Concha Tres Leches Cake

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’s Concha Tres Leches Cake
Photo: Johnny Autry; Prop and Food Styling: Charlotte L. Autry
Active Time:
15 mins
Bake Time:
35 mins
Cool Time:
5 mins
Chill Time:
1 hrs
Total Time:
1 hrs 55 mins
10 to 12 servings


  • 3 to 4 conchas (from a Mexican bakery)

  • 1 (15.25-oz.) pkg. white cake mix

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 4 large eggs

  • 1 (14-oz.) can sweetened condensed milk

  • 1 (12-oz.) can evaporated milk

  • 1 ½ cups heavy whipping cream

  • Thawed frozen whipped topping


  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.)

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

  5. 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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