Strawberry Tres Leches is an ideal summertime dessert. Strawberry milk is blended with three milks and then poured over a light and airy sponge cake until it’s all absorbed. The result is a sweet and delicious cake that’s full of flavor.
This recipes comes from my love of those childhood cartons of pink milk at the cafeteria. Honestly, my mom always made my lunch so I wasn’t really allowed to eat at the cafeteria. I had Capri-Suns anyway so I rarely was able to drink strawberry milk. VERY SAD!
But this is a love letter to strawberry milk because it’s so good. And when we made it for this, we still thought it was fantastic and dreamy.
How to Make a Strawberry Tres Leches Cake
- In a blender, add the strawberries and sugar. You want to let these macerate with each other until the juices from the strawberries are released, about 15 minutes. Add in the evaporated milk and regular milk. Blend until everything is totally pureed.
- Transfer to a container and pour in the heavy cream. I like to add the heavy cream at this time so it doesn’t whip in the blender and become too thick.
- Place in the fridge to steep for about 1 hour. Meanwhile, make the cake. Beat the egg whites with a whisk attachment until stiff peaks form. Transfer them to another bowl.
- Then combine the egg yolks with sugar and beat until ribbons form. You want a pale yellow mixture. Then add in flour. And lastly, fold in the egg whites.
- Pour the batter into the cake pan and bake for about 15 to 17 minutes. When the cake comes out of the oven, allow it to cool and then poke it with a fork.
- This is going to allow the strawberry milk to soak throughout the cake. Strain the strawberry milk and discard the puree.
- Pour the strawberry milk on top and transfer to the fridge so the cake can soak up the milk.
- When it’s been all soaked up and absorbed, top with fluffy whipped cream, freshly sliced strawberries and cut and serve.
Tips and Tricks
- The three milks – The strawberry milk is key to this cake. In a former iteration of this cake, I used sweetened condensed milk, but found that the entire mixture got too thick. So it’s been updated to use whole milk, evaporated milk and heavy cream.
- The heavy cream – Do not add the heavy cream to the blender with the other milks. This will thicken the cream (whip air into it) and that’s not what we want!
- Steeping the milks – I do find it necessary to let the milk steep for 1 full hour. It really helps with the strawberry flavor coming through.
If you make this Strawberry Tres Leches, let me know on Instagram!
Looking for more recipes? Here are some favorites:
Strawberry Tres Leches
- 1/2 pound strawberries stems removed
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 (15-ounce can) evaporated milk
- 1 1/4 cups whole milk
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
Tres Leches Sponge Cake:
- 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 6 large eggs separated
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/3 cup milk
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon powdered sugar sifted
- Pinch of salt
- 1/2 pound strawberries stems removed and sliced
To make the strawberry milk:
- To a blender, add the chopped up strawberries and sugar. Allow them to macerate (sit together) until the strawberries have softened, about 15 to 30 minutes. Pour in the evaporated milk and regular milk. Blend until pureed. Transfer the strawberry milk to the container and mix in the heavy cream. Transfer to the fridge to allow the strawberry puree to infuse the milk, about 1 hour.
- I made this at the beginning of the recipe and then made the sponge cake and it was perfect timing. Run the strawberry milk through a strainer into a measuring cup or a bowl with a spout.
To Make the Tres Leches Sponge Cake:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9×13-inch pan and set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- In a stand-up mixer with paddle attachment, beat egg yolks and sugar until pale yellow and double in volume. 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 about 3 to 4 minutes.
- 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.
To Assemble + Topping:
- Using a skewer or fork, create little holes on the top of the cake. Pour the strawberry 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, make the whipped cream! To a bowl, using an electric mixer, mix the heavy cream and sifted powdered sugar. Top the cake with the fluffy whipped cream and garnish with slices of strawberry. Slice and serve.