recipe

Tres Leches Cake: the wonderful recipe for an easy, beloved Mexican dessert

Total time: 2H15
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 10 people
By Cookist
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If you're in the mood for a light, easy-to-make dessert, try this simple tres leches cake recipe. This popular Mexican dessert is made with a light sponge cake base that's poked and soaked in a mixture of sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, and regular whole milk and topped with whipped cream and cinnamon.

It's great for parties, celebrations, and other special occasions. Tres leches cake is ultra-soft and moist, with the perfect amount of sweetness. Enjoy your homemade tres leches cake with a cup of coffee or tea – it's a perfect way to treat yourself!

What is Tres Leches Cake?

Tres leches cake is a delicious sweet Mexican dessert that's popular throughout the USA and Latin America. The name means “three milks” which refers to the fact tres leches cake is made with evaporated milk, condensed milk, and whole milk which is poured over a light sponge cake base.

It's topped with whipped cream and served with a garnish of cinnamon. In Spanish, this tasty dessert is known as pan tres leches.

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Tres Leches Ingredients

You'll need evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, and whole milk to make tres leches cake (they're the eponymous three milks that star in this dessert).

For the sponge cake layer, you'll need flour, eggs, baking powder, sugar, and milk.

Vanilla adds a delicious extra sweetness to the cake.

To make the whipped cream topping, you'll need whipping cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla.

Finally, use some ground cinnamon as a garnish to tie the flavors in the cake together.

How to Make Tres Leches Cake

Whether you're a baking novice or more of a pro, it's easy to make the best tres leches cake at home. Start by sifting the flour, baking soda, and salt into a bowl. Stir to combine. Beat ¾ cup sugar with egg yolks until they're combined. The mixture should be pale yellow. Beat in vanilla and 1/3 cup of milk.

Gently stir the egg mixture into the flour mixture. Grab a separate bowl, and beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Fold the egg whites into the batter. This will give your tres leches cake a lighter-than-air texture. Put the batter into a greased baking dish and bake it for 25 to 35 minutes. Let the cake cool completely.

Next, mix the evaporated milk, condensed milk, and milk in a bowl. Poke holes into the cooled cake and pour the milk mixture over the top. Refrigerate the cake for at least one hour or up to overnight. Beat the whipping cream, sugar, and vanilla into stiff peaks. Place it over the top of the cake. Garnish with cinnamon, and serve.

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Tips for Making the Best Tres Leches Cake

Don't overmix the batter. Your cake will become dense rather than light, fluffy, and moist.

To simplify your baking, use cake mix.

For a richer, more decadent cake, try adding chocolate to your tres leches.

You can make tres leches cake up to two days in advance.

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How to Store Tres Leches Cake

Cover your tres leches cake and store it in the fridge for 3 to 5 days.

Can You Freeze Tres Leches Cake?

Of course! Wrap the cake well and freeze it for up to 3 months. For the best results, freeze your tres leches without the topping.

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Ingredients
for the cake
All-purpose flour
1 cup
Baking powder
1 1/2 tsp
Salt
1/4 tsp
large eggs, separated
5
granulated sugar, divided
1 cup
Whole Milk
1/3 cup
Vanilla Extract
1 tsp
for the milk mixture
Evaporated milk
1 12-ounce can
Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 14-ounce can
Whole Milk
1/4 cup
topping
heavy whipping cream
1 pint
Powdered sugar
3 tbsp
Vanilla Extract
1/2 tsp
Ground cinnamon

Instructions

Preheat your oven to 375F. Spray a baking dish with cooking spray, and set it aside.

Whisk flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl.

Place the egg yolks in a bowl.

Beat ¾ cup sugar with egg yolks until combined.

Pour in 1/3 cup of milk.

Stir in vanilla.

Gently pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture.

Stir until combined.

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

Gently fold the egg whites into the batter.

Transfer the batter to the baking dish.

Smooth it with a spatula, so the batter is even.

Bake for 25 to 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and let the cake cool completely.

Whisk the evaporated milk, condensed milk, and milk in a bowl.

Poke holes into the cooled cake.

Pour the milk mixture over the top.

Place in the fridge for at least one hour up to overnight.

Beat the whipping cream, sugar, and vanilla into stiff peaks.

Spoon it over the top of the cake.

Spread the whipping cream mixture evenly.

Garnish with cinnamon and fresh fruit, then slice and serve.

Notes

Use a 9×13 inch baking dish to make your tres leches cake.

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