Espresso and Chocolate Tres Leches Cake
Ever since my trip to Italy with my parents, I have fallen totally and completely in love with Italian coffee! Especially espresso, Caffè Latte’s and Caffè Macchiate. Pretty strong stuff to say the least!
I just love the combination of chocolate and coffee flavors. Since it’s still rather warm outside, I thought it would be a good idea to make a delicious cold cake that everyone treasures, but with a twist: Espresso and Chocolate Tres Leches Cake!
Many of you are familiar with the incredible tres leches cake from the Latin culture. It is just one of the best cakes, served cold, on the planet! So when I stumbled upon this recipe in which chocolate AND espresso coffee are added to the cake, I knew that I had to try it. It’s not a complete ‘no-bake’ dessert because you do have to use your oven to bake the foundation of the cake.
I amped up the coffee flavor of this dessert by adding several teaspoons of Tia Maria, a Jamaican coffee liqueur. There is a quaint story behind this liqueur that dates all the way back to the 1700’s: A young Spanish girl was forced to flee Jamaica and the family plantation during a conflict. She was accompanied by a servant named “Maria” who carried a bit of jewelry and the recipe for the family liqueur. In honor of Maria’s help in saving her life, the girl named the liqueur “Tia Maria”.
So you should now win the answer to that question if ever in a game of Trivia!
Tia Maria really takes the chocolate mousse topping from “tastes good”, to “wow, now that’s delicious!” This is a WOWZA dessert . . . unbelievably chocolatey, and java-y, outstanding!
Don’t forget to sip a little of that coffee liqueur while you’re in the kitchen!
PS: A BIG “THANK YOU” SHOUT OUT to my wonderful mother for sewing the gorgeous placemat that you see in the photos! These placemats are reversible and turn over to display a cute coffee motif! Love you Madre! xoxo
Espresso and Chocolate Tres Leches Cake
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- 1 (18.25 oz) milk chocolate cake mix
- 1–1/4 cups chocolate milk
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 3 eggs (I use jumbo)
- 1 tsp. instant espresso powder or 2 tsp. instant coffee powder
- 1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
- 3/4 cup evaporated milk
- 3 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
- 3/4 cups half and half
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 3 cups heavy whipping cream
- 2 tsp. Tia Maria Jamaican Coffee liqueur (or Kahlua)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 C)
- Prepare a 9 x 13 inch cake pan with butter and flour.
- With a mixer on low speed, beat the cake mix, chocolate milk, canola oil, eggs, and espresso powder together in a large bowl.
- Mix until the dry ingredients are moistened.
- Increase the mixer speed to medium and continue to beat for 2 more minutes.
- Pour chocolate mixture into the prepared pan.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool in the pan until is is no longer hot to the touch, but is warm.
- While the cake is warm, poke holes all over the cake with a fork.
- Whisk the sweetened condensed milk, half-and-half, evaporated milk, and 3 Tbsp. cocoa powder together in a bowl until the cocoa is mostly incorporated into the liquid.
- Allow the cake to cool completely.
- Pour this milk mixture evenly over the cooled cake. (You may even want to make more to pour over the cake to make it extra moist — totally up to you!)
- Allow the liquid to soak into the cake.
- Sift the powders sugar and cocoa powder together in a bowl.
- Beat the heavy whipping cream in a stand-up mixer on medium speed for 1 minute.
- While continuing to mix, add the sugar and cocoa powder mixture to the cream in 2 batches, allowing the first to incorporate before adding the second.
- Increase mixer speed to medium-high and beat until soft peaks form and the cream is thickened and spreadable.
- Add the coffee liqueur by gently folding it into the whipped cream mixture.
- Spread chocolate whipped cream on the cake to serve.
- I adapted this recipe by amping up the coffee flavor by adding the Tia Maria coffee liqueur, the original (without liqueur): AllRecipes.com
Oh my, this sounds like heaven on a plate!
You’re so sweet Mindy! Thanks for your visit and ‘heavenly’ comment!
This looks lush. I’m going to have to find a recipe to join this Chocolate parade.
May, it’s certainly a fun and yummy group!
I can not begin to tell you how amazing that looks!!!
Thanks Pam! It was certainly a delicious cake . . . at least the one piece that I was able to eat before my hubs ate the rest of the entire cake!
This looks heavenly! Coffee and chocolate are the perfect combination. 🙂
The one piece that I had was indeed heavenly, Betty! My husband ate the rest of the entire cake!
Tres leches cake with coffee and chocolate? How utterly divine. I can’t wait to try this treat with two of my favorite flavors.
Thanks Linda! It’s a delicious combination and a great chocolate-coffee treat. If you make this, make sure the cake is completely cooled before adding in the milk.
Roz, I Love Love and LOVE this dessert! Especially, with my favorite two ingredients which are the ones chosen for Roxanna’s chocolate party. I have to make this for my family, they would love this one!
Oh you two! Thanks for your kindness . . . it is a good flavor combination though, you’re right. Very rich. If you do make this cake, make sure it is completely cooled down before pouring on the milk mixture so it soaks in and gets all ooey gooey!
Wow….I love tres leches but never thought to play around with the flavors like this before! You’ve put a great spin on a great classic! : )
I love tres leches too, and although this is very, very rich and delicious, I still prefer the classic version the best. I will certainly make this again, especially for a large group because it makes a very big cake!
What a delicious choice of flavours!
Your dessert looking amazing, I know if I started eating I would never want to stop 🙂
It’s a good thing that I have a hungry husband who never stops eating and never gaines a pound while doing so . . . he easts just about everything that I make and I enjoy a few bites! Thanks for your visit GourmetGetaways!
So chocolatey, rich and awesome!
Thanks Angie! Pretty rich indeed!
How lucky for me that I happen to have all the ingredients on hand! I, too, love the chocolate and coffee combination.
What a treat! And what a lovely photo!
I agree Rosemary! Coffee and Chocolate are delicious together!
Your cake looks beautiful Roz. And I’m sure that liqueur made it very special. I’ve not had the Latin or Italian version of these cakes. I really feel like I’m missing out.
Hi Lea Ann! Thanks for your sweet compliment! Yes, the coffee liqueur did make a nice difference, which by the way is also nice added to an evening cup of de-caf coffee after a nice dinner!
they food looks delish so I am putting that to the top of my list
I hope you enjoy it, make sure that the cake is completely cooled before adding the milk mixture, if you do prepare it! Enjoy!
This looks and sounds pretty incredible! I’m a coffee addict and have to try your recipe and find the liqueur.
Hi Pam, if you make this recipe, please let me know what you think! The liqueur really helps!
All my watering mouth can say right now is, Yum!!
Thank you Nancy! Nice to have you visit again!
Oh, Roz, my oldest would go nuts for this cake. I will have to surprise him 🙂 So glad you’ve joined the chocolate party!!! xo
Yes, Liz, it’s been a really nice AND yummy group to party with!
I should not have looked at this post before going to bed. I’m going to be dreaming about this cake. It look SO VERY DELICIOUS! Love the coffee addition!
I couldn’t agree with you more! Coffee really does go so well with chocolate! I hope that you had SWEET dreams!!!
Loved this the first time and still love it. I did buy a bottle of Tia Maria and have had many sips. 🙂 BTW – I love the placemats!
Oh, Roz, this dessert looks incredible! I love everything about it!
Hi Pat, It’s so nice of you to stop by! Thanks for your kind comment and I hope you’re doing well. I’m sure you’re enjoying your family in Colorado!
oh roz- you have outdone yourself on this one. The cake looks amazing and tres leches is one of my all time favorite cakes in the world
Jessica, you’re too sweet! Tres leeches cake is so divine and always a winner!
I love everything about this dessert, Roz. Coffee and chocolate are made for each other. This should satisfy my chocolate cravings.
Hi Cathy, yup, this is very chocoaltey indeed and great for any chocoholic!
Roz: What a scrumptious tres leches…I wish I could have dig my fork in it!!!
Thanks for your comment, I’m sure that you’ve had some really delicious tres leches cakes in Brazil!
Yay! Another SC food blogger! Chocolate and Coffee Tres Leches sounds to die for! Going to have to get that Jamaican Coffee Liqueur! Love anything Jamaican.
Hey Christin! Are you from SC too? I’ll be right over to you blog and read about all of your recipes too!
So many layers of chocolate flavor!
yes lots of chocolate in this cake alright! Thanks for stopping by and I’ll be visiting your blog soon today!
When I was in Italy I drank coffee because it was what we did, but I would much rathe eat it in a delicious dessert like this.
Hi Val! I’ll take Italian coffee any way it’s served! I’m addicted!
Since coffee and chocolate are two of my very favorite things I am drooling over this delicious cake. I’m also happy to acquire some trivia knowledge along the way 🙂
Trivia is always fun and like you, Susan, I love the combination of coffee and chocolate! Thanks for stopping by!
Adding the coffee liqueur was a very nice touch. Thank you for bringing it to the Chocolate Party!
Thank you Roxana! It was such a pleasure to participate with your fun party!
You have the best recipes on your blog, Roz! I am putting them all in my “make soon” folder. I can’t wait to try this one!
Oh thank you so much Shari. It’s been fun to share recipes, but a little fattening too! I’ve just got to take off the pounds that have resulted from tasting, testing and making the food for this blog! You’ve got the best recipes too!!!!
I made this big, beautiful, delicious cake tonight. The “frosting” alone is a dessert. It’s just the two of us so after eating a piece and declaring it “A Keeper” we made some special deliveries and blessed our neighbor and some friends. This has got to be one of our new favorites. It’s so easy and quick. We definitely will be making this again…soon. Thank you!
B., you are so welcome and I can’t thank you enough for your wonderful comment and delicious results that you enjoyed! I am so pleased that you concluded the same as we did . . . . it’s a keeper!
I”ve tried to click through your link to visit your blog, but the link is broken and I can’t find y our blog. If you’d like, please let me know how to find it to visit!
Hi Roz. To show how uneducated I am on the whole blogging thing, I have no idea what you meant by your reply to me, sorry!! I’m just a happy God lovin’, husband adorin’, 50 somethin’ year old retired gal that (along with my husband) loves to try new recipes and when we find a great Keeper, leave kudos! We see a lot more on here that we’re ready to try so this is not the last of me! Have great one…Bonnie
What a fantastic recipe! I love everything about it. Thanks for being a part of the YBR.:)
Wow, Roz! This is some dessert! With its espresso, chocolate, and booze, it’s got all of the main food groups covered. And we all know the health benefits of chocolate so your cake here is not just good for you, it’s practically medicinal. 🙂
Italian coffee is definitely THE best coffee I’ve ever had! I’ve never had a flavored tres leches cake, but why not?!! Especially when the flavors are chocolate and coffee!!! Keeping this wonderful recipe.