Three Milk Cake Recipe

If you’re wondering how to make three milk cake, well, it couldn’t be easier! Looking at the recipes available, you might not get that impression, because every single one of them is slightly different!

Three milk cake, otherwise known as Pastel Tres Leches, is a cake traditional to Latin American countries. So it stands to reason that a cake made in El Salvador might not be the exact same cake that is made in Mexico. At any rate, you can make your own three milk cake very easily. Just follow the directions below, and have fun!

Three Milk Cake Recipe

  • Either cake mix or ingredients for a white cake or sponge cake 
  • 1 can condensed milk
  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • 1 cup whole milk or half and half
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup sugar

Note: I used 2 boxes of cake, and I made two cakes according indicating the directions on the box. Add 1 egg Extra only to achieve a firmer crumb. This is in each cake. And of course to be two cakes, I double the milk


  1. To make a three milk cake, all you really need is some creativity and the three milks. The three milks vary according to country and personal recipe. The most common ones are condensed milk (absolutely indispensable), evaporated milk and either whole milk or a fattier version of it, such as half and half. These are mixed together in equal amounts.
  2. You will need a cake for your three milk cake. Obviously. If you like to use cake mixes, go ahead, simply add an extra egg to help the crumb hold together better. The traditional recipe uses a sponge or white cake, but the sky is the limit. Chocolate three milk cake is really yummy! If you want to go traditional, check the resource section for a classic sponge cake recipe.
  3. Whatever cake you decide to make, the three milk cake recipe works best if it’s made in sheet cake form.
  4. Once you’ve made your cake, take a toothpick and poke little holes every inch or so in the cake.
  5. Mix your three milks together–1 can condensed milk, 1 can evaporated milk and one cup whole milk. If you like, you can add a bit of brandy, amaretto or whatever other flavor you enjoy at this point.
  6. Slowly pour the three milk mixture over the cake until the cake is saturated. Don’t overdo it, or you’ll have cake soup. You do want the cake to be very, very moist. You’ll probably end up with some leftover milk. No worries–just don’t drink it if you’re on a diet!
  7. Whip one cup of whipping cream (isn’t this milk number four?) until stiff, and then add sugar to taste. A third to a half a cup works well. I add powdered sugar because it’s never grainy. You can also put a teaspoon of vanilla for some extra flavor.
  8. You can either spread the whipped cream directly on the cake, or add a layer of flavor here. Strawberries can be sliced on the cake before the whipped cream is added, or a layer of tropical jam, such as pineapple or guava can be added first.
  9. Once the whipped cream is one the cake, the traditional thing to do is to top with cherries. However, you can sprinkle cinnamon, cocoa, orange skin peelings…whatever works with the flavors you have chosen.

Serve three milks cake in small portions. It is very, very rich!

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