You might want to cover your ears for this one.

Banana Bread Tres Leches Cake I

Because since taking a bite, I haven’t stopped shouting every expletive under the sun. Earmuffs!

Gah. This cake. It’s… that good. I just can’t.

I am a total basketcase over it.

Banana Bread Tres Leches Cake I

That would be some fluffy whipped egg whites folded into batter up there. I was so freaking excited because I actually beat them BY HAND. I think my forearm still hurts. I don’t know why I did it but I thought hey… this might be fun. I’ve never done it the old-fashioned way and well, since I’m incredibly lazy and stuck inside this entitled generation, I should do something that requires work. So I did. And then? Well then I DUMPED THE EGG WHITES DOWN THE DRAIN. Yeah. By accident of course. That was awesome. Not. Actually, first I dumped the tail end of a can of beer in the bowl. THEN… into the sink.

So I ended up using an electric mixer anyway. What a crock.

Banana Bread Tres Leches Cake I

Now, tres leches. I love love love. Um wait, something I don’t love? That “leches” continues to get auto-corrected to “leeches.” Uhhhh no. Never ever. I would not like to eat a cake of three leeches.

I am nuts over this one though. So much that I made it into cupcakes last year too. For someone who would never choose cake (unless it has the word cheese in front of it) as her drug of choice, you won’t find me turning down a slice of tres leches anytime soon. It’s just so gooey and delicious.

Banana Bread Tres Leches Cake I

And, since I just can’t let anything in this world BE, I had to try this whole banana twist. I was wary, considering that banana bread is already somewhat gooey and soft (you can see I’m trying hard not to use the m word that ends in “oist”) to begin with. And then with that whole pouring three milks on top… yeah.

My inner skeptic was antsy.

Banana Bread Tres Leches Cake I

Then… my inner skeptic was thrilled.

Banana Bread Tres Leches Cake I


Banana Bread Tres Leches Cake

Yield: 1 cake, serves 6-8

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 25-30 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours


2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) brown butter, cooled
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs, separated
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 bananas, mashed (about 1 1/4 cups)
2/3 cup whole, 2%, soy or almond milk
1/2 cup light coconut milk
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1 1/2 cups cold heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons powdered sugar

caramelized bananas
3 firm (not too ripe) bananas, sliced
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of salt


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a baking dish (I used an 8x11 dish) with nonstick spray. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Set aside. In another smaller bowl or using your electric mixer or hand-mixer, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Set aside.

In the bowl of your electric mixer, combine egg yolks and sugars. Beat on medium speed until creamy and combined, then add in vanilla extract and bananas. With the mixer on low speed, add in cooled butter and mix until combined. Add in half of the dry ingredients, then add the 2/3 cups of milk. Finish by adding the remaining dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Remove the bowl from the mixer base and using a large spatula, fold the egg whites into the batter. Pour batter in the greased dish. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until cake is set in the center and slightly golden. [a 9x9 pan may require a little longer bake time;a 9x13 may require a little less - I would start with 20 minutes.] Remove and let cake cool slightly. You can either leave the cake in the dish to cool, or gently turn it over on a rimmed platter. Let it cool completely, then poke a ton of holes in the top with a fork.

In a large measuring cup, whisk together coconut milk, condensed milk and evaporated milk. Pour the milk mixture over the cake, letting it seep into the fork holes. Let set for about 45 minutes.

To make the frosting, add the cold whipping cream to the bowl of your electric mixer and beat until stiff peaks form, about 3-4 minutes. Add in the powdered sugar and beat on medium speed to combine. Spread whipped cream evenly over the top of the cake.

To make the caramelized bananas, heat a saucepan over medium heat. Add butter and one sizzling, toss in bananas, salt, cinnamon and sugar, tossing well to coat. Cook for 4-5 minutes, tossing occasionally, until bananas are golden brown. Remove and let cool slightly. Serve cake with bananas on top or as a garnish. Note: you do want to store this cake in the fridge, but it can get slightly dense because of the bananas. I recommend letting it sit out for 30-60 minutes before serving!

[cake batter adapted from this whole wheat banana snack cake]

Banana Bread Tres Leches Cake I

Oh and PS: apparently that’s what happens when you put hot caramelized bananas on fresh whipped cream. Stuff melts.

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146 Responses to “Banana Bread Tres Leches Cake.”

  1. #
    sally @ sallys baking addiction — January 18, 2013 @ 8:01 am

    beating egg whites by hand??? girl, you’re my freaking hero. even if they ended up going to waste. :) banana bread and tres leches – i can’t think of a better way to start my Friday. esp with caramelized BANANAS!! tgif!


  2. #
    Tabitha (From Single to Married) — January 18, 2013 @ 8:16 am

    I’m not usually a huge fan of bananas but I have to say that this cake looks AMAZING!


  3. #
    Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers — January 18, 2013 @ 8:16 am

    OMG! I can see why your a basketcase over this cake! Hot dam it looks amazing!!!


  4. #
    Brie @ Entrée the Giant — January 18, 2013 @ 8:42 am

    Ughhhhh…why, oh why can’t you be my personal chef!? That looks…divine.


  5. #
    Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat — January 18, 2013 @ 8:43 am

    Umm yes please! You’ve outdone yourself once again! Especially with the egg white whipping by hand… in fact, I think that’s perfect justification for more cake! Happy Friday Jess!


  6. #
    Lauren — January 18, 2013 @ 8:45 am

    Is it even possible for you to make something non-delicious looking? I think not. And now I have to try to make this at home. Can you please just come out with a cookbook already so i can have one and give it out to all my friends in the hopes that every time I come over, they have one of your concoctions waiting for me??? Seriously, you have the best recipes. Ever in life. That is all. The end.


  7. #
    Nicole | Baking it on My Own — January 18, 2013 @ 8:46 am

    I’m preeeeeeety sure you made this cake with me in mind. Not that you even know who I am but anyway – this is RIGHT up my alley! DELISH!


  8. #
    Kim in MD — January 18, 2013 @ 8:51 am

    Ha! I laughed about the leeches!

    I have to admit that I haven’t made your tres leches cake yet (I do plan to make for my next Mexican/Southwest theme party), and that said, I am normally not a fan of it, but this recipe is screaming “make me”! YUM!


  9. #
    Yammie @ Yammie's Noshery — January 18, 2013 @ 9:05 am

    Wow. That looks so moist.

    Har har har.


  10. #
    Amy W — January 18, 2013 @ 9:13 am

    I’ve done whipped cream by hand. I know the experience! Your arm juuuuust about falls off by the time you’re done.


  11. #
    Annie @ What's Annie Making? — January 18, 2013 @ 9:24 am

    Whipped cream by hand?!?! Props to you. It’s like getting your workout in before you eat cake. Sounds like a brilliant idea to me.


  12. #
    DessertForTwo — January 18, 2013 @ 9:42 am

    I look forward to reading your site everyday, but I have an extra spring in my step when it’s Friday, because you always post something entirely ridiculous and DELICIOUS! Loooove this cake :)

    I wanna make your gin + tonic cake for two very soon. But, I have to get my lips off the gin bottle first!


  13. #
    Monique @ Ambitious Kitchen — January 18, 2013 @ 9:43 am

    omg! I love when you make desserts.


  14. #
    Living The Sweet Life — January 18, 2013 @ 9:46 am

    Beating egg whites by hand? Jess, you’re my.freaking.hero. Can I call you Jess? :$ Sorry.
    I have to make this cake, I’ve only had Tres Leches once …. at a buffet. I don’t know why … It’s like eating imitation. I’ll fix this situation, I’ve got some bananas that are calling my name!!


  15. #
    Robyn | Add a Pinch — January 18, 2013 @ 9:48 am

    Oh my GAH! This looks fab-u-lous!


  16. #
    Katrina @ In Katrina's Kitchen — January 18, 2013 @ 9:51 am

    Kind of dying over here.


  17. #
    Ashley — January 18, 2013 @ 9:59 am

    What a superb idea!!! One of my favorites from you for sure! Tres leches cake is irresistible already, but now? Yikes!


  18. #
    Jennifer — January 18, 2013 @ 10:08 am

    That looks delicious!

    xo Jennifer


  19. #
    Sarah — January 18, 2013 @ 10:09 am

    I love homemade whipped cream. I want to make everything you make! It always looks so amazing. So so amazing.


  20. #
    Heather @ SugarDish(Me) — January 18, 2013 @ 10:10 am

    I’ve never made a tres leches cake but it’s on my list. And with bananas? Yes, please. You are so smart.


  21. #
    Jessica L. @ The Lamppost — January 18, 2013 @ 10:25 am

    good lord this looks so fab. I just want to stay home all day and bake all of the things you post. gotta find a way to make that happen…


  22. #
    Katie — January 18, 2013 @ 10:25 am

    Caaaake!! (I think I write that every time you make a cake)

    Also, I laughed so hard at you accidentally pouring egg whites down the drain, because it’s something I would do.


  23. #
    Jess @ Flying on Jess Fuel — January 18, 2013 @ 10:29 am

    Wouldn’t this technically be quatro leches cake? Almond, coconut, condensed, evaporated? Sounds even better than tres! ;)


  24. #
    Kaitlin @4loveofcarrots — January 18, 2013 @ 10:44 am

    i admire you for beating ur egg whites by hand, I don’t know what I would do without my kitchenaid mixer


  25. #
    Erin @ The Spiffy Cookie — January 18, 2013 @ 10:56 am

    You whipped egg whites by hand?? That’s insanely amazing.Just like this cake looks.


  26. #
    Ari @ Ari's Menu — January 18, 2013 @ 10:56 am

    I think I just shouted some four letter words too. And then I looked at that picture with the fork in the cake and died a little. This looks like maybe the best thing ever made.


  27. #
    JJ — January 18, 2013 @ 11:01 am

    Stop!!! I have been looking for a tres leches recipe to make, and haven’t been able to find “the one.” Now you post this?!?! I am so doing this tonight. Caramelized bananas are my idea of heaven.


  28. #
    Chloe @Ergo-Blog — January 18, 2013 @ 11:04 am

    I literally gasped when i saw this….YUMMY!!!! I have to try this out for sure! =)


  29. #
    cori — January 18, 2013 @ 11:06 am

    I have a question! Usually when you brown butter it yields less than you start with (1 stick goes to 7 TBS or something). Are you looking for 1 stick of butter browned, or 1/2 cup of brown butter overall?


    • Jessica — January 18th, 2013 @ 11:19 am

      just 1 stick browned!


  30. #
    Morgan — January 18, 2013 @ 11:29 am

    Wow! That cake looks incredibly moist and delicious. Love the caramelized bananas. I pretty much eat one every other day with my oatmeal. So goood!


  31. #
    deva at deva by definition — January 18, 2013 @ 12:08 pm

    Oh my goodness. My birthday is next month and corresponds with a potluck. This is going onto the list of “possibles” and is probably the “yes, please!”


  32. #
    Alyssa @ Kitchen Cures — January 18, 2013 @ 12:22 pm

    This has birthday written all over it. It looks insanely amazing!


  33. #
    Sarah R. — January 18, 2013 @ 12:23 pm

    I just found my birthday cake! Now I just have to wait until August… or find another excuse to make this. Bumdinger about the egg whites- at least you can say you did it by hand one time!


  34. #
    Velvet — January 18, 2013 @ 12:27 pm

    Oohhh girl, what have you DONE. I can’t even handle how delicious this sounds. I am a tres leches cake fiend. This is happening like… this weekend.


  35. #
    Tasha Zee — January 18, 2013 @ 12:32 pm

    Oooooo you … Miss Jessica .. are trouble … biiiiggg trouble!!! Love Love this!


  36. #
    Potatoes and Pilates — January 18, 2013 @ 1:05 pm

    %&@$ – that looks amazing!

    I guess the expletives don’t just happen when you taste this cake but when you look at pictures of it too:)


  37. #
    Averie @ Averie Cooks — January 18, 2013 @ 1:11 pm

    I am in love with everything about this. From the fluffy frosting to the caramelized bananas to the coconut milk, condensed milk and evaporated milk mixture. And that’s is a banana bread base. You outdid yourself! Pinning!

    And the egg white situation after all that hand mixing – that is something that would happen to me!


  38. #
    Emily @ Life on Food — January 18, 2013 @ 1:27 pm

    Amazing! I randomly whip things by hand just so I can call it my work out for the day.


  39. #
    Aikko @ Bake Happy — January 18, 2013 @ 1:27 pm

    Looks amazing, Jessica! What a way to start the weekend! :)


  40. #
    Carly @ Snack Therapy — January 18, 2013 @ 1:33 pm

    I feel like I could live in that cake. It’d be like living on a cloud. Until I ate my way through it in about 2.5 seconds.


  41. #
    joelle (on a pink typewriter) — January 18, 2013 @ 1:47 pm

    This looks a-freakin-mazing. Holy moly.


  42. #
    Michelle @ Brown Eyed Baker — January 18, 2013 @ 1:47 pm

    You outdid yourself with this one, girl! Fabulous!


  43. #
    Brandee — January 18, 2013 @ 2:11 pm

    My bananas didn’t caramelize. They turned to mush. What did I do wrong? The heat appeared high enough, it was bubbling, but they didn’t caramelize and just got more mushy,


  44. #
    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar — January 18, 2013 @ 2:12 pm

    Regular tres leches is my favorite cake…but this?! Oh my freaking goodness, this looks awesome!


  45. #
    Nicole — January 18, 2013 @ 2:30 pm

    Umm this might be the most genious-delicious dessert I’ve ever laid eyes on. No other words.


    • Nicole — January 18th, 2013 @ 2:33 pm

      It might be more “genius” if I would spell the word right! Oops!


  46. #
    Amber @Sprinkled With Flour — January 18, 2013 @ 2:53 pm

    Whaaaat!! This cake is insane. Seriously, sounds sooo good.:)


  47. #
    Karly — January 18, 2013 @ 3:06 pm

    There is nothing i hate worse than whipping egg whites. I HATE IT and I would have died had they gone down the drain. Died. Of a bitter, broken heart.


  48. #
    Julie — January 18, 2013 @ 3:16 pm

    Ugh, this looks amazing! For some reason the bananas are the part calling my name. So hungry now!


  49. #
    rachel — January 18, 2013 @ 3:25 pm

    you should go to jail for this. imeediately. oh my god.


  50. #
    Jil @ Big City, Lil Kitchen — January 18, 2013 @ 4:00 pm

    Ohhhhh my god. No [other] words.


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