Tres Leches Cake

There’s something about me and Mexican food. Perhaps, it’s the fact that Mexicans love spicy food just the way we Indians do. Actually, if we think about it, Mexican and Indian cuisines share a lot of similarities. For instance , tortillas which are an important part of Mexican meals are very similar to rotis (Indian flatbreads). Mexican rice dishes are similar to Indian pulaos. Salsa is the Mexican equivalent of Indian chutney while tostadas are similar to our papads. Both cuisines rely heavily on herbs and spices such as cilantro, chilies and cumin, to name a few. No wonder my taste buds developed a penchant for it.Strangely, I never discovered the joys of Mexican food during my two year stay in Texas. It wasn’t until a couple of years ago when I was visiting Texas that I discovered the joys of guacamole. Since then, I have been using it for everything from wraps to sandwiches to dips but then that’s another topic.  My love for guacamole also sparked my interest in other Mexican dishes. Coming to Mexican desserts, this Tres Leches Cake was the second Mexican dessert that I tried after flan and my family loved it as much, if not more than the ever popular flan .
Tres Leches Cake Recipe

When I first heard about this cake, the smattering of Spanish that I had learnt from my Mexican housekeeper in Texas and from watching countless episodes of Dora The Explorer with my girls was enough for me to understand that it’s made from three types of milk. Tres = Three and Leche = Milk. Actually, if you count the milk in the cake batter it makes it four types of milk but let’s not get into that. The bottom line is that it’s an ultra moist ( not soggy, though ) and delicious sponge cake . I like to garnish it with strawberries because the tartness of strawberries nicely offsets the milky sweetness, apart from adding a pretty red touch. It’s the kind of cake that you can’t resist eating each time you open the refrigerator. Need I say more ?

Tres leches Cake Recipe

Tres Leches Cake

Adapted from : The Pioneer Woman
  • All-purpose Flour – 1 cup
  • Baking Powder – 1-1/2 teaspoon
  • Salt – 1/4 teaspoon
  • Eggs – 5
  • Sugar – 1 cup, Divided
  • Vanilla extract – 1 teaspoon
  • Milk – 1/3 cup
  • Evaporated Milk – 1 can (400 ml)
  • Sweetened, Condensed Milk – 1 can (300 ml)
  • Heavy Cream – 1/4 cup

For the frosting:

  • Heavy Whipping Cream – 500 ml
  • Icing Sugar – 3 tablespoons
  • Vanilla Extract – 1/2 teaspoon


1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 13 inch pan liberally. I used an ovenproof glass dish (Pyrex) so that I could serve in it as well.

2) Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Separate eggs.

3) Beat egg yolks with 3/4 cup sugar on high speed until yolks are pale yellow. Stir in milk and vanilla.

4) Pour egg yolk mixture over the flour mixture and stir very gently until combined.

5) Beat egg whites on high speed until soft peaks form. With the mixer on, pour in remaining 1/4 cup sugar and beat until egg whites are stiff but not dry.

6) Fold egg white mixture into the batter very gently until just combined. Pour into prepared pan and spread to even out the surface.

7) Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Turn cake out onto a wire rack and allow to cool.

8) Combine condensed milk, evaporated milk, and heavy cream in a small pitcher. When cake is cool, put it back into the pan and pierce the surface with a fork several times. Slowly drizzle all but about 1 cup of the milk mixture evenly over the cake.

9) Allow the cake to absorb the milk mixture for at least 30 minutes.

10) To ice the cake, chill your beaters and bowl .Whip the heavy cream with 3 tablespoons of icing sugar and vanilla until soft peaks form.

11) Spread or pipe the whipped cream over the surface of the cake. Decorate cake with strawberries or other berries of your choice. Cut into squares and serve.

Tres Leches Cake Recipe with strawberries
  • You can use the leftover milk mixture for your coffee( like I did ) or  milk based desserts.
  • This is great cake to make for a party . You can make it a day ahead and refrigerate. It tastes even better the next day. Just make sure to cover it tightly with cling wrap as dairy absorbs odors from the refrigerator very quickly.
  • In case your cake sticks to the pan, do not fret. Keep the pan on a wire rack and  let the cake cool in the pan itself.
  • Instead of strawberries , you can try the cake with other fruits like mangoes, peaches or cherries.

I’m linking this post to Bake Fest #29  guest hosted by  Priya’s Versatile Recipes and started by Cook’s Joy

10 comments on “Tres Leches Cake

  1. Thanks Rafeeda. I made it for my husband’s birthday and he loved it especially because it isn’t too heavy like butter cakes. I hope your family likes it too. Happy Anniversary in advance.

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