tres leches cake


This was my first time making tres leches cake, but it definitely won’t be the last. This cake is incredible!

The base is a lighter-than-air, fluffy sponge cake that is soaked in a sweet mixture of three different types of milk. The topping is a slightly-sweet whipped cream that just begs for a scattering of fresh berries on top (which I did, though I have no idea if I broke all the traditional tres leches cake rules doing so). We made this for a Mexican-food themed supper club recently and it was a hit. It’s the perfect treat to make in these last few weeks of summer (well, for those of us in Texas).



For the cake:

  • non-stick spray
  • 1 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 5 eggs, separated
  • 1 cup white sugar, divided
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 1 can (12 oz) evaporated milk
  • 1 can (14 oz) sweetened, condensed milk
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream

For the icing:

  • 1 pint heavy cream
  • 3 Tbsp. white sugar
  • Optional: sliced strawberries (or other berries) for decoration


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9×13 in baking pan well with non-stick spray.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. Separate your eggs. In the bowl of your standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the egg yolks with 3/4 cup of white sugar until pale yellow. Then stir in the milk and vanilla. Pour this mixture over the dry ingredients and stir gently until combined.
  4. Clean & dry the mixer bowl and switch to the whisk attachment on your standing mixer. Add the egg whites and whisk on high until soft peaks form. Add in the final 1/4 cup of white sugar and beat until the egg whites are stiff. Fold this into the rest of the batter very gently. until just combined; do not over mix. Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish. Bake for 30-40 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Turn the cake onto a wire rack and allow to cool to room temperature.
  5. Once the cake has cooled, flip it onto a rimmed serving platter. Using a fork, poke the cake all over to create little holes for the milk mixture to sink into.
  6. In a mixing bowl, stir together the condensed milk, evaporated milk and heavy cream. Drizzle this all over the cake (be sure to go all the way over the edges). *Note: You will use all but 1 cup of the milk mixture…it makes a little more milk mixture than you need so just discard that final 1 cup. Allow the cake to sit and absorb the milk mixture for 30 minutes.
  7. When you’re ready to ice the cake, add your heavy cream and 3 Tbsp. of white sugar to the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whisk the cream until it turns into thick whipped cream and is easily spreadable. Spread this over the entire cake…and be generous; use it all! You can decorate the top of the cake if you’d like. I used strawberries, but you can also leave it plain. Refrigerate until ready to serve.






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