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Coconut Tres Leches Cupcakes with Margarita Lime Buttercream

tres leches cupcakes

Tres leches cupcakes...cupcakes saturated with a sweet mixture of three milks.

This was my first attempt at this type of cake, and I have to be's time consuming.

The cake itself is similar in texture to a sponge cake, until the sweet syrup sets in.

Then it becomes a soft, gooey, flavorful treat.

The cupcakes can be topped with countless varieties of frostings.

To compliment the hint of coconut flavor in the cake, I chose a lime buttercream for the topping.

I made these goodies for a Cinco de Mayo celebration, so I decided to add a hint of salt to the frosting, to give it a salt-and-lime-margarita vibe.

Can I just tell you? Best. Frosting. EVER!!!

It's seriously my new favorite!

Take a peek below for all of the yummy details.

How to Make Tres Leches Cupcakes

You'll Need:

  • 6 large eggs, separated
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 12-oz can evaporated milk (full-fat version)
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk (unsweetened)

Tres Leches Cupcake Instructions:

tres leches cupcakes

  • Double-line a muffin tin with cupcake liners, so that the milk mixture doesn't leak out when you add it to the cake.
  • Combine the sugar and egg yolks in a large bowl, and beat with an electric mixer until fluffy and light yellow (about 5 minutes). Set aside.
  • In another bowl, beat the egg whites on high speed until medium peaks form (about 3 minutes).
  • A little at a time, fold the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture.
  • Gently fold in the flour, being careful not to overmix.
  • Pour the batter into the cupcake liners and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for about 10 minutes.
  • While the cupcakes are cooling, whisk together the milks.
  • Place the cupcakes on a foil-lined cookie sheet.
  • If you want your cupcakes to be delicious, it's important that you really get that milky syrup down into the cake. If you have an injector, this is the perfect opportunity to use it. Inject the milk mixture all throughout the cupcake, making sure to get it good and saturated.
  • If don't have an injector, here's where it gets time consuming.
  • Use a fork or metal skewer to poke lots of holes in the cakes, to but not through the bottom of each cake.
  • NOTE: You are going to need more holes than I have in this picture!
  • Very little at a time, use a spoon to top each cupcake with the milk mixture. Use the back of the spoon to push the mixture down into the holes. Let it absorb, then repeat. A lot. Like I said before, if the cake isn't really saturated, your cupcakes won't be nearly as yummy.
  • When you feel you've got them good and wet, cover them loosely with foil and refrigerate for at least 2 to 3 hours. The longer they sit, the better they'll taste!
  • Top with your favorite frosting.

How to Make Margarita-Lime Buttercream Frosting

You'll Need:

lime buttercream frosting recipe

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp. lime zest
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 1/2 tbsp. freshly-squeezed lime juice
  • 4 tbsp. milk

Margarita-Lime Buttercream Instructions:

Note: This is easiest made with a stand mixer, but certainly not necessary.

  • Beat butter and shortening with an electric mixer until creamy. Add vanilla, salt, and lime zest.
  • One cup at a time, add the powdered sugar to the butter mixture, being sure to mix well between each addition.
  • Add lime juice; mix well.
  • Add milk; mix well.
  • Pipe or spread on top of cupcakes. Be generous...this stuff is good!!!

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