Ever since the Tres Leches cake became my signature bake, I’ve had requests to make it for every single celebration I’ve been invited to. It, therefore, only made sense that I would do a Tres Leches cake on my own birthday but with a twist. While I remain convinced that the Tres Leches is best baked as a whole in a large pan, I was curious to see how the cupcake version would fare. The Kitchen Mccabe recipe makes 12 regular sized coconut cupcakes but I filled the batter into 7 jumbo muffin cases though I guess I overfilled them slightly to give them that puffed up, bakery-style look. I would admit that I did make the soaking process a tad more complicated so it would be probably best to fill them just up to 2/3 capacity to make way for the cakes to rise to the rim of the baking cups.

For the milk mixture, I swapped half the amount of heavy cream for cream of coconut so it should have been, on all accounts, a quarto leches cake but let’s not worry about that. While these were slightly more dense than my go-to recipe, they did manage to soak up most of the milk sauce without going soggy; I have a good mind to skimp on the butter next time to see if they turn out to have a more absorbent texture. Overall, my birthday cupcakes happened to be quite photogenic, exactly as I pictured them – with a swirl of whipped cream and a candied cherry on top!

TRES LECHES CUPCAKES

Ingredients:

For the Milk Mixture

1 14 oz. can condensed milk

1 12 oz. can evaporated milk

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup coconut cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Cupcakes

2 cups all purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon kitchen salt

8 tablespoons butter

1 cup fresh whole milk

4 eggs, room temperature

2 cups granulated sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the Cream Topping

2 cups heavy whipping cream

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup shredded coconut

16 Maraschino cherries

Method:

  • For the milk mixture, pour condensed milk into a large, microwave safe bowl. Microwave 12 minutes.
  • Remove and stir at 3 minute interval. Stir in evaporated milk, heavy cream, coconut cream and vanilla.

  • For the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line two cupcake tins with regular cupcake liners.
  • In a mixing bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and salt. Place butter and milk in a saucepan.

  • Heat on medium till the butter has completely melted. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the eggs.
  • Add sugar and beat together till glossy and pale, for about 5 minutes. Add in half of the flour mixture.

  • Add in half of the milk mixture and mix in. Add in the remaining flour mixture and then milk mixture.
  • Mix until just combined. Divide the batter between the liners, make sure to keep them under half full.

  • If they are filled more than half full, the batter will overflow when cooked. Bake in the preheated oven.
  • Bake cakes for 12 to 15 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean.

  • Let cool for a few minutes, then poke a large amount of holes in each cupcake, using a wooden skewer.
  • The more holes, the more milk will be able to soak. Pour a few tablespoons of milk mixture over each.

  • Let each spoonful soak in before adding more. Divide the milk mixture evenly between the cupcakes.
  • Refrigerate the cupcakes and allow the milk to really soak into the cupcake, at least 3 hours or more.

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spread the shredded coconut in an even layer over a baking sheet.
  • Place the baking sheet on the top rack of the oven and watch closely. The coconut will brown quickly.

  • When most of the coconut is a light brown, remove from oven and allow to cool to room temperature.
  • Place heavy cream and 1/4 cup sugar in a mixing bowl and beat on high speed until stiff peaks form.

  • Place the whipped cream in a piping bag and pipe a swirling of cream on top of each chilled cupcake.
  • Coat sides of  whipped cream with toasted coconut and top with a maraschino cherry. Serve chilled.

Happy Birthday to Me!