Tres Leches Cake

Fluffy white cake with whipped cream. This rich homemade Tres Leches Cake has a three milk combination of condensed milk, evaporated milk and heavy cream.

Why is it called Tres Leches Cake?

Tres leches cake is a delicious recipe that has a white sponge cake (or butter cake) as a base. Then it has 3 milks (tres = three, leches = milk) poured over top: sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, and heavy cream.

Tres Leches Cake on a plate with cherries

What country is Tres Leches Cake from?

Tres Leches is a cake that originated in Latin America. It’s a popular celebration cake. It seems that many of the Latin America countries have their own versions so recipes may vary slightly. I may need to taste test to see the difference between each country’s version. 🙂

It’s crazy popular in America also. I mean….three milks? Why not?!

How do you make Tres Leches Cake?

There are three parts to our homemade tres leches: the vanilla sponge cake, the three milk pour over and the whipped cream.

Make the Cake.

  • Preheat oven to 350º F. Butter and flour bottom of a 9-inch springform pan. It’s important to use a springform pan so that the cake comes out of the pan cleanly.
  • Beat the egg yolks only with ¾ cup sugar until light in color and doubled in volume.
  • Stir in milk and vanilla.
  • Mix in the flour and baking powder.
  • In a separate bowl, beat egg whites and the remaining ¼ cup sugar until stiff peaks form.
  • Gently fold ⅓ of the egg whites into the yolk mixture.
  • Fold in remaining egg whites. Be careful not to mix too much. The fluffy egg whites are what gives this cake its soft texture.
  • Pour batter into prepared pan.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 40-45 minutes or until cake tester inserted into the middle comes out clean. Allow to cool 10 minutes.
  • Poke a few holes in the cake (you don’t need many and we often skip this step).

Tres Leches Filling.

  • In a small bowl, mix together the condensed milk, evaporated milk and ¼ cup heavy cream. Pro Tip:**Measure out 1 cup of this milk mixture for another use (it is great for French toast!). If you use all of the milk your cake may end of soggy.**
  • Pour the remaining milk mixture over the warm cake while it is still in the pan.
  • Cool cake completely on a wire rack, then refrigerate until cold.

Homemade Whipped Cream.

When you make homemade whipped cream, it works best if all of your ingredients are VERY COLD. Cold cream, cold mixing bowl, cold everything.

In the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whip the heavy cream, powdered sugar and vanilla extract until it thickens and holds peaks. This will take several minutes of mixing.

slice of Tres Leches Cake on a cake

Assemble The Cake.

Once the cake is completely cooled, unsnap the ring on the springform pan and carefully remove it.

Frost the top and sides of the cake with the whipped cream, then sprinkle with a dusting of cinnamon and cherries if you’d like. Or you can just leave it plain!

Do you have to refrigerate Tres Leches Cake?

Yes. Because this recipe is milk based, you’ll want to make sure you refrigerate it and serve it cold.

How long can Tres Leches Cake stay in the fridge?

Although the cake is best served within 48 hours of making it, it will keep in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Can I freeze a Tres Leches cake?

If you’d like to freeze this cake, it is best to freeze it before you frost it with whipped cream. It will freeze up to 3 months this way. Then after the cake has defrosted but is still cold, make the whipped cream and frost.

whole uncut Tres Leches Cake with cherries

Does Tres Leches Cake have alcohol?

Not all tres leches cakes have alcohol in them, but in some cases they do. You could use a rum extract if you’d like to give it a unique flavor without adding actual alcohol.

If you love tres leches cake, try this 2 layer coconut tres leches. It’s amazing!

slice of Tres Leches Cake
slice of Tres Leches Cake

Tres Leches Cake

4 from 10 votes
Fluffy white cake with whipped cream. This rich homemade Tres Leches Cake has a three milk combination of condensed milk, evaporated milk and heavy cream.
Servings 10
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes

Ingredients
 

  • 1 cup white sugar (divided)
  • 5 large eggs (separated)
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

For the milk filling:

  • 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk (1 can)
  • 12 ounces evaporated milk (1 can)
  • ¼ cup heavy whipping cream

For the topping:

  • 1 ¾ cups cold heavy cream
  • cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 10 maraschino cherries

Instructions
 

For the cake:

  • Preheat oven to 350º F. Butter and flour bottom of a 9-inch springform pan.
  • Beat the egg yolks only with ¾ cup sugar until light in color and doubled in volume.
  • Stir in milk and vanilla.
  • Mix in the flour and baking powder.
  • In a separate bowl, beat egg whites and the remaining ¼ cup sugar until stiff peaks form.
  • Gently fold ⅓ of the egg whites into the yolk mixture.
  • Fold in remaining egg whites. Be careful not to mix too much. The fluffy egg whites are what gives this cake its soft texture.
  • Pour batter into prepared pan.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 40-45 minutes or until cake tester inserted into the middle comes out clean. Allow to cool 10 minutes.
  • Poke a few holes in the cake (you don’t need many and we often skip this step).

Make the milk filling:

  • In a small bowl, mix together the condensed milk, evaporated milk and ¼ cup heavy cream. **Measure out 1 cup of this milk mixture for another use (it is great for French toast!). If you use all of the milk your cake may end of soggy.**
  • Pour the remaining milk mixture over the warm cake while it is still in the pan.
  • Cool cake completely on a wire rack, then refrigerate until cold.

To make the whipped cream:

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer (this works best if your bowl is cold) with the whisk attachment, whip the heavy cream, powdered sugar and vanilla extract until it thickens and holds peaks.
  • Loosen edge of cake with knife before removing side of pan.
  • Frost cake with the whipped cream.
  • Garnish with cherries, a dusting of cinnamon or anything else you wish!
  • Store the cake covered in the refrigerator.

Nutrition

Calories: 532kcal | Carbohydrates: 62g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 194mg | Sodium: 149mg | Potassium: 409mg | Sugar: 51g | Vitamin A: 1055IU | Vitamin C: 1.9mg | Calcium: 288mg | Iron: 1.3mg
Course Dessert
Cuisine Mexican
Calories 532
Keyword mexican cake, milk cake, vanilla cake, white cake
A piece of cake on a plate, with Milk and Tres leches cake

About Maddie Clark

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