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. #
    KatieLou @ The Letter Box — January 18, 2013 @ 4:28 pm

    Oh. Em. Gee. This looks absolutely ah-mazing. Guh.

    And, um, yeah. No thank you to the tres leeches. Silly auto-correct!


  2. #
    a farmer in the dell — January 18, 2013 @ 5:18 pm

    shut the front door! this sounds amazing!!!!!!


  3. #
    Danielle — January 18, 2013 @ 5:38 pm

    just WOW. My husband LOVES Tres leches, I will have to try making this for him!!


  4. #
    Janey — January 18, 2013 @ 6:11 pm

    Oh no you didn’t! You’ve just combined two of mine and my husband’s favorites. Pretty sure you’ve outdone yourself with this one. Well done.


  5. #
    tracy {pale yellow} — January 18, 2013 @ 6:50 pm

    This cake looks so decadent and -oist, I love it


  6. #
    Katie @ Blonde Ambition — January 18, 2013 @ 6:51 pm

    What a cool combo. Looks like a mess to eat……and that usually means it’s good ;P


  7. #
    Kelsey K. — January 18, 2013 @ 7:07 pm

    I’m studying abroad right now and on a tight budget but this list of ingredients may be an exception. If not, this is going to be the first thing I make when I get home. You never disappoint!!


  8. #
    kita — January 18, 2013 @ 8:12 pm

    Damn… down the drain…. That sucks. There would be some expletives from me as well. However, this cake looks amazing. I have never had tres leches cake, but I have always imagined it to be moist and amazing. The addition of bananas may be too amazing for me to pass up. Now I need to go buy some bananas.


  9. #
    dervla @ The Curator — January 18, 2013 @ 10:24 pm

    Ha! Love that your computer changed it to leeches :) I’ll be a leech and greedily suck the life out of that cake, that’s for sure. And thank you for not using that dreaded $#ist word around me, I appreciate that. My family knows they have to actually spell it out or I’ll leave the room.


  10. #
    Jade Sheldon — January 19, 2013 @ 12:07 am

    Dear god…

    I need to make this, like, right this very second…


  11. #
    the 3volution of j3nn — January 19, 2013 @ 5:24 am

    That looks all kinds of delicious! I love a moist cake oozing with flavor. Yum!!


  12. #
    elizabethranger ( — January 19, 2013 @ 6:50 am

    holy crap, that is a holy moment you’ve created. I’ve never even had tres leches, but I can imagine the nanna-goo perfection anyway. wicked.


  13. #
    Madison — January 19, 2013 @ 9:09 am

    OMGee! Combining 2 of my favorite things: tres leches cake and banana bread. You are a genius!


  14. #
    Alyssa — January 19, 2013 @ 9:22 am

    That looks scrumptious!! I miss banana bread and tres leches!


  15. #
    Gerry @ Foodness Gracious — January 19, 2013 @ 9:58 am

    Tres Leches is tres good! Super moist i love it :)


  16. #
    Cindy — January 19, 2013 @ 10:51 am

    I count quatre leches in the recipe… no matter – it looks yummy!


  17. #
    Archana — January 19, 2013 @ 11:12 am

    Looks so very delicious.


  18. #
    Rachel — January 19, 2013 @ 11:52 am

    This looks heavenly! I love banana desserts and this just looks decadent!


  19. #
    Lisa @hoopla palooza — January 19, 2013 @ 11:54 am

    Oh.Em. GEE! i am trying to get my fork thru the computer screen to grab a bite.


  20. #
    Tara — January 19, 2013 @ 11:58 am

    You never cease to crack me up! You are hilarious and I love your recipes. Even though Ive still never made any of them but I do read them everyday. I read all the ingredients, consider what I already have at home, make a mental list for the grocery store, turn off the computer and that’s where it sadly ends. Until tomorrow and then I repeat the whole process. BUT…this one I am really going to try and make today. Can’t wait.


  21. #
    Annie @ Annie's City Kitchen — January 19, 2013 @ 5:19 pm

    I honestly can’t thank you enough for this recipe because my boyfriend’s 30th birthday is coming up and not only does he LOVE tres leches, he also loves when i bake him banana bread. I’ve been looking for a recipe he would love. This is literally the perfect dessert for him. Thank you, thank you!!


  22. #
    Denise — January 19, 2013 @ 5:32 pm

    All you had to say was “Tres Leche”, and you had my attention!!! :D Then you said bananas?! OMG girl what a combination!!! This one is a keeper for sure!!!


  23. #
    Ross @ TheFaceBaby — January 19, 2013 @ 7:57 pm

    Have you ever listened to Mitch Hedberg’s stand-up? Every time I encounter banana bread I can’t help but think of his “banana bread – pastrami – cottage cheese sandwich” joke. Hopefully you know what I’m sayin’. If not, I suggest you check him out!


  24. #
    HeatherChristo — January 19, 2013 @ 8:01 pm

    yowza! i am making this. maybe right this minute. thank you.


  25. #
    JJ - 84thand3rd — January 20, 2013 @ 3:09 am

    This is so wrong it’s right! I do love tres leches cake and haven’t made it for years, the addition of banana sounds divine :)


  26. #
    Sabatino - — January 20, 2013 @ 11:35 am

    haha the “leches” / “leeches” comment literally had me laughing out loud, and now everyone thinks I’m a loon. Thanks for that.


  27. #
    Shea Goldstein — January 20, 2013 @ 1:07 pm

    Sinful, sinful dessert!! You never fail to provide the good stuff ;)


  28. #
    ambrosia — January 20, 2013 @ 1:44 pm

    I love banana bread and I love tres leches cake – so, needless to say I will be making this!!! OMG.


  29. #
    E.A. — January 20, 2013 @ 2:31 pm

    My husband has a very serious allergy (life threatening) to coconut. Is there a substitute for that coconut milk?


  30. #
    Ruby @ The Ruby Red Apron — January 20, 2013 @ 3:57 pm

    Making tres leches cake with banana bread is pure genius! Now I can’t stop thinking about this cake! I’ve died again.


  31. #
    vanillasugarblog — January 20, 2013 @ 9:03 pm

    that is just a cavity waiting to happen.
    seriously woman!


  32. #
    Mercedes@Satisfy My Sweet Tooth — January 20, 2013 @ 11:12 pm

    I adore Tres Leches cake and I cannot even imagine how delightful it would be with those caramelized bananas on top! YUM!


  33. #
    Stephanie — January 21, 2013 @ 12:12 am

    So many times when i read your blog I think, well… that’s about the most delicious thing I’ve ever seen/wanted to eat. Then the next post comes, and somehow you manage to make something EVEN BETTER than before. I mean, is this cake even for real? WANT. want. want!!!!!


  34. #
    Brian @ A Thought For Food — January 21, 2013 @ 12:13 am

    Ummmmm… hello yumminess! So, do I have to make this to get my hands on a slice or would you send me one? Yes? Ok, let me send you my addy!


  35. #
    Lucy — January 21, 2013 @ 3:06 am

    I have been tuning in here and there for a while, which then evolved into every other day and now daily! I read a lot of blogs, varying from nutritional blogs who advocate certain ways if eating to general healthy eating or recipe focused treat blogs, and in my opinion (for what it’s worth hehe :) …- you truly are the best blog out there! Reasons being: your photography, your humour, your writing “crumbs” and blog post musings, your passion and uninhibited joy for creating and presenting amazing good, your adventurous spirit of combining various flavour combinations, yours love of food simply bounces off if the page and makes you feel excited and humoured and caught up in the enthusiasm that you unleash about every recipe! The thing is you don’t take yourself too seriously but actually what you are doing here is creating truly innovative food concoctions/recipes – I have scoured many a blog and always notice your originality with certain recipes and flavour combos setting you apart- and you do this frequently and with fantastic photography skills and this is something you downplay but you are doing a fantastic job at 1) keeping food “politics” out of it while simultaneously striving to maintain a healthy balance with nutrition (vegetables :) !) 2) providing a good laugh and read to lighten up life and remind everyone that health is – happiness, passion and frame of mind. I think the tres leches cake finally was the last straw for me to comment this-!! – it simply looks outstanding and as a 25 year old cared-to-cook married young lady I think my husband and friends would probably thank me if I ventured into making this the first cake I bake!


  36. #
    Lucy — January 21, 2013 @ 3:09 am

    Creating and presenting amazing *food
    *scared to cook not cared! Last time I’m writing on phone!!


  37. #
    Katie @ Oh Shine On — January 21, 2013 @ 1:00 pm

    My heart just turned to gooey tres leches galore.


  38. #
    Tracy @ Commit to Fit — January 21, 2013 @ 4:24 pm

    As always, *I want to eat this immediately. Note to self: Must make tres leches anything!


  39. #
    christina @ oven adventures — January 21, 2013 @ 6:07 pm

    this honestly just made my mouth water. fabulous.


  40. #
    Melissa @ Treats With a Twist — January 22, 2013 @ 12:43 pm

    Ah! LOVE tres leches! And this is an adorable idea!
    PS I’ve totally had a moment like that…dumping the prized finished product down the sink. Ugh!


  41. #
    Christina (Sisters Running the Kitchen) — January 23, 2013 @ 2:37 pm

    this looks GREAT! My sister and I are having a “theme night” with some of our girlfriends next thrusday….the theme is mexican. this would be PERFECT to make for dessert. I Think ill claim the dessert portion of the dinner and make this for everyone!


  42. #
    Vicki Bensinger — January 23, 2013 @ 11:38 pm

    OMG this cake sounds incredible. I’m dying to sink my teeth into it. This is my first time stopping by but I will definitely be back. Thanks for sharing this recipe. I’ll be sure to make this.


  43. #
    The Food Hound — January 23, 2013 @ 11:45 pm

    OMG, so amazing. Fine Cooking featured tres leches cakes recently and I’ve been looking for an excuse to make one, but I need an event to take it to so I don’t consume it for three meals a day till it’s gone. Well done!


  44. #
    Natalie — January 24, 2013 @ 7:52 am

    Where did you get the drinking glass in the photos??


    • Jessica — January 24th, 2013 @ 8:02 am

      pier 1, but two years ago – not sure if they still have it.


      • Natalie — January 24th, 2013 @ 8:05 am

        Awww….I bet not. I love them! Love everything on your whole site really! Thanks!

  45. #
    Rosie @ Blueberry Kitchen — January 25, 2013 @ 1:43 pm

    Yum, this sounds absolutely delicious. Can’t wait to try making it!


  46. #
    Chloe — January 25, 2013 @ 7:34 pm

    You’re a genius. This sounds too amazing. It’s definatley going in my top 10 fattening-foods- to-make list, right next to the carrot cake cheesecake recipe I recently found.


  47. #
    Christina (Sisters Running the Kitchen) — January 26, 2013 @ 9:04 am


    I am making this for my girlfriends on Thursday. I am going to prepare the cake on Wednesday afternoon/night. Should I wake to put the bananas on top until I serve it on thursday or can I put it in the fridge on top of the cake on wednesday night? I will take your suggestion and have the cake sit out for 30-60 minutes before I serve it on thursday…thanks ;)


    • Jessica — January 26th, 2013 @ 4:31 pm

      definitely wait for the bananas! if possible, make them right before serving. otherwise they will probably get mushy!


      • Christina (Sisters Running the Kitchen) — January 27th, 2013 @ 9:56 pm

        glad I asked you! I will make the cake the night before and the bananas right before I serve it! thanks for the tip Jessica! I will let you know how it turns out! hope you had a nice weekend :)

  48. #
    Grace — January 26, 2013 @ 10:46 am

    This looks delicious ~ I am going to try it ~ Thanks for sharing this ~

    Just going over your blog and my tongue is hungry with all these goodies ~


  49. #
    Jessica Waters — January 26, 2013 @ 4:24 pm

    I am so excited!! I just pulled the cake part out of the oven, the “tres leches” juice is waiting in the fridge (we added about a quarter cup of that cream of coconut that people use for pina coladas to make it crazy coconutty orgasmic, but as I am reading the caramelized banana part, I realized there’s a tiny typo and I want to make sure I do this PERfectly!!

    Here’s what is written: “Add butter and one sizzling, toss in bananas, salt, cinnamon and sugar, tossing well to coat.” [doesn’t say one sizzling what] any hints?

    thanks and your blog is one of my total faves. I have no idea how I found you but I am so glad. It’s funny being a blogger (I had an organizing blog way back in the old days of aught five), your readers feel like they know you or they are your friend. That’s good!

    thanks for doing what you do.




  50. #
    Kristen — January 26, 2013 @ 6:24 pm

    I’m not sure whether I love you or hate you for this one, friend… now I can’t think about anything else! Looks sooooo good.



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