How To Make A Tres Leches Cake

Peanut butter balls. Frosted sugar cookies.  Fruit cake.  Chocolate fudge.  ‘Tis the season for mixing, baking, and candy making.  Sweets fanatics rejoice!

This year we decided to skip all of the cookies and whip up one of our new signature sweets instead.

Hola! Tres Leches Cake.

Filled with three kinds of milk and topped with a cloud of whipped cream, this Latin American delight has made the list as our new Christmastime tradition.  That’s right, Feliz Navidad.

Let’s let loose on our dreamy tres leches cake, shall we?

Ingredients for your cake:

  • (1) and (1/2) cups of all-purpose flour OR (1) and (3/4) cup of cake flour
  • (1) and (1/4) teaspoons of baking powder
  • (1/2) teaspoons of Kosher salt
  • (6) eggs
  • (1) cup of sugar
  • (1/4) cup of water
  • (2) teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • (1) 14 ounce can of sweetened condensed milk
  • (1) 12 – 13 ounce can of evaporated milk
  • (1) and (1/4) cup of heavy cream, half and half OR whole milk
  • (3/4) cup of toasted coconut (optional)

Ingredients for your whipped cream topping:

  • (2) cups of heavy cream
  • (1/2) cup of sugar
  • (2) teaspoons of vanilla extract OR (1) vanilla bean, split and pulped
  • (2) tablespoons of ground cinnamon


1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2.  Sift your flour, baking powder and salt into a medium bowl.  Set aside.

3. In a separate mixing bowl, use a mixer to mix your eggs, sugar, and vanilla on high for (5) to (7) minutes OR until your volume doubles.  Then reduce speed to low and add your water.  Mix for an additional minute.

Ready to get this party started.

Dear Santa, we sure would like a fancy Kitchenaid Mixer this year. We love our little 70s Sunbeam but she's getting senile and mixes so hard she nearly shoots the bowl across the room.

4.  Next, gently fold your flour mixture into your egg mixture.  Harrison recommends you fold it in by hand using a spatula.

5.  Now pour your batter into a greased pan (we opted for two to create a two layer cake).   If are using a coated pan, no need to spray because of the cake’s egg base.

Ready to get baked.

6.  Bake for 35 – 45 minutes OR until done in the center (check using the famous toothpick test).

7.  Once done, cool on a rack for (15) – (20) minutes and then release cake from pan. Place on a cookie sheet.

The cool down.

Remember to gently release edges with a spatula or spreader.

Well done Harrison.

Like coconut? If you're making a double layer cake, add your toasted coconut between layers next.

8.  Next, in a medium bowl, mix your evaporated milk, sweetened milk and heavy cream (or other milk).  Then ladle that rich, sweet mixture over top your cake until all of the liquid mixture is used.

Lactose intolerant? This is not the cake for you.

My friend Jan gave me this cute little thing. I thought it was a middle finger letter opener. She and Harrison corrected me explaining that it is an olive picker. Today we're using it as a cake hole poker.

Poke holes in the top of your cake first so your milk mixture will really ooze in.

9.  Let sit overnight in your fridge (or for at least six to eight hours).

10.  For your whipped cream topping, place your heavy cream, sugar and vanilla either in a mixing bowl and mix on high (using a mixer) or by hand (for a nice forearm workout) until your volume doubles and becomes thick.

I'm starting to loose count on how many recipes we've posted that include whipped cream. Fans? Yes we are. We added a little ground cinnamon to kick it up a notch.

Whip it good.

11.  After your cake has soaked up the goodness overnight in the fridge, layer on your rich whipped cream.

It puts the whipped cream on.

Additional enhancements: Add raspberries, strawberries, mangoes, sprinkle cinnamon or dust cocoa on top… pick your pleasure, let loose!


Adios.  Until we bake again,

A + H


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