Coconut Tres Leches Cake

Coconut Tres Leches Cake - my favorite way to dress up a boxed cake mix!

This Coconut Tres Leches Cake has been a favorite family recipe for so many years.

My Mom started making this when I was in elementary school and I can still remember sneaking into the fridge before bed and stealing one last bite.

It’s seriously so dang good and very, very easy to make.

Coconut Tres Leches Cake - my favorite way to dress up a boxed cake mix!

You start with a boxed white cake mix. That’s right, this is an easy one to make!

Bake it according to the package directions in a 9×13 dish. Then we can fancy it up!

Coconut Tres Leches Cake - my favorite way to dress up a boxed cake mix!

While it’s still piping hot, stab the cake with a fork, or a chop stick, and make a ton of holes.

Then slowly pour on a whole can of cream of coconut (like Coco Lopez — not coconut milk!!) and a can of sweetened condensed milk.

It will take about 10 minutes for the cake to soak up all of the liquid, but I promise it will.

As you can see, Lyla was adorably excited about the whole process of topping the cake!

She helped from start to finish and then as soon as I turned my back she had stolen a bite. She’s totally my mini me.

Coconut Tres Leches Cake - my favorite way to dress up a boxed cake mix!

After the liquid soaks in and the cake is chilled, you spread on a nice thick layer of homemade coconut whipped cream.

It only takes a couple of minutes to whip up in your stand mixer and is so worth the effort.

Coconut Tres Leches Cake - my favorite way to dress up a boxed cake mix!

Lastly, you top it with some toasted shredded coconut and chill it in the fridge until you are ready to serve it!

Coconut Tres Leches Cake - my favorite way to dress up a boxed cake mix!

I brought this Coconut Tres Leches Cake to a 4th of July party and it was a massive hit.

Everyone was asking for the recipe and were shocked when I told them it came from a boxed cake mix.

Gotta love easy recipes that have great flavors and are still impressive!

Coconut Tres Leches Cake - my favorite way to dress up a boxed cake mix!

Head on over to Dixie Crystals for the RECIPE: Coconut Tres Leches Cake


Coconut Tres Leches Cake - my favorite way to dress up a boxed cake mix!

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44 Responses
  1. Neli

    Hi. I want to make this for my husband’s birthday today but I can not find the recipe for the coconut whipped cream! Please help! Someone else asked this and was told to read the directions carefully. I have quadruple checked and no where does it say how to make it. On the Link to click on it just takes me to a page with a bunch of recipes to search through. Please help! 

  2. Lori B

    Wonderfully moist cake and easy to make. The recipe didn’t mention how to toast the coconut. I spread it on a cookie sheet and popped in the oven @ 325 for 6 minutes. Made this for my adult son’s birthday. It was a big hit.

  3. Cassie

    Someone on pinterest has taken credit for your Tres Leches Cake. When you click to view the recipe it takes you to a wall mart gift card sign up. 

    1. Jessica

      They will be very messy, I wouldn’t recommend it since you pour liquid on top of the cake. It would make the liners fall off and be a bit of a mess! 

  4. Nan

    I put coconut rum in my whip cream for the flavoring. I amnot a big fan of coconut flavoring taste like soap to me. Or you can put the cream de coco in with the whipping cream also. To make the whipped cream on top.

  5. Johanne Caouette

    Bonjour j’aimerais revoir cette recette de gateau avec le lait de coco et recouvert de coconut en FRANÇAIS ….. MERCI !!!

  6. Ms. Erica

    Put some crushed pineapples on the layer after the cream of coconut baaybeeee…. And you pina colada … Dads recipe

  7. Louise Runge

    OMG…this cake is AMAZING!!! I made it for the first time for our neighborhood 4th of July block party. Once the word got out how delicious it was, it was the first dessert that was gone. I actually saw a few people have two pieces of it. And, I can’t tell you how many people told me how delicious it was. My husband loves coconut and I think he may have told me 20 times how good it was and that it was one of the best cakes I ever made. I will definitely be making this cake on a regular basis. Thank you!!!

  8. ANCA

    Tres leches is my husband’s favorite cake! And I love everything with coconut! I found your recipe and it looked so easy to make so I made it! it came out delicious! My husband loved it and so did I! Thank you for the recipe!

  9. Joni

     Can you please help me. I’m trying desperately to find the recipe for the  whipped coconut cream frosting. For some reason it’s not showing on my page. However, there is a link to coconut but when I go there it just brings up other cakes and no recipe for the frosting. I would love to make this today for when my father arrives.  Thank you

  10. Vicki

    The cake looks yellow instead of white.  Is it white cake mix that is used & not yellow?  I plan to make this soon.  Thanks for sharing and thanks for your patience & gracious responses.

  11. Tina Akin

    Can you use 2 round cakes pans instead of the 9×13 dish?  I want to make this for Fathers Day but I’d like to put it on my cake stand

    1. Jessica

      Yes! It should work! However, I don’t think you can stack this one on a cake stand. It’s filled with liquid. 

  12. Deb

    I see only two milks to pour over the cake, and the heavy whipping cream is for the topping, is this correct? I’m in love with anything coconut so I’m going to make it and love it! Can I call it ” dos leches coconut cake with uno mas leches on top” I think it sounds catchy! I’m so not Latino so I apologize about my Spanish. Thanks for this recipe Jessica!
    People, stop being overly critical it’s a cake!

  13. Noneya damnbusiness

    Coconut “TRES” leches cake? …this recipe only calls for ONE milk, not “tres”…i think you should do your research on tres leches cakes….my grandma has made this exact for the last 25 years, and she calls it “coconut poke cake”

    1. Jessica

      Hi NONEYA DAMNBUSINESS, what a whitty name. You’re right, it has heavy whipping cream, a can of cream of coconut and a can of sweetened condensed milk. But sure, it only has one milk product in it. Have a nice night!

      1. Lovenewrecipes

        Great recipe can’t wait to try it!
        Girl you call it whatever you want cause you posted it , some one else can poke it and post it and call it whatever they want cause its nonysdamnbusiness

      2. Donna arnold

        I like this lady. .she’s right…call it whatever you want it’s your family recipe.. I think she should count..not  criticize

  14. suzan

    I am confused about the Coconut Whipped Cream? The recipe states its regular Whipped cream made from Heavy Whipping cream. It doesn’t say its Coconut Whipped Cream. Please let me know how to make the Coconut Whipped Cream

    1. Jessica

      Just add a little coconut extract to your whipped cream! The full recipe for the whipped cream part is at the bottom of the recipe. 


    Thank you for this recipe. But you did mot tell us how to make THE COCONUT WHIPPED CREAM.
    I would appreciate if you send it or post it.

    1. Jessica

      Hi Bettie,

      Yes the recipe for the coconut whipped cream is included as well! Just read through the recipe fully and it’s the last thing you do! 🙂

  16. Katerina @ Diethood

    Oh me gosh, your cutie pie!!! She’s lovin’ that cake and rightfully so! I love coconut cakes and tres leches cakes, which in turn would make this the ultimate, most perfect cake in the world! 😀

  17. Justine | Cooking and Beer

    I have never made tres leches cake, but I love to eat it! I need to add your recipe to my vault ASAP!

  18. Sues

    I love that your babes are helping you in the kitchen! They are lucky to have a mama who makes such delicious treats 🙂

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I'm a trial & error, self taught, sugar addict who thankfully learned how to survive in the kitchen! I am also a wife, mama of 3.
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