Picture this: a light and fluffy vanilla sponge soaked in sweet milk, and when you take a bite into it, it delivers a balanced sweetness and creamy indulgence. What more can you ask for?
Indulging in a delectable dessert is one of life’s simple pleasures, and if you are a fan of sweet desserts, then Tres Leches Cake is an absolutely must-try.
Ultra moist, soft, and soaked in three types of milk, this cake will melt in your mouth instantly.
This is one of the best cake recipes we have tried in our kitchen. And do I need to say more? It was a total hit among my family.
Tres leches, which means “Three Kinds of Milk” in Spanish and originating from Latin America, perfectly describes the essence of the Tres leches cake.
It is a moist sponge cake soaked in a creamy combination of whole milk, sweetened condensed milk, and evaporated milk that results in a sweet dessert that is moist, rich, and oh-so-satisfying.
The sponge is typically made by incorporating beaten egg whites into the batter, giving it an airy texture. After soaking in milk sauce, it is topped with velvety, sweet whipped cream. Combining these three elements offers a cake that melts in your mouth and gives you an experience like no other dessert.
This satisfying dessert has captured not only the heart of its native land but also the rest of the world. This recipe is as authentic as it can be.
With this recipe for Tres Leches cake, you can impress your family and friends in no time. This cake is perfect for any occasion or get-together, as it tastes even better when it is soaked in milk sauce for extra time. And I am sure your guests will keep asking for more, so make some extra.
Tres Leches Recipe Video Tutorial
Why You Will Love This Recipe?
- Flavor: Tres Leches cake has a distinct flavor that is simply delightful. As the vanilla-flavored sponge absorbs the sweet milk sauce, creating a rich and creamy flavor, resulting in a cake that is not overly sweet but rather a perfectly balanced cake that is a crowd pleaser.
- Texture: Tres Leches cake is known for its moist and creamy texture. As the milk sauce is absorbed into the cake, it creates a moist, creamy, and velvety texture that is hard to resist after one bite.
- Easy: While it may seem complex to make this cake, it is relatively simple to prepare. Whether you are a beginner or a novice in baking, you will be able to make it without any difficulty.
- Crowd pleaser: The popularity of Tres leches cake is not only bound to its native land. It has captured the hearts of many dessert lovers worldwide, making it the perfect choice for any celebration and gathering, such as birthdays, weddings, or baby showers. Its luscious taste and visually appealing look make it a total crowd-pleaser.
- Versatile: Tres Leches cake can be customized with various toppings and fillings, adding versatility to its delicious taste. You can add fresh fruits, chocolate shavings, or even a drizzle of caramel on top as a topping.
Important Ingredients Used in the Recipe
- Milk: In this recipe, I have used three different kinds of milk: sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, and heavy cream. Although many recipes call for whole milk, I have used heavy cream to give it a rich flavor. Sweetened condensed milk adds richness and sweetness to the cake, evaporated milk adds creaminess, and heavy cream adds richness and helps achieve desired moist texture. If you do not have heavy cream, you can substitute it with full-fat whole milk.
- Egg: The egg is an essential ingredient in making the sponge for the cake. It provides structure and creates a light and airy texture. Here, egg yolk and egg whites are being used separately.
- Butter: Although butter is not used in traditional Tres Leches cake, I have used butter to give the sponge a rich buttery flavor.
- Heavy cream: In this recipe, heavy cream is used in milk sauce and topping. It is light and creamy, which complements the texture and taste of Tres Leches cake.
- Sugar: Castor and icing sugar are both used in this recipe. Castor sugar is used in making the sponge, while icing sugar is used in topping to give heavy cream a little sweetness.
- Vanilla Essence: Vanilla essence adds flavor to the cake batter and the topping. You can also substitute it with almond extract.
How to Make Tres Leches Cake?
Preparations: Gather all the ingredients that you need to make the recipe. Make sure you use a kitchen weighing scale to measure the ingredients. Preheat the oven to 180° C or 350°F (OTG mode: lower rod + upper rod + fan). Also, prepare a rectangular ring by clinging, wrapping it twice, then wrapping it with aluminum foil. After that, grease the inside with oil a little bit so that the sponge does not stick to the ring.
Making the Batter for Sponge: In a bowl, cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Ensure you do not over-cream it; the sponge will sink from the middle. Add egg yolk, milk, and vanilla essence, and mix. Sieve in the dry ingredients, which are all-purpose flour, salt, and baking powder, then mix again. In a clean bowl, make meringue by beating the egg white until foamy, then add sugar in parts and beat again until you get a nice glossy meringue. Gradually fold the meringue into the batter carefully in parts. Do not overmix the batter; the meringue will lose airy bubbles, resulting in a dense and hard sponge. Now pour the batter into the prepared ring and bake it at 180° C or 350°F (OTG mode: lower rod mode only) for 25 – 30 minutes.
Making the Milk Sauce: Meanwhile, in a bowl, mix sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, and heavy cream along with vanilla essence. And set aside for further use.
Topping: For the topping, beat heavy icing sugar along with vanilla essence together until a soft peak is achieved.
Assembly: De-mold the sponge after cooling it down. Make holes with a wooden dowel into the sponge. Now, pour the milk sauce over the sponge. Place the sponge on a deep dish so that the sponge is dipped in the sauce till half or 1/3rd. Keep it in the fridge overnight or at least 4 hours after 4 hours. Apply a thick layer of whipped cream on top and smooth it out using a palette knife. Now lightly dust natural cocoa powder on top. Lastly, use a round nozzle to make a border by piping dollops of the same whipped cream.
Chef’s Tip For The Recipe
Avoid Overmixing The Batter.
Do not overmix the batter, or else it will lead to a hard and dense cake.
Avoid Overbeating Heavy Cream.
While beating heavy cream, ensure you do not beat it for too long; otherwise, it will turn into curdled milk.
Tips For The Best Tres Leches Cake.
Soak the sponge with milk sauce overnight before serving.
Use high-quality sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, and heavy cream, as the quality of these ingredients will impact the final taste and texture of the Tres leches cake.
How to store Tres Leches cake?
Tres leches cake must be stored in a fridge since it contains a milk mixture, which can spoil if left at room temperature. It can be stored in the fridge for 2 – 3 days. So, consume it within 2 – 3 days of preparation.
To prevent the cake from absorbing other odors in the refrigerator, place it in an air-tight container. Make sure to cover is sealed will maintain the cake’s moisture.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Tres Leches cake is a traditional Latin American cake made with a light vanilla sponge soaked in milk sauce made with three different kinds of milk. The cake is then topped with sweet whipped cream.
Yes, you can make a Tres Leches cake in advance. If you make it a day before serving, the cake will taste even better as it needs time to soak the milk sauce.
Yes, you can use regular milk instead of heavy cream to make the sauce. Remember that the flavor and texture may vary slightly with regular milk.
To avoid soggy cake, avoid oversoak the sponge with milk sauce. Also, ensure you refrigerate the cake overnight or for at least 4 hours before serving, as this will help the milk sauce distribute evenly and set properly.
- 62 g All-purpose flour
- 40 g Castor sugar (a)
- 40 g Castor sugar (b)
- ½ tsp Baking powder
- ¼ tsp Salt
- 30 g Salted butter
- 41 g Egg whites
- 22 g Egg yolks
- 60 g Milk
- ½ tsp Vanilla essence
For Milk/Leches Sauce
- 132 ml Sweetened condensed milk
- 113 ml Evaporated milk
- 59 ml Heavy cream
- ¼ tsp Vanilla essence
For Whipped Cream
- 118 g Heavy cream
- 22 g Icing sugar
- ¼ tsp Vanilla essence
- Preheat the oven to 180° C or 350°F (OTG mode: lower rod + upper rod + fan).
- Grease a rectangular ring and line it twice with cling wrap and once with aluminum foil.
- Cream butter and sugar (a) until pale and fluffy in texture. Add in egg yolk, milk, and vanilla essence, then give it a mix again.
- Sieve in dry ingredients that, are all-purpose flour, salt, and baking powder, and mix again to get a smooth, lump-free batter.
- In a new clean glass bowl, beat egg whites until foamy, then gradually add sugar (b) in parts, then beat until you get a glossy and soft peaked meringue.
- Fold in the meringue to the batter in two to three batches.
- Bake it at 180° C or 350°F (OTG mode: lower rod mode only) for 25-30 minutes.
For Milk/Leches, Sauce
- In a bowl, mix sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, and heavy cream along with vanilla essence.
- Set aside for further use.
For Whipped Cream
- In a bowl, whip heavy cream, icing sugar, and vanilla essence together until a soft peak is achieved.
- De-mold the cooled sponge from the ring. And trim off any domed part if you have any.
- Make holes in the sponge using a wooden dowel.
- Transfer it to a deep dish and pour milk or leches sauce on top and make sure it reaches 1/3rd of the sponge or half.
- Keep it in the fridge overnight or at least 4- 5 hours.
- Apply a thick layer of whipped cream on top and smooth it out.
- Lightly dust cocoa powder on top of the whipped cream.
- Make a border with the same whipped cream using a round nozzle.
- Prep Time: 50 to 60 minutes
- Cook Time: 4 to 5 hours