tres leches cake

A few days after eating the HEAVENLY Tres Leches Doughnut from Doughnut Plant, The Daughter received her issue of Food Network Magazine, which serendipitously had a recipe for a Tres Leches Cake.  The cake is a sponge cake soaked in tres leches- Spanish for three milks- which are whole milk, evaporated milk and condensed milk.

Mother's Day was the first day that we had a good chunk of time free to tackle this recipe, so we dove in after her soccer game.  (Yes! Soccer games on Mother's Day!!)

She, like I, tends to skim over details of recipes, so when I work with her, I double check we're reading every word.

A little sifting,

a little cracking,

A LOT of pouring.

We looked askance at the amount of leches that was drowning the cake.  The flavor was good, but the dessert was puddly wet and not very appetizing to view. We all know, however, that it's all in the presentation...

After rescuing it from the milk pool and plating it up with some strawberries, mangoes, and whipped cream, The Daughter was more than happy to try a bite.

Tres Leches Cake
adapted from food network magazine, May 2010
(I took out a cup of the whole milk.)

4 large eggs
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup unsalted butter, melted, and extra for greasing pan.
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups whole milk, divided
1 1/2 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
12-ounce can evaporated milk
14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 tablespoon dark rum
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon sugar

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan with butter and line the bottom with parchment paper.
Beat the eggs and sugar in a large bowl with a mixer until pale and slightly thick, about 6 minutes. Slowly beat in the melted butter, then beat in the vanilla and 1/4 cup whole milk.
Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Sift the flour mixture over the egg mixture, then gently fold together with a rubber spatula to make a thick batter. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Run a knife along the edges to release the cake from the pan.
Meanwhile, whisk the remaining 1 cup whole milk, the evaporated milk, condensed milk and rum in a bowl. Pierce the warm cake all over with a fork, then pour the milk mixture gradually and evenly on top, letting the cake absorb the liquid until all is used. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight.
Using whisk attachment, in an electric mixer, whip the heavy cream and and sugar until soft peaks form. 
Top each piece of cake with some whipped cream.


  1. Great photos of your daughter baking in the kitchen.

    Tres Leches Cake is one of my favs. When I make it for family gatherings, they love it.


  2. Carmen, I'll have to try your recipe- I found it on your blog! This cake was dense- not spongy enough.


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