Thursday, June 6, 2013

Tres Leches Cake

So Jason's parents came to visit a few weeks ago, and guests always mean new people to try out recipes on. I know, I'm a great host...

I wanted to have a dessert on hand that we could dig into after dinner out one night. I tossed a handful of ideas to Jason knowing full well which he'd choose.

He lurves Tres Leches Cake and I've never made it.

{because I'm really not a baker}

{and because I can't trust myself with a full cake in the house}

{but let's blame it on the non-baking gene}

Just like I expected, he went for the Tres Leches Cake.

Do y'all know what Tres Leches Cake is? Probably so but just in case... it's a super light cake that is soaked - soaked, I tell you! - in three milks (duh.): evaporated milk, heavy cream, and the mother of all milks - sweetened condensed milk. Then you whip together more heavy cream in order to create an amazing layer of icing. Add a cherry and dig in!

To be honest, this really isn't difficult at all. Unless you want people to think it is, and then you have my permission to make it sound uber complicated.

It makes a full 9x13 pan of cake which is WAY TOO MUCH for us to have on hand. I think we all ate one piece and then it sat in my fridge, staring at me every time I opened the door. So soon after they left town, I attended a meeting and carted my remaining cake along with me.

{can we all just agree that meetings with cake are far superior to meetings without cake?}

Those in attendance were in agreement that this is darn good eating. Incredibly moist, delicious, and everything you want in a homemade Tres Leche Cake.

So, the moral of the story? 10 out of 10 taste testers agree that you should make this cake. And bring me a piece. 

Tres Leches Cake
1 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 eggs
1 cup sugar, divided
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup milk
1 can evaporated milk
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup heavy cream

For the icing:
1 pint very cold heavy cream
3 tablespoons sugar

Preheat oven to 350. Liberally spray a 9x13 inch pan until well coated. Set aside.

Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. 

Separate the eggs. 

Beat the egg yolks with 3/4 cup sugar on high speed until the yolks are pale yellow. Stir in the milk and vanilla. Pour this mixture over the flour mixture and stir very gently until combined.

Beat the egg whites on high speed until soft peaks form. With the mixer on, pour in the remaining 1/4 cup sugar and beat until egg whites are stiff but not dry.

Fold the egg white mixture into the batter very gently until just combined.

Pour into the prepared pan and spread to even out. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. 

Turn the cake out onto a rimmed platter and allow to cool.

In a small pitcher, combine the condensed milk, evaporated milk, and heavy cream. Once the cake is cool, pierce the surface with a fork several times. Slowly drizzle all but about 1 cup of the milk mixture, working to get it around the edges are much as you can. Allow the cake to absorb for 30 minutes.

To ice, whip 1 pint of very cold heavy cream with 3 tablespoons of sugar until thick and spreadable. Spread over the surface of the cake, cut into pieces, and serve each piece with a maraschino cherry. 


  1. What do you do with the remaining cup of milk

    1. Just toss it :( Because you're using 2 cans of milk, it's easier to just dump the entire contents in the pitcher along with the heavy cream and mix it all together (instead of trying to figure out measurements of the two cans and tossing portions of those).

      {though I must admit I was pretty heavy handed in my pouring and didn't leave as much of a cup behind and it still absorbed it all}

  2. Granulated sugar or powdered sugar?

  3. Is there a limit to how far in advance I can put the icing on top? Thanks.

    1. Jeanie, I'm not really a baking expert at all but I can tell you that this cake lasted 3-4 days in our house and the icing was delicious the entire time. I think you'd be fine icing it a day or two before serving if need be.

    2. Thank you for responding. I iced it about 12 hours in advance, and it's good. :-)

  4. How many ounces of cans for the condensed and evaporated

    1. They are both sold in a 'standard' size - evaporated is 12 ounces and condensed is 14 ounces.


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