Tres leches cake, which translates as “three milks cake” in English, is a popular Mexican dessert made by soaking a yellow cake in sweet, creamy milk. Cinnamon is the traditionally topping for this cake, but it’s delicious with many variations. Learn how to make a tres leches cake and choose from several toppings.
- 1 1/2 cups unbleached All-Purpose Flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 6 eggs, separated
- 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar or 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1/3 cup cold water
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 teaspoon almond flavoring
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 small can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
- 1 small can (5 ounces) evaporated milk
- 1 tablespoon brandy or light rum, or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 tsp. confectioner’s sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt; set them aside. In a large mixing bowl, beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar or lemon juice until soft peaks form. Set them aside.
In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks until they’re pale yellow and fluffy. Add the sugar and continue to beat until the mixture falls from the beaters in ribbons. Add the 1/3 cup cold water, vanilla and almond to the egg yolk mixture, then stir in the dry ingredients.
Gently fold in the beaten egg whites.
- Grease and flour a 10 inch round cake pan. Spoon the batter into the pan, and level it with a spatula. Bake the cake in a preheated 350 degrees F oven for 28 to 30 minutes, until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan for 20 minutes
- Loosen the sides of the cake with a knife, place a serving platter, upside down, over the pan, and gently turn the cake out onto the platter. Using a fork, poke holes all over the cake, and let it cool for an additional 30 minutes.
For Tres Leches:
- While the cake is cooling, combine the heavy cream, condensed milk, evaporated milk, and brandy, rum or vanilla in a small bowl or measuring cup with a spout.
Applying the Tres Leches:
- When the cake has cooled to room temperature, pour the milk mixture over it slowly, pausing to allow it to soak in. Refrigerate the cake for several hours before frosting; this allows the cake to absorb the milk.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat together cream, confectioner’s sugar, and vanilla extract until peaks form. Make sure not to over beat. Set them aside.