This Vegan Tres Leches Cake is one of my favorites and consists of a light vanilla cake soaked in a triple dairy free milk mixture. Top with fluffy coconut whipped cream, a sprinkle of cinnamon and sliced strawberries.

The traditional version of this cake is soaked in a mixture of 3 milks and topped with whipped cream, so creating a vegan version was quite the project!

yellow cake with white frosting and strawberries on top

This vegan tres leches cake ranks as one of the best desserts I’ve ever made! Similar to my vegan tiramisu, it took me quite a while to get it just right and worthy of sharing. Desserts that rely so heavily on dairy products can be hard to replicate.

Once you’ve tried a bite you’ll understand it was worth the effort.

What is tres leches?

Tres leches literally translates to “three milks” because a light sponge cake is soaked in a mixture of three dairy milks, usually sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk and whole milk or cream. It is a wildly popular Mexican dessert and is topped with whipped cream.

This vegan version is far from authentic since I’m not using any dairy or eggs whatsoever. I think you will fall in love with this vegan tres leches cake!

It’s perfect for bringing to potlucks or any other celebration. I love that it’s not too sweet and tastes rather light while being a pretty rich cake.

bite taken of a vegan tres leches cake showing texture

A vegan tres leches cake consists of

How to make vegan tres leches

First, make the easy vanilla cake in a 9×13 inch pan. Poke holes all over the cake. Not just a few holes, but literally all over, and all the way down to the pan! This will help the milk mixture soak all the way through, creating a deliciously moist cake.

a cake with holes poked all over

Mix your three milks together: full fat coconut milk, vegan sweetened condensed milk, and oat milk. Pour over the still warm cake with holes poked all over it. Chill for at least an hour.

milk poured over a vanilla cake in a pan

Top with vegan whipped cream. I used So Delicious Coco Whip which I love.

dollops of whipped cream on a milk soaked cake

Spread whipped topping evenly over the milk-soaked cake.

whipped cream on a cake

Sprinkle with cinnamon, if desired and serve with sliced strawberries.

a whole tres leches cake with cinnamon on top

Make ahead option and storing

You can make this cake 1-2 days ahead of time, in fact it gets better with time! Keep covered in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

The cake will keep, covered, for 3-5 days in the refrigerator.

I would not freeze the cake that is already soaked in milk, but you could freeze the vanilla cake, then thaw and soak in the milk before serving.

glass pan with a cake and milk mixture on the bottom

What to serve with tres leches cake

Serve with any of the following popular vegan Mexican-inspired recipes:

a piece of milk soaked cake with whipped cream and strawberries on a plate

Want more crowd pleasing desserts?

square image of a piece of cake with a bite taken out of it
4.96 stars (23 ratings)

Vegan Tres Leches Cake

This Vegan Tres Leches Cake is one of my favorites and consists of a light vanilla cake soaked in a triple dairy free milk mixture.
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Chilling time: 1 hour
Total: 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings: 12 servings


For the vanilla cake

For the milk mixture

For the rest

  • 1 Recipe coconut whipped cream OR store bought coco whip
  • sprinkle of cinnamon
  • sliced strawberries


Make the cake

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and grease a 9×13 inch cake pan.
  • Combine the soy milk and vinegar in a measuring cup or bowl, stir and set aside for a few minute to curdle.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  • Now pour in the milk/vinegar, oil and vanilla. Whisk until combined and there are no large lumps left in the batter.
  • Pour the batter into the cake pan, transfer to the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and let the cake cool for about 15 minutes. The cake should still be warm when you pour the milk over it; it will absorb better.

Prepare the milk mixture

  • Scoop/pour the full fat coconut milk into a large microwave safe bowl. Heat for 1 minute, until warm and there are no more hard white portions.
  • Add the sweetened condensed coconut milk and oat milk to the bowl with the coconut milk and whisk well.

Pour the milk mixture on cake and chill

  • Use a fork to poke holes all over the top of the cake, all the way down to the bottom of the pan.
  • Slowly pour the milk mixture over the cake.
  • Refrigerate the cake for at least an hour to let it soak up the milk.

Finish and serve

  • Prepare whipped topping. Remove the cake from the refrigerator and smooth whipped cream all over the cake.
  • Sprinkle with cinnamon and decorate with fresh sliced strawberries, if desired. Store vegan tres leches cake in the refrigerator for 3-5 days, covered.


  1. Gluten free – Try a gluten free flour mix, such as King Arthur’s Measure for Measure Flour.
  2. Sweetened Condensed Milk – You can use my recipe OR buy a can of sweetened condensed coconut milk.
  3. I used So Delicious Coco Whip for the whipped topping. You can make my coconut whipped cream or aquafaba based whipped topping instead if desired.
  4. Make ahead – This cake is the perfect cake to make 1-2 days ahead of time, in fact it probably tastes better if you do!
  5. Can you freeze the cake? Don’t freeze the cake with the milks soaked in, but you can freeze the vanilla cake, then thaw and pour milks over before serving.


Serving: 1of 12 servings | Calories: 352kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Sodium: 173mg | Potassium: 273mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 28g | Vitamin A: 154IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 163mg | Iron: 2mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Mexican-inspired
Author: Nora Taylor
Did you make this recipe?Mention @nora_cooks_vegan_ or tag #noracooks!

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Read my full disclosure here.

Posted In: , , , , ,

you may also like:


  1. Hi Nora. Looks so delicious. I will make for a Cinco de Mayo dinner party this weekend! Assuming that if I make this a day ahead, I should wait to top it with the coconut whip until before serving after overnight chilling in the fridge? Thanks Nora!

    1. Hi Sarah, that sounds so fun! You can really do it either way. It’s fine to put the coconut whip on top the day before and store in the fridge, or you can wait until right before serving. Enjoy!

  2. Hi , my cake came out a bit dense and didn’t absorb any of the liquid do you know what could’ve I made wrong ?

    1. Be careful not to over mix the cake batter, that can make for a very dense cake. Also, over baking the cake will make it dense as well.

  3. hi! i was wanting to make this recipe but i dont have a 9×13 pan, do you have recipe measurements for a 8×8? thank you in advance!

  4. So good! My kids couldn’t believe it was vegan!! I recommend using maybe 2/3 of the milk mixture if you are eating it the same day. I refrigerated for 3 hours and still had to pour off some of the milk. Really delicious!!

    1. Hi Kerri. It hasn’t been tested but you can try adding 1/3 cup of cocoa powder to the cake batter.

  5. Turned out amazing! My non-vegan friend said “I like this more than any other tres leches cake I’ve had with dairy”! I used canned whipped cream because my attempt at making whipped cream with the silk whipping cream failed miserably but it still turned out amazing!

    1. Hi Emma. Thanks for sharing your wonderful feedback! I’m thrilled you and your friend loved the cake!

  6. I’m planning on doubling the recipe and making a big cake. Would you recommend using a bigger size dish (if so, what size?), or would it be better to bake in two separate dishes?

  7. So easy and so super delicious! Decadent while also not feeling really heavy or dense. Fabulous next-day breakfast too 🙂

    1. I’m hoping to make this today, and plan on using your recipe for the sweetened condensed milk. Will a single recipe yield enough for this cake?

      While I’m here, I want to thank you for all of the fabulous recipes on this site. The Baked Ziti and Cornbread, to name a couple, are served regularly in this vegan (me)/omnivore (husband) household.

      1. Hi Karen! Yes, one recipe is perfect. I’m so glad to hear my recipes are enjoyed regularly in your home! Thank you. 🙂

  8. Absolutely delicious- the cake itself without the milks is amazing! (It had a bit of a dome that I figured should be flattened… 😉 I grew up in Puerto Rico, enjoying many a tres leches and this is equally enjoyable, if not more so. I didn’t follow the actual three milks you suggested, mainly because I’m a lazy cook- but ultimately it just needs to be creamy enough, but not so much it won’t go into the cake, and super sweet- so I just mixed cashews with soy milk and added date syrup until it was just right (I also added a Tony’s bit of vanilla and a pinch of salt)- worked great! I also used oat flour for the cake because that’s what I had and used applesauce instead of oil because I’m WFPB, it turned out amazing- thanks so much!!!

    1. Wonderful, I’m so glad you enjoyed the cake! Thank you so much for your terrific feedback and review!

  9. I use this recipe and make a few tweaks to change flavors/ make mini cakes. I love it and everyone that eats it loves it. If I could give 10 stars I would!

  10. This cake is amazing! I made it for a potluck and it was a huge hit. I didn’t have AP flour so I subbed cake flour (I did a little more flour than what it calls for – maybe like 2-3 tablespoons more). I used the listed homemade condensed milk recipe. I used the So Delicious coconut whip for the top and it tasted great. This cake is super light with the perfect amount of sweetness – so yummy! Thank you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.