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5 from 8 votes

Tres Leches Cake Recipe

This Tres Leches cake recipe is a Latin American classic. A sponge cake that is soaked in a mix of three milks and then topped with whipped cream and a dusting of cinnamon.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Soaking Time4 hrs
Total Time4 hrs 40 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American, Latin America, Latino Food
Keyword: best tres leches cake recipe, how to make a tres leches cake, three milks, tres leche cake, tres leches, tres leches cake
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 209kcal
Cost: $12

Equipment

  • 1 (9x13-inch) cake pan
  • Stand-up electric mixer or electric hand mixer

Ingredients

Cake:

  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 large eggs separated
  • 1 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup whole milk

Tres Leches:

  • 1 (14-ounce) can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 (12-ounce) can of evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup whole milk

Topping:

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar sifted
  • Pinch of kosher salt

Instructions

To Make the Tres Leches Sponge Cake:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9x13-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. We’re doing this because the egg whites won’t have height if the bowl has any remnants of egg yolk and/or water. Add the egg whites and beat with the whisk attachment on high until stiff peaks about 3 to 4 minutes.
  • In two batches, fold the egg white mixture into egg yolk and flour mixture until you no longer see any bits of egg white.
  • Pour the batter into the cake pan and bake for 18 to 20 minutes. Cool the cake in the pan for about 30 minutes.

To Assemble + Topping:

  • In a large serving bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk and whole milk.
  • When the cake is cool, using a fork, poke holes in the top of the cake. I did it about 20 times, you really want to give a way for the milks to be absorbed by 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, make the whipped cream! To a bowl, using an electric mixer, mix the heavy cream, sifted powdered sugar and salt until soft peaks form. Top the cake with the fluffy whipped cream. Garnish with a bit of ground cinnamon, if you like.
  • This cake stays good for about 3 days when stored in the fridge.

Nutrition

Calories: 209kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 29mg | Sodium: 114mg | Potassium: 109mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 324IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 60mg | Iron: 1mg