Caramel Coconut Tres Leches Cake
Yield: 1 8-9 inch cake
 
Ingredients
For the Cake:
  • 4 eggs, room temperature, separated
  • ¾ cup flour
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Soak:
  • 1 16oz can of coconut milk
  • ¼ cup dulce de leche (or caramel sauce)
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon rum
For the Topping
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • ½ cup toasted coconut
  • dulce de leche for drizzling
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Generously butter the inside and sides of a 8 or 9 inch round cake pan* and line with a parchment round. Sprinkle with flour- set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the egg yolks and ½ cup of the sugar. Whisk until smooth and creamy. Set aside.
  3. In a very clean stand mixer bowl or a large mixing bowl, Beat egg whites on medium high using a whisk attachment until soft peaks form. Gradually add the sugar while the mixer runs and continue beating until stiff peaks form.
  4. Pile about one-third of the egg whites into the yolk mixture. Gently fold them together until smooth. Add half of the flour and continue to gently fold, being careful to not deflate the egg whites. Repeat with another third of egg whites, the rest of the flour, and the last third of whites. Do not over-mix, but batter should be smooth, airy and fluffy.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until the top of the cake springs back when lightly touched or a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  6. Run a knife around the edge of the cake pan, and invert the cake onto a wire rack. Peel off the parchment, then flip the cake right side up so it can cool.
  7. While the cake is baking, combine the soak ingredients in a liquid measuring cup and set aside.
  8. After the cake has cooled for about 15 minutes, use a fork to prick it all over, not forgetting the sides, edges and all over the top. Try to get pretty close to the bottom of the cake.
  9. Use a spoon or pour the soaking liquid over the cake, a little at a time, waiting for it to absorb before adding more. I would use the spoon and gently press the liquid into the cake** It may seem like a lot of liquid, but use as much as you can to soak the cake.
  10. Chill the cake in the fridge for an hour (or more) to really let the flavors soak and set.
  11. Meanwhile whip the cream and once the cake is done chilling, dollop on the whipped cream, drizzle with extra dulce de leche and sprinkle on the toasted coconut.
  12. Store in the fridge until you're ready to serve.
Notes
I actually used a 7 inch Springform pan this time around but I think an 8 or 9 inch pan works the best. The thicker the cake the harder it is to really get those liquids to soak. Any of those options are fine, or you could double the recipe and use a 9x13.

**I actulally used one of those syringes for giving Hugo medicine for this step. (Clean of course.) I would pull up the liquid and then literally "inject" it into the sides and top of the cake. It worked surprisingly well!

Base recipe adapted from Williams Sonoma
Recipe by The Baker Chick at https://www.thebakerchick.com/caramel-coconut-tres-leches-cake/