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Kahlua Tres Leches Cupcakes

Classic Tres Leches Cupcakes with a boozy Kahlua twist. An easy and delicious recipe just in time for Cinco de Mayo.
Course Dessert
Cuisine Mexican
Total Time 12 hours
Servings 20
Calories 328 kcal
Author Tracy

Ingredients

Additional Tools

  • Grease-proof cupcake liners
  • 2 cupcake pans

Cupcakes

  • 1 1/2 cup (190g) cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons (4oz) unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1 cup and 2 tablespoons (225g) granulated sugar
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Tres Leches

  • 1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half*
  • 1/2 cup Kahlua

Topping

  • 3 to 4 cups whipped cream *
  • Chocolate shavings optional
  • Salted Caramel optional
  • Cinnamon optional
  • Strawberry slices optional

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F and line two cupcake pans with grease-proof liners.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together and set aside.
  3. In the bowl of your stand mixer with the paddle attachment or using a handheld electric mixer, beat butter at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  4. Add sugar and beat until well-combined, another minute or so.
  5. Scrape bottom and sides of bowl and add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each.
  6. Add vanilla extract and mix.
  7. Turn mixer on low and add flour mixture a little at a time. Mix until just combined.
  8. Fill cupcake cups just half full. We want them to bake up slightly below the wrapper, to make adding the milk easier later. You should have at least 20 cupcakes. Bake on the center rack for 15-17 minutes until lightly golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

  9. Allow cupcakes to cool in the pans.
  10. Once cool, poke each of the cupcakes all over with a fork 10-15 times.

  11. Combine evaporated milk, condensed milk, half-and-half and Kahlua in a large liquid measuring cup and stir. Pour as much of the liquid over each of the cupcakes as the cupcake will hold without overflowing.
  12. Wait a couple minutes for the cupcakes to absorb the liquid and then repeat. You may have to make a third pass, but the cupcakes should soak up all or very nearly all the liquid.
  13. Place cupcakes in the refrigerator and allow to soak up the liquid overnight--they do not need to be covered.
  14. Pipe on whipped cream with a large open star tip just before serving and top with toppings of choice.

Recipe Notes

To omit the alcohol, simply replace the 1/2 cup of Kahlua with another 1/2 cup of half-and-half.

*1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon of milk and 2 tablespoons of heavy cream may be substituted for half-and-half.

If you don't want to make your own whipped cream, according to CooksInfo.com, 1 7-oz can of aerosol whipped cream equals 3 cups.

Small-batch Instructions: This recipe is a bit of a pain to cut down because evaporated and sweetened condensed milks are usually sold in these sizes, but the rest of the recipe halves cleanly except for the eggs. The easiest way to halve an egg is to whisk the whole egg in a very small bowl and use half of it (about 1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon or 1 ounce/28 grams by weight). Extra evaporated and condensed milk (mixed or separate) makes great coffee creamer and will keep in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.