Dairy-Free Tres Leches Cake (aka Three “Milks” Cake)


Tres Leches Cake is a sponge cake soaked in three types of milk. The classic recipe isn’t exactly dairy-free friendly, but many years ago Almond Breeze shared this dairy-free Tres Leches Cake that is equally decadent. It’s been nearly 15 years since we originally posted their version, so today, we’re giving it an update. Serve it for Cinco de Mayo or to finish a Mexican-inspired meal.

Dairy-Free Tres Leches Cake Recipe - aka Three "Milks" Cake

Dairy-Free Tres Leches Cake (aka Three “Milks” Cake)

To add richness, the chefs at Almond Breeze used an egg yolk for creating the leche sauce. If you want an even creamier finish, you can substitute lite canned coconut milk for the coconut milk beverage in the sauce. Optionally add a touch of vanilla to mellow any coconut notes. If you don’t mind a “dos leches” cake, you can use 1 cup vanilla almond milk in the sauce, and omit the coconut milk beverage.

Cream of coconut is sweetened and thickened coconut milk that’s sold in cans. You can usually find it in the alcohol or mixer section, since it’s popular for making cocktails.

Dairy-Free Tres Leches Cake Recipe - aka Three "Milks" Cake

Special Diet Notes: Dairy-Free Tres Leches Cake

By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, optionally nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, and vegetarian. This recipe does contain eggs. If you confuse eggs with dairy, you’re not alone! See this post: Are Eggs Dairy? If you need an egg-free option, see this Vegan Recipe.

Dairy-Free Tres Leches Cake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
The chefs at Almond Breeze use vanilla almond milk beverage, but you can swap in a nut-free milk beverage, if needed. Please note that the Prep time is hands on time only. It is best to make this cake at least a few hours ahead so the topping has time to absorb.
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Mexican
Serves: 12 to 14 servings
Dairy-Free Sponge Cake
  • 6 large eggs (separated)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ cup dairy-free unsweetened vanilla almond milk
Leche Topping
  • ½ cup dairy-free unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • ½ cup dairy-free unsweetened vanilla coconut milk beverage or more vanilla almond milk
  • ¾ cup cream of coconut
  • ½ cup non-GMO corn syrup or golden syrup
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Dairy-Free Sponge Cake
  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 9x13-inch baking pan.
  2. Crack the egg whites into a large mixing bowl. Start beating the egg whites at low speed, increasing the speed to high until soft peaks form.
  3. Add the sugar gradually, letting it dissolve well between each addition. Beat until stiff peaks form. Add the egg yolks to the whites, one-by-one, beating well after each addition.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  5. Alternate adding the flour mixture and the milk beverage to the egg mixture. This must be done quickly or the batter will lose its lightness. Add the vanilla and blend to combine.
  6. Pour the batter into your prepared pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes. The top of the cake will spring back when touched when it is done.
Leche Topping
  1. In a saucepan, whisk together the milk beverage, cream of coconut, syrup, egg yolk, and vanilla. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer on low until the mixture thickens, approximately 10 to 12 minutes.
  2. Remove the saucepan from the heat and pour the topping evenly over warm sponge cake. It is not necessary to poke holes in the cake, as the syrup will be absorbed by the sponge cake within 3 to 4 hours.
  3. Top with dairy-free whipped coconut cream and assorted berries, if desired.

For More Sweet Dairy-Free Recipes, Get Go Dairy Free!

Go Dairy Free - The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance and Casein-Free Living

About Author

Alisa is the founder of GoDairyFree.org, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.


  1. Just made your tres leche non-dairy cake and it was really good and pretty easy. Very happy to find one that didn’t have shortening in it. Thanks! Denise

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