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).
TRES LECHES CAKE
- Inspired by The Pioneer Woman
- Yields: 12 servings
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
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9×13 in baking pan well with non-stick spray.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.