Tres Leches Cake

Tres Leches Cake recipe

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Tres Leches Cake is a traditional Latin American dessert that is incredibly moist and rich, thanks to the unique combination of three different kinds of milk: evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, and heavy cream. This cake is perfect for special occasions and celebrations, offering a delightful and indulgent treat that’s loved by many.


  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 cups white sugar, divided
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
  • 1½ cups heavy whipping cream
  • 12 ounces evaporated milk
  • 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk


  1. Prepare the Cake:
    • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease and flour a 9×13 inch baking dish.
    • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder. Set aside.
  2. Mix the Batter:
    • In a large bowl, beat the eggs with 1 cup of sugar until light and fluffy. Add the melted butter and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, and mix well.
    • Gradually add the flour mixture to the egg mixture, alternating with the whole milk. Begin and end with the flour mixture, mixing just until combined.
  3. Bake the Cake:
    • Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
    • Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool completely in the baking dish.
  4. Make the Tres Leches Mixture:
    • In a medium bowl, combine the evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, and ½ cup of the heavy whipping cream. Mix well.
  5. Soak the Cake:
    • Once the cake is cool, poke holes all over the top using a fork or a skewer.
    • Slowly pour the tres leches mixture over the cake, allowing it to soak in. Cover the cake with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  6. Prepare the Whipped Topping:
    • In a large bowl, beat the remaining 1 cup of heavy whipping cream with 1 cup of sugar and ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract until stiff peaks form.
  7. Top the Cake:
    • Spread the whipped cream evenly over the top of the soaked cake.
  8. Serve:
    • Cut the cake into squares and serve chilled. Optionally, you can garnish with fresh berries or a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Cook’s Tips and Variations:

  • Fruit Toppings: Fresh strawberries, blueberries, or raspberries make a wonderful garnish for this cake.
  • Cinnamon: A light dusting of cinnamon on top of the whipped cream adds a warm, spicy note.
  • Make Ahead: This cake tastes even better when made a day in advance, allowing the flavors to meld together.
  • Lighter Option: Substitute half-and-half for the heavy cream to reduce the fat content.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Q: Can I make this cake gluten-free? A: Yes, you can substitute the all-purpose flour with a gluten-free flour blend designed for baking. Ensure it contains xanthan gum for best results.

Q: How long does this cake last in the refrigerator? A: Tres Leches Cake can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days. Keep it covered to maintain its moisture and freshness.

Q: Can I freeze Tres Leches Cake? A: Freezing is not recommended, as the texture may change and become too soggy when thawed.

Q: What can I serve with Tres Leches Cake? A: This cake pairs well with a cup of coffee or a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Fresh fruit also complements the creamy texture and flavor.

Q: Is it possible to make this cake without eggs? A: You can try using an egg substitute or a flax egg (1 tablespoon ground flaxseed mixed with 3 tablespoons water per egg) for an egg-free version, but the texture and flavor may vary.

Tres Leches Cake is a delightful and decadent dessert that is sure to impress. Its unique combination of three milks creates a moist and flavorful cake that melts in your mouth. Whether you’re serving it for a special occasion or just because, this cake is bound to be a hit. Enjoy the rich, creamy, and indulgent flavors of this classic Latin American treat!

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