Coconut Tres Leches Skillet Cake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This is a coconut lover's dream recipe! This coconut cake is drowned in a tres leches mixture before being topped with clouds of my favorite fluffy whipped icing. The recipe below makes a lot of frosting because it's one of my favorite parts, but if you're not big on frosting, feel free to half it.
Serves: 6-8
Cake Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 1/8 cups cake flour
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Tres Leches Ingredients:
  • 1/4 cup half-and-half
  • 1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
Whipped Icing Ingredients:
  • 1 cup milk
  • 5 tablespoons flour
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar (not powdered sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup butter, at room temperature
  • about 1 cup shredded coconut (for topping)
  1. To make the cake: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and prepare a 10-inch oven-safe skillet sprayed with cooking spray. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring the butter and water to a boil. In the meantime, in a separate large bowl, whisk together the cake flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt before whisking in the egg, sour cream, coconut extract, vanilla extract. Mix to combine. While mixing, slowly pour in the boiling butter and water mixture. Mix to combine completely. Your batter will be very runny. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan. Bake at 375 degrees for 17-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in several places comes out with a few moist crumbs. When the cake is still hot, poke it all over with a fork to create a porous surface.
  2. To make the tres leches: Mix the three milks together well and pour evenly over the surface of the cake while it's still hot. Place the cake in the fridge to cool completely and soak up all the milk mixture (I waited about 2 hours).
  3. To make the frosting: Heat the milk, flour, and granulated sugar together over medium heat, whisking constantly. Once it starts to boil, continue whisking and heating it for around 7 minutes or until it’s very thick, like cake batter consistency. Remove the mixture from the heat and add the coconut and vanilla extract. Remove the mixture to a shallow pan and let the mixture cool completely (after a bit, I stuck mine in the fridge to hurry it along). Once the mixture is completely cool, beat the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer until soft and fluffy. Add the completely cooled mixture and beat on high until you have fluffy frosting the consistency of stiff whipped cream (this takes 2-4 minutes, so be patient). Dollop most of the frosting out onto your cake and spread it out evenly. Top with coconut and serve!
Recipe by Willow Bird Baking at