Tres Leches Cake

Tres Leches Cake, also known as “Three Milk Cake,” is a popular dessert that originated in Latin America, specifically in countries like Mexico, Nicaragua, and Guatemala. It has since become well-loved and widely enjoyed in various parts of the world. The cake is renowned for its unique texture and delicious taste.

The name “Tres Leches” refers to the three types of milk used to make the cake. The base of the cake is a sponge cake or butter cake that is soaked in a mixture of three different kinds of milk:

  1. Evaporated Milk: This is cow’s milk with about 60% of the water removed. It has a rich, creamy texture and adds moisture to the cake.
  2. Sweetened Condensed Milk: This milk has had water removed and sugar added, creating a thick, sweet liquid. It contributes to the cake’s sweetness and moisture.
  3. Heavy Cream: Also known as double cream, it is a rich and high-fat cream that gives the cake a luxurious creaminess and richness.

To make the Tres Leches Cake, the sponge cake is baked, then poked with holes to allow the milk mixture to penetrate and soak into the cake thoroughly. The milk mixture is then poured over the cake, and it is left to sit for some time, allowing the cake to absorb the milky goodness. The result is a moist, tender, and flavorful cake with a creamy texture.


Preparation Time:

Approximately 20 minutes Baking Time: Approximately 25-30 minutes Chilling Time: At least 30 minutes (preferably a few hours or overnight)

Ingredients for Tres Leches Cake:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 5 large eggs, separated
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

For the milk mixture:

  • 1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 can (12 oz) evaporated milk
  • 1 cup whole milk

For the Whipped Cream Topping:

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Optional Toppings:

  • Ground cinnamon
  • Fresh berries


Tres Leches Cake Recipe

Instructions To Make the Tres Leches Cake:

Step 1:

Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease and flour a 9×13-inch baking pan.

Step 2:

In a medium bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt. Set it aside.

Step 3:

In a large mixing bowl, beat the egg yolks and granulated sugar together until they become pale and creamy.

Step 4:

Add the whole milk and vanilla extract to the egg yolk mixture. Mix until well combined.

Step 5:

Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, stirring gently until just combined. Do not overmix.

Step 6:

In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form.

Step 7:

Gently fold the beaten egg whites into the cake batter using a spatula, being careful not to deflate the mixture.

Step 8:

Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and spread it evenly.

Step 9:

Bake the cake in the preheated oven for approximately 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Step 10:

While the cake is baking, prepare the milk mixture. In a separate bowl, whisk together the sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, and whole milk.

Step 11:

Once the cake is done baking, remove it from the oven and let it cool in the pan for about 10 minutes.

Step 12:

While the cake is still warm, use a fork or skewer to poke several holes all over the surface of the cake.

Step 13:

Slowly pour the milk mixture over the cake, making sure it seeps into the holes. Allow the cake to absorb the milk mixture for at least 30 minutes or until it’s completely soaked.

Step 14:

Cover the cake and refrigerate it for a few hours or overnight to allow the flavors to meld and the cake to set.

Step 15:

Just before serving, prepare the whipped cream topping. In a mixing bowl, whip the heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract until stiff peaks form.

Step 16:

Spread the whipped cream over the chilled cake.

Step 17:

Optional: Sprinkle ground cinnamon on top or add fresh berries for a colorful and flavorful garnish.

Step 18:

Your Tres Leches Cake is now ready to be served! Enjoy this delicious and indulgent dessert with your family and friends.


Note: The total time may vary depending on your baking skills and kitchen setup, but the end result will surely be worth it!

Tres Leches Cake is often topped with whipped cream and garnished with cinnamon, cocoa powder, or fresh fruit. It’s a beloved dessert, especially during celebrations, parties, and gatherings, and its indulgent taste and texture make it a favorite among those with a sweet tooth.