Tres Leches Cake

There are just some foods you never forget after one bite. For me, that was a pillowy soft, super moist slice of tres leches cake piled high with whipped cream and berries. I’ve been intent on recreating it ever since!

Now, I’m no cake baker extraordinaire. I cook a killer roast and mashed potatoes, but baking? Not my strongest suit. However, eating baked treats? I’ve won medals. (That’s not true.) I looked for every possible shortcut in baking this cake from scratch. But, they all seemed like cheats. And they were.

I like my homemade sweets to have a little heart and soul after all, so it was decided. Time to tackle tres leches and banish the boxed mix!

I just had no idea it would be so. friggin. easy.

The deeper I delved into the recipe as I made it, the more I learned. Tres leches is just a simple sponge cake (similar to angel food) – egg whites, flour, milk, vanilla. The usual suspects. But, what makes it special?

I bet you’ll never guess.

It’s the tres leches! Which, translated, literally means “three milks” – a mixture of heavy cream, sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk that soaks into every luscious little crumb. Just poke the heck out of your cake, pour it over top, and set that baby to soak in the fridge.

Now, are you ready for the fun part? Let’s smother that sucker in whipped cream and fresh berries! Is there any better topping for a springtime dessert, after all?

That’s not a question.

What results is a cake so moist and mouthwateringly good, you won’t even believe you made it. But you did, and it’s delicious. And now all you have to do is try to not eat all 15 slices. Easier said than done, people. Easier said than done.

For Cinco de Mayo, or any occasion that calls for something elegant yet easy, a super soft homemade tres leches cake will hit the spot! You’re just gonna love it – and whoever is lucky enough to share it with you will, too!

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Tres Leches Cake

Yield: Makes 1 (13 x 9-inch) cake // 15 servings

Ingredients:

For the Cake:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 large eggs, separated
1 cup granulated sugar, divided
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Milk Mixture:
1 (5 oz.) can evaporated milk
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup heavy cream

For the Topping:
1 3/4 cup heavy cream
3 Tablespoons powdered sugar
1 cup sliced strawberries, optional

Directions:

For the Cake: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 13 x 9-inch pan liberally with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt.

Separate eggs into two bowls. Pour egg yolks into a large bowl and add 3/4 cup sugar. Beat with an electric mixer on high speed until yolks are pale yellow. Stir in milk and vanilla. Gently fold egg yolk mixture into flour mixture until combined.

In a large bowl, beat egg whites on high speed until soft peaks form. With mixer running, add remaining 1/4 cup sugar and beat until egg whites are stiff but glossy. Gently fold egg white mixture into batter, just until combined and no white streaks remain. Pour batter into prepared pan and spread evenly.

Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow cake to cool in pan, or carefully invert whole cake onto a large serving plate.

For the Milk Mixture: Whisk all ingredients in a medium bowl. Discard 1/2 cup of milk mixture (Using the full amount would result in a too-soggy cake). Once cake is cool, pierce the surface with a fork several times. Drizzle milk mixture over top and edges of cake. Allow cake to absorb mixture for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.

For the Topping: Whip heavy cream with sugar until thick and spreadable. Spread over the top and sides of the cake. Cut into squares and top with sliced strawberries. Serve.

Enjoy!

 

 

      

44 Responses to “Tres Leches Cake”

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    1
    Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes — May 2, 2014 @ 1:17 am

    I think this would be one of those desserts that I can’t forget after taking one bite! It looks amazing!

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    Stacy | Wicked Good Kitchen — May 2, 2014 @ 5:36 am

    Beautiful from-scratch cake, Georgia! Tres Leches Cake with whipped cream and fresh berries is the perfect dessert for Cinco de Mayo. Gorgeous photos, as always, my friend. :) Thanks for sharing. Pinning!

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    Ramona — May 2, 2014 @ 5:57 am

    You read my mind…. I was just thinking about Tres Leches Cake for Cinco De Mayo… and now you have a wonderful recipe for me to use. :) Can you believe I have never had this cake before… so it’s about time I do!

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    Nazia @ This Baker Girl Blogs — May 2, 2014 @ 6:50 am

    These look so delightful! i just got some strawberries in this morning :)

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    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar — May 2, 2014 @ 7:09 am

    Tres leches makes me swoon. It’s always the life of the party in this house. Great recipe!

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    Kristine @ Kristine's Kitchen — May 2, 2014 @ 7:20 am

    I’ve never made tres leches cake, but I think you’ve just convinced me that I must soon! Just look at that whipped cream and those strawberries! Your photos of this cake are absolutely gorgeous.

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    Barbara | Creative Culinary — May 2, 2014 @ 7:23 am

    One of my favorites Georgia but the addition of strawberries is genius; will absolutely have to do that next time!

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    Maureen | Orgasmic Chef — May 2, 2014 @ 8:44 am

    I was with Ramona but I don’t think I could out-do you on this cake. It looks perfect.

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    cheri — May 2, 2014 @ 9:11 am

    Love what you did here, you certainly have elevated this simple little cake with the strawberries and topping. Truly a masterpiece.

  10. #
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    Valerie | From Valerie's Kitchen — May 2, 2014 @ 11:29 am

    What a lovely cake. Perfect for May 5!

  11. #
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    Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet — May 2, 2014 @ 12:59 pm

    Beautiful! I might have to make it this weekend! Sharing!

  12. #
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    Monica — May 2, 2014 @ 3:01 pm

    Another beautiful creation from you, Georgia! I have heard so much about tres leches cake. Seems everyone’s who has tried it, loves it. I want to try soon. Your recipe and the result looks sensational.

  13. #
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    Angel Reyes — May 2, 2014 @ 3:29 pm

    I love Tres Leches!!! This looks awesome, plus the frosting/topping looks amazing!

  14. #
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    Angelyn @ Everyday Desserts — May 2, 2014 @ 4:37 pm

    yum, this looks so perfect!! beautiful cake!

  15. #
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    Danae @ Recipe Runner — May 2, 2014 @ 5:15 pm

    Tres Leches is on my list of top 5 favorite cakes! I absolutely love it! The way those milks seep into the holes of the cake making it so so moist is mouthwatering. Then topping it with sweet whipped cream and strawberries, heaven!

  16. #
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    ashley - baker by nature — May 2, 2014 @ 6:58 pm

    Holy yum, sista! This looks amazing!!!

  17. #
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    Amy @ The Blond Cook — May 2, 2014 @ 7:02 pm

    Oh. My. Word. This cake looks incredible. “Almost” too pretty to eat! ALMOST. Your photography is beautiful!

  18. #
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    Norma | Allspice and Nutmeg — May 2, 2014 @ 7:59 pm

    Gorgeous! This looks so moist and delicious, Georgia!

  19. #
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    Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella — May 2, 2014 @ 8:13 pm

    Georgia, that’s exactly how I felt about tres leches cake the first time I tried it. It’s such a glorious item! Yours looks divine :)

  20. #
    20
    Pat — May 2, 2014 @ 10:07 pm

    How beautiful is that! Looks to me like you are a ‘baker’, I am drooling. I’m not the baker of our team either, that title goes to my daughter, Dahn. However, I am tempted here. :)

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    Tieghan Gerard — May 2, 2014 @ 10:44 pm

    So pretty! I need to try this!! :)

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    Bam's Kitchen — May 3, 2014 @ 12:30 am

    Gorgeous cake! I think this cake would be perfect for mothers day! I am not much of the baker either I m more of a savoury girl but you make it sound so easy. Wishing you a super weekend. Pinned! Take Care, BAM

  23. #
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    Adri — May 3, 2014 @ 1:50 am

    O my, but what a beautiful cake. I bet it is delicious!

  24. #
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    whatjessicabakednext — May 3, 2014 @ 5:06 am

    I love tres leches cake- love the sliced strawberries on top! Very pretty and perfect for Cinco de Mayo! :)

  25. #
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    Angie@Angie's Recipes — May 3, 2014 @ 5:43 am

    This is so spring and gorgeous! I would love a slice with my afternoon tea!

  26. #
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    Katrina @ In Katrina's Kitchen — May 3, 2014 @ 8:16 am

    This Tres leches cake is positively mouth watering!

  27. #
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    Kayle (The Cooking Actress) — May 3, 2014 @ 8:27 am

    gorgeouuuusness! Love how moist and perfect this cake looks!

  28. #
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    cquek — May 3, 2014 @ 9:23 am

    Sounds delicious!

  29. #
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    marcie — May 3, 2014 @ 11:16 am

    WOW — you are a cake baker extraordinaire after tackling this — it looks to be a major success! My mouth is watering…it sounds so moist, creamy and delicious. I’ve never had tres leches cake, and I need to try it. Mountains of whipped cream is always a good idea in my book, too! :)

  30. #
    30
    Liz — May 3, 2014 @ 6:16 pm

    My daughter loves this cake…and yours doesn’t have the overly soggy look! Yum! And so beautifully garnished with berries :)

  31. #
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    Phi @ The Sweetphi Blog — May 3, 2014 @ 7:18 pm

    I looooove strawberries and cream, and this cake looks super moist and delicious, perfect in time for cinco de mayo! yum!

  32. #
    32
    Meriem @ Culinary Couture — May 3, 2014 @ 9:56 pm

    Oh I would definitely take the gold medal for fastest time devouring this cake!

  33. #
    33
    Carol at Wild Goose Tea — May 3, 2014 @ 10:41 pm

    I can’t imagine what this tastes like. There is no doubt it is good. I have heard the term before, but have never read a recipe. I think I am going to have to make this one. Good thing summer is coming on and there are lots of potlucks.
    With the berries and of course it doesn’t have to be strawberries either, it is the perfect time of year to bring this one on stage.

  34. #
    34
    Monet — May 3, 2014 @ 11:17 pm

    What a beautiful tres leches cake, Georgai! I love the strawberries you added on top. Makes this cake seem even more festive.

  35. #
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    Jeremy Norton — May 4, 2014 @ 7:19 am

    This looks so creamy and full of taste. Definitely best for mother’s day indeed.

  36. #
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    Zainab — May 4, 2014 @ 10:32 am

    This cake is perfect!! I love that you topped it with whipped cream and fresh berries. Springy perfect!!

  37. #
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    Jaclyn — May 4, 2014 @ 12:49 pm

    I meant to post a tres leches cake last week for Cinco de Mayo and never got around to it, now seeing yours I’m totally regretting that! It looks perfect! I love that overhead shot and the close up of course!

  38. #
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    Emily @ Life on Food — May 4, 2014 @ 6:48 pm

    My mind is totally blown by this cake. Amazing!! And it is a cake I know my husband will eat right up. Not sure if that is a good or bad thing.

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    Jocelyn (Grandbaby Cakes) — May 4, 2014 @ 8:41 pm

    This cake looks so fab! I think I am in love! And the berries look beautiful.

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    Sandra | Sandra's Easy Cooking — May 4, 2014 @ 10:09 pm

    Very very delicious!!! I so want to eat it from the screen, seriously! stunning pictures!!!

  41. #
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    CH — May 5, 2014 @ 12:58 am

    This cake with a soft meringue topping instead of cream is awesome too.

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    Jules @ WolfItDown — May 5, 2014 @ 2:57 am

    That cream frosting looks absolutely out of this world! Stunning cake :D x

  43. #
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    Medeja — May 6, 2014 @ 6:19 am

    One of my favorite cakes.. :) I have no doubt it was very delicious.

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    Lindsey @ American Heritage Cooking — May 9, 2014 @ 9:20 am

    Can you believe I’ve never even had tres leches cake?! How horrible is that? Have I incited enough sympathy to get you to make me one?

    no? Oh well, this cake looks easy enough to whip up on the fly! I love how you decorated it with the strawberries! So pretty!

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