Tres Leches Cake is a simple, decadent cake to make for any occasion. This cake is soaked in a three milk mixture or maximum moistness, and topped with a light and fluffy cinnamon whipped cream!
Cake lovers will also enjoy these recipes for Lemon Bundt Cake from Scratch, Moist and Easy Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting, Flourless Chocolate Cake, and Old Fashioned Oatmeal Cake with Vanilla Sauce.
Why This Recipe Works
So Yummy: Tres leches cake is a Latin American dessert that comes in many forms. What makes tres leches so delicious is the three milk mixture that is made of milk, evaporated milk, and condensend milk. The cake soaks in this liquid mixture in order to ensure that it is super moist and sweet! I topped it all off with a light and fluffy cinnamon whipped cream which adds a wonderful flavor and texture.
Easy to Make: This is a single layer cake, which means no making multiple cakes and stacking them! You can make an absolutely beautiful cake with just one layer and topping it off with homemade whipped cream. You definitely won’t be able to get enough of this one!
My easy tres leches cake recipe using pantry staples for the best dessert ever! Here’s what you’ll need:
- Flour: Regular, all purpose flour works well here. You can also use cake flour if you have it.
- Baking Powder: Baking powder is added to help the cake rise in the oven.
- Salt: If you have ever wondered why salt is added to desserts like cakes and cookies, it is in order to prevent too much gluten from developing from the flour, and to balance the sweet flavors!
- Ground Cinnamon: A touch of ground cinnamon goes really well in tres leches cakes!
- Eggs: You will want to separate the eggs so that we can whip up the egg whites and make a light and tender cake.
- Sugar: Sugar is added for just the right amount of sweetness!
- Vanilla: Vanilla is added for more flavor.
- Milk, Condensed Milk, & Evaporated Milk: This is the three milk mixture that you will pour over the cake after it is does baking. This mixture is what makes this cake “tres leches”.
- Cinnamon Whipped Cream: To make the cinnamon whipped cream, you can whip up heavy cream, powdered sugar and cinnamon!
Here’s How to Make It
Step by Step Instructions
- Preheat & Prep: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and butter the bottom of a deep 13×9 inch pan or baking dish. Line just the bottom of the pan with baking parchment without leaving any sort of non-stick on the sides.
- Mix Dry Ingredients: Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.
- Beat the Yolks: In a large bowl using an electric hand mixer, beat together the egg yolks and 1/2 cup of sugar until the mixture is thick, pale and the sugar is no longer grainy. Beat in the vanilla, followed by the 1 cup of milk.
- Whip the Egg Whites: In another large bowl either using a clean set of beaters (or wash them up before moving onto this step), or in your stand mixer whip up the egg whites until they hold soft peaks. Gradually beat in the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar until the mixture is thick, glossy, and holds stiff peaks.
- Fold with Dry Ingredients: Using a metal spoon, fold the flour mixture into the egg yolks. Then, 1/3 at a time fold the egg whites into the cake batter until you have a light, airy mixture with no egg lumps.
- Bake: Bake for 25-30 minutes until risen, golden and a skewer inserted into the middle comes away clean. Allow to cool in the pan.
- Make the Milk Mixture: Meanwhile, whisk together the remaining 6 tbsp of milk, the condensed milk and the evaporated milk, and set aside.
- Pour the Milk Onto the Cake: Using a wooden skewer, poke holes all over the top of the cake. Pour the milk mixture until all of the liquid is sitting on top of the cake. Leave it for 5-10 minutes for it to absorb before continuing until all of the liquid is either soaked into or sitting on top of the cake.
- Chill: Cover and chill for 2 hours to allow the milk mixture to fully absorb into the cake.
- Make the Whipped Cream: Add the powdered sugar and the cinnamon to the heavy cream and gently whip until it just holds its shape to make the topping. Spread this generously over the top of the tres leches cake, and sprinkle with a little more cinnamon just before serving.
- Follow the recipe instructions for the best results! I know that whipping up the egg yolks and then whipping up the eggs whites all sounds like a bit much, but trust me when I say the way that this cake is made is intentional. Whipping the eggs is the best way to make a sponge cake that will have a fluffy center and therefore soak up all of the milk for the best, most moist cake ever!
- Make this cake ahead of time! This is a great cake to make ahead of time, since the cake needs time to soak up the milk mixture. You can make it up to 2 days ahead of time and leave it in the fridge to continue soaking. Then when you are ready to serve, make the whipped topping. Homemade whipped cream is best on the day of.
- Allow the cake to cool fully before soaking. If the cake is still warm, it is technically still cooking which means the cake is not fully set. You want it to be fully set and cooled in order for it to soak up the maximum amount of milk!
Frequently Asked Questions
Tres leches cake is a super moist sponge cake that originates from Latin America. The classic moist texture of tres leches is because of the three types of milk that is used to soak the sponge cake. The three milks (hence the name “tres leches”), are usually milk or heavy cream along with condensed milk and evaporated milk. Tres leches cake is usually topped with whipped cream before serving.
To store tres leches cake, store in an airtight container for up to 5 days. You can eat it cold or let it sit at room temperature for a little bit before eating.
Definitely! Bake the cake and allow it to cool completely. Then, you can wrap the cake well and freeze for up to 3 months. To thaw, transfer it to the fridge. Once thawed, you can place the cake back into a cake pan and soak in the three milk mixture.
More Dessert Recipes to Try
- Birthday Cake Cupcakes
- Flourless Chocolate Cake
- Coconut Lime Pound Cake
- Cream Cheese Lemon Crumb Cake
- Blueberry Cake
Tres Leches Cake
For the Tres Leches Cake
- 2 cups flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
- 6 eggs - separated
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup milk - plus 6 tablespoons
- 8 tbsp condensed milk
- 8 tbsp evaporated milk
For the Cinnamon Whipped Cream
- 1 ¼ cups heavy cream
- 2 tbsp powdered sugar
- ⅛ tsp ground cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and butter the bottom of a deep 13×9 inch pan or baking dish. Line just the bottom of the pan with baking parchment without leaving any sort of non-stick on the sides.
- Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon, and set aside.
- In a large bowl, using an electric hand mixer, beat together the egg yolks and 1/2 cup of sugar until the mixture is thick, pale, and the sugar is no longer grainy. Beat in the vanilla, followed by 1 cup of milk.
- In another large bowl, either using a clean set of beaters (or wash them up before moving onto this step) or in your stand mixer using the whip attachment, whip the egg whites until the hold soft peaks. Gradually beat in the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar until the mixture is thick, glossy and holds stiff peaks.
- Using a metal spoon, fold the flour mixture into the egg yolks. Then, 1/3 at a time fold the egg whites into the cake batter until you have a light, airy mixture with no egg lumps.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes until risen, golden and a skewer inserted into the middle comes away clean. Allow to cool in the pan.
- Meanwhile, whisk together the remaining 6 tablespoons of milk, the condensed milk and the evaporated milk, and set aside.
- Using a wooden skewer, poke holes all over the top of the cake. Pour over the milk mixture until the liquid is sitting on top of the cake. Leave it for 5-10 minutes for it to absorb before continuing until all the liquid is either soaked into or sitting on top of the cake.
- Cover and chill for 2 hours to allow the milk mixture to fully absorb into the cake.
- Add the powdered sugar and the cinnamon to the heavy cream and gently whip until it holds its shape to make the topping. Spread this generously over the top of the cake, and sprinkle with a little more cinnamon just before serving.
Seeing as brownies are my favorite dessert, I’m just oggling over these babies. I would eat them all, too.
Oh if brownies are your favorite dessert, it’s no question, you have to try these. HAVE TO!
Hi Tiffany. You were wondering if anyone had refinished their kitchen cabinets. About a week before Christmas, we decided we wanted to refinish our cabinets in time for our annual Christmas Eve party. My brother-in-law, a professional contractor had refinished his cabinets with a product called Rust-Oleum Cabinet Transformation and highly recommended it. We wanted to transform our cabinets from a pale oak color to a dark cherry, so we bought our little kit and set out to do just that. This treatment requires NO SANDING! It is a 4-step process. Step one is a degreaser/prepper. Step 2 is color (I panicked a little after this step…it didn’t look very good). Then…step 3…all of a sudden, wood grain appears before our astonished eyes! Step 4 is a top coat (optional). Wd haven’t actually done this step yet, although it’s in the plan, but the cabinets are beautiful!!! They dried rock hard (you couldn’t chip them or mar them, in any way even if you tried). I wish I could attach a photo. Easy and fool-proof, you can’t go wrong.
Wow that sounds incredible! My husband and I were actually just at Home Depot the other day and noticed that product but though – oh, it’s probably to good to be true… But now you’ve got me really considering it! I’m going to have to talk to my husband and see what he thinks because that sounds like it’s simple enough to do ourselves without having to pay somebody the big bucks to refinsih them for us. Genius! Thanks Carol!! 🙂 🙂
Dulce de leche brownies are some of my fave – dulce de leche is the best!! These look beyond delicious. Pinned!
I want these so so bad!