Tres Leches Cake

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Say hello to a new favorite dessert of mine and doesn’t even have chocolate in it! This cake known as Tres Leches (3 milk cake) is absolutely heavenly. It is so light and airy it will be fine if you have more than one piece, I promise. I had never even heard of this deliciousness before until one of my co-workers told me she made it for a party and that I should try it out. Once she told me about it I was completely obsessed with the idea of making this cake having absolutely no idea what it would taste like. So I planned yet another Mexican themed dinner with some friends and whipped up the cake.

The sponge cake is baked, then you pour over a combination of 3 different kinds of milk and set it in the fridge to soak. After that, you smother the cake with homemade whipped frosting. It really helped that one of my friends is from Arizona and he and his fiancee have sampled this cake on their visits back home. They told me this version was spot on. I mean this cake is to die for. Do not be freaked out by the fact it gets lots of liquid pour on top of it, something magical happens with the cake resulting in the perfect creaminess. So if you are looking for a new and interesting dessert, make this now.

Tres Leches Cake


For the cake:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 5 eggs, separated
  • 1 cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
  • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
  • ¼ cup heavy cream

For the Frosting:

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9×13-inch baking pan and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt; set aside. In another bowl, separate the egg whites from the yolks. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the egg yolk and ¾ cup granulated sugar on medium-high speed until the mixture is thick and pale yellow. Add the whole milk and vanilla extract and mix to combine.

Pour the egg yolk mixture over the flour mixture and, using a rubber spatula, gently fold together until thoroughly combined. Clean out the bowl and the whisk (yes you have to clean up in the middle). Add the egg whites to the bowl and whisk at high speed until soft peaks begin to form. With the mixer still running, pour in the remaining ¼ cup of granulated sugar and beat until the egg whites are stiff but not dry.

Working in three batches, gently fold the egg whites into the batter until just combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the surface with a spatula. Bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Turn the cake onto a cooling rack and allow to cool completely. Transfer the cake to a rimmed serving plate. Mix together the evaporated milk, condensed milk and heavy cream in a small pitcher. When the cake is cool, pierce the surface of the cake all over with a fork. Slowly drizzle all but 1 cup of the milk mixture over the top of the cake, making sure to get around the edges of the cake. (You can discard the remaining 1 cup of milk mixture.) Allow the cake to absorb the milk mixture for about 30 minutes.

To frost the cake, whip 2 cups of the heavy cream with 3 tablespoons of granulated sugar until thick and stiff peaks form. Spread over the surface of the cake. Garnish with maraschino cherries, if desired.

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