Pumpkin Tres Leches

Cakes, Fall, Thanksgiving

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.

There’s also a small chance I might make a horchata tres leches cake. OKAY. Also, I’m sorry there’s only one photo; I took more photos but I can’t seem to find them on my gigantic terabyte drive because I’m terrible at labeling and being digitally organized.

Happy-almost Thanksgiving!


Pumpkin Tres Leches

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Total Time: 38 minutes
Serving Size: 1 (9x13-inch) cake


Wet Mix:

  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • 1 cup white granulated sugar, divided
  • 2/3 cup pure pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Dry Mix:

  • 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.
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  • Avatar
    Reply Margot November 19, 2017 at 9:54 am

    I’m so excited! I don’t really love pie (I’d rather have frosting than crust) and am actually making a chocolate cake with pumpkin buttercream for Thanksgiving, but I’m going to try this one too.

  • Avatar
    Reply Natali November 19, 2017 at 4:25 pm

    Great recipe! Can’t wait to try it this week!

    Should we use light coconut milk from a can for this recipe? Can we also use evaporated milk instead of light coconut milk?

    Thank you!!!

    • Adrianna Adarme
      Reply Adrianna Adarme November 20, 2017 at 8:13 am

      Ahh yes definitely light coconut milk. And if you don’t like the coconut flavor (or don’t have it), definitely use evaporated milk. It can easily sub in for it! xo

  • Avatar
    Reply Ricki Jill Treleaven November 20, 2017 at 3:28 pm

    This looks great! Mayhap I shall make this in addition to my buttermilk pies and pecan pies. Great idea!

  • Avatar
    Reply Charlotte November 20, 2017 at 4:48 pm

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who loses things in the vast world of computer storage! I hope you find the other photos because this pumpkin tres leches sounds soo yummy!

  • Avatar
    Reply Sarah November 21, 2017 at 6:03 am

    Is it OK to leave it in the fridge longer than overnight? Like make it midday Wednesday to eat Thursday night?

    • Adrianna Adarme
      Reply Adrianna Adarme November 21, 2017 at 8:25 am

      Oh yes that’ll totally be fine! I would put the whipped cream on right before serving tho!

      • Avatar
        Reply Sarah November 21, 2017 at 7:19 pm

        Perfect, thanks so much!

  • Avatar
    Reply Lil November 22, 2017 at 6:31 pm

    I have now made it twice today and the cake comes out to a thin pancake and once cooled it shrinks completely from the cake pan. I am using a 9×13 cake pan. Am I missing something?

    • Adrianna Adarme
      Reply Adrianna Adarme November 22, 2017 at 10:07 pm

      shrinkage is totally normal and fine. but the pancake thin is confusing. this cake recipe isn’t SUPER high so maybe it’s ok. did you taste it? it’s supposed to be on the drier side, sponge-y (and then of course when you add the milks, it’ll be super flavorful and moist).

    • Avatar
      Reply Jeff November 13, 2018 at 6:29 pm

      This happened to me too when I made it last week. I made another one, and left it in for another 5 minutes after the skewer came out dry from the cake, just to make sure it was extra good to go, and it was a lot better this second time. Don’t get me wrong, the first time it tasted AMAZING, like a bread pudding, or a thicker pie filling, so everyone loved it, but it was really condensed and thick/mushy (again, didn’t stop it from tasting incredible and disappearing right away).

  • Reply Friday Link Love: The Black Friday Edition - The Heart's Delight November 24, 2017 at 8:56 am

    […]  Are you over pumpkin flavored everything yet?! I’m not. ESPECIALLY when there’s a PUMPKIN TRES LECHES CAKE to be made (and […]

  • Avatar
    Reply Kelsey November 27, 2017 at 1:00 am

    Oh wow this cake sounds amazing! I’m going to have to try it out!

  • Avatar
    Reply Balkan December 1, 2017 at 5:21 am

    Great recipe! Thank you!!!

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