remaining milk mixture over the top. Add the rest of the fresh strawberries.
- Cover the cake and allow it to refrigerate for at least 6 hours.
- Before serving spread Dairy Free whipped topping over the cake.
- Crush the vanilla wafers and freeze-dried strawberries and sprinkle over the top.