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Gluten Free Strawberry Tres Leches Cake Recipe (Keto)
Try this strawberry twist on a classic favorite with my Gluten Free Strawberry Tres Leches Cake Recipe!
The origins of Tres Leches Cake can be traced back to Latin America, where it has become a beloved and iconic dessert.
While its exact origin remains somewhat debated, it is a popular sweet cake made for any special occasion, especially for Cinco de Mayo!
Tres Leches Cake’s name, which translates to “Three Milks Cake” in English, comes from the signature feature, in this type of cake, of soaking in a mixture of three different kinds of milk: evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, and whole milk or heavy cream.
I combined this idea with my own Sugar Free Vanilla Cake made with coconut flour, and my favorite low carb shake, Strawberry Cream, from Keto Chow to make a strawberry version!
You can of course use any protein shake you want, or sub in extra heavy cream.
I always looking for ways to increase the protein in every meal or treat!
Keep reading for ideas on substitutions, easy ways to make it dairy free, and answering my most frequently asked questions about this simple dessert!
First thing is to create the strawberry milk mixture so it can marinate!
Making up your strawberry milk for this unique milk cake needs to happen first so it can infuse strawberry flavor into the different types of milk.You will need the following ingredients for your strawberry milk:
- Fresh Strawberries (or thawed frozen strawberries)
- Granulated Sweetener (such as THM Super Sweet)
- Unsweetened Almond Milk
- Heavy Cream
- Prepared Protein Shake (I prefer Keto Chow Strawberry Cream)
You will need a blender for pulverizing the strawberries with the milks efficiently.
If you do not have a blender, hand mash them and then you will need to strain the milk before using.
Chop the strawberries into small pieces and put into a small bowl.
Sprinkle all of the sweetener over the strawberries and stir to combine.
Let the strawberries sit for 20-30 minutes.
The sweetener will draw out moisture from the strawberries.
After sitting, place the strawberries and almond milk into your blender.
Blend a minute or two until it is uniform in color and the strawberries are well blended.
Now add the strawberry milk to a lidded jar.
Add in the heavy cream and protein shake, then stir or shake it up.
Put into the fridge while you make the delicious cake.
What you need to make the Sugar Free Vanilla Cake!
To get started, you will need:
- sugar free honey or sugar free maple syrup
- Coconut oil; melted and cooled
- Large egg whites
- Large whole eggs; room temperature
- Apple cider vinegar
- Vanilla extract
- Heavy cream or coconut milk; full fat
- Baking powder
- Baking soda
- Sea salt
- Coconut flour
Now let’s make the fluffy sponge cake!
Preheat to 350 degrees F and grease one 9-inch springform cake pan with cooking spray.
You can use an 8 inch round pan, just line it with parchment paper.
Either of these cake pans will work, just make sure they are lined.
I prefer to take the time to cut out a piece of round parchment paper to fit into the bottom of the pan.
WIth the springform pan, release the bottom, lay down the piece of parchment, then push up into ring and tighten to close.
Now in a large bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, or a hand mixer add in the melted coconut oil and liquid sweetener you chose.
For this one I chose to use sugar free honey substitute or this vanilla syrup by RxSugar.
Whip them together very well to incorporate air into them.
Each step creates layers of fluffy cake when air is incorporated into the batter.
In a medium bowl, whip egg whites until they are broken down and frothy.
Mix into the batter, then add in the large eggs one at a time, mixing well after each.
Finish adding the rest of the liquid ingredients to the egg mixture.Let it mix on low as you measure the dry ingredients in a small bowl.
Add the coconut flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and whisk until it is clump free.
While the mixer is on low speed, slowly add 1/3rd of the flour mixture to the large mixing bowl.After the last third of the dry ingredients has been added, stop the mixer and scrape down the sides.
Now you will mix the cake batter at medium speed to incorporate more air.
Then turn the mixer off and let the yellow cake batter sit for a good one minute or two to thicken up.
Transfer batter to the prepared pan and bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes.
The cake is done when you toothpick test clean out of the middle.
If your oven runs hot, set it for about 20 minutes then check with a toothpick in the center at that time. Mine took about 33 minutes to be exact.
When you use a round cake pan it is important to make sure the center is cooked.
You can also try adding a metal frosting flower tip maker in the middle before baking.
This helps generate heat to the middle of the cake and provide an even cake rise so the top will not sink once pulled from the oven.
If for some reason the top of the cake is getting too brown before the center is fully cooked, put a loose piece of aluminum foil over the top.
Let the cake cool on a wire rack for an hour.
After it has cooled for at least an hour, poke holes all over the cake with a fork or end of a chopstick like a traditional poke cake recipe.
You want the holes to be large enough for the strawberry milk mixture to soak into all of the nooks and crannies of the cake!
Now pour all of the tres leches mixture all over the top layer of the cake.
If you did not use a blender, you must strain the strawberry milk before pouring onto the cake.
When you pour the strawberry milk onto the cake, it will seem like it is not soaking into the tender cake, but trust me, it will.
Wrap the cake pan with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and refridgerate overnight.
For the best results, you must be patient in letting it sit overnight before frosting it.
The cake is dense and needs time to soak up the strawberry puree milk.
The final layer is a homemade whipped cream frosting!
This whipped cream frosting is the best topping for this perfect dessert!
Here is what you will need to make the Homemade Fresh Whipped Cream Frosting:
- Heavy Whipping Cream
- Vanilla Extract
- Stevia, or sugar free powdered sugar
- Xanthan Gum
In the bowl of a stand mixer, or a large bowl with a hand mixer, whip the heavy whipping cream with the vanilla and sweetener on high speed until you get a soft peak.
Stop and scrape the sides of the bowl.
Whip the cream on low now and sprinkle in the xanthan gum.
Turn the mixer to high speed again for a few seconds to get stiff peaks.
Now let it sit for 5 minutes to soak up the xanthan gum.
Give it one more mix for a few seconds before using.
After the cake has sat overnight in the fridge, it is time to frost it with this fluffy decadent mixture.
Spread the homemade whipped cream frosting all over the top of the cake.
Adorn the top of the cake with fresh berries before cutting up to serve.
Keep any leftovers in an airtight container.
It will freeze well up to 2 months.
Flash freeze and follow the tips in my post, “Can You Freeze Coconut Cream Pie?“.
Tips, Substitutions and FAQs
- If you want to use a different cake recipe, you can substitute in a strawberry cake mix prepared for extra strawberry flavor. If you want to make it from scratch, here is my recipe for a Gluten Free Strawberry Cake that turns out amazing!
- Use crushed freeze-dried strawberries next time as your topping after frosting! You could also fold some into the batter as well when you make the cake!
- If you have run out of fresh strawberries for the strawberry milk, try using 1/2 cup sweet strawberry jam instead. Homemade strawberry jam or store bought jam will work the same since it is sweetened and will blend up well!
- Try a chocolate cake from a gluten free regular boxed cake mix to add a different flavor flare!
- Change up the fruit in this recipe for my favorite cake by using a different type of berry! It is the fruit puree that makes it, so make sure its blended up well and it will work!
- Can I substitute to make this cake 100% dairy free? Yes! The cake will work with coconut oil, vegan butter or palm shortening for the oil, and cooconut milk or nut milk for the heavy cream. For the whipped topping, try out this Easy Dairy-Free Whipped Topping Recipe where I show you how to create whipped cream from coconut cream!
- Can I substitute in a different flour instead of what is used? Almond flour can be substituted with gluten free all-purpose flour BUT NOT the coconut flour. Coconut flour requires a certain amount of moisture to not turn out into a crumbly mess. I have tested all of my recipes multiple times to make sure the liquid amounts are accurate to match the coconut flour used.
- Can I make this into a two layer cake? Yes! This recipe lends well to doubling without having to make any adjustments to the time or measuring. Just double it all and bake as directed. Rotate pans halfway through to get even baking.
- Could I make these into cupcakes instead? Yes, they will work out great! Just leave them in the muffin tin when you pour on the liquid. I would use a chopstick to poke the cupcakes with holes. After they have sat in the fridge overnight, transfer to a covered container until you frost them. Use a Ziploc bag with a cut corner, or regular piping bag for easy application of the frosting.
The combination of a moist, almond-flour yellow cake and a sumptuous sugar-free strawberry milk will make this dessert a crowd-pleaser for everyone, whether they follow a special diet or not.
Gluten Free Strawberry Tres Leches Cake Recipe
- 1 8-inch or 9-inch round cake pan/or springform pan
- electric mixer
- food processor or high speed blender
- large quart jar or other lidded container
- plastic wrap or aluminum foil
Strawberry Milk Mixture
- 2 oz Fresh Strawberries; chopped or thawed frozen strawberries
- 1 Tbsp Granulated Sweetener such as THM Super Sweet or monkfruit
- 1/4 cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
- 1 Tbsp Heavy Cream or coconut milk
- 2 Tbsp Prepared Protein Shake (I prefer Keto Chow Strawberry Cream) or additional heavy cream/coconut milk
Gluten Free Vanilla Cake
- 1/2 cup Sugar free honey or sugar free maple syrup
- 1/3 cup Coconut oil; melted and cooled
- 3 Large Egg whites
- 3 Large Whole eggs; room temperature
- 1/2 tsp Apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp Vanilla extract
- 2 Tbsp Heavy cream or coconut milk; full fat
- 1/2 tsp Baking powder
- 1/2 tsp Baking soda
- 1/4 tsp Sea salt
- 1/2 cup Coconut flour
Sugar Free Whipped Cream Frosting
- 1 1/2 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 15 drops Liquid Stevia or sugar free powdered sugar
- 1 tsp Xanthan Gum
Strawberry Milk Mixture
- Chop the strawberries into small pieces and put into a small bowl.
- Sprinkle all of the sweetener over the strawberries and stir to combine.
- Let the strawberries sit for 20-30 minutes.
- After sitting, place the strawberries and almond milk into your blender.
- Blend a minute or two until it is uniform in color and the strawberries are well blended.
- Now add the strawberry milk to a lidded jar.
- Add in the heavy cream and protein shake, then stir or shake it up.
- Put into the fridge while you make the delicious cake.
Sugar Free Vanilla Cake
- Preheat to 350 degrees F and grease or line one 8-inch round cake pan or one 9-inch springform pan.
- In a large bowl of an electric stand mixer with the whisk attachment, or a hand mixer, add in the melted coconut oil and liquid sweetener you chose.
- Whip them together very well to incorporate air into them.
- In a separate medium bowl, whisk up the egg whites until they are broken down and frothy.
- Now add the large eggs one at a time to the oil/sweetener mixture, mixing well after each, followed by the frothed egg whites.
- Finish adding the rest of the liquid ingredients to the egg mixture. Let it mix on low for a few minutes.
- In a small bowl, measure the dry ingredients, coconut flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and whisk until it is clump free.
- While the mixer is on low speed, slowly add 1/3rd of the flour mixture to the large mixing bowl. After the last third of the dry ingredients has been added, stop the mixer and scrape down the sides.
- Now mix the cake batter at medium speed to incorporate more air. Then turn the mixer off and let the batter sit for a good one minute or two to thicken up.
- Add the cake batter to the pre-greased prepared pans and bake for 25-30 minutes until a toothpick or cake tester tests clean out of the middle. If your oven runs hot, set it for about 20 minutes then check with a toothpick in the center.
- If for some reason the top of the cake is getting too brown before the center is fully cooked, put a loose piece of aluminum foil over the top.
- Let the cake cool to room temperature before pouring on the strawberry milk.
Sugar Free Whipped Cream Frosting
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, or a large bowl with a hand mixer, whip the heavy whipping cream with the vanilla and sweetener on high speed until you get a soft peak.
- Stop and scrape the sides of the bowl.
- Whip the cream on low now and sprinkle in the xanthan gum.
- Turn the mixer to high speed again for a few seconds to get stiff peaks.
- After the cake has sat overnight in the fridge, it is time to frost it with this fluffy decadent mixture.
- Spread the homemade whipped cream frosting all over the top of the cake.
- Adorn the top of the cake with fresh berries before cutting up to serve.
- Keep any leftovers in an airtight container.
- It will freeze well up to 2 months.
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