As you’re reading this, I’m probably on a plane or standing on a city street in Portland, Oregon.
And I’m probably standing in line for VooDoo Doughnuts.
And that will probably be my fifth doughnut of the day. Or twelfth. Hard to say.
Have you ever thought about a place that you’ve never been but you just get the vibe that you’ll want to move there? Me too. That’s kind of how I’m feeling about Portland. I know nothing except that it’s called ‘PDX’ for short (probably by dorky tourists like me) and that they are known for their fantastic food trucks and doughnuts, hence why I’ve probably eaten nineteen by the time you’ve read this. I know, I eat fast.
But I already get the feeling deep in my stomach that I’ll love it there and want to move ASAP. Maybe it’s because I’ve been lazy apartment hunting for the past few weeks, or maybe it’s because I’m sick of Sacramento (a healthy mixture of both. By the way, ‘lazy apartment hunting’ is that thing when you’re too broke to move out but you want to move out, so you browse Zillow and Forrent.com religiously as if you’re ready to move in next weekend).
Anyway, I’m here for the Indulge Conference which is a fun little food blogging conference in the city. Basically, we’ll spend the entire time chit-chatting and catching up, doing copious amounts of eating, and learning tips & tricks to be better bloggers, bakers, food photographers, and shoppers. Well, maybe not the last one, but I always use a new city as an opportunity to brush up on my shopping game, don’t you?
But while I’m away I’ll be dreaming about seeing my puppies again, sleeping in my own bed, and this Chocolate Tres Leches Cake that’s currently in my fridge.
So the idea came to me when I was browsing on Pinterest and happened to scroll past my Best-Ever Tres Leches Cake. That stuff is the bomb, you guys. I realized how much I loved that cake and that I needed to come up with a different spin on it, and thus the Chocolate version was born.
This starts out the same way as the regular Tres Leches Cake but with dark chocolate fudge cake mix. I love using dark chocolate cake mix because it adds such a richer, more complex chocolate flavor than Devil’s food, but if that’s what you’ve got on hand, by all means – your cake will still be edible. KIDDING. It’ll be DELICIOUS!
Bake it up in your 13×9″ baking pan and let it cool for a hot minute (or five). Then poke holes all over the top and drizzle on the tres leches part of the tres leches cake: evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, and heavy cream. (Can you hear me groaning?) Let it set in the fridge for several hours, preferably overnight, to soak in all those juices and get super moist and creamy.
Next, I frosted my cake with an Abuelita Whipped Cream. (Say whaaa?) Abuelita is that yellow package of chocolate typically found on the Hispanic food aisle with the grandma on the front sipping chocolate mischievously. Anyway, it’s authentic Mexican chocolate and it’s SO good.
I whipped up some heavy cream and sugar until it had semi-stiff peaks, then grated in some Abuelita Chocolate – about half of one of the round discs. This gave it a speckled look that’s pretty and was flavored with that rich, warm chocolate. Lastly, I topped the cake slices with a pretty pile of chocolate shavings which I happened to have in my freezer. If you can’t find Abuelita, you may always use your favorite chocolate to shave into the whipped cream and to use for the chocolate curl garnish. I don’t recommend using Abuelita for the chocolate curls, though, as it’s typically used for hot cocoa and won’t strip into neat curls.
So yeah – you could say I’m longing for a slice, even though my diet has been nothing but doughnuts. Until I return, cake. Until I return.
Chocolate Tres Leches Cake
- 1 box dark chocolate fudge cake mix or any chocolate cake mix, plus ingredients on the back of the box
- 1 (14 oz can) sweetened condensed milk
- 1 (12 oz can) evaporated milk
- 1¾ cups heavy cream divided
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 of a disc of Abuelita Chocolate found in the Hispanic foods aisle OR about 1 oz chocolate (such as Baker's, Ghirardelli, etc)
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- Chocolate shavings or sprinkles for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Liberally grease a 13x9" baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.
- In a large bowl, prepare the cake mix according to package directions. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for about 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean or with moist, not wet, crumbs. Cool for about 5-10 minutes.
- Once cooled for a little bit, poke holes over the entire cake using the handle of a wooden spoon or spatula. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together the sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, 3/4 cup of the heavy cream and the vanilla together until blended. Pour the mixture over the cake, allowing the mixture to fill the holes in the cake. The mixture may pool around the edges of the cake; this is okay. Refrigerate the cake for 6 hours or overnight.
- Once cake has set in the fridge, make your whipped cream. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the remaining 1 cup heavy cream and the Tablespoon of sugar together on high speed for about 3 minutes or until it has semi-stiff peaks. Grate in half of a disc of the Abuelita chocolate (or about 1 oz of any other type of good quality chocolate, such as Baker's, Ghirardelli, etc). Continue beating until stiff peaks form.
- Spread the whipped cream over the cake in an even layer. Garnish each slice with chocolate shavings/curls, or sprinkles. Store airtight in the fridge.
Creamy, moist, and bursting with rich chocolate flavor, this cake is such a unique twist on a classic cake!
Have a super sweet day!
Please, thank you, YES, NOW. Love this chocolate take on tres leches!
Thank you lovebug!
Michele @ Alwayzbakin says
Oh yum! I will be dreaming about this tonight for sure! I hope you have fun in Portland. I wish I could go. Some day I will go to one of those bloggy food conferences. 🙂
Michele, you should totally come to a food conference! They’re the best!
I discovered an infatuation for Tres Leeches cake about a year ago. Since then, I believed the only way to make it better would be to make a chocolate one. You are a genius!!!!! I am curious if you could use a homemade cake instead of a box cake? I wasn’t sure if the texture of a box cake made a difference. My grandmother made an amazing homemade chocolate cake and I think it would compliment your genious idea.
Tami, I think your grandmother’s recipe would be wonderful here! Thank you, and enjoy!
What do you mean store airtight in the fridge? Do I need to cover the cake?
Also, is a glass pan or non-stick the best?
Looks great! Excited to make it.
Hi Naomi! Yes, by airtight I mean that it needs to be covered in the fridge or else it’ll dry out. This cake is best moist, gooey and perfect! 🙂
Could you substitute the Abuelita Mexican hot chocolate powder for the grated chocolate? This is my first attempt at a tres leches cake as I try to make my Latina daughters in law feel welcome in our family.
Yes you can, Susan!
This cake is absolutely delicious!! It is one of my favorite cakes and all my friends love it too. Thank you so much.