Tres Leches Cake


Tres Leches Cake


Hello Hello!  It’s Amber from Dessert Now, Dinner Later!  I’m back just in time to share the perfect dessert for Cinco de Mayo, which is only 11 days away!  This is the first time I have made this particular cake myself, but I have had it before and I totally forgot how good it is!  If you haven’t had it before, you MUST try it!


Tres Leches Cake


Tres Leches Cake is Spanish for “3 milk” cake.  There is evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, and a little bit of heavy cream.  The cake base itself is a chiffon, spongy light cake, which is perfect for absorbing all three milks, making it super moist and enjoyable!   If you look at the corner of the pan in the picture above, you can see some of the milk on the bottom next to the whipped cream, it’s dripping-ly moist!


Tres Leches Cake


I have a strong opinion about chiffon cakes by themselves.  If you asked me, I would straight up tell you I hate them.  The cake itself can be so dry.  When I was working in a certain bakery, my boss only wanted me to make chiffon cakes for the wedding cakes we sold.  Well, more often than not, there would be complaints after the weddings about it being dry, no matter how much simple syrup I put between the layers.  I kept telling him, people want moist, chewy cakes like they get from a box mix.  I doctor up my box mixes when I do wedding cakes out of my home, but people LOVE them.  He refused to believe that people liked a box mix more than his chiffon cake recipe.  Anyway, this chiffon cake is perfectly fine because it soaks in all that milk.  Problem solved!  We loved and devoured this cake!


Tres Leches Cake


What Does Tres Leches Mean?

Tres leches means 3 milk bread.

It is a sponge cake—or a butter cake—soaked in three kinds of milk: evaporated milk, condensed milk, and heavy cream.


Can Tres Leches Cake Be Frozen?

Yes, tres leches cake can be frozen.

It should be wrapped well in plastic or foil before freezing.


Tres Leches Cake

Tres Leches Cake
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Tres Leches Cake

Course: 500+ Best Dessert Recipes
Keyword: cake, cinco de mayo, evaporated milk, heavy cream, mexican, milk, strawberries, sweetened condensed milk, whipped cream
Servings: 12 servings
Author: Sweet Basil


For the Cake:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 5 eggs separated
  • 1 cup sugar divided
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream*

For the Icing:

  • 1 3/4 cup heavy cream*
  • 3 Tbsp sugar


  • 1/2 lb sliced strawberries


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Spray a 9x13-inch pan liberally until coated.
  • Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.
  • Separate eggs.
  • Beat egg yolks with 3/4 cup sugar on high speed until yolks are pale yellow.
  • Stir in milk and vanilla.
  • Pour egg yolk mixture over the flour mixture and fold very gently until combined.
  • Beat egg whites on high speed until soft peaks form.
  • With the mixer on, pour in the remaining 1/4 cup sugar and beat until egg whites are stiff, but not dry.
  • Fold egg white mixture into the batter very gently, until just combined (no more white streaks).
  • Pour into prepared pan and spread batter evenly.
  • Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Turn cake out onto a rimmed platter or baking sheet and allow to cool.
  • Combine evaporated milk, condensed milk and 1/4 cup heavy cream in a small pitcher.
  • When cake is cool, pierce the surface with a fork several times. Slowly drizzle ALL BUT 1 CUP of the milk mixture taking care to get as much around the edges of the cake as you can. (Discard extra cup of milk, or give it to your kids as a "special drink.")
  • Allow the cake to absorb the milk mixture for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
  • Whip 1 3/4 cups heavy cream with 3 Tbsp sugar until thick and spreadable.
  • Spread over the top and sides of the cake.
  • Cut into squares, top with sliced strawberries and serve.


*The heavy cream needed for this recipe is equivalent to 1 pint or 2 cups for the cake and icing.
Recipe shared by: Amber at Dessert Now, Dinner Later!
And lightly altered from The Pioneer Woman
Tried this recipe?Mention @OhSweetBasil or tag #OhSweetBasil!

Want more Cinco De Mayo inspired recipes?

Horchata || {Key} Lime Pie

Cinco De Mayo

Churro Bites with Chocolate Dulce De Leche Dip || Dulce De Leche Bread Pudding


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Carrian Cheney

Lover of all things beautiful, good and delicious. Wife, mother, friend, foodie.

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15 comments on “Tres Leches Cake”

  1. Y’all – omg. Made this tonight – SO GOOD. Ended up pouring all of the milk mixture on the cake instead of saving a cup of it – turned out perfect! Already decided we’re having it for breakfast in the AM! 

  2. can you make this a day ahead. Should I wait to the day of the party to pour milk mixture on top and top with whipped topping?

  3. i’ve been craving this cake. yum!

  4. I made this for my husband for his birthday. We had not had any since leaving Miami and never home made. It came out delicious. The only problem was I over whipped my frosting just a tiny bit. Also I used traditional maraschino cherries, but I think the strawberries a much better idea.

    • Also I used all the milk mixture on the cake. They are usually very wet when I have purchase at a bakery. It was fine just that way.

  5. Pingback: 20 Tex-Mex Cinco de Mayo Recipes

  6. Tres leches has been on my must-make list for a while now and yours looks SO perfect, Carrian! I can’t wait to try it soon!

  7. My son’s favorite. Can’t wait to make it. Looks yummy & beautiful, nice styling.