This gluten free tres leches cake is simply the best! The light and delicious sponge cake is soaked in a three milk mixture, then topped with homemade whipped cream.
I've always loved tres leches cake. Between the delicious sponge cake, the rich three milk mixture, and the whipped cream topping... who could resist? I've gotten multiple requests to make this cake for birthdays and celebrations. It's that good.
This traditional Latin American dessert is soaked in a rich three milk mixture. The resulting treat is gooey, sweet, and oh-so-good.
I was a little nervous about figuring out how to make an eggless tres leches cake, but as it turns out, this sponge cake without eggs is just perfect! I'll talk you through ALL my secrets below.
Why You'll Love This Gluten Free Tres Leches Cake
- It's just so sweet, rich, and gooey. Honestly, the flavor is just irresistible and unlike any other cake.
- The homemade whipped cream adds such a nice final touch. It's light and not too sweet.
- This is SUCH an easy cake to whip up for any occasion. It's a one bowl recipe, which also means less dirty dishes. Score!
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Plain Greek yogurt: I love using yogurt as an egg substitute in many cake recipes. If you're looking to make an eggless tres leches cake, the yogurt is non-negotiable. I typically use either 0% or 2% yogurt in my baking.
- Gluten free flour blend: My favorite gluten free flour is Bob's Red Mill 1 to 1 Flour. Any blend should work, as long as it contains xanthan gum. You cannot substitute nut flours in this recipe.
- Leavening agents: It's important to make sure both your baking powder and baking soda are fresh. Here is an easy test to see if they're still OK to use.
- Sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk: Both ingredients are easy to find in major grocery stores. They'll be in the baking aisle, and both are typically sold in cans.
- Half and half: While traditional tres leches cake calls for heavy cream, I like to use half and half in my recipe. I know half and half is less common outside of the States. You can DIY it with half heavy cream, half milk.
STEP ONE: Combine the sugar and oil. Stir together in a large mixing bowl until fully combined.
STEP TWO: Add the wet ingredients. Add in the yogurt, vanilla, and milk and stir. Some lumps in the batter (from the yogurt) are OK.
STEP THREE: Add the dry ingredients. Fold in the gluten free flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
STEP FOUR: Bake! Transfer the cake batter to an 8" greased cake pan. Bake on 350ºF for 30-35 minutes. The cake should be golden in color.
STEP FIVE: Make the three milk mixture. In a small bowl, whisk the condensed milk, evaporated milk, and half and half together. Use a fork to poke holes all over the warm cake (let it cool for about 15 minutes before you do). Gently pour the mixture on top. Cover and chill for 1 hour.
STEP SIX: Make the whipped cream. Use an electric mixer to beat the heavy whipping cream and vanilla extract until stiff peaks form. Spread onto cake right before serving.
- As always, my top baking tip is to use a scale to weigh your flour, rather than using measuring cups. I've found this is especially important in gluten free baking. It's the best way to ensure accuracy, as too much or too little flour will impact the texture.
- The cake may have some cracks on top after baking. This is totally normal and totally OK! Not only will it be covered up by the whipped cream, it actually will help the three milks soak in better.
- The 1 hour chill time is very important. It helps the three milk mixture fully soak into the cake. You can chill for longer than this, too.
- Keep a close eye on your cream as you're whipping it. It does take a few minutes, but there is also such a thing as over-whipping. You'll know it's done when you pull the whisk attachment out from the cream and it forms stiff peaks that don't fall over.
Frequently Asked Questions
Tres leches is Spanish for three milks. We're combining three types of milk (sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, half and half) and pouring over the cake so that it soaks in.
Yes, wrap the cake in plastic wrap before freezing. It should keep in the freezer for up to three months. I'd recommend making the whipped cream fresh, though.
Yes! The longer the soaked cake sits in the refrigerator, the better. You can make this cake the day before you plan to serve and complete all steps except the homemade whipped cream.
I wouldn't recommend making substitutions to this recipe to make it dairy free. The yogurt plays a big role here in replacing the eggs, and the three milk mixture is truly the star of the show. While you could potentially make non-dairy swaps, I haven't tested it myself.
How To Store
You can store the tres leches cake in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It should keep for up to 4 days.
Did you try my gluten free tres leches cake? Leave me a comment below or tag me on Instagram @justastastyblog and #justastastyblog! And don't forget to subscribe to get new recipes directly in your inbox.
Best Ever Gluten Free Tres Leches Cake
- 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup (80ml) vegetable or canola oil
- ¾ cup (170g) Greek yogurt room temperature
- ¼ cup (60ml) whole milk room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ⅓ cups (197g) gluten free flour blend
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
For the condensed milk mixture:
- ¾ cup (240g) sweetened condensed milk
- ¼ cup (60ml) evaporated milk
- ¼ cup (60ml) half and half
For the whipped cream topping:
- 2 cups (480ml) heavy whipping cream
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease an 8" round cake pan and set aside.
- In a large bowl, stir the sugar and oil together until combined. Add the yogurt, milk, and vanilla and mix well. Fold in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Transfer the batter to the prepared cake pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 15 minutes before transferring to a wire cooling rack. Use a fork to poke holes all over the top of the cake.
- In a small bowl, whisk the condensed milk, evaporated milk, and half and half together. Carefully pour over the warm cake. Cover the cake and chill in the refrigerator at least 1 hour.
- To make the whipped cream, beat the heavy cream and vanilla extract using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until stiff peaks form. Spoon on top of the chilled cake before serving and reserve any excess whipped cream to serve alongside individual slices.