Eggless Tres Leches Cake Recipe

Author: Dr. Alexis McNeil

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Time to read: 16 min

article feature picture eggless tres leches cake
Finished eggless tres leches cake baked with Detox Desserts ingredient swaps

Eggless Tres Leches Cake (Gluten-free & Sugar-free)

Prep time

45 min

Bake time

35 min

Servings

9 servings

Category

Cake

Why you will love this eggless tres leches cake recipe

When I moved to Arizona in 2005, Tres Leches Cake quickly became my favorite dessert. I couldn’t get enough of this classic Mexican cake until I discovered how it was made. Traditional Tres Leches is basically a sponge cake soaked in 3 types of milk. Two of the three milks come from a can (yuck) and the remaining ingredients are wheat, sugar, eggs and more dairy. Since so many people must avoid the foundational ingredients in this cake, I set out to create a healthy replica that almost everyone can enjoy.


This detoxed version still keeps the spongy vanilla cake and rich, sweet, creamy “milk” without using any sugar-loaded or dairy-concentrated canned ingredients. We’ve replaced evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk and whole milk with freshly muddled strawberries in yogurt, then used the Detox Desserts* Swap ingredients for the flour, sugar and egg replacements. The Sweet Swaps allowed me to create a sweet, creamy cake that’s balanced with macronutrients, contains about ⅓ the calories and only has 9g net carbs. This eggless tres leches recipe is gluten-free, sugar free, high fiber, and will fool your leche loving friends. No matter their cultural background, most Arizonians would agree that Tres Leches is the best cake. Which is why it’s absolutely necessary to have a guilt-free recipe that you can feel good about serving the people you love. Cheers!

Recommended products for the best eggless tres leches cake

How the eggless tres leches cake made with Detox Desserts measures up against other recipes

eggless tres leches cake stats how we measure up graphic

Not only does using the DD Flour Swap make it easy to make this vegan recipe for tres leches cake gluten free, but it also helps promote healthy digestion. The psyllium husk contained in the Flour Swap and inulin contained in the Egg and Sugar Swaps both feed and increase the number of healthy gut bacteria. Plenty of good flora in your intestines can promote a healthy immune system along with the added digestive benefits we all love with a healthy dose of fiber. Don’t forget the whole psyllium husk binds waste and toxins in your intestines and helps clear them from the body. This easy recipe for gluten free tres leches cake is not only free from all the unhealthy ingredients found in traditional dessert but it’s actually gently detoxifying to the body…double win!


The plant soluble fiber from the psyllium husk and the digestive resistant fiber in the inulin work together to slow down digestion of this healthy cake. The slowed digestion helps provide more blood sugar stability throughout your day which can keep you feeling full and satisfied. This also keeps energy levels constant without the normal sugar crashes one would experience with a traditional, carb-loaded tres leches cake.


I’ve tested this eggless tres leches cake recipe with Whole-Grain and Grain-Free Flour Swap a few times. They are equally delish and both allow you to make your tres leches cake recipe gluten free and healthy! The Whole-Grain Swap cake has a few extra slowly digesting healthy carbs, but I love the hearty, earthy flavor it has. The Grain-Free Flour will provide the lowest carb (keto/paleo) version. The Grain-Free cake bakes amazingly well, but with a more dense and moist texture. I tested this recipe using both flours in equal parts (¾ cup Whole-Grain plus ¾ cup Grain-Free Flour to equal the full 1½ cup of Flour Swap the recipe calls for), which is my taste/texture preference. Plus, mixing the flours is a great way to create a lower carb version of a gluten-free tres leches cake and still allows for a small dose of healthy grains.


For most of my patients, I’m a big advocate for balanced macronutrient meals breakfast, lunch and dinner. Here is an easy way to know what type of Flour Swap to choose to create a balanced macro meal. We’ll use dinner as an example. If your dinner consists of just protein and veggies, I recommend eating a Whole-Grain Swap cake for dessert to serve as your healthy carb for that meal. Conversely, if you already had a healthy carb with dinner (quinoa, sweet potato, beans, etc), I would recommend the Grain-Free Swap cake for dessert so you don’t overeat carbs at that meal. Easy, right?! Balanced macro meals are the best thing you can do to keep your metabolism firing optimally, create blood sugar stability and keep you feeling full and satisfied throughout your day (or night). If you’re a diabetic or need to stay in ketosis, always bake using the Grain-Free Flour Swap.

featured 1 eggless tres leches cake
featured 2 eggless tres leches cake
featured 3 eggless tres leches cake

How I crafted the perfect eggless tres leches cake recipe

This recipe is not a simple 1:1 swap, it really takes one knowing the Sweet Swap ingredients well and being willing to take a creative approach to replace the canned ingredients. I’ve been playing with these ingredients for years and can recreate pretty much any dessert using the products. Regular baked desserts like simple cakes, cookies, sweet breads, scones and muffins are straight forward and turn out great using the simple 1:1 swap method, but not all desserts can be made that way. The Sweet Swaps are wonderful but they aren’t magic, LOL.


Although there are many gluten-free and vegan tres leches cake recipes online, I had trouble finding any that I would actually consider healthy. Fortunately, this eggless tres leches cake recipe is fuss free, full of rich, creamy flavor, AND is the most nutritious cake possible. It’s fairly simple to make, yet adds an authentic and delicious sweetness to your summertime fiesta.


Other eggless tres leches cake recipes I found online still use regular flour, sugar and canned milk ingredients, they simply use yogurt to replace eggs inside the cake batter. This healthy tres leches cake recipe ditches the sugar-loaded canned ingredients and uses Greek yogurt for the leche layer, and relies on the Egg Swap to add both moisture and protein inside the sponge cake batter. The yogurt is a sneaky way to add a hefty dose of protein and probiotics to this superfood cake, without compromising the creamy flavor we all expect out of a traditional tres leches cake. Although I used non-fat, organic Greek yogurt in mine, feel free to use your favorite plant-based yogurt if you’re dairy sensitive. I intentionally kept the yogurt unadulterated in the leche layer rather than baking into the cake. This allows the healthy cultures contained in the yogurt to stay alive which is more beneficial to gut health.


Any berries can be used in this cake but I made this for our Memorial Day celebration so strawberries and blueberries were the obvious choice. It turned out beautiful, absolutely delicious and most importantly, I felt good about serving this to the people I love. Nobody missed the real thing!

The best ingredients & substitutions for the perfect eggless tres leches cake

Step 1 grain free eggless tres leches cake ingredients
Step 1 whole grain eggless tres leches cake ingredients

Key ingredients of a traditional Tres Leches Cake: 


  • Flour
  • Granulated Sugar
  • Powdered Sugar
  • Eggs
  • Whole Milk
  • Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • Evaporated Milk
  • Whipping Cream
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Salt
  • Baking Powder
  • Fresh Fruit and cinnamon for topping

Key Ingredients of a Detox Desserts* Tres Leches Cake:


  • Whole Grain Flour Swap: (use Grain-Free Swap for Paleo/Keto version of this dessert): Our gluten-free, high fiber, healthy flour substitute.
  • Butter Swap: Our whole food, plant-based butter substitute that bakes and tastes like butter with added health benefits.
  • Egg Swap: Our vegan egg substitute that contains 50% more protein than an egg, added prebiotics for digestive support and NO cholesterol.
  • Granular Sugar Swap: Our zero-calorie, zero-carb, naturally sweetened sugar substitute formulated with prebiotics to support healthy digestion.
  • Greek Yogurt (non-dairy or regular if not dairy sensitive)
  • Plant-Based Milk
  • Powdered Sugar Swap: Our zero-calorie, zero-carb, naturally sweetened sugar substitute.
  • Coconut Cream: an easy non-dairy whipped cream alternative
  • Lemon Extract: adds a bright summertime flavor to the cake, highly recommend
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Baking Powder
  • Salt
  • Fresh Fruit

Try Our Gluten-free, Vegan, Paleo AND Keto Baking System

Step-by-step: How to make an eggless tres leches cake

Dry Ingredients:


Wet Ingredients:


  • 2 Egg Swaps
  • ½ cup unsweetened plant milk (I use almond milk)
  • ¼ cup Butter Swap
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon lemon extract

Leche Layer:


  • 2 cups fresh chopped strawberries
  • 1⅓ cup unsweetened plant-based yogurt or Greek yogurt (I use non-fat organic Kirkland brand)
  • ⅔ cup Granular Sugar Swap

Coconut Whipped topping:


  • 1 can coconut cream (chilled overnight, use only top/white portion, I use organic Sprouts brand)
  • ¼ cup Powdered Sugar Swap
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch fine salt



*Garnish with a handful of fresh ripe berries*

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9x9” pan with parchment paper. 

2. Prepare the leche layer by mixing all ingredients in a bowl. Use a fork or potato masher to smash the berries into the yogurt while the Sugar Swap crystals liquify. Transfer to the refrigerator and allow the ingredients to marinate until you’re ready to assemble the cake.

Step 2 eggless tres leches cake

3. Use a large mixing bowl to mix all dry cake ingredients well. Add wet ingredients and blend with a wire whisk or spoon until a smooth cake batter is achieved and no lumps remain. 

Step 3 eggless tres leches cake
Step 3.1 eggless tres leches cake

4. Let the batter rest for about 5 minutes while the fiber absorbs the excess moisture, then stir for 1 more minute. 

Step 4 grain free flour eggless tres leches cake
Step 4 whole grain flour eggless tres leches cake

5. Load the cake batter into your parchment lined baking pan and smooth the top. You will need to press the Grain-Free batter evenly into the cake pan because it is thick. 

Step 5 grain free flour eggless tres leches cake
Step 5 whole grain eggless tres leches cake

6. Bake for about 32 minutes (about 37 minutes for Grain-Free) until the edges are golden and a toothpick comes out mostly clean with just a few crumbs. Remove from the oven and cool completely on a rack.

Step 6 both flours eggless tres leches cake

7. When the cake is cooled, lift it out of the baking pan with the parchment paper and use a fork to poke holes all over the top of the cake. 

Step 7 eggless tres leches cake

8. Spread ½ of the strawberry infused leche layer evenly on the bottom of the baking pan. Flip the cooled cake over onto the leche layer so the holes absorb the creamy berries. Poke holes on the top of the cake, then pour the remaining strawberry leche layer on top and spread evenly.

Step 8 eggless tres leches cake
Step 8.1 eggless tres leches cake

10. Make the coconut whipped topping by scooping the chilled white, fatty portion of coconut cream into a large mixing bowl. Save the liquid portion for your morning smoothie. Add the Powdered Sugar Swap, pinch salt and a few drops of vanilla extract. Use an electric hand mixer on high speed to beat until firm peaks form and smooth consistency is reached. Place dollops of whipped cream on top of the cake.

step 10 eggless tres leches cake

11. Cover and refrigerate overnight before you top with fresh berries, slice and serve. 

Step 10 eggless tres leches cake

How to store your eggless tres leches cake

Store your healthy vegan tres leches cake in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. You can store the unsoaked cake wrapped tightly in the freezer. Simply thaw your baked cake on the counter, poke holes in the top and bottom, then add your freshly made leche layer. Top with whipped coconut cream then store in the fridge overnight to set. Add fresh berries just before serving. 

How to make your eggless tres leches cake stand out

  • Use your favorite fresh seasonal berries to decorate the top of this healthy, gluten free tres leches cake. Berries add a vibrant pop of color along with a dose of antioxidants. 
  • For a more traditional style tres leches cake, ditch the berries and simply sprinkle the top with cinnamon.

Tips for making the best eggless tres leches cake

  • Make sure your Butter Swap is well stirred and at room temperature before making your cake, oil separation is normal in the Butter Swap. If you’re having trouble stirring your Butter Swap, pour the entire jar into a high speed blender. Your Butter Swap will stay smooth for a couple months after a minute in the blender!
  • Use HOT water in your Egg Swap, the warmth is needed to help the psyllium husk in the Flour Swap open up, relax and absorb the moisture. 
  • Let your cake batter rest for about 5 minutes after you’ve blended the wet and dry ingredients, then stir for one more minute. 
  • Make sure to line your cake pan with parchment paper before baking. This makes it easy to lift your cooled cake out of the pan and assemble your eggless tres leches cake. 
  • Let your can of coconut cream chill in the fridge overnight before making your whipped topping. It has to be very cold for the fatty, white portion of the coconut to separate from the liquid. The creamy, white portion will also need to be cold to whip into stiff peaks using your hand mixer. 
  • Don’t be tempted to dig into this healthy, gluten free tres leches cake before the overnight chill. It needs time to absorb the leche layer and allow the flavors to fully develop. The overnight chill also slows carbohydrate absorption, making your cake tastier and healthier!

FAQ

Does tres leches cake contain egg?

Traditional Tres Leches Cake recipes contain 4-5 eggs which have to be separated, then the whites are whipped into stiff peaks. The whipped egg whites are then folded into the cake batter which creates a light sponge cake texture when baked. There typically isn’t any oil or butter used in the cake batter, the only moisture comes from eggs and whole milk. This detoxed recipe eliminates the extra step of whipping the eggs and folding the batter. Simply mix the wet and dry ingredients together and bake!


What does no egg do to a cake?

Egg is a common baking ingredient and is used for texture, flavor and as a binding agent. Unfortunately eggs are one of the top food allergens, and many people must avoid them. For basic cakes, there are plenty of easy substitutions for eggs and no one would ever know the finished dessert is eggless. Certain cakes, like angel food cake, rely on eggs to get their signature texture, but most cakes can be made eggless fairly easily. Remember the Detox Desserts’ Egg Swap is specifically designed to be used with our Flour Swap to add extra protein and prevent your desserts from drying out. The Egg Swap will not whip into peaks or make egg-based desserts like custard. Use our recipe index online for great egg-based dessert recipes using the Sweet Swaps.

Why is my eggless cake not spongy?
Using the Whole-Grain Flour Swap will make your eggless tres leches cake more spongy. The Grain-Free Flour will create a more moist and dense finished cake but the texture and flavor is lovely. Remember, the point of creating a more dry, spongy cake is simply to allow the leche layer to moisten the cake without it turning soggy. I made both Whole-Grain and Grain-Free versions of this cake and neither came out soggy due to the yogurt as the leche layer. This eggless tres leches recipe works!

Why is my eggless cake rubbery?

Typically, a rubbery and tough cake texture comes from overmixing the batter. Overmixing activates the gluten in regular flour. Gluten is the protein component in wheat and can generate a lot of binding activity when activated (like in bread). Since this healthy tres leches cake doesn’t contain gluten, you don’t need to worry about overmixing or a rubbery finished cake!

Why is my eggless cake not fluffy?

If you forgot to add baking powder to your batter, your eggless tres leche cake will not rise in the oven. Even traditional recipes that use egg still require baking powder to create lift in the oven. If you make this cake using Grain Free Flour Swap, your finished cake will be more dense, but still have lovely flavor and texture.

Why is my tres leches not absorbing milk?

Using a fork to poke lots of holes on the top and bottom of your cooled cake will help your cake absorb the leche layer. Don’t forget this step! The yogurt leche layer in this healthy cake will soak through the holes, but since yogurt is thicker than milk, your finished cake will have the perfect amount of moisture without getting soggy.

Does tres leches cake contain gluten?

Yes, traditional tres leches cake is made from regular flour which contains gluten. The Detox Desserts’ Flour Swaps are healthy, gluten-free flours with added fiber to improve digestion and reduce net carbohydrates.

Why did my tres leches cake not rise?

If you forgot to add baking powder to your batter, your eggless tres leche cake would not rise in the oven. Even traditional recipes that use egg still require baking powder to create lift. If you make this cake using Grain Free Flour Swap, your finished cake will be more dense, but will still have lovely flavor and texture.

Recipe Card: Eggless Tres Leches Cake Recipe (Gluten-free & Sugar-free)

Prep Time  Bake Time Total Time
45 minutes 35 minutes 80 minutes

Servings: 9

Calories per serving: 300 kcal


Although not guaranteed, we have gone above and beyond to provide you with the most accurate nutritional information for this recipe.




Dry Ingredients



Wet Ingredients


  • 2 Egg Swaps
  • ½ cup unsweetened plant milk (I use almond milk)
  • ¼ cup Butter Swap
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon lemon extract

Leche Layer:


  • 2 cups fresh chopped strawberries
  • 1⅓ cup unsweetened plant-based yogurt or Greek yogurt (I use non-fat organic Kirkland brand)
  • ⅔ cup Granular Sugar Swap

Coconut Whipped Topping:


  • 1 can coconut cream (chilled overnight, use only top/white portion, I use organic Sprouts brand)
  • ¼ cup Powdered Sugar Swap
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch fine salt


*Garnish with a handful of fresh ripe berries*


Instructions


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9x9” pan with parchment paper.


2. Prepare the leche layer by mixing all ingredients in a bowl. Use a fork or potato masher to smash the berries into the yogurt while the Sugar Swap crystals liquify. Transfer to the refrigerator and allow the ingredients to marinate until you’re ready to assemble the cake.


3. Use a large mixing bowl to mix all dry cake ingredients well. Add wet ingredients and blend with a wire whisk or spoon until a smooth cake batter is achieved and no lumps remain.


4. Let the batter rest for about 5 minutes while the fiber absorbs the excess moisture, then stir for 1 more minute.


5. Load the cake batter into your parchment lined baking pan and smooth the top. You will need to press the Grain-Free batter evenly into the cake pan because it is thick.


6. Bake for about 32 minutes (about 37 minutes for Grain-Free) until the edges are golden and a toothpick comes out mostly clean with just a few crumbs. Remove from the oven and cool completely on a rack.


7. When the cake is cooled, lift it out of the baking pan with the parchment paper and use a fork to poke holes all over the top of the cake.


8. Spread ½ of the strawberry infused leche layer evenly on the bottom of the baking pan. Flip the cooled cake over onto the leche layer so the holes absorb the creamy berries. Poke holes on the top of the cake, then pour the remaining strawberry leche layer on top and spread evenly.


9. Spread ½ of the strawberry infused leche layer evenly on the bottom of the baking pan. Flip the cooled cake over onto the leche layer so the holes absorb the creamy berries. Poke holes on the top of the cake, then pour the remaining strawberry leche layer on top and spread evenly.


10. Leave your iced cakes out for a couple hours while the icing hardens before storing in a sealed container in the refrigerator.


For best taste, texture and health benefits, refrigerate all Detox Desserts overnight before indulging.



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Nutritional information

eggless tres leches cake nutrition facts graphic

*An important note on carbs:


Net carbohydrates are the sum total of carbohydrates that convert into glucose (therefore raise blood sugar) in the body. Anyone following a keto or diabetic diet should count net carbs NOT total carbs. To determine net carbs, simply subtract the fiber and sugar alcohols from the total carbohydrates on the nutrition label. If you count macronutrients (carbs, fats, protein) you should always count net carbs, not total carbs.


We love your feedback, please make sure to comment and share your experience with this eggless tres leches cake recipe with the healthy baking community!


Cheers to your delicious health, 


-Dr. Alexis

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