Tres leches cake is a famous milk-soaked cake which is extremely delicious and moist. This Latin-American dessert is so tasty and refreshing that even the picky eaters love it! This is the best Tres Leches Cake recipe to make and serve at birthdays, holidays, and even parties
If you’re a fan of sweetened condensed milk and cream then you will love this recipe because you get to have both in one cake. The cake is sweet, slightly dense because of the milk, and the taste is balanced with more freshness thanks to the tropical fresh fruits on top.
Tres Leches Origin
The question many people have is whether Tres Leches Cake is Spanish or Mexican? Well, Tres Leches is a traditional Latin-American dessert that you’ll find in nearly all Mexican bakeries and restaurants. But, it’s not just a Mexican staple. This rich sponge cake has historical roots in many Latin-American cuisines.
How to Make Tres Leches Cake (3 Milk Cake)
- Prepare the cake batter
This is the first step of making tres leches cake. Take a large bowl and beat in butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Then add eggs, one at a time, followed by the flour, baking powder, salt, and vanilla extract. The key to making the best tres leches cake recipe is taking the time to cream the butter and sugar while being quick when adding the eggs, flour, and the remaining ingredients.
Then pour the batter into a baking tin and bake until it’s golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean. This should take about 30 minutes, but it all depends on your oven. Take it out of the oven and let it cool completely.
- Soak the cake in a 3 milk mixture
Mix evaporated milk, condensed milk, and the heavy whipping cream in a measuring jar. Start with the thicker milk (condensed milk) for easy measurement. Every other one will simply layer on top.
Poke holes in the cake using a fork or chopstick and gradually pour ⅓ of the milk mixture over top of the cake. Let it soak first and then repeat the process for the remaining mixture.
- Cover the cake and let it chill
At this point, let the cake chill and soak in all the milk. Let it chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour. Some people prefer to let it soak overnight to ensure that the cake soaks as much milk as possible.
- Top the cake with frosting
You can make the frosting at home by mixing whipping cream with sugar. Spread the whipping cream over the top of the cake. At this point, you can add some fresh fruits or give a sprinkle of cinnamon if desired right before serving. When using fruit, coat them into sugar to balance the sourness of the fruits and help them last longer.
What does tres leches mean in English?
Tres leches is Spanish for three types of milk. In this context, tres leches cake is translated as a sponge cake soaked in a combination of three types of milk: Condensed milk, evaporated milk, and heavy whipping cream
Why did my tres leches cake shrink?
If your homemade tres leches cake shrinks after baking, it may be because of the following:
You greased the baking pan too heavily. The cake needs to cling to the pan as it rises so if the pan is greased too much the cake will pull away from the pan and shrink when it cools.
You over baked the cake. This could have happened by leaving the cake to bake for too long or baking at a very high temperature.
Can you leave tres leches cake out overnight?
Due to the kinds of milk in the cake, the cake is loaded with liquid so it needs to be stored in the refrigerator. Cover the cake, to help keep in the moisture, and store in the fridge.
Should tres leches cake be wet?
Tres leches cake should be moist but not soaking wet. Gradually adding the milk mixture ensures that you don’t over soak the cake and yet make it moist enough and full of flavor.
How long does tres leches last?
Tres leches cake can be stored in the fridge for 4 days. However, it is best eaten within the first 48 hours. After 4 days, the cake starts to become soggy.
Can I freeze a tres leches cake?
Yes!! You can freeze this cake but only before adding the milk mixture. After baking the cake, you can freeze it like you’d freeze any other cake. Then when it’s time to use it, bring it to room temperature, soak it in the milk mixture, let it soak overnight, then top with whipping cream.
Best Tres Leches Cake Recipe
- ½ cup (113 gr) unsalted butter softened + extra for greasing
- 1 cup (225 gr) granulated sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- 5 medium eggs
- 1½ cups (190 gr) all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- ½ cup (125 ml) sweetened condensed milk
- ¾ cups (200 ml) evaporated milk
- 1¾ cups (500 ml) heavy whipping cream
- 2 cups (475 ml) heavy whipping cream
- 6 tbsp. granulated sugar
- tropical fruit mix (roughly cut topping)
- Preheat the oven 350°F/175°C and grease a bread pan.
- In a large bowl beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer, on medium, until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs one by one, followed by the vanilla.
- Turn the mixer to low speed. Sift in the flour and baking powder and mix until all ingredients are incorporated.
- Pour batter into the prepared baking dish and bake until the top is golden brown and a skewer inserted comes out clean, around 30 minutes. Let it cool.
- In another bowl, mix the different kinds of milk. After cooling down, poke the cake with a stick or fork and pour half of the mixture over the top and let it absorb for 5 minutes. Pour the rest of the mixture and let it absorb again. Let the cake rest for at least 1 hour in the fridge.
- Make the frosting by mixing the heavy whipping cream with 4 tbsp. of sugar. Mix the fruits with 2 tbsp of sugar. Spread the whipping cream over the top of the cake and top with fruits. Keep the cake refrigerated at all times.