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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.

Slice of Tres leches cake.

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. 

View of finished Tres leches cake from above.

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.

Tres leches cake with a slice already cut out.

More Cake Recipes You May Enjoy:

Slice of Tres leches cake.

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Tres Leches Cake

4.50 from 6 votes
By: Serene Herrera
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.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 12


Cake Batter

Milk Mixture

  • 2/3 cup whole milk
  • 1-14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1-12 ounce can evaporated milk



  • 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 3/4 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 1/4 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.



Cook time does not include 4 hour chill time.


Calories: 263kcalCarbohydrates: 23gProtein: 5gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 10gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0.01gCholesterol: 117mgSodium: 101mgPotassium: 184mgFiber: 0.02gSugar: 23gVitamin A: 729IUVitamin C: 0.3mgCalcium: 108mgIron: 0.4mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Mexican
Tried this recipe?Mention @alyssa_therecipecritic or tag #therecipecritic!

About Serene Herrera

Home cook, photographer, mother and lover of food. I love taking simple ingredients and creating delicious meals or sweet treats that the entire family will love, all with a hint of Texas charm.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Excellent!!! My whole family LOVED IT!!! Made for special occasions. Truly, this tres leches cake is DELICIOUS!

  2. 4 stars
    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!

  3. 5 stars
    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!

  4. 3 stars
    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.

    1. 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.

  5. 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!

  6. 5 stars
    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 ❤️❤️❤️

    1. The baking time will be about 15 to 18 minutes for cupcakes. Let me know how you like them in a cupcake form!

    1. It is 1 pint or 2 cups heavy whipping cream. Hope that helps clarify! You will love this cake! Enjoy! XOXO