Friday, September 9, 2011

Tres Leches Cake

This is my favorite cake of all time and one of my favorite recipes. I prefer it to any chocolate cake, any cheesecake, any bundt cake. I think cake makes any meal better and this one is by far the best of all.  Thanks to my friend Sue for this recipe. I spent years searching for the perfect Tres Leches recipe and I have made my way through some pretty average ones – either too sweet or too wet.  Now this is the only recipe I will ever use.  

I made this a few weeks ago for a Mexican Dinner Fiesta I donated to the Lutheran School where I work. The meal was included in an auction we have every spring. My menu was a simple one of jalapeno poppers and margaritas, tortilla soup, beef chipotle burritos and homemade refried beans with all the fixins’. To top off the evening, I served this beautiful cake.  Tres Leches is very light and perfect after a heavy meal. Even though it is a Latin American dessert, it would be appropriate to serve after any type of meal.

Surprisingly, this cake is not at all soggy…. it is perfectly moist. Read through the recipe thoroughly before making, because it has a few uncommon steps.  Don’t be intimidated by the process! It is very easy and totally, totally worth it.

Here’s what you need:
1 C confectioner’s sugar
5 egg yolks
5 egg whites
1/3 C milk
1 t vanilla
1 C flour
1 ½ t baking powder
1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 12 oz can evaporated milk
1 pt. heavy whipping cream (some for the cake and some for the topping)

Here’s what you do:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 9 inch springform pan.  Beat the yolks with ¾ C of confectioner’s sugar until light in color and double in volume. Stir in milk, vanilla, flour and baking powder.

In small bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Slowly add remaining ¼ C confectioner’s sugar. Beat until firm, but not dry.

Fold egg whites into egg yolk mixture.

Pour into prepared pan. Bake 45-50 minutes. Allow to cool 10 minutes. Loosen edge of cake with knife before removing rim.

Cool cake completely. Place on serving plate. Use a two prong meat fork and pierce surface of cake multiple times. Mix together the condensed milk, evaporated milk and ¼ C heavy cream. Discard 1 C of this milk mixture. Spoon the remainder of the three milk mixture slowly and patiently over the entire cake, allowing the cake to absorb all of the milk. This takes about 10 minutes, so be patient. It will all fit, just be patient!

Frost with whipped cream and fresh berries.  Serve with pride – it is a special treat! 

(printable recipe)

One Year Ago: Zucchini Crust Pizza - another favorite recipe of mine and one of my favorite summer meals.


  1. What a pretty cake and LOVE the use of the sweetened condensed milk - YUM!
    Mary x

  2. This WILL replace my previous favorite Tres Leches cake recipe--but it kills me to dump the cup of rich milk mixture. There MUST be a good use for it--ideas, anyone?

  3. Oh My! Is it wrong to want to eat dessert all the time? Especially when they look as good as this. I have never attempted a tres leches cake, but I might have to as your instructions are thorough.
    Glad you enjoyed the David Crowder clip I posted today...that song gets me everytime.


Thanks for stopping by my Living Cookbook! I appreciate each and every comment!