Pumpkin Spice Tres Leches, Anyone? Here are TikTok’s Wildest Takes on Tres Leches To Celebrate National Dessert Day
If you’ve always had a sweet tooth, your childhood memories may include sneaking spoonfuls of merengue when your mom or abuelita was making their legendary tres leches recipe— whether the occasion in question was Nochebuena, a birthday, or just because. Tres leches is arguably the most iconic Latino dessert, especially because it is found in most Latin American countries— from Nicaragua, to Mexico, Puerto Rico, to everywhere in between.
According to Food52, the tres leches recipe is most probably a British export, evolving from the English trifle dessert. Interestingly enough, the soaking part of the recipe probably came about to breathe new life into old, days-old cake. Tres leches’ popularity also coincided with the rise of canned milks, since the traditional recipe of course calls for three milks: evaporated, condensed, and whole milk.
Well, by now, you probably realized we love a good tres leches— so what better way to ring in National Dessert Day then a roundup of the wildest tres leches recipes on TikTok right now? These unique recipes are fun and flavorful, and are all fantastic updates on the classic postre.
1. Pumpkin Spice Tres Leches
If you get the urge to roll your eyes a bit at the traditional pumpkin spice lattes that abound every fall, let us introduce you to something that might change your perspective: pumpkin spice tres leches. This recipe will get you in the autumn mood, so prepare for tons of cozy goodness.
2. Strawberry Crunch Tres Leches
If you’ve loved those Good Humor Strawberry Shortcake ice cream bars ever since you were a kid running after the neighborhood ice cream truck, this recipe is for you. Easy strawberry cake mix meets golden Oreo “crunch,” plus an unexpected addition of Jell-O.
3. Coconut Tres Leches
We have flan de coco, so why not have a tres leches de coco as well? This TikToker has the perfect recipe, swapping in coconut milk and almond extract into store-bought cake mix. Condensed and evaporate coconut milk round out this new kind of “tres leches,” and let’s just say the result is tropical perfection.
4. Coffee Tres Leches
Are you the person who can’t function without their morning cafecito? If you have your everyday cafe con leche or cortadito situation down to a T, then you’re going to love this one. This easy coffee tres leches is a Latino take on a tiramisu, and we’re here for it.
5. Banana Pudding Tres Leches
Who doesn’t love banana pudding? How about banana cream pie? At this point, we’ll even take some banana compota— A.K.A. baby food— but we’re glad we have this banana pudding tres leches recipe instead. Whipped, sweet, cloud-like perfection: get the full recipe on Ma’s Cocina’s YouTube channel.
6. Toddy Tres Leches
Depending on what country you’re from, you might be unfamiliar with Toddy, the chocolate powder drink mix used to make delicious hot chocolate and milkshakes. Extra popular in Venezuela, but also seen throughout Argentina, Toddy is a very different take on your standard Nesquik. If you can find it in your local supermarket, try this tres leches recipe with it!
7. Churro Tres Leches Cupcakes
Freshly-made churros are God’s gift to humanity, no questions asked— I mean, they’re crispy, fried, yet pillowy-soft perfection, all rolled in cinnamon sugar (heaven). We love the idea of churro-flavored tres leches, especially because this recipe makes cupcakes instead— perfect for birthday parties!
8. Rompope Tres Leches
If your family brings out the rompope every holiday season without fail, as in, the Mexican eggnog-like drink that is creamy, cinnamon-y goodness, you’ll love this recipe. This TikToker takes users step-by-step so it’s super easy to make, bringing the rompope into the three-milk mixture. Top with cherries, of course!
9. Piña Colada Tres Leches
While a piña colada might not be the first thing that comes to mind when talking all things cake, a piña colada tres leches just makes sense. Just like other unlikely combinations such as ice cream and french fries, this mash-up is downright-perfect. Plus, all you need is piña colada mix to make everyone belt out “If you like piña coladas” while eating this cake.
10. Fruity Pebbles Tres Leches
Hear us out: while Fruity Pebbles in a tres leches cake might sound like blasphemy (or just wrong), it’s right in all the best ways. Tons of Fruity Pebbles cereal goes into Funfetti cake mix (making it super easy), while the cereal also soaks into milk to give it a distinctive, nostalgic flavor. Blended out and combined with standard evaporated and condensed milks, the final product is perfect for kids’ birthdays.
11. Coquito Tres Leches
While rompope is a classic in Mexico, coquito is a similar holiday drink found in Caribbean countries like Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic (meanwhile, Cuba has crema de vie, Venezuela has ponche crema, and so forth). Coquito is famous for including cream of coconut and coconut milk (even though recipes differ), so this coquito-flavored tres leches is a coconut dream. Plus, if using coquito with rum in it, you’ll surely get a distinctive flavor from that, too!
12. Chocolate Tres Leches
Chocolate tres leches might not be the most inventive recipe in this list, but it still would make our abuelita gasp and clutch her metaphorical pearls— so let’s just say it has shock value for some people. We love the idea of bringing cocoa power into such a creamy dessert, with a resulting cake that is every bit as fluffy as the original, just with a chocolatey kick.
13. Lucky Charms Tres Leches
Last but certainly not least, if the Fruity Pebbles tres leches idea wasn’t enough, we bring in that recipe’s possibly even crazier cousin: the Lucky Charms tres leches. Standard box cake mix meets Lucky Charms-infused milk, resulting in a super-fun combination that is every bit a twist on the classic.
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