Rasmalai Tres Leches Cake (Vegan)


This Vegan Ras Malai Tres Leches Cake is the ultimate make-ahead dessert! A light sponge soaked in cardamom and saffron-scented nut milk. It only gets better with time, so perfect for holidays, and any occasion that calls for cake. Gluten-free option + soy-free.

two slices of vegan ras malai tres leches cake on a grey table

This Vegan Ras Malai Tres Leches Cake combines two of my all-time favorite desserts, Rasmalai and Three Milk Cake!  A new Latin twist on one of the most delicious Indian sweets out there –  traditional Bengali Ras Malai / Rasmalai.

overhead shot of two slices of vegan tres leches sprinkled with pistachios

Ras Malai meets Tres Leches

Tres Leches is a light and airy sponge cake soaked in three kinds of milk: usually evaporated milk, condensed milk, and heavy cream. Bengali Ras Malai traditionally consists of small soft cheese curd balls or mini cakes immersed in saffron and cardamom-scented sweetened thickened milk. Can you already guess what we did here to combine the two? Yes, we bake a moist vegan sponge cake and soak it in a rich, homemade 3 milk mix seasoned with cardamom and saffron. The result is simply divine!

a slice of vegan ras malai tres leches sprinkled with pistachios served on a white plate

After the vegan tres leches cake has chilled, a simple coconut whipped cream and some chopped pistachios are added as finishing touches. If you want, add some vanilla or cinnamon to the coconut whip as you prepare it. It’s the cozy season after all. You can serve it topped with the whipped coconut cream or serve with a custard made of the 3 milk mixture!

Tres Leches Cake is always best served chilled and while the flavors make this perfect for Diwali, fall, and winter, I am thinking that this cake would also be the perfect summer cake.

This dreamy indulgent vegan tres leches is the ultimate make-ahead dessert because it only gets better with time, perfect for holidays, and any occasion that calls for cake.

More Diwali and holiday recipes:

a slice of vegan ras malai tres leches cake

Print Recipe

Vegan Rasmalai Tres Leches Cake

This Vegan Ras Malai Tres Leches Cake is the ultimate make-ahead dessert! A light sponge soaked in cardamom and saffron-scented nut milk. Dairyfree Eggless. It only gets better with time, so perfect for holidays, and Indian festive season!

Prep Time15 mins

Cook Time45 mins

Chill time30 mins

Total Time1 hr 30 mins

Course: Dessert, Snack

Cuisine: Indian

Keyword: vegaan three milk cake, vegan pistachio cake, vegan tres leches

Servings: 9

Calories: 251kcal

Author: Vegan Richa

Ingredients

For the cake:

  • 1 cup (250 ml) non-dairy milk such as almond, oat, or soy
  • 2 tablespoons nondairy yogurt or apple sauce
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar or white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • few drops almond extract

Dry Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cup (156.25 g) flour I use all-purpose
  • 1/4 cup (30 g) almond flour you can also use a mix of almond flour and raw pistachio flour – To make the raw pistachio flour just blend pistachios in a blender until powder and use
  • 1/3 cup (70 g) sugar
  • 1.5 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For the milk mixture:

  • 2 tablespoons raw pistachios
  • 2 tablespoons raw cashew
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) of the thin part of the full fat coconut milk from a can
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) oat milk or use soy milk
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 7-8 strands of saffron
  • Seeds from 1 green cardamom pod

For the whipped coconut cream topping:

  • thick coconut cream from a can of coconut milk (about 1/2 cup)
  • 2-3 tablespoons of powdered sugar

Instructions

  • Make the cake: In a bowl, add all the wet ingredients and mix well.

  • In another bowl, mix the dry ingredients. Then combine the two until you get a cake batter. You don’t want the cake batter to be too liquid but also don’t want it to be too muffin-like. If it’s too thick, add in 1 tablespoon or so more of non-dairy milk. If it’s too thin, then add in 1 or 2 tablespoons more flour.

  • Grease an 8×8 inch or 9×9 inch pan, then transfer the batter to the pan. I used a glass pan for this cake so that it doesn’t brown too much.

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius) and then bake the cake for 30 minutes. Check the 25-minute mark if the cake is done and continue to bake for another 5 if needed.

  • Make the milk mixture:  For the coconut milk, refrigerate a can of full-fat coconut milk for half an hour. You can do this before you start making the cake for it to chill by the time you need it.

  • Then scoop the coconut cream part out of that coconut can and put that back in the fridge to make the whipped cream later.

  • Out of the thin part of the coconut milk, use half a cup. Add coconut milk to a blender. Add the rest of the ingredients for the milk mixture to a blender and blend it for a minute then let this mixture sit for 5 minutes for the nuts to soak so that they can blend smoothly then blend again. Repeat once or twice until the texture is really smooth. Taste and adjust sweetness if needed.

  • Once the cake has baked, remove the cake from the oven.

  • Let it sit for 5 minutes to cool then use a toothpick or a skewer to make holes all throughout the cake. Then pour a third of the milk mixture all over.

  • You will need to pour the liquid over the cake in batches. So pour a third the milk mixture then let it soak for 15 mins, and then pour another portion of the remaining mixture and let it soak.

  • If the cake doesn’t soak up any more, you can reserve the remaining third/quarter of the mixture to serve on the side.

  • For the whipped coconut cream topping

  • Take the coconut cream out from the fridge and use a whipping attachment in your hand mixer or a stand mixer to whip it until getting light.

  • Add the sugar, and continue to whip until it’s light and fluffy. You can also add in a bit of vanilla to the whipped coconut cream or some cinnamon.

  • Once whipped, spread this coconut cream over the cake which is by now soaked with milk. Then top it with crushed or chopped raw pistachios and serve.

  • You can keep this cake chilled in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Notes

Alternate topping idea:
If you don’t like the whipped coconut cream, you can take half of the milk mixture to make it into a custard. Heat half of the milk mixture over medium heat in a small saucepan until it starts to simmer and thickens a little bit then take off heat. Let it cool completely and serve that as the custard topping on top of the soaked cake.

To make this gluten-free:
For the flour, use 3/4 cup of oat flour, 3/4 cup of almond flour, and 1/4 cup of potato starch and for the liquid in the recipe, use half a cup of milk and half a cup of club soda instead of 1 cup milk.

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts

Vegan Rasmalai Tres Leches Cake

Amount Per Serving

Calories 251
Calories from Fat 117

% Daily Value*

Fat 13g20%

Saturated Fat 4g25%

Sodium 210mg9%

Potassium 144mg4%

Carbohydrates 30g10%

Fiber 1g4%

Sugar 14g16%

Protein 4g8%

Vitamin A 21IU0%

Vitamin C 1mg1%

Calcium 89mg9%

Iron 1mg6%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Ingredients:

  • For the dry ingredients, I use All purpose flour mixed with some almond flour for moisture and richness (you can also use a mix of almond flour and raw pistachio flour) To make the raw pistachio flour, just blend pistachios in a blender until powder and use
  • the cake is sweetened with cane sugar as we want to have a light color.
  • our wet cake batter ingredients are non-dairy milk (almond, oat, or soy), oil, and some non-dairy yogurt or apple sauce
  • baking powder and soda as well as vinegar helps the cake rise in the oven
  • I add both vanilla extract and almond extract to lend more flavor to the cake
  • the tres leches soaking syrup is made by blending raw pistachios and cashew
    with coconut milk, oat milk, water, and sugar
  • saffron and cardamom add that authentic ras malai flavor to the soaking syrup
  • coconut whip and chopped pistachios are my toppings of choice

Tips & Variations:

  • For a budget version, skip the saffron
  • If you want to make this refined sugar-free you can use coconut sugar or powdered jaggery, but it will result in a darker cake.
  • Want to make this look even prettier? Sprinkle some dried culinary rose petals on top along with pistachios.
  • You could also add a small amount of rose water to the soaking liquid if you’re a fan of rose-scented desserts.
  • You definitely want to poke all the way through the cake before pouring over the milk; this allows for the milk to soak the whole cake.
  • Alternate topping idea: If you don’t like the whipped coconut cream, you can take half of the milk mixture to make it into a custard. Heat half of the milk mixture over medium heat in a small saucepan until it starts to simmer and thickens a little bit then take off heat. Let it cool completely and serve that as the custard topping on top of the soaked cake.
  • After the milk is poured, you can cover the cake pan and refrigerate for 4-6 hours, preferably overnight.

side view of a slice of vegan tres leches cake sprinkled with pistachios

How to make Vegan Ras Malai Tres Leches Cake:

Make the cake: In a bowl, add all the wet ingredients and mix well.

In another bowl, mix the dry ingredients.

ingredients needed for making batter for vegan tres leches cake

Combine the two until you get a cake batter.

dry ingredients for vegan tres leches cake in a white bowl

You don’t want the cake batter to be too liquid but also don’t want it to be too muffin-like. If it’s too thick, add in 1 tablespoon or so more of non-dairy milk. If it’s too thin, then add in 1 or 2 tablespoons more flour.

tres leches cake batter in a white bowl

Grease an 8×8 inch or 9×9 inch pan and then transfer the batter to the pan. I used a glass pan for this cake so that it doesn’t brown too much.

Baked Sponge cake for Vegan Ras Malai tres leches cake

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius) and then bake the cake for 30 minutes.

Check the 25-minute mark if the cake is done and continue to bake for another 5 if needed.

Ingredients for the soaking rasmalai milk in bowls “ width=

nut milk mix in a blender container next to a baked tres leches sponge

Blend the milk mixture until smooth. I blend it for a minute then rest for 5 minutes then blend again. So this 2-3 times.
Once the cake is done, remove from the oven, let it rest for 5 minutes, then poke holes in the warm cake. pour some of the milk mixture all over then let it sit for 15 mins to soak. Then drizzle some more of the milk mixture.

nut milk being poured over sponge cake to make vegan tres leches

a soaked vegan tres leches cake after chilling

If the cake doesn’t soak up any more, you can reserve the remaining quarter of the mixture to serve on the side.

For the whipped coconut cream topping:

Take the coconut cream out from the fridge and use a whipping attachment in your hand mixer or a stand mixer to whip it until getting light.

Add the sugar, and continue to whip until it’s light and fluffy. You can also add in a bit of vanilla to the whipped coconut cream or some cinnamon.

coconut whip being spread over vegan tres leches in a pyrex pan

Once whipped, spread this coconut cream over the cake which is by now soaked with milk.

vegan coconut whip being spread over a soaked sponge cake to make tres leches

Then top it with crushed or chopped raw pistachios and serve.

vegan ras malai tres leches in a pyrex loaf pan

Make it gluten-free:

For the flour, use 3/4 cup of oat flour, 3/4 cup of almond flour, and 1/3 cup of potato starch and for the liquid in the recipe, use half a cup of milk and half a cup of club soda instead of 1 cup milk.

overhead shot of vegan ras malai tres leches cake sprinkled with pistachios

How to store Tres Leches Cake:

Tres Leches Cake should be refrigerated – both because of the soaking liquid and the whipped topping. You can keep this cake chilled in the fridge for up to 5 days. It actually gets better and better.

a half eaten piece of vegan ras malai tres leches cake with a golden fork on the side

 

 



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