Tres Leches Cake
A classic Mexican dessert made with a vanilla sponge cake soaked with three kinds of milk — heavy cream, evaporated milk and sweetened condensed milk and topped with whipped cream.
Tomorrow is Cinco de Mayo, which is a big deal in our home. Since we are diehard Mexican food fans, it is our excuse to eat a huge Mexican feast. Our two favorite Mexican desserts are definitely Tres Leches Cake and Caramel Flan. It is about time to share our favorite tres leches cake recipe!
What is Tres Leches Cake?
It is made with a homemade vanilla sponge cake soaked with heavy cream, evaporated milk, and sweetened condensed milk. It is topped with sweetened whipped cream and fresh strawberries. It is a popular dessert in Mexico.
Tres Leches Cake starts with making a homemade sponge cake. It is a simple cake that doesn’t even call for traditional butter or oil. An important step is to whip the eggs and sugar for 8-10 minutes, until light and fluffy. This incorporates air into the batter which helps the cake to rise. It also helps to dissolve the sugars.
The cake is baked until slightly golden and then using a fork, press holes all over the cake. It is imperative to poke every part of the cake as the milk will seep into the holes and create a super moist cake. Once it is covered in holes, the three kinds of milk are poured over the cake. The cake will need to chill to allow the tres leches to fully saturate the cake.
When ready to serve, fresh whipped cream is spread all over the cake. You can top it with fresh sliced strawberries or dulce de leche.
Tips and Tricks for making Tres Leches Cake:
- Whip the eggs and sugar in a mixer for 8-10 minutes. This is what gives the cake extra loft and helps to create a smooth texture. It is easiest in a stand mixer but you can use a hand mixer as well.
- Fold in the dry ingredients and alternate with the whole milk. It is important to use milk with fat in it so skim milk wouldn’t work in this cake. If I don’t have whole milk on hand, I will do a mix of 1% milk and heavy cream.
- Bake just until slightly golden. Don’t overbake as tres leches cake is known to be a moist cake.
- Poke holes all over the cake. You want to cover every square inch of the baked cake. Mix the three types of milk in a bowl and slowly pour all over the cake, 1/2 cup at a time, waiting for the leches to saturate the cake, before adding more.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least four hours but preferably overnight. When ready to serve, beat whipping cream until soft peaks form and stir in powdered sugar. Spread all over the cake. Top with fresh sliced strawberries or dulce de leche caramel.
Tres Leches Cake. A classic Mexican dessert made with a vanilla sponge cake soaked with three kinds of milk -- heavy cream, evaporated milk and sweetened condensed milk and topped with whipped cream.
- 3 large Eggs
- 1 cup Sugar
- 1 Tablespoon Vanilla
- 1 1/2 cups Cake Flour
- 2 teaspoons Baking Powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 1/2 cup Whole Milk
- (1) 14-ounce can Sweetened Condensed Milk
- (1) 12-ounce can Evaporated Milk
- 1 1/2 cups Heavy Cream
- 2 cups Heavy Cream
- 1/2 cup Powdered Sugar (or more depending on sweetness preference)
- Fresh Strawberries sliced
- Dulce de Leche Caramel
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a stand mixer, beat eggs, sugar, and vanilla for 8-10 minutes until light and fluffy.
Fold in cake flour, baking powder, and salt. Fold in whole milk and stir just until combined.
Butter 9 x 13 baking dish. Pour cake batter into the pan and spread evenly. Bake for 22-25 minutes or until a light golden color.
Using a fork, poke holes all over the cake, making sure to pierce the entire cake. In a medium-size bowl, stir together sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, and heavy cream. Pour in 1/2 cup increments all over the cake and let seep into the cake until all the milk has saturated the cake. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
When ready to serve, whip 2 cups of heavy cream until soft peaks form. Fold in powdered sugar. Spread all over the cake. Cut into pieces and serve. May top with fresh strawberries or caramel.
** Recipe adapted from Food & Wine