Tres Leche Cake

As the name implies, this is a three milk cake that can be made as a single layer or multi-layer cake. This is basically a cake soaked in milk so if you attempt a multi-layer version you have to be able to hold the milk while the cake absorbs it and then stiffens. You also have to have a way to remove the cake from the soaking tray. This recipe needs to be made at least 6 hrs before serving but is actually best if made a day in advance.


  • Cake
    • 1 cup flour
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 1.5 tsp baking powder
    • 1/4┬átsp salt
    • 5 large eggs – separated
    • 1/3 cup milk
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Milk mixture
    • 1/4┬ácup heavy cream
    • 1 – 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk
    • 1 – 12-oz. can evaporated milk
  • Frosting
    • 16 oz. heavy cream
    • 3 TBL sugar
    • Decorations – strawberries, blue berries, etc.


  1. Mise en place – measure and prepare ingredients prior to starting.
  2. Make Cake:
    1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
    2. Grease and flour a 9x 13″ pan – double recipe for two layers.
    3. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl.
    4. Separate eggs and beat the yolks with 3/4 cup of the sugar on high speed until the yolks are pale yellow.
    5. Stir in the milk and vanilla.
    6. Pour the egg mixture into flour mixture and stir gently until combined.
    7. Beat egg whites on high speed until soft peaks form.
    8. With the mixer running, add remaining 1/4 cup sugar and beat until the egg whites are stiff.
    9. Fold egg white mixture into the batter very gently until just combined.
    10. Spoon into the prepared pan and spread to even out the surface.
    11. Bake until the cake is done, 35 to 40 minutes.
    12. Let cool in the pan, and then turn out (upside down) onto a rimmed platter (to hold the milk mixture).
  3. Make Milk Mixture (tres leches)
    1. Combine heavy cream, evaporated milk, and condensed milk.
    2. Pierce entire cake surface with a fork and slowly drizzle milk mixture over the top letting cake absorb the milk. The cake will be very soggy, but that’s the point of this cake.
    3. Put cake in fridge at least 4 hours for the cake to stiffen.
  4. Make Frosting:
    1. Whip the cream with the sugar on high speed until stiff.
    2. Spread frosting evenly over the top and sides of the soaked cake and decorate.
  5. Refrigerate until ready to serve.