Coquito Tres Leches Cake – Puerto Rican Dessert

tres leches

Coquito Tres Leches Cake is a delicious sponge cake soaked in my traditional Coquito and topped with Italian Meringue.

This is my version of Coquito Tres Leches. I’ve been making this recipe for a very long time. It was my clients’ favorite recipe when I had my home-based bakery in Kentucky. Although sharing my delicious Coquito Tres Leches recipe wasn’t on my list, because it is my classic cake recipe. Some of my clients in Kentucky are missing having this cake during their holiday feast, so I decided to share it. Plus, sharing is caring! You can make this cake vegan very easily. Read the recipe notes for vegan replacements. As I always mention, feel free to replace any ingredient. If you want to use this cake as a basic cake just replace the coquito with your choice of milk.

tres leches



Coquito is a creamy, coconut-based beverage original from Puerto Rico.

Christmas is not Christmas for us Puerto Ricans without Coquito. This delicious coconut drink is a staple in Puerto Rico during the Christmas festivities. The traditional recipe calls for coconut milk, coconut cream, evaporated milk, condensed milk, vanilla, cinnamon, and white rum. The rum is the key ingredient but you can totally skip it. See the video for details.

Some people describe Coquito as eggnog without the eggs, but they are very different. Eggnog has raw egg, Coquito doesn’t have eggs. There’s a punch drink recipe from Puerto Rico that is similar to eggnog and contains raw eggs. Nowadays there’s a lot of variations of Coquito, people make it in different flavors and adding a variety of liquors and spices. Here’s a tutorial for my Coquito recipe.



This sponge cake is my basic sponge cake recipe. It should be noted that the original cake recipe calls for regular milk. However, for this version, I replace the milk with coquito. Use this recipe to make different cake recipes and even cupcakes.

Although the original tres leches cake is soaked using different kinds of milk, I used my Coquito recipe for soaking the cake. Also, when soaking the cake in Coquito using a squeeze bottle is the easiest way. In addition, you can totally make this cake vegan by replacing the eggs with aquafaba. Finally, see notes for details. Aquafaba is the best egg replacement in cakes.

If you give this recipe a try, let me know what you think! Leave a comment below. Also, don’t forget to take a picture and share it on my Facebook page or tag it #thehungrydragonfly on Instagram! I love seeing your creations!

Make these amazing Puerto Rican recipes during your holidays:

Asopao de Gandules con Bolitas de Platanos Vegano

Sorullitos de Maiz Veganos-Puerto Rican Corn Fritters Vegan

Black Bean Empanada Puerto Rican Style

Puerto Rican Tostones  – Fried Plantains


tres leches

Coquito Tres Leches Cake

Coquito Tres Leches Cake is a delicious sponge cake soaked in my traditional Coquito recipe and topped with Italian Meringue.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine Puerto Rican
Servings 10 people


  • 8X3 round cake pan or the one of your choice.


For the Cake

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter I used vegan buttery sticks
  • 2 cups Granulated Sugar
  • 4 eggs **See notes for vegan**
  • 1 tbsp almond extract
  • 3 cups self-rising flour spooned and leveled
  • 1 cup Coquito You can replace coquito for your choice of milk.
  • 1-1/2 cup Coquito for soaking the cake Set aside for soaking the cake after baking.

Italian Meringue

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 4 room temperature egg whites, preferably from fresh eggs 
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar


For the Cake:

  • Make Coquito and chill for a few hours until cold.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Grease your pan using non-stick spray.
  • In a large mixing bowl or a stand mixer beat butter and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy. For about 5 minutes.
  • Add eggs one at a time. Beating batter just to combine. Do not overmix.
  • On low speed add flour alternating with coquito.
  • Pour batter into the mold.
  • Bake for about 40 to 45 minutes. Baking time will depend on the type of mold that you use.
  • Check the cake with a toothpick/skewer by inserting it in the middle. If it comes out clean with no crumbs on it, the cake is ready to be removed from the oven.
  • Remove it to a cooling rack and allow to sit for 10-15 minutes. Then invert it onto a cooling rack and allow to completely cool before using.
  • Put the cake inside a shallow dish and poke holes using a straw or a kebab stick.

Soaking the Cake:

  • Pour 1-1/2 cup of coquito inside a squeeze bottle and soak the cake until the cake absorbs the coquito.
  • Refrigerate for while you make the meringue.

Italian Meringue:

  • In a small saucepan, combine sugar and water. Heat over high heat. Stir constantly.
  • Cook until sugar syrup registers 240°F on an instant-read or candy thermometer.
  • Meanwhile, add egg whites inside the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Set mixer to medium speed and mix until soft peaks form. About 2 minutes.
  • With the mixer running, carefully and slowly drizzle in hot sugar syrup. Increase speed to high and whip until desired stiffness is achieved.
  • Beat until the egg whites are stiff and glossy. The more time you beat the meringue, the more consistency it will have. I beat mine until I'm able to flip the bowl and the meringue stays in place.
  • Cover your cake as desire.


Recipe Notes:
**If you are replacing eggs for aquafaba**Three tablespoons of aquafaba is equivalent to about one whole egg, while two tablespoons of aquafaba are equivalent to about one egg white. Keep in mind that a can of chickpeas yields about 1/2 to 3/4 cup of this liquid, so about eight to 12 tablespoons. Using a fork beat aquafaba until frothy. 
Italian Meringue - For a vegan version you can use aquafaba or you can make a whipped cream buttercream using vegan heavy cream. 
Soaking your cake is optional but totally recommended. If you want a really wet cake, put your cake inside a large shallow bowl before soaking.  
Keywords Coquito, Coquito Tres Leches, Latin Dessert, Puerto Rican Food, Tres Leches






8 thoughts on “Coquito Tres Leches Cake – Puerto Rican Dessert

    1. Hola! Si va al menu principal puede escoger Ingles o Español. Dejeme saber si necesita ayuda y con mucho gusto le digo. Gracias

  1. This cake looks so delicious! It seems like it would go really well with almost any kind of fruit as a garnish too. If you use aquafaba eggs, does the meringue whip up the same as egg whites? Is there anything special you need to do, like add cream of tartar to it before beating it to stiff peaks?

    1. Thank you! When I use aquafaba I add super fine sugar and cream of tartar to stabilize it. It took me some trials to master it.

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