Tres Leches Cake Recipe

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Tres Leches Cake Recipe



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Tres Leches Cake, which translates to “three milks cake,” is a popular dessert in Latin America. Its rich and moist texture comes from soaking a light sponge cake in a mixture of three different types of milk: evaporated milk, condensed milk, and heavy cream (or whole milk). This indulgence is often topped with a light whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon or fruit. Below is a straightforward recipe for making Tres Leches Cake at home, perfect for anyone looking to enjoy a slice of this creamy, decadent dessert.


For the Cake:
1 cup of all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
1/4 teaspoon of salt
5 large eggs, separated
1 cup of granulated sugar, divided
1/3 cup of whole milk
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
For the Three Milk Mixture:
1 can (12 oz) of evaporated milk
1 can (14 oz) of sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup of heavy cream
For the Topping:
1 cup of heavy whipping cream
3 tablespoons of granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
Ground cinnamon for dusting (optional)
Sliced strawberries or other fruits for garnish (optional)


Preparing the Cake:

Preheat the Oven: Start by preheating your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease and flour a 9×13 inch baking pan and set aside.

Mix Dry Ingredients: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

Beat Egg Whites: In a large bowl, beat the egg whites on high speed until soft peaks form.

Gradually add 1/2 cup of sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form.

Mix Egg Yolks: In another bowl, beat the egg yolks with the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar until the yolks are pale and creamy. Stir in the milk and vanilla extract.

Combine: Gently fold the egg yolk mixture into the egg whites until just combined. Then, fold in the dry ingredients gradually until the batter is smooth. Avoid overmixing to keep the cake fluffy.

Bake: Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool completely in the pan.

Preparing the Three Milk Mixture:

Combine Milks: In a pitcher or large bowl, whisk together the evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, and heavy cream.

Soak the Cake: Once the cake is cool, pierce the surface all over with a fork. Slowly pour the milk mixture over the cake, making sure to cover it evenly. Let the cake absorb the milk for at least an hour in the refrigerator.

Preparing the Topping:

Whip the Cream: In a bowl, beat the heavy whipping cream with the sugar and vanilla extract until it forms soft peaks. Be careful not to overbeat.

Decorate the Cake: Spread the whipped cream over the soaked cake. Dust with ground cinnamon and decorate with sliced strawberries or your choice of fruit.

Serve: The cake is best served chilled. Cut into squares and enjoy this deliciously moist dessert.

This Tres Leches Cake recipe promises a deliciously moist and flavorful dessert that’s perfect for any occasion. Whether you’re celebrating a special day or just in need of a sweet treat, this cake is sure to satisfy your cravings.

Tips for Perfect Tres Leches Cake

Making Tres Leches Cake is relatively straightforward, but here are some tips to ensure your cake turns out perfectly every time:

Achieving the Perfect Sponge:

Room Temperature Ingredients: Ensure your eggs are at room temperature before starting. This helps to achieve a more voluminous batter when you whip the eggs.

Gentle Folding: When combining your ingredients, especially when folding the dry ingredients into the egg mixture, do so gently. This helps maintain the airiness of the batter, resulting in a lighter cake.

Soaking the Cake:

Even Absorption: After baking, let the cake cool completely before pouring the milk mixture over it. Use a fork or a skewer to poke holes all over the top of the cake. This helps the cake absorb the milk mixture evenly, preventing dry spots.

Give It Time: The longer the cake soaks, the better it tastes. While an hour is the minimum, letting it sit for a few hours or overnight in the refrigerator will enhance its flavors and moisture.

Topping and Serving:

Whipped Cream Texture: For the topping, whip the cream until it just holds soft peaks. Over-whipped cream can become buttery and lose its silky texture.

Serving Temperature: Tres Leches Cake is best served cold. Keep it refrigerated until just before serving to keep it firm and refreshing.


While the classic Tres Leches Cake is delightful, don’t hesitate to try variations to suit your taste:

Flavorings: Experiment with different extracts like almond or coconut in the cake or the whipped cream for a unique twist.

Alcohol: For an adult version, add a splash of rum or brandy to the milk mixture.

Fruits: Besides strawberries, try topping your cake with peaches, kiwi, or mixed berries for added color and flavor.

Storing Tres Leches Cake

Tres Leches Cake should be stored in the refrigerator due to its milk content. Cover it with plastic wrap or store it in an airtight container. Properly stored, it will last for 3 to 5 days, making it a great make-ahead dessert for gatherings.

Enjoy Your Creation

There’s something incredibly satisfying about slicing into a moist piece of Tres Leches Cake and experiencing its rich, creamy texture paired with the lightness of the sponge cake.

Whether for a special occasion or a casual dessert, this Tres Leches Cake recipe is sure to be a hit with friends and family. Enjoy the process of making it, and even more so, enjoy every creamy, delicious bite.


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