Cakes

Easy Tres Leches Cake

4.68 from 176 votes
My Easy Tres Leches Cake recipe is engineered to be light-as-air and the best it possibly can.
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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:

Don’t forget to follow Bigger Bolder Baking on Instagram!

 

Watch The Recipe Video!

Easy Tres Leches Cake Recipe

4.68 from 176 votes
My Easy Tres Leches Cake recipe is engineered to be light-as-air and the best it possibly can.
Servings: 12 -14
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.
Servings: 12 -14

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

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) then grease a 9x13 inch cake pan. 
  • In a medium bowl combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  • Separate the eggs yolk and whites into two separate bowls.
  • 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. 
  • Continue whipping and add the 1/3 cup milk and vanilla.
  • 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. 
  • 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.
  • Remove from the mixer and gently fold the egg whites into the egg yolk batter until just combined.
  • 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.
  • Combine the evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, and whole milk in a jug. 
  • 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. 
  • Refrigerate the cake for at least 1 hour but preferably overnight to allow it to soak up the milk.
  • 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!
  • This cake will keep covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

 

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7 months ago

Hey Gemma the tres leche cake was a hit, what I just felt that my cake was very dense and couldn’t absorb the milk mixture very nicely so I felt it was not soaked equally like I felt dry spots in between and even my cake shrunk after cooling down, I wonder where I went wrong ??

5 months ago

Tried this recipe, I messed up a little but still it was delicious. Especially the sponge. I also made evaporated milk using your recipe.
Thank you so much from Bangladesh 🇧🇩

Nisha Sangani
Nisha Sangani
6 months ago

Can this b made without eggs

Deborah aleyomi
7 months ago

Wow this is lovely

WENDYZ
1 year ago

Hi Gemma,

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

This recipe tasted absolutely FAB!!!

Thank you.

Devika
Devika
1 month ago

Is it possible to make this recipe with aquafaba to replace the eggs?

Ayesha Sheikh
Ayesha Sheikh
4 months ago

Hey Gemma, love your recipes . I wanted to ask if i could make this cake in 9×9 square pan ?

Sandra James
Sandra James
6 months ago

Hello could you give the measurement of evaporated and condensed milk in terms of cups ?

Vandana Munjal
Vandana Munjal
6 days ago

Hi, this looks delicious. Would it be possible to make this as a layered cake or do you think it’s too soft? Can i make it into 3 layers of 6 inch cake? and would it taste nice with fresh strawberries? Cant wait to try it out. Thank you.

Swapni
Swapni
13 days ago

Hi Gemma! This cake was superb! As always your recipe was foolproof and amazing ! Thanks for this great recipe and much more!

About Us

Meet Gemma

About Us

Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, and I want to help you bake with confidence anytime, anywhere! No matter your skills, I have you covered. Sign up for my FREE weekly emails and join millions of other Bold Bakers in the community for new recipes, baking techniques, and more every week!

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