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. #
    Laura — January 28, 2013 @ 5:36 am

    i’m in love with you. Banana Bread and Tres Leches are my TWO FAVORITE foods. And you have combined them. I cannot wait to try this.


  2. #
    Dina — January 29, 2013 @ 5:28 pm

    this looks great!


  3. #
    Christina (Sisters Running the Kitchen) — January 30, 2013 @ 5:33 pm

    hi, again! I just made this cake. I am planning on serving it my girlfriends tomorrow night (thursday). I did everything except for the bananas. the cake (with frosting on top) is in the fridge now. Do you think the frosting will be okay? It wont get too soggy, will it? My plan tomorrownight is to get it out 30 min before I plan to serve it and then make the bananas during that time and then top the cake with the bananas and serve. is that good you think? just worried about the icing getting soggy and the bananas melting the icing! haha! all I can say is that everything smells delicious!!!!! I added a little bit of vanilla paste to the icing too…and maybe stole a few licks after I was done icing haha.


    • Jessica — January 30th, 2013 @ 5:35 pm

      as long as it is in the fridge the entire time, the frosting should stay great! let me know how it turns out.

      oh and regardless – if the bananas are a little warm they will still melt the frosting down, there is no way around it. let them cool as much as possible! :)


  4. #
    Christina (Sisters Running the Kitchen) — February 1, 2013 @ 12:22 pm

    well, it came out amazing!! thanks so much for the recipe and for answering all my annoying questions! haha the cake was absolutely amazing… everyone loved it. for anyone who is contemplating making this recipe…DO IT. everyone will love you for it. I wrote a post on my blog about it here:

    thanks again jessica and have a great weekend :)


  5. #
    Malin — February 1, 2013 @ 2:31 pm

    I might want to cover my eyes too, but too late for that! These pictures are already stuck in my head! I mean, how dense and moist is it legal to be? ;)


  6. #
    Janelle — February 3, 2013 @ 10:13 am

    Looks amazing! I’m hoping to make this today for a SB party. Can the batter be baked as cupcakes as well? Bake at a different temp?


  7. #
    Rachel Moya — February 7, 2013 @ 9:17 pm

    I really want to make this recipe but is there anything I can substitute the coconut milk for. Thanks.


  8. #
    Ellie@Fit for the Soul — February 8, 2013 @ 4:25 pm

    Gaaahhhhh Tres Leches is one of my favorites everrrr!!!!! Omgness, this looks so delicious it looks too beautiful to eat! Wait actually, I’d still eat it while mourning over it.


  9. #
    Raquel — March 13, 2013 @ 2:14 pm

    The cake tastes great, but it’s a little tooooo heavy for our liking… really. We’re not really into American style overloaded pastries, but it was a try. We’re giving it away to our French neighbours— they like all that haha. Thank you for the experience, though :)
    Love from Spain!


  10. #
    Suzanne — April 22, 2013 @ 11:24 am

    Very disappointed in this cake. It would be better if the cake was light instead of heavy and dense.


    • Jessica — April 22nd, 2013 @ 11:34 am

      It’s a shame you were disappointed in the cake Suzanne, especially after taking the time to make it – however I do specifically mention in the recipe that this is a dense cake. Banana bread itself is dense, so the only way to achieve a fluffy tres leches banana cake would be to exclude the actual bananas and just use banana extract.


  11. #
    Rachel — May 5, 2013 @ 8:15 pm

    Jessica, this was delicious!! The hit of my Cinco de Mayo party. Thank you for the great recipe!


  12. #
    syrine — July 11, 2013 @ 7:48 am

    I could stay for hours on your website searching for recipes. They are all absolutely A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! Thank you for sharing your wonderful recipes ! Xx


  13. #
    Law — August 16, 2013 @ 1:40 pm

    Whats upward, I’ve already been using a hard time trying to show up for that keywords “current version wordpress plugin search engines update”… will you say yes to my remark!!


  14. #
    Annie — September 14, 2013 @ 6:08 pm

    You should marry me. I wasn’t gay until I read your website. LOL!


  15. #
    Jelli — March 6, 2014 @ 1:06 pm

    we love our tres leches here in costa rica and i’d love to try this fun spin on it. definitely have plenty of bananas around to make it soon. thanks for sharing!


  16. #
    Julie — July 5, 2014 @ 12:14 pm

    This is just wrong. Shame on you. :) Can’t wait to try it!


  17. #
    Aurora — July 17, 2014 @ 1:05 am

    Can I add any booze to this by any chance? Idk, something like bourbon or whiskey?


  18. #
    kelly — September 7, 2014 @ 8:41 pm

    i THOUGHT i was a genius tonight, when my dad and i made banana bread, and he said ” its a little too try” and i said “LETS MAKE TRES LECHES BANANA BREAD”. apparently its already an existing recipe, and it LOOKS DELICIOUS. my dad and i are serious foodies, and we are always looking for the best recipes. we will definitely be making this soon. thank you so much!


  19. #
    kim — November 27, 2014 @ 10:45 am

    oh no,,, i forgot the butter! cake is already out of the oven, how bad is it going to be?



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