Coffee Tres Leches Cake Recipe (video)

a coffee cake on a white cake stand, on a table

A coffee-flavored take on the famous Tres Leches Cake! This incredibly delicious coffee cake creation will steal your heart (and taste buds)! For this coffee tres leches cake, I start out with an airy and fluffy coffee sponge cake, soak the layers with a coffee flavored milk syrup and frost with a coffee whipped cream. The coffee syrup will soak into the sponge cake layers beautifully, yielding a moist cake that melts in your mouth! Make sure to very generously soak the sponge cake for best results!

Watch My Coffee Cake Video Tutorial

Watch my YouTube coffee tres leches caek video tutorial for step-by-step instructions and see how I put together this coffee cake! Want to receive new recipe emails in your inbox? Make sure to subscribe to my website email list and YouTube channel and turn on notifications!

What’s a Tres Leches Cake

If you’ve never had a tres leches cake, you’re in for a real treat! This Mexican cake is traditionally made with a simple sponge cake that’s soaked with a combination of three different milks, hence the name! Regular milk, evaporated milk and sweetened condensed milk are combined to create a soaking syrup.

The milk mixture is poured very generously over the cake, soaking into the layers beautifully. The milk makes the layers super moist and delicate. Every bite of this tres leches cake is filled with incredible coffee flavor!

For best results, soak the sponge cake very generously with the milk syrup! I also recommend letting the cake set in the refrigerator overnight for the layers to come together and soften further. It will be well worth the wait!

slice of coffee tres leches cake on plate with gold fork

Ingredients for Coffee Tres Leches Cake

Here are the main ingredients you’ll need for making this amazing coffee cake! Find the full list of ingredients in the printable recipe card below.

  • Eggs: have these at room temperature for making the sponge cakes. Cold eggs will take longer to whisk.
  • All-Purpose Flour: regular flour works great for this simple recipe.
  • Instant Coffee: I recommend using instant coffee since it’s easy to make super concentrated. You can also use a strong coffee extract.
  • Sweetened Condensed Milk: for making the ‘tres leches’ milk mixture.
  • Mascarpone or Cream Cheese: either one will work great for the frosting. If you’re using mascaprone, don’t soften it! Just take it out of the fridge. Soften cream cheese for about 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Heavy Cream: make sure the cream is very well chilled! Cold cream will whip faster and form stiff peaks.

Supplies & Tools for the Recipe

Need some supplies to make this recipe at home? Shop my Amazon affiliate links for some of the items I use in my kitchen. Using these links won’t cost you extra and I’ll earn a small commission!

slice of tres leches cake with coffee

Making the Coffee Sponge Cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F (177C). Line the bottom of two, 8-inch (20-cm) round cake pans with parchment paper; leave the sides ungreased.
  2. Prepare the coffee sponge cake first. In a stand mixer bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar on high speed for 7 to 8 minutes, until the eggs are thick, voluminous and pale in color. In a small ramekin or bowl, dissolve the 1 tablespoon instant coffee powder in 2 tablespoons boiling water. Pour the dissolved coffee into the eggs and mix again for 30 seconds.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients: flour, almond flour and baking powder. Sift the dry ingredients into the eggs in small batches, folding gently but thoroughly after each addition. Divide the batter evenly between the two pans.
  4. Bake the layers in the preheated oven for 33 to 35 minutes, until the tops are set. Remove the layers from the oven and allow them to cool completely in the pan. Once layers are cooled, run a knife along the edge of the pan to release the cake. Use a long serrated knife to split each layer in half, resulting in four layers total.

Preparing the Triple Milk Syrup

For the coffee syrup, first heat the milk in a microwave safe measuring cup until the milk is steaming hot. Add the instant coffee and stir until it’s dissolved. Add the sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, then stir until all three milks are well combined; set aside.

coffee coffee topped with cocoa powder and coffee beans

Making the Coffee Whipped Cream Frosting

Next, prepare the coffee whipped cream. In a small bowl, dissolve the instant coffee in the boiling water. Allow the coffee to cool. Add the dissolved coffee into a large mixing bowl along with the softened cream cheese (or chilled mascarpone) and sugar.

Whisk the ingredients together for a few minutes until completely smooth and creamy. Add in the chilled heavy cream and whisk again until stiff peaks form, about 3 to 5 minutes. The frosting should be fluffy and hold its shape.

How to Make a Coffee Tres Leches Cake

Before assembling the cake, make sure the cake layers are completely cooled! Start by soaking each sponge cake layer very generously with the prepared coffee milk syrup, then frost with whipped cream.

Frost the top and sides with a flat spatula. Transfer any remaining cream into a pastry bag tipped with a simple round tip; garnish the top of the cake with dollops of cream. Sprinkle the top with cocoa powder and add whole coffee beans, if desired.

More Recipes!

Enjoyed this delicious coffee cake recipe? Make sure to check out some of my other recipes you’re sure to enjoy!

  • Berry Tres Leches Cake – the ultimate tres leches cake with loads of berries and mascarpone whipped cream frosting!
  • Chocolate Coffee Cakerich chocolate cake filled with coffee pastry cream and chocolate French buttercream!
  • Triple Coffee Cheesecake – one of my personal favorites! This light and fluffy layered cheesecake is the best!
  • Tatyana’s Torte – the most epic coffee cake creation, with crunchy hazelnut meringue and French buttercream!
  • Brandy Coffee Prune Cake – this delicious and delicate cake is filled with a brandy and prune filling!

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a coffee cake on a white cake stand, on a table
5 from 3 votes

Coffee Tres Leches Cake Recipe (video)

1 hr 30 mins prep + 35 mins cook
16 servings
The best coffee tres leches cake with coffee sponge cake, coffee whipped cream and coffee milk syrup!

Ingredients 

For Sponge Cake:

  • 9 large eggs
  • 1 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp instant coffee powder
  • 2 tbsp boiling water
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder

For Milk Syrup:

  • 1 tsp instant coffee powder
  • 1/2 cup warm milk
  • 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk

For Frosting:

  • 8 oz softened mascarpone or cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp instant coffee powder
  • 2 tbsp boiling water
  • 2 cup heavy cream, chilled

Instructions

Making the Coffee Sponge Cake:

  • Preheat the oven to 350F (177C). Line the bottom of two, 8-inch (20-cm) round cake pans with parchment paper; leave the sides ungreased.
  • Prepare the coffee sponge cake first. In a stand mixer bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar on high speed for 7 to 8 minutes, until the eggs are thick, voluminous and pale in color. In a small ramekin or bowl, dissolve the 1 tablespoon instant coffee powder in 2 tablespoons boiling water. Pour the dissolved coffee into the eggs and mix again for 30 seconds.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients: flour, almond flour and baking powder. Sift the dry ingredients into the eggs in small batches, folding gently but thoroughly after each addition. Divide the batter evenly between the two pans.
  • Bake the layers in the preheated oven for 33 to 35 minutes, until the tops are set. Remove the layers from the oven and allow them to cool completely in the pan. Once layers are cooled, run a knife along the edge of the pan to release the cake. Use a long serrated knife to split each layer in half, resulting in four layers total.

Preparing the Milk Syrup:

  • For the coffee syrup, first heat the milk in a microwave safe measuring cup until the milk is steaming hot. Add the instant coffee and stir until it’s dissolved. Add the sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, then stir until all three milks are well combined; set aside.

Making the Frosting:

  • Next, prepare the coffee whipped cream. In a small bowl, dissolve the instant coffee in the boiling water. Allow the coffee to cool. Add the dissolved coffee into a large mixing bowl along with the softened cream cheese (or chilled mascarpone) and sugar.
  • Whisk the ingredients together for a few minutes until completely smooth and creamy. Add in the chilled heavy cream and whisk again until stiff peaks form, about 3 to 5 minutes. The frosting should be fluffy and hold its shape.

Assembling the Cake:

  • Before assembling the cake, make sure the cake layers are completely cooled! Start by soaking each sponge cake layer very generously with the prepared coffee milk syrup, then frost with whipped cream.
  • Frost the top and sides with a flat spatula. Transfer any remaining cream into a pastry bag tipped with a simple round tip; garnish the top of the cake with dollops of cream. Sprinkle the top with cocoa powder and add whole coffee beans, if desired.

Nutrition

Calories: 375kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 167mg | Sodium: 175mg | Potassium: 188mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 26g | Vitamin A: 837IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 145mg | Iron: 1mg