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Easy Tres Leches Cake

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My Easy Tres Leches Cake recipe is engineered to be light-as-air and the best it possibly can.


Hi Bold Bakers!

Let’s talk about my Easy Tres Leches Cake (Pastel de Tres Leches)! This recipe is pure gold. Imagine a light-as-air sponge cake soaked with a mixture of three kinds of milk: evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, and whole milk. Thus, the name “Tres Leches.” Initially created in Mexico, this Latin America creation is sweet creamy bliss!

What Makes This Tres Leches Cake So Good

My Easy Tres Leches Cake is engineered to be the best it possibly can. The most important part of my recipe is that the structure of the sponge cake is able to hold up while absorbing the three kinds of milk. This means the sponge needs to be full of air bubbles! These air bubbles will then be filled with liquid without becoming weighed down or soggy.

Why Whip the Egg Whites AND yolks

The way to create a super airy light sponge cake is through whipping lots of air into not just the egg whites, but the yolks as well. This is really the secret to a strong sponge. After I bake off my super light sweet sponge, I poke the cake all over with a tiny toothpick to ensure that there are lots of little nooks and crannies to be filled. Then I combine my 3 kinds of milk.

 

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Do The Types Of Milk Matter?

Each milk plays an important role in Pastel de Tres Leches, from condensed milk (which adds sweetness and syrupy texture) to whole milk (which is super rich and creamy). After the cake has fully absorbed the three kinds of milk, I generously cover it with fresh whipped cream then dust it with cinnamon — it’s literally the icing on the cake.

Can you think of anything cake more rich and creamy than this Easy Tres Leches Cake?

Tips and Tricks to Making the Best Tres Leches Cake

  • Start with room temperature eggs, as they will whip up to be even lighter in less time.
  • Don’t be tempted to use reduced fat milk, full-fat milk is really important to the richness and flavor of this cake.
  • When folding the egg whites and yolks into the batter, use a large wide metal spoon — do not use a spatula.
  • To properly fold the eggs into the batter, use broad scoops from the bottom of the mixing bowl to the top, working in a circular motion. Take your time here and don’t be tempted to stir. 
  • To really elevate the flavor of the cake and set off the richness of the 2 kinds of milk, generously dust the top with cinnamon.
  • No need to sweeten the whipped cream that tops the cake, the 3 kinds of milk add all the sweetness the cake needs.

For other classic cake recipes check out:

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4.57 from 80 votes
Trest Leches Cake: Moist and delicious!
Easy Tres Leches Cake Recipe
Prep Time
25 mins
Cook Time
35 mins
Total Time
1 hr
 

My Easy Tres Leches Cake recipe is engineered to be light-as-air and the best it possibly can.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: latin, Mexican
Servings: 12 -14
Author: Gemma Stafford
Ingredients
  • 1 cup (5oz/142g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 5 large eggs , at room temperature, separated
  • 1 cup (8oz/225g) sugar, divided
  • 1/3 cup (2 1/2floz/75ml) whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 12 oz can evaporated milk
  • 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/4 cup (2floz/60ml) whole milk
  • For the whipped topping:
  • 1 1/2 cups (12floz/340ml) heavy whipping cream
  • ground cinnamon , for dusting
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) then grease a 9x13 inch cake pan. 

  2. In a medium bowl combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

  3. Separate the eggs yolk and whites into two separate bowls.

  4. Using a stand mixer or electric hand mixer whisk the egg yolks on high speed. Slowly stream in 3/4 cup sugar to the bowl with the egg yolks. Whip until thick and pale in color. 

  5. Continue whipping and add the 1/3 cup milk and vanilla.

  6. Next, add in the dry ingredients and gently mix until just combined. Don't over-mix as it can toughen the cake. Transfer mix to a clean bowl and wash out the mixing bowl. 

  7. Back on the stand mixer, fitted with a whisk, beat the egg whites on high speed until light and foamy. Gradually add the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar as you mix and continue beating until stiff peaks.

  8. Remove from the mixer and gently fold the egg whites into the egg yolk batter until just combined.

  9. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove from the oven and set aside.

  10. Combine the evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, and whole milk in a jug. 
  11. Once the cake has cooled slightly use a toothpick to poke holes all over the top of the cake. Slowly pour the milk mixture over the top of the cake, making sure to pour near the edges and all around. I do this in two stages until it's all soaked up. 

  12. Refrigerate the cake for at least 1 hour but preferably overnight to allow it to soak up the milk.

  13. When ready to serve, whip the heavy cream to stiff peaks. Smooth the whipped cream over the top of the cake. Sprinkle cinnamon on top and enjoy!

  14. This cake will keep covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Watch the Recipe Video!

 

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Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, and I’m passionate about sharing my years of experience to show you how to make game-changing baking recipes with over-the-top results! Join more than 1 Million other Bold Bakers in the community for new video recipes every week!

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124 Comments

Write a Comment and Review

  1. Linda Crowley on October 7, 2019 at 12:17 pm

    Oh I do love your recipes, your videos, your cookbook! I haven’t seen if you’ve done Cannoli? I’d love to see your take on those and other Italian specialties, like Ricotta Pie and Sesame cookies!

    • Gemma Stafford on October 7, 2019 at 12:40 pm

      Hi Linda. Thank you for your kind words. I haven’t done those Italian treats. Thanks for the suggestion. I’ll put them on the list.

  2. Carlos Ivan Malo Lopez on October 7, 2019 at 6:33 am

    Hi Gemma ,I live in Ambato

    • Gemma Stafford on October 7, 2019 at 1:42 pm

      Hi Carlos! Thanks for being here.

  3. WENDYZ on October 7, 2019 at 4:34 am

    Hi Gemma,

    Your recipes are always so easy and make me look like a pro.

    This recipe tasted absolutely FAB!!!

    Thank you.

    • Gemma Stafford on October 7, 2019 at 1:03 pm

      Thank you for your kind words Wendy.

  4. Jacqueline on September 7, 2019 at 8:01 am

    HI Gemma
    I’ve just discovered your website whilst searching for a lemon meringue cake. Do you have the metric measurements for your recipes as I work in grammes and litres.
    Regards
    Jacqueline

    • Gemma Stafford on September 7, 2019 at 11:12 am

      Hi Jacqueline, my recipes have the conversions in metric 🙂

  5. daisy parker on September 6, 2019 at 11:23 am

    it looks delicious. I have to try it.

    • Gemma Stafford on September 6, 2019 at 11:27 am

      I say, go for it! Thanks so much.

  6. Christina Dickson on August 9, 2019 at 8:47 am

    Hey Gemma! Hope you are doing well. I have a cake crisis moment ????. It never happened to me but while i was trying to beat the egg whites, they are not getting fluffy. I mixed them for like 7-8 mins and they are still in a liquid state. I am surprised thinking what could go wrong. I am making this cake for a 9 months old baby celebration and i am in a crisis now. Can any of the baker help?

    • Gemma Stafford on August 9, 2019 at 2:03 pm

      Hi Christina,

      So the facts that they didn’t whip could be a few different reasons. make sure your bowl and whisk has no grease and the egg whites have no egg yolk in them.

      Unfortunately you have to start over if they are not whipping. Let the egg whites sit out at room temp for an hour or so that they come to room temp. they will whip better.

      Best,
      Gemma.

  7. Yesenia on August 8, 2019 at 7:11 pm

    Hi Gemma,

    I was hoping to make this cake as a 2 layer cake but I am
    not sure if the batter would be enough for 2 layers using a 9 inch springform pan. Would I have to
    double the recipe or would it be enough.

    • Gemma Stafford on August 10, 2019 at 3:23 pm

      HI,

      Yes this recipe will make 2 9inch cakes. It is a really big cake so you don’t need to double the recipe.

      all the best,
      Gemma.

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