tres leches cake

Because tomorrow is Cinco de Mayo, and because everyone needs to have the recipe for this cake, I am posting Tres Leches Cake.  I have contemplated making this cake for years.  Yes, I am a person who contemplates baked goods for YEARS.  I think about them every day…what to make, when to make them, what do I feel like tasting today?  It’s totally a sickness.  Mr. Chaos thinks I have a real problem.  He’s probably right.  Back to the cake…so yes, I have contemplated making this cake many times, and something else always wins out.  I was just never sure it sounded wonderful enough.  Well I was DEAD wrong.  This cake is marvelous!  When I made it I said to several people “I’m sorry I waited so long to make this cake!”

It’s not that complicated, there are just a couple of different steps, which lead you to a moist, creamy cake.  Thankfully life intervened to bring me to make this cake.  My friends Sarah and Miguel had a baby boy – which led to me taking them a meal, which led to me being forced to bake their favorite cake – which happened to be Tres Leches Cake!  I’m so glad that all happened (oh and I’m excited they now have adorable Diego 🙂 )…how many more years might I have gone on contemplating this cake, but not actually tasting its wonderfulness?!

Now as most of you probably know, the name means “three milks cake.”  I read that some say this cake originated in Nicaragua, others say Mexico.  Either way, it’s delicious and can definitely be used to celebrate Cinco de Mayo…or say, a random Monday 🙂

tres leches cake

I would also like to apologize for these horrendous pictures, I promise next time I make it I will take new and better quality pictures.  I had to snap these at night, therefore, no natural light. I’m making this cake again this weekend so I will get a second chance.  Please overlook the pictures and make the cake anyway!  I promise you won’t be disappointed.

tres leches cake

Tres Leches Cake

1 cup All-purpose Flour

1-1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder

1/4 teaspoon Salt

5 whole Eggs – separated

1 cup Sugar, Divided

1 teaspoon Vanilla

1/3 cup Milk

1 can Evaporated Milk

1 can Sweetened, Condensed Milk

1/4 cup Heavy Cream


1 pint heavy cream (less 1/4 cup cream for the cake)

sugar or powdered sugar to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13 inch pan liberally until coated.

Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Separate eggs.

Beat egg yolks with 3/4 cup sugar on high speed until yolks are pale yellow. Stir in milk and vanilla. Pour egg yolk mixture over the flour mixture and stir very gently until combined.

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.

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

Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. (You can also turn the cake out onto a rimmed platter and serve this way, I’m not fancy, so I leave it in the pan) Allow to cool.

Combine condensed milk, evaporated milk, and heavy cream in a small pitcher. When cake is cool, pierce the surface with a fork several times. Slowly drizzle all but about 1 cup of the milk mixture—try to get as much around the edges of the cake as you can.

Allow the cake to absorb the milk mixture for 30 minutes. To ice the cake, whip 1 pint heavy cream with sugar until thick and spreadable.
Spread over the surface of the cake. Eat as is or drizzle caramel sauce on top.  Cut into squares and serve.  Store in the refrigerator – the cake improves the longer it sits!


2 thoughts on “tres leches cake

  1. It’s amazing the reasons we learn to make new foods. I made my first tres leche cake last year with my 5th grader who was doing a project on Nicaragua 🙂

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