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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

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Tres Leches Cake

Tres Leches Cake

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Additional Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings: 12


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
Store, covered, in the refrigerator
Nutrition Facts
Tres Leches Cake
Amount Per Serving (1 g)
Calories 432 Calories from Fat 198
% Daily Value*
Fat 22g34%
Saturated Fat 13g81%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 6g
Cholesterol 134mg45%
Sodium 162mg7%
Potassium 376mg11%
Carbohydrates 52g17%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 43g48%
Protein 9g18%
Vitamin A 854IU17%
Vitamin C 13mg16%
Calcium 242mg24%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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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Cozy Soup Recipes to Get You Through the Winter

About the authors

carrian feik cheney oh sweet basil

Cade and Carrian have three children and love to spend time together whether it’s vacationing or snuggled up on the couch for a good movie.

And this family especially loves to eat.

They love everything from the keep you fit and healthy to the get out your sweat pants indulgent and everything in between.

But most of all, they love the memories made, shared and treasured and it’s all thanks to a meal shared together with loved ones.

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Recipe Rating


  • This is not a chiffon cake, it’s a fatless sponge cake. No wonder you found them dry. In French bakeries, Genoese – which is what this is – is always moistened with syrup before assembling. Chiffon cakes have oil and are moist and light at the same time. You need to go back to Culinary School.

    • Reply
    • Hello! This was written by a guest blogger and is quite dated. I’ll have to revisit it and see about getting everything updated. Thank you for bringing this to our attention.

      • Reply
  • Hey ,
    Can I freeze soaked/ drenched in 3milk mixture tres leches ?

    Will it be fresh on thawing ?

    • Reply
    • Hi Tas! You can freeze the whole soaked cake and it thaws and tastes great. Is that what you are asking? Sorry if I misunderstood!

      • Reply
  • 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! 

    • Reply
    • Tres Leches Cake for breakfast…count me in! Thank you for the feedback Holly!

      • Reply
  • 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?

    • Reply
    • I believe it only gets better with time actually!

      • Reply
  • i’ve been craving this cake. yum!

    • Reply
  • 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.

    • Reply
    • 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.

      • Reply
  • 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!

    • Reply
    • Oops – meant to say “Amber” haha. Thanks for sharing, ladies!

      • Reply
      • It’s all good, thanks! You should definitely try it because we loved it!

  • That does look wonderful…

    • Reply
    • Thanks so much!

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

    • Reply
    • You’ll have to let me know if your son approves. Thanks!

      • Reply

Cozy Soup Recipes to Get You Through the Winter