Coconut Tres Leches Trifle

2:59 PM

It has been a roller coaster ride of weather here in Colorado.  One morning I was wearing yoga pants and a tank top outside then the next day I needed a wool peacoat on!  It has finally stayed mostly cold here--at least enough to keep all the snow from melting in our yards for nearly a week.  During those colder stretches, it's nice to have something to remind you of those warmer summer days...

At my mom's office, a couple people each month are in charge of decorating the cubicle or office for those who have birthdays and there is one day a month where everyone celebrates with cake or ice cream.  December is my mother's month and she likes to make a homemade treat for everyone to enjoy because, well, that's just how we operate in this family.  This month was Giovanny's birthday and one of her favorite flavors is coconut.

Don't those layers of coconut cake drenched in tres leches, coconut pastry cream, whipped cream and shredded coconut just look delightful?  Like a little piece of heaven (even with the "welcome to the 70s" background of my Oma's old house)!

Perfect!  Such a wonderful excuse to enjoy something a bit more tropical!  So my mom baked up the cakes ahead of time and stuck them in the garage fridge.  She also made the coconut pastry cream and tres leches mixture ahead of time and stored them in the fridge as well.  The next day I assembled the trifle (with a few changes) so that it would have time to sit in the fridge and let the flavors mingle before my mom took it in to work the next morning.

I love trifles.  They are so easy and there are so many flavor possibilities.  Plus, the layers are pretty!  And have I mentioned how much I love my Pampered Chef trifle bowl? No?  Well I love it!  The pedestal is removable for easy storage and it comes with a nifty little lid for fridge storage and transportation.

Photo courtesy of Mel's Kitchen Cafe.  I wanted to show you the photo from the original maker of this recipe!

Score!  This trifle was a huge hit at my mom's office!  (Thank goodness because this was the first time we tried this recipe!)  You can find the original recipe at Mel's Kitchen Cafe.  Below is the recipe with a few changes of my own--because I'm all about the distinct layers in trifles!


Coconut Tres Leches Trifle

Recipe by This Bittersweet Life
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Total time: 12 hours
Yield: 10 servings

  • Coconut Pastry Cream:
  • 1 can (14 oz) coconut milk
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
  • Cake:
  • 1 cup white sugar, divided
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 5 egg whites
  • 1/3 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • Whipping Cream & Topping:
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 6 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 2 packages Whip It
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded coconut
  • 1/3 cup shredded, toasted coconut
  • 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
Cooking Directions
  1. First, make the pastry cream so it can chill in the refrigerator. In a medium saucepan, combine the coconut milk, sugar, salt and vanilla. Heat over medium heat. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and cornstarch. When the coconut milk mixture comes to a simmer, slowly ladle about 1/2 cup of the hot mixture into the egg yolk mixture, whisking vigorously and constantly so the eggs don't scramble and cook. Add the entire egg yolk mixture into the saucepan and whisk constantly while the mixture cooks over medium heat for 3-4 minus; it will thicken considerably. Off the heat, whisk in the butter and coconut extract. Pour the pastry cream into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface and refrigerate until completely chilled, 3-4 hours (you can speed up the process by placing the bottom of the bowl in an ice water bath and stirring the pastry cream constantly until cool).
  2. While the pastry cream is chilling, make the cake. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and grease two round cake pans. Measure your trifle dish to determine what size pans you need.
  3. In a medium bowl, beat the egg yolks with the 3/4 cup granulated sugar until they are light and thick, about 2-3 minutes. Mix in the coconut milk, vanilla extra, coconut extract, flower, salt and baking powder. In a separate bowl, whip up the egg whites until foamy. While beating, add the remaining 1/4 cup sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the egg whites into the cake batter. Divide batter evenly between the 2 pans; bake 12-14 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Turn the cakes onto a cooling rack; cool completely.
  4. For the whipped cream, combine the cream, sugar and Whip It (can be found in German bakeries or in the ethnic isle of your grocery store--it's a fantastic stabilizer that keeps your whipped cream from getting runny too quickly) in a chilled bowl and beat until stiff peaks form.
  5. To assemble, first make the tres leches mixture. Whisk together the condensed milk, evaporated milk and coconut milk (or put them all in a canning jar and shake vigorously!). Place one cake in the bottom of your trifle bowl and poke a few holes in the cake with a straw then poke many more holes in the cake with a fork. Gradually pour 3/4 cup of the tres leches mixture on your cake, gently swirling and poking with a fork until the liquid has settled into the cake. If you don't feel like swirling, you can refrigerate for 30 minutes to let the milk soak in. top with 1/2 of the coconut pastry cream then 1/3 of the shredded coconut and 1/2 of the whipped cream.
  6. Poke holes all over the 2nd cake layer then place it in the trifle dish over the whipped cream layer. Pour the remaining tres leches mixture over the cake and swirl or refrigerate as you did with the first layer of cake. Then top with the rest of the coconut pastry cream, 1/3 of the shredded coconut and the rest of the whipped cream. Top with the last 1/3 of the shredded coconut then the 1/3 cup of the toasted shredded coconut.
  7. Refrigerate for at least 12 hours (up to 24 hours) before serving. Serve chilled

You Might Also Like


Print this Post

Print Friendly and PDF