#24 Tres Leches Coconut Cupcakes

If your looking for something with a lot of wow factor then this is it! I heard my co-work talking about this amazing moist 3 milk cake and that started me on a search for a recipe. I found it a little time consuming, but the outcome is worth the effort. Before I dove head first into making these I started out by making the Dulce de Leche. My theory was if this didn't turn out I was really only out a can of condensed milk verse all the stuff it takes to make the cupcakes. Luckily the dulce de leche turned out fine so I was able to give the whole recipe ago. Oh and make sure to use foil liners or your going to end up with some soggy paper ones.

Tres Leches Coconut Cupcakes (courtesy of food network)
"Pastel de Tres Leches" or "Tres Leches Cake" is named for the three milks in the soaking liquid (Leche means milk in Spanish.) The three milks in the soaking sauce for Tres Leches are sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk and heavy cream or in this case the cream is switched out with coconut milk.  This is  extremely dense and moist, almost like a custard. Tres Leches is sweet and delicious, but it is nothing like a traditional dry cake that is light and fluffy. -about.com

The Goods
1/4 cup shortening
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
3 eggs- separated
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup coconut milk

The How To 
I did this a little backwards...

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. To make the dulce de leche, pour the sweetened condensed milk into a glass pie plate (I ended up using a small square glass dish and it turned out fine) and cover with foil. Place in a larger roasting pan where pie plate can sit flat. Pour hot water into the roasting pan to a depth of about halfway up the pie plate. Place in oven and bake for 1 hour 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. Stir until smooth.

Sorry I spaced taking before pictures but I think you get the idea of what to do.
While this was cooling down turn the oven down to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl of a stand up mixer, cream the shortening, butter, and sugar until light and fluffy on medium speed.

Add egg yolks 1 at a time, beating until all the yellow disappears. Add the vanilla.

showing off my egg separating skills here.
add one yoke at a time

Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Add alternately with the buttermilk to the creamed mixture beginning and ending with the flour.

In a small bowl, beat the egg whites on high speed until stiff peaks form. Fold into batter.

the shiny stuff is the egg whites by the way.
Fill liners 3/4 full. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes. Transfer cupcakes to wire rack that has been placed over a baking sheet to cool. Don't be surprised if your cupcakes go flat in the middle I found that a common problem according the comments on the food network page.

While cupcakes are still warm, stir together the 3 milks I tossed in some cinnamon too. Since I didn't have a meat injector needle, I just used a wooden skewer and poked a bunch of holes in the top of each of the cupcakes. Be careful not to punch all the way through the liner.  Pour the milk mixture over each cupcake while they are still warm, filling each hole. Refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight before icing.

Here is my milk mixture.
This might look like a lot of milk but it really isn't. It soaks in pretty fast I ended up adding more milk to them before I left them in the fridge for the night.
Now that your dulce de leche is completely cool, place egg yolks in a medium mixing bowl.

Stir the sugar,cornstarch, and salt together in a small, heavy saucepan. Whisk in the water first, then the dulce de leche and bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil for 1 minute, whisking constantly. Remove from heat. Gradually whisk the dulce de leche mixture into the 2 egg yolks.

My sugar, cornstarch, and salt
This is the dulce de leche mixture  just added to the eggs
Now Stir in the vanilla. Strain through a wire mesh  strainer into a small bowl and set aside to cool completely.

Beat the butter on high speed in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in the cooled  dulce de leche mixture. Beat in the 1 cup powdered sugar until smooth and spreadable. Frost each cupcake with a generous amount of dulce de leche buttercream.

I added a dash of cinnamon to finish off the cupcakes.
Up Next...
Strawberry Confetti Birthday Cupcakes

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