Horchata Una Leche (Like Tres Leches but Different!)

Cakes, Desserts, Holiday


Now that work has started to slow down and I can concentrate on being festive AF, I have decided to list some of my favorite Christmas/Holiday movies. And then maybe you can tell me your favorites because for the next couple of weeks I am preparing myself to just chill and watch movies. And maybe bake a few things, sparingly.

1. Little Women – Winona Ryder at her best. Kirsten Dunst SO YOUNG. Annie McDowell love her!
2. It’s a Wonderful Life – I maybe know every word to this movie. Take a wild guess who currently reminds me of Mr. Potter? Lol.
3. Elf – I mean, it’s just a classic.
4. Home Alone – I still kinda almost cry at the end when he sees the old man in church.
5. Love Actually – Hugh Grant at his best—I miss him, wish he was still acting.

Am I missing any? I feel like I must be. Oh I was going to put The Christmas Story on there but honestly that movie always creeped me out. The dad and his creepy-ass obsession with the leg lamp; the mom washing out the kid’s mouth out with soap; and them having a depressing Christmas. That movie is a bummer. Maybe it’s more honest than most Christmas movies but I need some magic.

Anywayyyzzz, welcome to the post where I’m reorganizing the beloved “tres leches cake.” I like to think that maybe I simplified it with uno leche. Lol. The only leche that’s in this cake is the horchata. In case you are unfamiliar with horchata, I will break it down for you in a list (because I love lists):

1. Mexico and Spain both drink/make horchata. As do several countries in central America.
2. The one I’m referring to is the Mexican-style horchata, which is a rice drink. Some recipes have almonds in it. All recipes have cinnamon.
3. Some horchata recipes have dairy milk in them, some do not.
4. I like to buy horchata from Guisados because it’s nearby and their horchata is delicious. (Theirs has dairy in it.)
4. You could also use the horchata from Califia.
5. You could also make horchata, if you like. This recipe from Aaron Sanchez looks good, tho I’ve never tried it.

To be very honest with you, I had never tried horchata until I moved to Los Angeles. The countries my parents come from don’t drink it so I had no idea what it was. But once I tried it, I was down. It is so delicious.

This sponge cake is a great base. It’s very dry when you bake it so it needs that moisture from the milk. It may seem like a lot of liquid when you pour it over the cake but the cake soaks it all up and it ends up being a delicious bite at the very end.

Remember, tell me your Christmas/holiday movie faves!

Horchata Uno Leche (Like Tres Leches but Different!)

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours 40 minutes
Serving Size: 1 (9x13-inch) cake



  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 large eggs, separated
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/3 cup milk

The Rest:

  • 2 1/2 cups homemade or store or restaurant-bought horchata
  • 1 1/2 cup heavy cream, for topping
  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar, for topping
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, for topping


To Make the Cake:

  • Grease a 9x13-inch pan. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Set aside. In a stand-up mixer with paddle attachment, beat egg yolks and sugar until pale yellow and double in volume, about 3 minutes. Mix in the vanilla and the milk on low speed just until combined, then fold the egg yolk mixture into the flour mixture.
  • Clean and dry the egg yolk bowl. Add the egg whites and beat with the whisk attachment on high until stiff peaks form, about 3 to 4 minutes. Be sure they are stiff peaks or else your cake could deflate.
  • Fold the egg white mixture into egg yolk and flour mixture.
  • Pour the batter into the cake pan and bake for 18 to 20 minutes. Let cool completely in the pan before proceeding with the rest of the recipe. The cake may shrink a bit as it cools--that's ok!

The Rest:

  • After the cake has cooled, using a fork, poke a bunch of holes in the top. Pour the horchata on top; it may seem like a lot of liquid, but the cake will absorb it! Cover lightly with plastic wrap and transfer to the fridge to absorb, about 3 hours, ideally overnight.
  • When you're ready to serve the cake, add the heavy cream and sifted powdered sugar into the bowl of a stand-up mixer with the whisk attachment (you can also do this with a medium bowl and an electric hand mixer). Beat until soft peaks form, about 3 minutes. Add it to the top of the cake and smear it around. Garnish with a sprinkling of cinnamon (I used a sieve to get proper distribution).
Did you make this recipe?Tag @acozykitchen on Instagram and hashtag it #acozykitchen
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Leave a Reply

  • Avatar
    Reply Single dad cooking December 12, 2017 at 12:19 am

    Thanks for this idea!

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    Reply Ashlyn @ The Pedantic Foodie December 12, 2017 at 2:54 am

    What a brilliant idea! I love horchata!! I cannot wait to make this cake for my family! They will flip. I have used the Aaron Sanchez recipe and it is really good! My favorite Christmas movie? It’s tough. I love Home Alone 2, but Little Women and It’s a Wonderful Life always give me such good happy cries. I also adore the Disney A Christmas Carol that came out a couple years ago.

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    Reply stephanie le December 12, 2017 at 4:25 am

    def love actually!!! it’s a christmas tradition 🙂

    this cake looks BOMB. i’m obsessed with leches cakes and this one only has one so i’m IN!

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    Reply ~Tha~Golden~Lady~ December 12, 2017 at 6:02 am

    Really have to try out Horchata ! And fave moviee is definitely ‘The nightmare before Christmas’ as I was 7 when it came out and still every year on TV at the same moment 🙂 x

    • Adrianna Adarme
      Reply Adrianna Adarme December 12, 2017 at 9:10 am

      I LOVE The Nightmare Before Christmas. I remember being a kid and going to the movie theater to watch it!

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    Reply Kathleen December 12, 2017 at 7:23 am

    OMG THIS CAKE. It’s the perfect melding of holiday comfort food/flavors and lightness, which I need this time of year! (Also great for anywhere where it’s still warm in December.)

    And the go-to Christmas movies in my apartment are It’s A Wonderful Life, Elf (of course), and White Christmas. It’s the showy, heartfelt, Christmas musical I always need. I highly recommend for Christmas magic if you like old-timey musicals!

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    Reply Ronni December 12, 2017 at 7:28 am

    You definitely should add ‘While You Were Sleeping’ to your movie list.

    • Adrianna Adarme
      Reply Adrianna Adarme December 12, 2017 at 9:11 am

      Oh yeah, While You Were Sleeping. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that. I need to! Thanks for the rec. xo

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    Reply Claire Burnard December 12, 2017 at 7:50 am

    Def all on your list but you must add – a Christmas Carol, The Holiday, Christmas with the Kranks and Christmas Vacation!

    • Adrianna Adarme
      Reply Adrianna Adarme December 12, 2017 at 9:12 am

      The Holiday–I forgot about that one. And A Christmas Carol is amazing. Love it.

  • Avatar
    Reply Billy Green December 12, 2017 at 7:52 am


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    Reply Amanda December 12, 2017 at 9:59 am

    Really want to try as an end of the semester treat for everyone at school! Loved the millennial pink, the strawberry cake was on point. Still have to master the Swiss meringue buttercream

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    Reply Karen Hilliard December 12, 2017 at 10:14 am

    I just watched an old movie called “Beyond Christmas”, it’s been colorized, but anyway I thought I’d try watching it. It was so delightful, a real nice older movie. Worth a watch, especially if you’ve ever been in love.

  • Avatar
    Reply Karen Hilliard December 12, 2017 at 10:15 am

    I just watched an old movie called “Beyond Christmas”, it’s been colorized, but anyway I thought I’d try watching it. It was so delightful, a real nice older movie. Worth a watch, especially if you’ve ever been in love.
    BTW, how’s the new kitchen? I bet it’s making everything taste better too…

    • Avatar
      Reply Karen Hilliard December 12, 2017 at 10:16 am

      Sorry folks, I was trying to stop the first message from going out. Failed!

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    Reply Leila December 12, 2017 at 11:23 am

    All the movies you mentioned are on my list too! I watched The Christmas Story for the first time this year and was not really a fan – specifically because of the leg lamp obsession…creepy. My two other favorites are Scrooged (even though it’s a bit dark) and A Very Murray Christmas on Netflix. It’s not traditional, but it’s become one of my absolute favorites! When it came out two years ago, my then boyfriend (now fiance) was living in San Pedro for a few months and we watched it together when I visited him (we live on the east coast). Maya Rudolph is a cast member and we were able to go see her Prince cover band Princess during the same trip, which was the best! I associate A Very Murray Christmas with a lot of good memories, but I think I’d love it either way – it’s quirky and the music/cast is amazing. I hope you have a relaxing couple of weeks 🙂

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    Reply TerriSue December 12, 2017 at 11:58 am

    My all time favorite is Meet John Doe. I always cry and cry at the end. Even my husband finds it a bit emotional. It is a Capra like It’s a Wonderful Life, but I think it is much better. It was made before the war as Wonderful Life was made after the war. Find it, it’s worth it. My other favorite that doesn’t show up on holiday movie lists enough is The Bishop’s Wife. Cary Grant plays an unusual part in it. I won’t spoil it, you just have to watch it.
    Thank you for another great sounding recipe.

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    Reply Lindsey December 12, 2017 at 1:10 pm

    You just reminded of my love for Little Women (and younger Christian Bale)! Holiday faves include: Die Hard and The Holiday 😉 Love how squishy and fluffy this cake looks

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    Reply Andrea December 14, 2017 at 11:38 pm

    Your favorite movies are also mine!! You might want to try The Shop Around the Corner, released in 1940. Black and white, and so good!

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    Reply Samantha December 25, 2017 at 7:19 am

    Annie Macdowell prefers Andie Macdowell; she wasn’t in Little Women, maybe you meant Trini Alvarado?

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    Reply Cmsources January 4, 2018 at 7:22 pm

    Love how squishy and fluffy this cake looks

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    Reply V8web March 29, 2018 at 7:40 am

    Love how squishy and fluffy this cake looks

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    Reply Raquel February 10, 2019 at 7:13 pm

    What a nice idea. La voy a hacer im going to try it!