Coconut tres leches cake wows at party

Published 2:54 pm Tuesday, May 2, 2017

2 cups sweetened flaked coconut

1 package white cake mix

1 cup water

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¾ cup 2% plain low fat Greek yogurt

3 eggs

1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk

1 can (13.5 oz.) lite coconut milk

Fresh berries and Whipped Cream (optional)

Place coconut in Rockcrok Dutch Oven. Microwave, uncovered, on High 3-5 minutes until golden brown, stirring after 1 minute intervals. Remove coconut from Dutch Oven and let cool completely.

In Classic Batter Bowl, combine cake mix, water, yogurt and eggs. Whisk with Stainless Steel Whisk until smooth. Stir in 1 ½ cups of the toasted coconut.

Pour batter into Dutch Oven. Microwave, covered, on High 12-14 minutes or until cake pulls away from sides.

Meanwhile, combine milks in Small Batter Bowl; stir until well blended. Pierce cake thoroughly with the Hold ‘N Slice.

Carefully pour mixture over top of warm cake. Let stand, uncovered 5 minutes.

Just before serving, top with remaining toasted coconut. Garnish each serving with berries and whipped cream, if desired.


This week’s recipe comes from the Pampered Chef website.

I was having a Pampered Chef party with consultant Lisa Pohl and she gave me several menu options. After choosing the main dish and a dessert for her to demonstrate and prepare at the party I decided to make a few extra things to have for the guests – just in case they came to the party really hungry.

Because Lisa was going to fix slow cooker beef carnitas along with peaches and cream nachos, I decided to stick with the Mexican theme and make some homemade salsa (Lisa’s recipe). After looking at the options she’d given me for dessert and because I have a huge sweet tooth, I decided I’d make the Coconut Tres Leches Cake too (Tres Leches means three milks). I’m not sure where the three milks come in to play with this recipe since it only calls for two milks — I guess the author might have considered yogurt to be a milk.

You make this cake in the microwave and I was very skeptical that it would turn out. I just could not imagine a cake turning out right cooking it in the microwave. All I could think was it would be dry and hard, or chewy. But I always have good luck with Pampered Chef recipes and decided I would give it a try.

The only things on the ingredient list that I had were water and eggs, so after church on Sunday I headed to the grocery to pick up the rest of the items. I didn’t have to spend much time there except looking for the coconut milk and the yogurt. I found one brand of coconut milk in the baking aisle and it wasn’t “light,” which the recipe called for. I thought surely the grocery had more than one brand to choose from, but instead of looking around or asking someone I just stuck with the one I found and then headed to the dairy department.

I think I looked at almost every individual container of yogurt they had, but never did find 2 percent low fat so finally I just went with plain yogurt — I bought two individual containers because I had no idea how much was in each one and I sure didn’t want to get started baking and need to go back to the grocery. You guessed it, I don’t eat yogurt.

After checking out, I headed home and got busy making the cake.

The first thing I was supposed to do was toast the coconut in the microwave. The recipe said to microwave a total of about 5 minutes. I started out microwaving the coconut for 3 minutes and it didn’t seem like anything was happening so I then microwaved an additional minute, still nothing, so another minute. It was beginning to brown slightly. It took a total of 7 minutes in my microwave to be a pretty light brown color.

I dumped the toasted coconut on a plate and set it aside to cool, Then I got started putting the cake together. It took one whole container of yogurt plus a little bit more, so I was glad I bought two of them. By the time the batter was ready, the coconut had cooled. I measured out the right amount of toasted coconut and folded it into the batter.

I then poured everything into a dutch oven. You could use a 3-4 quart microwave-safe dish as an alternative and see what happens.

I set the timer for 12 minutes. When time was up the cake didn’t look done so I put it back in for 2 more minutes. This time I assumed it was done because it had pulled away from the side of the dutch oven. I still wasn’t buying that this cake was going to be good. I let it cool then put the lid on it. I held off sprinkling the rest of the coconut on top of the cake until Monday morning, I don’t know why I guess I thought it might get soggy. Since the cake wasn’t iced, I figured I would serve it with fresh strawberries and blueberries.

When Monday evening came I headed to Lisa’s house after work with my dessert (and other items) in tow.

Everyone was having a good time, and when it was time to taste test we all agreed that the carnitas and peach nachos were wonderful. As people served themselves, I was still skeptical about this cake; however, everyone loved it and wanted the recipe.

Within a few days of the party, my friend Linda called — she was at the grocery looking for the coconut milk so she could make this dessert. I gave her directions and we hung up. She called me back when she got to the dairy department — she had the same questions I did about the 2 percent low-fat yogurt and I told her any plain yogurt should work.

So with Linda making this cake within a week of my party and with my other friend’s blessing I definitely nailed this recipe and it’s in my self-made cookbook, ready for the making.

Sarah Condley is an amateur baker and chef who is compiling a cookbook of her favorite recipes. To see this week’s recipe, visit