Tres Leches Cake Cones

Our family tradition is to make Snow Cream on powdery winter days. There's something about its sweet, creamy flavor that reminds me of Tres Leches Cake (no doubt it's all that sweetened condensed milk and vanilla in the three milks mixture). I had the idea to marry the two as a cake-cone, and since the paper cones are made to hold ice and syrup, I figured they would hold up to the saturation of tres leches.

What I wasn't sure about - the baking part. I've never baked cake in a paper cone before, so I didn't know what to expect. I was afraid the centers would be under-cooked due to the shape, but I'm happy to say that these baked up just perfectly!

If you decide to try baking in paper cones, I'd suggest getting some sturdy cones like these. Even though they held up beautifully through baking and all that luscious milk saturation, I decided to double up on the cones just in case. Hand-held, they felt a little sturdier, so you'll probably want to have a few extra just in case you feel the need to double-up, too!

I had no special equipment to make these, just my standard size cupcake pan. I lined the cavities with bunched-up aluminum foil and nestled each cone's pointed end into the foil so that they stood upright. I'm sure it would be more convenient to have something like this in which to display them, but I did just fine without. They look just as pretty arranged together standing upright in a clear glass bowl or separately in glasses. A fork or spoon makes it easier to eat these, so stick one in each cake before serving.

Tres Leches Cake Cones
[click for printable recipe]
Yield: 16 cones
Source: Adapted from Nestle kitchens cupcake recipe
Prep: 30 minutes, total time 4 hours

Paper snow cones are needed for this recipe, or, if you'd prefer, they can be baked as cupcakes (yield 2 dozen). Be sure to use sweetened condensed milk in the sauce, not to be confused with evaporated milk.

Sponge cakes
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
6 egg yolks
6 egg whites
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup whole milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Tres leches sauce
14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
2/3 cup lite coconut milk
1 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
16 red maraschino or glace cherries
Confetti sprinkles

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line each cavity of one (or two if you have them) muffin tin with crumpled aluminum foil. Press paper cones down into the foil so they are securely standing upright. Set aside.
  2. Whisk flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Beat the egg whites in a separate large mixing bowl until soft peaks form. With the mixer running add egg yolks one at a time; beat well after each addition. Alternately beat in flour mixture with milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Beat in the vanilla extract. Fill the cones with batter only halfway - if you overfill, later on in the recipe the tres leches sauce will overflow and make a big 'ol mess! Bake for 15 minutes, or until the cakes spring back when pressed in the center. Remove cakes from oven and let them cool in the pan. Gently poke holes in the cakes with a wooden skewer - be careful to to avoid poking holes through the paper cones. 
  3. For the sauce, whisk together all the milks in a 4 cup measure. Pour 2-3 tablespoons of sauce into each cone; let stand until liquid is soaked into the cakes. Pour another 2-3 tablespoons of liquid into each cone. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours, or overnight.
  4. For the topping, beat the heavy cream until soft peaks form; gradually add the granulated sugar and whip until stiff peaks form. Beat in vanilla. Transfer whipped cream to a piping bag fitted with a large star tip. Pipe swirls of topping on each cake. Garnish with a cherry and confetti sprinkles.
link Tres Leches Cake Cones By Published: Tres Leches Cake Cones Recipe


  1. These are so whimsical! I love the cake in a cone idea!

  2. Oh wow! So pretty! I am in love with tres leches.

  3. Holy moley!! These are little cones of heaven!

  4. So cute! The design is simple too much. I love the cone shape, so uniquie

  5. oh so drooling and perfect for kids...sorry dear could not catch up long time, now am back on track

  6. This is a brilliant idea! Tres leches is my favorite cake to make-it never goes past two days in my house! I'm happy to have a new way to make it now :)

  7. I love tres leches cake this is amazing in the paper cones!! what a brilliant idea :)

  8. I cannot believe I've never thought of this -- LOVE this idea. So adorable, Heather!!

  9. I am in heaven this December - each post of yours is so beautiful and inspiring and makes me feel even more festive! I love this idea and am now wondering what else I could bake muffin/ cake mix in. Happy Christmas Heather!

  10. You make everything look fun and delicious!

  11. These are so adorable I've been wanting to make something similar to this for a while!


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