This post may include affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
If you invite me over for dinner, I will never be rude. I will make you feel like you are the best cook in the world. You might even send me home with your recipes. Truth is: my mom raised me to always be polite to someone who has opened their home to me. But when you serve me a Tres Leches Cake (or Pastel de Tres Leches) made from a cake box and topped with Cool Whip, that’s where I draw the line. My excuse will be “I have no room for dessert,” but secretly in my head I’ll be saying, “Lord, help me!”
Tres Leches Cake (or Pastel de Tres Leches) is one of those Mexican desserts that will make you swoon (like the girls at a Beatles concert), but it has to be made right. So delicious and a great way to end a meal. It all starts with the cake. The problem with most Pastel de Tres Leches cakes is that the cake is too sweet. Then, the end product is like eating sugar over sugar. Bleh!
You also want the texture of the cake to be soft and tender. That means egg whites. Gently fold them to create the batter.
Do the hokey pokey all over the cake. This will help the milk absorb.
Next pour the milk mixture all over the cake. Let this rest in the fridge to absorb all the milky goodness.
Top it off with homemade whipped cream. It must be made with real whipping cream. You’ve got to whip it! Whip it real good! None of that stuff you find in the frozen food section.
Most places in Mexico will sell Tres Leches Cake (or Pastel de Tres Leches) sprinkled with cinnamon or chocolate powder. I like a few strawberries or raspberries. Not too many, just a few will do. You really want the milky flavors of the cake to shine and with bite of fresh fruit.. YUM! It takes this dessert to a whole new level. Tell me you wouldn’t like a slice of this cake.
Tres Leches Cake (or Pastel de Tres Leches)
- Butter and flour to butter the pan
- 1 cup sugar + 2 tablespoons
- 5 egg yolks
- 5 egg whites
- 1/3 cup milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract divided
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 14-ounce sweetened condensed milk can
- 1 12-ounce evaporated milk can
- 1 pint heavy whipping cream
- maraschino cherries strawberries, raspberries, or cocoa powder (for decoration)
- Preheat oven to 175 degrees C (350 degrees F).
- Butter and flour bottom of a 9-inch springform pan.
- Beat the egg yolks with 3/4 cup sugar for 1 minute.
- Stir in milk, 1 teaspoon vanilla, flour and baking powder.
- In a small bowl, beat egg whites to soft peaks.
- Slowly add 1/4 cup sugar.
- Beat until firm.
- Gently fold 1/3 of the egg whites into the yolk mixture to lighten it.
- Fold in remaining egg whites.
- Pour batter into the prepared pan.
- Bake in preheated oven for 45 to 50 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.
- Allow to cool 10-15 minutes.
- Run a knife along the edge of cake before removing from pan.
- Let the cake cool completely.
- Place cooled cake on a deep serving plate.
- Use a fork or toothpicks to pierce the cake in several places.
- Mix together condensed milk, evaporated milk and 1/4 cup of the whipping cream.
- Set aside 1 cup of the measured milk mixture and refrigerate for another use.
- Pour remaining milk mixture over cake slowly until absorbed.
- Whip the remaining whipping cream, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 2 tablespoons sugar until it thickens.
- Frost cake with whipped cream and garnish.
- Store cake in the refrigerator until ready to eat.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.
I visited your blog and found external do-follow links in your blog posts. I am also interested to add my written
blog posts on your blog. I can give you regular blog post orders to add on your blog. Do you favor me to add my written blog posts on your blog? I shall be highly thankful to you for your quick assistance and support.
What is the guest post price https://inmamamaggieskitchen.com
Payment Mode will be Paypal
Let know your feedback…!
I’ve made this cake tres times. My son took it to his Spanish class and his teacher loved it! She said it was the best tres leches cake she’s ever had. It’s easy and delicious!
So glad you and your son’s teacher enjoyed this recipe!
I haven’t tried this yet but I want to. I don’t have a springform pan, can I use a 13X9 inch rectangular pan?
Yes! You can use the 13×9.
This turned out to be a truly decadent cake! Moist and sweet but not overly so. Even the picky eaters loved it
Glad you all enjoyed this recipe!
I made your tres leches cake for a luncheon today. Rave reviews from all attending. The directions on the milk mix was a bit confusing. I mixed the milks, removed one cup of the mix and then spooned the rest over the cake. I would suggest you spoon rather than pour it all over the cake. I did not use all the mix as it would have made the cake way too soggy rather than beautifully moist.
Glad you enjoyed this recipe. Thanks for your comment.
How long can you store the cake? My son’s birthday is tomorrow, and I wondered if I could make it today.
Sorry for the late response. It lasts up to 5 days, but you have to store it well. Cover it well with plastic, or if you have a special container, even better. Hope your son had a good birthday!
Fabulous I have made it 3 times this month for different group meeting and everyone loves it. I have shared the receipt with friends. thank you it is a new favorite.
Glad you enjoyed this Barbara!
Question for you, what do we do with the cup of milk mixture we set aside? A different delicious dessert?
Yes, just set it aside. You can drizzle it on fruit or put it into coffee. Unfortunately, because cans of the sweetened condensed milk come in only certain sizes, you either have too much or too little of the milk mixture. I would rather have too much than too little. Hope that makes sense.
I’m making this for a friend who recently received her doctorate and loves Tres Leches. When you say to set aside 1 cup of the milk mixture for another use, what does that mean? To make another cake?
No, but you can. 🙂 You’re going to have A LOT of the milk mixture. Set 1 cup aside for coffee, another cake, or just as is, it’s delicious.
Made the cake for my son’s birthday. The whole family enjoyed the cake. I will make again. It had just enough sweetnes.
That’s great to hear. I made it for my birthday too. 🙂
I made this dessert for a large family dinner and it was an absolute hit. People who have never had tres leches before loved and others said it was their favorite tres leches cake they’ve ever had. I made the sponge cake batter as directed but baked it in two 9 in round pans for 30 minutes. I doubled the whip cream recipe, mixing half of the whip cream with diced strawberries and used it as a filling in between the two layers of soaked sponge. I then frosted the whole cake with the remaining whip cream. I sifted cocoa powder on top. I also added several whip cream swirls and diced strawberries around the top border to give more strawberries and dress it up a bit.
You just made my day. So glad your family enjoyed this recipe!