This Pumpkin Tres Leches Cake is the best way to celebrate fall and also enjoy the creamy flavor of tres leches. It’s lightly spiced and perfect to make ahead for fall parties.
I know it’s pie season and all but sometimes we want something else besides pie. We want cake! I posted this tres leches cake a while back on the Instagram but figured I’d put the here in a more permanent, printable place.
I never understand how people cook off of an Instagram post but people love Insta recipes, I like it to be on my computer so I can reference it in a larger, more visible way. Maybe I’m just getting old and am having trouble seeing my phone. Haha. I did change the text to be slightly bigger and I don’t care—everything is so much more clear now!
This pumpkin tres leches is DELICIOUS. It is pumpkin-y and yet still light. Not the easiest thing to do. It definitely took us a few tries to get right. And when I say “a few,” I mean like five tries.
But we finally nailed it and I was so excited when we did. Also when I say “we” I mean Billy and myself.
Anyway, this cake is inspired by the classic Tres Leches that I’m going to post next month and I’m super excited about that too.
What is Tres Leches?
It’s literal translation is 3 milks, and that’s what’s in the cake! Tres leches cake is a latin american dessert usually consisting of a sponge cake that’s soaked in 3 milks and topped with whipped cream.
How to make Pumpkin Tres Leches Cake:
- Whip up the egg whites. We’re making a sponge cake so the first step is to whip some egg whites with sugar until we get a stiff peak consistency.
- Beat the egg yolks. Just add them to the mixing bowl with the remaining sugar and beat until pale and fluffy.
- Add the pumpkin. Mix it in with the vanilla just until combined.
- Sift in the dry ingredients. This is to make sure we don’t have any lumps or dry pockets in the cake. Mix this in just until it’s combined.
- Fold the egg whites in. Now we take and fold in those egg whites from step 1, making sure we don’t over mix. Don’t panic if there’s a little bit of egg whites that didn’t mix in 100%.
- Bake! Add the batter to a prepared 9×13″ pan and bake just until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Let it cool then soak. Let the cake cool completely then poke holes all over and pour the 3 milks over the top.
- Refrigerate! At least 4 hours, but preferably overnight.
- Top with whipped cream and cinnamon. Right when you’re ready to serve, spread whipped cream over the top and sprinkle with cinnamon.
- 4 large eggs, separated
- 1 cup white granulated sugar, divided
- 2/3 cup pure pumpkin puree
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoon pumpkin spice
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
The three milks:
- 3/4 cup whole milk
- 1 14-ounce can of sweetened condensed milk
- 1 cup light coconut milk
- Whipped Cream, for topping
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice, for topping
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13 cake pan and set aside.
- Add the egg whites and 1/2 cup sugar to the bowl of a stand-up mixer (with the whisk attachment) and beat on high until stiff peaks about 3 to 4 minutes. Scoop it out and put it into another bowl.
- Place the bowl back on the stand-up mixer (no need to clean it out) and add the remaining 1/2 cup sugar and egg yolks. Beat until pale yellow and double in volume. Next, mix in the pumpkin puree and vanilla.
- Place a sieve atop the bowl on the stand-up mixer and sift in the flour, baking powder, pumpkin spice and salt. Mix until just combined.
- Fold in the egg whites until you no longer see any speckles of remaining egg white.
- Pour the batter into the prepared 9x13 cake pan and transfer to the oven to bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until a skewer when inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool completely in the pan before proceeding with the rest of the recipe.
- In a large measuring cup, add the coconut milk, whole milk and condensed milk. Whisk until combined. Using a skewer or fork, create little holes on the top of the cake. Pour the milk mixture over the cake (it may seem like a lot but it will absorb!). Transfer to the fridge to 2 to 3 hours, ideally overnight.
- Just before serving, top the cake with fluffy whipped cream and dust with cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice. Slice and serve.
Did you make this recipe? Let me know on Instagram!
Looking for more pumpkin recipes? here are some of my favorites: