Tres leches cake. This easy to make tender cake is drenched in a three milk mixture, topped with fluffy whipped cream, and can be topped with a sprinkle of cinnamon or fresh fruit for a truly authentic Mexican dessert.
This authentic Tres Leches Cake recipe is simple to recreate. A quick whipping of the egg whites ensures that we get a light airy cake, perfect for soaking up the three milk mixture that will be poured over top. The perfect ending to any meal, especially some Mexican favorites such as: Blackened Shrimp Fajitas or Skinny Chicken Enchiladas. Or if you’re looking for some additional Mexican inspired desserts there’s these Apple Churro Cheesecake Bars.
Tres Leches Cake
Hey y’all! It’s Serene from House of Yumm back with you today, and I’m so excited to share with you one of my all time FAVORITE dessert recipes. This Tres Leches Cake is such an easy, yet impressive dessert to make. It is the perfect ending to any meal. The cake is light and airy, then drenched in a truly decadent mixture of three milks. After we let the cake soak overnight, we will top with sweet and fluffy whipped cream. The perfect crown for this regal dessert. Whenever my husband and I go out for Tex Mex, or a Mexican meal, I never feel complete without ordering a slice of tres leches cake to take home with me. And y’all, this cake is even better when made at home from scratch, so I’m definitely excited to share this recipe with you today!
How to make Tres Leches Cake
- Prepare the cake batter. This is a simple cake batter that uses one small trick to ensure a light and airy cake. Separate the egg whites from the yolks and take the extra time to whip the egg whites with a little bit of sugar. Fold the egg whites into the batter to create a fluffy cake batter. This helps the cake soak in the milk mixture.
- Drench the cake in a 3 milk mixture. Combine the sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, and regular milk in a measuring cup. Poke holes in the cake with a fork. Then pour the milk mixture over the top of the cake.
- Cover and chill. This is the point where we need to let the cake soak in all that delicious milk. The cake needs to chill in the fridge and soak for at least 4 hours, I prefer overnight. This ensures the cake soaks up as much of the milk as possible.
- Top with whipped cream. After the cake has soaked and you are ready to serve, whip up some heavy cream and spread it over the top of the cake. This tres leches cake doesn’t use frosting, but a light and fluffy whipped cream topping instead. At this point you can give a sprinkle of cinnamon, or top with some fresh fruit if desired right before serving.
What milks are used in Tres Leches Cake?
The milks used in this tres leches cake recipe are sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, and regular milk (can be whole milk or 2%). Some recipes will substitute heavy cream or half and half in place of the milk. I don’t find it necessary in this recipe, since it’s decadent enough without it.
How do you store Tres Leches cake?
Due to the milks in the cake, this tres leches cake does need to be stored in the refrigerator. Cover the cake, to help keep in the moisture, and store in the fridge.
How long does Tres Leches cake keep for?
This cake can be stored in the fridge and saved for up to 4 days. It is best when eaten within the first 48 hours. After the 4 day, the cake does become slightly soggy.
Can I freeze Tres Leches cake?
Yes!! You can freeze Tres Leches cake. BUT you can only freeze the actual cake. Before you drench it with the milk mixture. So after the cake has been baked, you can freeze it like you would any cake. Then when you are ready to use, bring to room temperature, drench with the milks, let it soak overnight, then top with the whipped cream.
More Cake Recipes You May Enjoy:
Tres Leches Cake
- 1 and ¼ cup all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 5 large eggs divided
- 1 cup white sugar divided
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2/3 cup whole milk
- 1-14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
- 1-12 ounce can evaporated milk
- 1 pint 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a medium size bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Stir together with a fork.
- In a large bowl combine the egg yolks(separates the egg whites into another medium size bowl), with ¾ cup of white sugar. Stir together until fluffy. Add in the vanilla extract. Stir to combine.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, stir to combine. Add in the milk. Stir to mix.
- Whisk the egg whites with a hand or stand mixer, once the egg whites start getting foamy and white in color add in the last ¼ cup of sugar. Continue whisking or mixing on high speed until smooth, white, and stiff peaks form.
- Fold the egg whites into the cake batter.
- Grease a 9×13 cake pan. Pour the cake batter into the cake pan. Bake for about 30 minutes or until the top of the cake is golden and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
- In a large measuring cup combine the milks needed for the milk mixture. Whisk together.
- When the cake is cooled to room temperature. Poke all over the top with a fork. Then pour the milk mixture over the entire cake.
- Cover the cake and chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours to overnight.
- After the cake has chilled and soaked in the milks, prepare the whipped cream.
- Add the heavy cream to a large mixing bowl. Mix on medium speed until cream starts to thicken, then add in the powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Continue mixing on medium to high speed until soft peaks form.
- Spoon the whipped cream onto the cake, spread with a spatula or butter knife.
- Serve the cake with a sprinkle of cinnamon or fresh fruit if desired.
- Store the cake in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days, best if eaten within 48 hours.
All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.
Came out perfect! Will be making it again.
Loved this recipe! However my cake came out of the oven beautifully, while it was cooling, it fell and also shrunk like another persons comment! I was careful to not over stir the batter and whites- my baking powder was brand new- not sure what happened. BUT, the cake was not sticky on the bottom- it was a great consistency- tasted wonderful and even my boyfriend who doesn’t try many new things loved it! Taking to work tomorrow! Hope it is a hit!
Made this during the first lockdown for a Mexican family night. Making it again tonight because the kids have been asking what special occasion they need to wait for to have it again!
Not sure why my cake shriveled up and sank while it was cooling.
Being the first time making this I followed the recipe to a T, double checking everything. The cake itself tasted very good but was tough and not fluffy. That’s usually caused by too much of a leveling agent like baking powder….I used 2 tsp exactly.
Went with another recipe from a family member and it was delicious.
Maybe I’d try this again but add less baking powder.
Cakes often don’t rise as high if they have been over-folded. The air bubbles you created in whisking the eggs get popped. Also, if you under fold the batter and whites you can get a wet sticky layer on the bottom of the pan when you bake it.
I am looking forward to making this cake! Only one restaurant in the city next to us, serves this cake so I am excited to have have found a straight forward, easy to follow recipe! Thanks so much for publishing!
A crowd-pleaser. My chief and boyfriend loved it. They ate it amongst them only.🌺🌺
My family RAVED about this cake!! It was decadent, moist, and milky deliciousness! I used two pints of whipping cream and topped with strawberries. My Mother already said she wants it for her birthday instead of a bakery cake ❤️❤️❤️
What can be used instead of eggs
You can use butter or oil to help substitute for this recipe.
How can i make this recipe into cupcakes? Will the baking time be the same or less time?
The baking time will be about 15 to 18 minutes for cupcakes. Let me know how you like them in a cupcake form!
For the Topping is this (1 pint 2 cups heavy whipping cream) actually 1 pint + 2 cups, or just 1 pint?
It is 1 pint or 2 cups heavy whipping cream. Hope that helps clarify! You will love this cake! Enjoy! XOXO