Coconut Pandan & Raspberry Tres Leches Cake

Coconut Pandan & Raspberry Tres Leches Cake

This cake is a playful twist on the traditional Mexican tres leches cake, infused with Asian flavors and made to be “not-too-sweet.” This coconut pandan “tres leches” cake is topped with raspberry jam, raspberries, coconut whipped cream, and toasted coconut.

The cake came out excellent– I don’t make a lot of cakes, but this is by far my favorite cake creation in a long time!

Coconut Pandan & Raspberry Tres Leches Cake

About the flavors:
๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿฅฅ Pandan and coconut can be overwhelming flavors, so I leaned into the pandan leaves (no extract) for the flavor and used a mix of coconut cream and regular evaporated and condensed milk for the soak and coconut & heavy cream for the whipped topping.
๐Ÿ“ Layered on top of the cake layer is a layer of raspberry jam and raspberries, which adds a sharp, fruity, and tart flavor contrast, adds a nice color, and pays homage to the common tres leches topping of sliced strawberries.
๐Ÿฅฅ The cake is then topped with an airy coconut and heavy whipped cream blend (mixed with a touch of vanilla to contrast the nuttiness of pandan and coconut) and then finished off with toasted shredded coconut for texture.

Coconut Pandan Tres Leches Cake
Brainstorming/planning the bake

The Process

๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿฅฅ  Pandan Coconut Milk

  • 3 pandan leaves
  • 120g full-fat coconut milk

Blend pandan leaves and coconut milk then strain out the pandan pulp. The resulting mixture should be about 120g, which will be used in the cake batter. Top off with more coconut milk if it is less than 120g.

Coconut Pandan & Raspberry Tres Leches Cake

๐Ÿฐ The Cake (adapted from @inagarten โ€˜s traditional tres leches recipe)

  • 90g AP flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/3 tsp salt
  • 75g egg
  • 100g sugar
  • 120g pandan-infused coconut milk

Beat egg & sugar together on med-high speed for 10 min. Combine the rest of the dry ingredients. Reduce the mixer speed to low and alternate adding in the dry ingredients and coconut milk. Bake at 350F for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Coconut Pandan Tres Leches Cake

๐Ÿฅ› The soak

  • 150g coconut cream
  • 170g evaporated milk
  • 195g condensed milk

Mix together all the soak ingredients. Poke holes all over the cake and pour half of the soak over. Pour the remainder once the cake has soaked up most of the mixture. Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hrs

Coconut Pandan & Raspberry Tres Leches Cake

๐Ÿ“ Other toppings

  • 1/3 cup shredded coconut
  • raspberry jam
  • frozen raspberries

Toast the shredded coconut over medium heat until it is fragrant and golden brown. Cool completely and store until ready to use

After the cake has rested, apply a thin layer of raspberry jam on top. Then top it with a layer of frozen raspberries. Refrigerate for at least 30min or until ready to serve.

Coconut Pandan & Raspberry Tres Leches Cake

๐Ÿฆ Whipped topping & Serving

  • 180g heavy cream
  • 180g coconut cream
  • 32g powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Right before serving, make the whipped topping. Whip together all the ingredients on high speed until stiff peaks form. Top the cake with a generous layer of the whipped topping. Finish off with the toasted shredded coconut and serve.

Coconut Pandan & Raspberry Tres Leches Cake

Recommended Bake Schedule

Perfecting this coconut pandan and raspberry “tres leches” cake is a time-consuming task, but once completed and you savor that first bite, you’ll realize it’s truly worth the effort!

For the most seamless process, I recommend breaking down the work over two days.

Day 1:

  1. Make the pandan coconut milk
  2. Bake the cake
  3. Prepare the milk soak and soak the cake
  4. Rest the cake overnight

Day 2:

  1. An hour before serving, top the cake with the raspberry jam & raspberry layer. Cover, and let the cake rest in the fridge.
  2. Toast the shredded coconut and let it cool completely.
  3. Right before serving, make the whipped cream. Then top the cake with the whipped cream, and finish off with toasted coconut and serve.

By doing this, you can optimize your time methodically and also reduce hecticness and the risk of mistakes. Additionally, in case there are any mistakes, it provides time to fix them.

Coconut Pandan & Raspberry Tres Leches Cake

This cake is a playful twist on the traditional Mexican tres leches cake, infused with Asian flavors and made to be "not-too-sweet." This coconut pandan "tres leches" cake is topped with raspberry jam, raspberries, coconut whipped cream, and toasted coconut.
Course: Dessert
Keyword: cake
Servings: 5

Ingredients

Pandan coconut milk

  • 3 pandan leaves, roughly chopped
  • 120 g coconut milk

The cake

  • 90 g all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/3 tsp salt
  • 75 g egg (about 1.5 eggs)
  • 100 g cane sugar
  • 120 g pandan coconut milk
  • pandan extract optional, a couple drops for a brighter green color

The soak

  • 150 g coconut cream
  • 120 g evaporated milk
  • 195 g condensed milk

Other toppings

  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 3 tbsp raspberry jam
  • 1 cup frozen raspberries*

The whipped topping

  • 90 g heavy whipping cream
  • 90 g coconut cream
  • 16 g powdered sugar
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

Make the cake

  • Make the pandan infused coconut milk by blending together coconut milk and pandan leaves in a food processor. Then, strain out the pandan pulp using a strainer, cheesecloth, or coffee filter, making sure to squeeze out all the liquid. Measure the coconut milk, you should have about 120g. If you are under, just off with regular coconut milk.
    Coconut Pandan & Raspberry Tres Leches Cake
  • Beat the egg and sugar together in a stand mixer at medium-high speed for about 10 minutes. The mixture should be pale yellow in color and look light and fluffy.
    Combine together flour, baking powder, and salt.
    Reduce the stand mixer speed to low and slowly add in the flour mixture add pandan infused coconut milk until you have an even mixture.
  • Preheat the oven to 350F.
    Butter a baking dish and lightly sprinkle with flour. Pour the cake batter into the baking dish and bake for 25 minutes.

Soak the cake

  • While the cake is cooling, make the soak by combining all the ingredients together. Using a bamboo skewer, poke holes all over the cake. Then, pour about half of the milk soak over the cake and allow the cake to absorb the milk mixture.
    When the cake absorbs almost all of the mixture, you can pour the remaining of the soak over. Then, cover the cake with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours.
    Coconut Pandan & Raspberry Tres Leches Cake

Toast the shredded coconut

  • Add shredded coconut to a dry pan over medium to high heat and continuously toss and mix until it smells fragrant and turns golden and crisp. Transfer to a bowl and let it cool completely. After it completely cools, you can cover it and store it at room temperature until it is ready to be used.

Add the raspberry layer

  • Apply a thin layer of raspberry jam over the top of the cake. Then, add a layer of frozen raspberries*. Let it rest for 30 minutes if planning to serve immediately to allow the raspberries to defrost. If not, cover and store in the fridge until it is ready to serve

Make the Whipped topping & assemble & serve

  • Right before serving, make the whipped topping: combine all the whipped topping in a stand mixer and mix on high speed until the cream thickens and forms stiff peaks.
  • Top the raspberries with a generous layer of whipped topping. If the whipped topping is made in advance and now appears runny, beat it with a whisk to build back the structure.
  • Finish off the cake with a sprinkle on the toasted shredded coconut & serve

Storage

  • You can store the tres leches cake, with the topped raspberry jam and raspberries, in the fridge (covered) for up to four days.

Notes

*Frozen raspberries are preferred because when they defrost, they become very soft with an almost spreadable consistency.ย 

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