Cookbook author and food blogger Vianney Rodriguez (one of our 2020 Cooks of the Year), is a Texan through and through and a proud first-generation Mexican-American. Through her writing and recipes, she celebrates all facets of her identity, be it a themed dinner honoring the late Tejano music star Selena or a video on how to make pork tamales from scratch. Rodriguez takes a fun, often playful approach to cooking, like this incredible dessert mash-up of conchas and tres leches cake. Conchas, available at Mexican bakeries, are type of bread that’s soft, sweet, and usually colorful. The bread’s shape resembles a seashell (“concha” means “shell” in Spanish). Rodriguez got the idea to crumble the conchas and add them to a tres leches cake, adding a bit of texture and color to the typically soft and creamy dessert. Like all of her recipes, it’s easy to prepare and even easier to love.

Vianney Rodriguez

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Credit: Johnny Autry; Prop and Food Styling: Charlotte L. Autry

Recipe Summary test

active:
15 mins
bake:
35 mins
cool:
5 mins
chill:
1 hr
total:
1 hr 55 mins
Yield:
10 to 12 servings
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Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 13- x 9-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Slice tops off conchas. Crumble; set aside. Cut conchas into 1-inch cubes (4 cups); set aside.

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  • Place cake mix, 1 ¼ cups water, oil, vanilla, and eggs in a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until well blended, 2 minutes, stopping to scrape down sides as needed. Pour into prepared pan. Sprinkle with concha cubes; pat them partially into batter.

  • Bake in preheated oven until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 34 to 38 minutes. (The conchas will turn dark brown, and the cake will be golden.)

  • Stir together condensed and evaporated milks and cream. Set aside.

  • Remove cake from oven, and cool in pan 5 minutes. Using a knife, pierce every ½ inch. Pour milk mixture evenly over top. Cover; chill until mixture is absorbed into cake, 1 hour. Top with whipped topping and crumbled conchas.

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