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Cream Cheese Swirled Coconut Tres Leches Cake.

Cream Cheese Swirled Coconut Tres Leches Cake | #cake #Mexican #recipes #spring

Ending the week with a sweet cake just seemed like a really good idea, because man oh man was it a week. A great one, but a busy one. Somehow we are already into the last full week of April, and next week we’ll be moving into May. This means three things.

One, Cinco de Mayo is a week from Saturday. Which I am very excited about this, as if you couldn’t tell by all the tacos, queso, and margaritas I’ve been sharing over the last week. Oh, and the churros

Two, Mother’s Day is just two weeks from Sunday. I need to start plotting out what I’m going to do for my mom. I already pre-gifted her this fun basket, so I need some new ideas. Help! What are you all doing for your mom?

Three, summer is only about a month and half away. I hate to wish time away, but I am so ready for summer. Bring on warm days, long nights, heirloom tomatoes, and plenty of ice cream. Please.

With so much to look forward to and celebrate in the next few weeks I figured a cake was in order.

Cream Cheese Swirled Coconut Tres Leches Cake | #cake #Mexican #recipes #spring

And in comes this fun, yet different, bundt cake.

With Cinco de Mayo next week, and Mother’s Day immediately following, I wanted to share a cake that could work for both holidays. Enter this pretty Tres Leches Cake. It may be very Mexican, but it’s also perfect as a Mother’s Day brunch cake or dessert.

If you’re unfamiliar with tres leches cake, it’s a Mexican sponge cake that is soaked in a three milk glaze. I’m sharing my own updated version that includes coconut for an added flavor boost.

Cream Cheese Swirled Coconut Tres Leches Cake | #cake #Mexican #recipes #spring

Here is how this cake works.

The base of the cake is very similar to that of a really good vanilla cake, but it’s infused with some coconut flavor as well. What makes this cake special is the cream cheese and coconut swirl running through the center of the bundt cake, it’s unexpected and delicious.

The cake itself is super simple, not too sweet, and honestly nothing too fancy. This is a cake that truly needs a glaze, the glaze is what a tres leches cake is all about. Traditionally, a tres leches cake is made with a three milk glaze that consists of sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, and heavy cream. In my version, I am only using two milks, sweetened condensed milk and coconut milk. I’m also including a touch of cinnamon and rum, you know for good measure.

Cream Cheese Swirled Coconut Tres Leches Cake | #cake #Mexican #recipes #spring

Here’s what you might find odd about a tres leches cake. In order to allow the cake to soak up all that delicious glaze, you will need to poke holes in it. Yes, you are going to poke holes in your cake, and I promise all with be OK. The holes allow for the cake to evenly absorb all of the glaze.

Trust me, it’s the right thing to do. Soaking the cake in the glaze makes for an incredibly soft, and incredibly flavorful cake.

It. Is. SO. GOOD!

Especially when paired with the coconutty creamy cheese center. Again, so delicious.

Cream Cheese Swirled Coconut Tres Leches Cake | #cake #Mexican #recipes #spring

Cream Cheese Swirled Coconut Tres Leches Cake | #cake #Mexican #recipes #spring

As I mentioned above, this cake is perfect for Cinco de Mayo or Mother’s Day, but it’s equally perfect for just about any other occasion as well. I’m planning to make this over the weekend for a family Saturday night dinner as my oldest brother, Creighton and my youngest brother, Red will both be in town. It will be the perfect time do an early Mother’s Day dinner, since we can’t all be together in two weeks for Mother’s Day.

Got to make the time while we have a good amount of the crew together. This should be the perfect cake to end dinner with. Already excited about it.

Cream Cheese Swirled Coconut Tres Leches Cake | #cake #Mexican #recipes #spring

If you make this Tres Leches cake and love it, please be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! I love, love, love hearing from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every one of you. Oh, and of course, if you do make this Tres Leches cake, don’t forget to also tag me on Instagram so I can see! I love looking at the photos of recipes you all have made. So fun!

Cream Cheese Swirled Coconut Tres Leches Cake

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 16 servings
Calories Per Serving: 383 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.


Coconut Glaze

  • 1/2 cup canned full fat coconut milk, plus more if needed
  • 1 can (15 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 pinch cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon coconut rum (optional) (optional)


  • 1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 10 inch bundt pan.
    2. In a large bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, vanilla, eggs, and milk until fully incorporated. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and mix on low-speed until just combined, being sure the batter is completely mixed.
    3. Spoon half the batter into the prepared pan. Gently dollop the softened cream cheese over the batter and spread in an even layer. Sprinkle the shredded coconut over top the cream cheese. Spoon the remaining batter over the cream cheese, carefully spreading in an even layer. Transfer to the oven and bake for 50-55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool 15  minutes. 
    4. Meanwhile, make the glaze. In a medium bowl, whisk together the coconut milk, sweetened condensed milk, cinnamon, and coconut rum, if using. If the glaze seems thick, add coconut milk to thin.
    5. Pierce holes in the top of the cake with a skewer, inserting about halfway through the cake. Slowly drizzle 1/4 of the glaze evenly over cake. Let stand 15 minutes. Invert onto a cake plate with edges and poke holes around the top of the cake. Drizzle with the remaining glaze. Cover and place in the fridge for a couple of hours or up to overnight. Before serving, drizzle any glaze sitting on the plate over the cake. Slice and serve. 
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Cream Cheese Swirled Coconut Tres Leches Cake | #cake #Mexican #recipes #spring

See you all tomorrow for a special Saturday Nine Favorite Things.

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  1. Do you have an idea of the cooking time for a standard circular/round cake tin (not a bundt pan)? Thank you!

    1. Hi Dee,
      So sorry, I have not tested those pans with this recipe, I would start checking for doneness at 30 minutes. You might have extra batter as well:) Please let me know if I can help in any other way! xT

  2. I was excited to make this cake (I bake something every week but this was my first recipe from this website). I’m sad to share that even thou I’ve measured ALL of the ingredients, I had some extra batter left that did not fit in to my bundt pan. About 3/10 of the total batter. Did anyone else have this problem?

    1. Hi Aly,
      Thanks so much for giving this recipe a try! So sorry to hear you had some leftover batter, you could make cupcakes with it! Let me know how the cake turns out! xT

    1. Hey Heather,
      You could use 2 loaf pans! Please let me know if you give the recipe a try, I hope you love it!! xTieghan

  3. 5 stars
    Tieghan…This cake was absolutely amazing! I am not sure what everyone else is talking about but it was so moist, perfect texture, & delicious! Perfect cake for Mother’s Day and we all enjoyed it…as we always do with any of your recipes! Keep doing you girl!

    1. Hey Suzette,
      Wonderful!! Thank you so much for making the recipe, I am so glad to hear that it was enjoyed!! Have the best week:) xxT

  4. this is a great recipe i just tried it it was pretty amazing
    just one thing it was a little bit hard exept that the cake is good
    here i write a lot of recipes about bundt cakes good recipes like this one

  5. 1 star
    This cake sounded so good and the results were so disappointing. The only adjustment that I made was to just sprinkle 1/3 cup of shredded coconut over the cream cheese layer rather than 1-1/2 cups. I thought that much unsweetened coconut would make the cake dry. The rest of the ingredients and steps were followed as written. What I expected was a delightfully moist and coconutty cake. Instead it was somewhat hard and dense and nowhere near moist. The cake was set out about 30 minutes prior to serving. My daughter put her piece in the microwave and she said it was a game changer. It dramatically improved the texture and brought out the flavor of coconut. We often use your recipes and this was our first “meh”.

    1. Hey Deb,
      So sorry you did not enjoy this recipe, using only 1/3 cup of coconut is quite a dramatic decrease from the 1 1/2 cups that the recipe called for, so I do think this could have affected the end result. Please let me know if I can help in any other way! xTieghan

  6. I would love to make this in mini bundt pans. Do you think that would work? If so what temp and how long should they cook?

    Love everything you do!

    1. Hey Kat,
      Yes, I think that would work well for you! For the bake time, it depends how mini the bundt pans are, but I would start checking for doneness at 20-25 minutes. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  7. Hi there!
    I T
    tried making the cake and the batter is a bit thick and sticky in a way and this makes it hard for me to mold it properly in the bundt pan so it breaks in the middle portion where the cream cheese and coconut are. Any suggestions on how to fix this?
    Thank you!

    1. Hey Susana,
      I am so sorry you are having issues with the batter. It would help if I knew if you adjusted the recipe in anyway? The batter should definitely be easy to spread inside of the mold. Please let me know how I can help! xTieghan

    1. Hi Susana,
      The glaze is meant to be liquidy. I hope love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  8. Hi ! I am doing this recipe just the way you did it , but I would like to know if there is any difference if I use coconut cream in the recipe instead of coconut milk ? Will it give the cake more a creamy texture ? Thanks !

    1. Hi Mariana,
      Yes it will be slightly more creamy, but you should be okay to use it! I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  9. this recipe was very good but the cake came out VERY dry. I did add the glaze and poked holes, etc. Any suggestions?

    1. Hi Alicia! I am sorry you had trouble. Was there anything you did differently at all? Any ingredients different? Method of baking this? Any info will be helpful to help me problem solve and figure out what might be happening for you. It’s hard to know without knowing any details. Hope I can help you! xTieghan

  10. Hi there! I recently attempted the chai gingerbread cream cheese Bundt cake recipe for the holidays and it turned out beautiful except for the cream cheese layer. I’m not sure if it was my cheese (basic 8oz Philadelphia block, softened) but it almost turned out rubbery? I expected it to melt a bit more maybe? I want to try this cake but figured I’d ask for more insight here because even your pictures show the cheese to appear more soft. Thanks a bunch for sharing your delicious recipes!

    1. Hi Katie! It sounds like you may have over baked it! You are referring to the bundt cake right? Just making sure because this is a different post! Please let me know if you have any other questions about this! xTieghan

    2. Hi Katie, I am sorry you had some trouble. Which cake did you make? This post is the Tres Leches cake, not the gingerbread.

      I am not sure why the cream cheese was rubbery, that is very odd. Was the cheese fresh? Had it been sitting out or anything weird happen to it by chance? Any details will be helpful. 🙂

      Next time, maybe try baking the cake a little less. This was the cream cheese should be runnier on the inside. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan

  11. Hi there! I was wondering, can you make this cake with cake flour or is this cake fluffy enough? Curious if you’ve ever done it that way. Love all your recipes by the way. Thank you for sharing!

    1. Hey Vicky! I have never made this with cake flour, but I am sure it would work wonderfully! You will have an extra fluffy cake! Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan

  12. 5 stars
    I loved the potential of the cake/recipe so much the first time, I made the cake a second time just a couple of weeks later to see if I could get it right! Like some of the other reviewers, I had a lot of trouble with my cake splitting at the cream cheese/coconut line — and it was a little dry so I had vanilla ice cream on hand!) that I decided to not make it so fancy and just put the cream cheese and the coconut (definitely use the sweetened flakes) inside the batter to avoid the split. I also added another 1/2 stick of melted butter. (baking the cake this way rose more than previously and I imagine some bakers might cut off the raised part of the cake so it lays flat.) Also, I may be impatient and others might have an easier time with the poking holes and dripping the milks but I decided to scrap that process and just spoon the topping over the cake as it is being served on the plate. Delicious! Thanks for the recipe!