Gluten & Dairy Free Milk Cake


Hey guys, welcome back to the blog! Today’s recipe is a gluten and dairy free milk cake. This cake is a play on a tres leches cake, but it is a much simplified version. It is light and decadent, with a slightly sweet coconut flavour. Tres leches cake (three milk cake) is a Spanish dessert consisting of a sponge cake soaked in three types of milk; evaporated milk, condensed milk, and heavy cream. The sponge cake is meant to have a light and airy texture. Despite being soaked in milk, it’s supposed to retain its texture without being soggy. There are several varieties of the milk cake, but in this version I’ve opted for soaking in one layer of milk for a healthier option. The cake is not overly sweet, usually with a cinnamon flavour, but for the dairy-free option, I’ve chosen coconut milk and coconut flavours throughout the different layers.

I used my gluten free sponge cake for this recipe, with a few alterations. You can find the original recipe here. I opted for an almond sponge with a shredded coconut layer on top. The cake is supposed to be refrigerated and unlike many gluten free cakes, this one stays moist and soft even when cold. I made this recipe for a family lunch and everyone absolutely loved it and I’m sure you will too. If you want to keep it closer to the original tres leches cake, I’d suggest using a layer of coconut whipping cream on top. You can also top it with different nuts such as pistachios, but since I’m allergic to them, I went for sliced almonds and pumpkin seeds for a the green colour. Now, let’s get into it.


Sponge Cake

  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 cup xylitol or erythritol (or regular white sugar if not sugar free)
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1 1/4 cup gf flour blend
  • 3/4 cup almond flour
  • 3 tbsp almond or oat milk
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup shredded coconut

Milk Layer + topping

  • 1 can of coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp cardamom seeds or cardamom powder (optional)
  • 2 tbsp pumkin seeds (optional)
  • 2 tbsp almond flakes (optional)

Instructions: Baking the Sponge

  1. Separate your egg yolks from the egg whites.
  2. In one bowl, whist the egg yolks and sugar together.
  3. Over a double boiler, whisk the egg yolks until light and runny for one minute.
  4. Add in the almond extract and coconut oil.
  5. In another bowl, whisk the egg whites until white and fluffy.
  6. Fold in one scoop of the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture before incorporating all of the egg whites.
  7. Sift in the flours and baking powder, pour in the milk and fold in gently. Avoid over-mixing the batter.
  8. Pour the batter into a lined baking tin and top it with shredded coconut.
  9. Bake the cake at 180ºC for 30-35 mins.

Instructions: Assembling the cake

  1. While you cake is baking you can make your milk to soak it in. Heat up one can of coconut milk in a saucepan over low heat with the sugar and cardamom.
  2. Once the sugar has melted, remove it from the heat and set aside.
  3. Once the cake has cooled slightly, use a skewer to poke holes all over it. This to allow the milk to soak through. You can also cut the edges of the cake off to allow milk to soak in all around. I sliced of the sides of the cake to make it a bit cleaner.
  4. Pour 1/3 of the milk mixture over the cake. You will want to let it soak up before pouring over the other batches of milk.
  5. Once you have poured in all of the milk, sprinkle your toppings and let the cake set in the fridge for a minimum of 2 hours.

There you have it! My simple and delicious version of a three milk cake. I loved this dessert because I enjoy coconut, but if you don’t particularly like coconut you can opt out of the coconut layer and replace the coconut milk with a thicker oat milk. I haven’t tried this yet, but I imagine the barista oat milk creamers would work well to soak a cake. I hope you enjoyed this recipe, please like and follow if you did, and I hope to see you back next time, thank you for reading, xoxo.

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