This Tres Leches Cake is definitely like a piece of dessert heaven! Not too sweet, and just a hint of cinnamon. It’s ridiculously delicious.
Happy Monday morning! I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas. We certainly did, and my best present was being able to Skype with my son who is serving a mission in Cusco, Peru. Honestly, it was the best and I wish I could do it again today, but I can’t so I’ll just have to be happy with getting his weekly email today.
In case you didn’t notice, I took last week off, but I’m back today with an amazing Tres Leches Cake recipe. If you’re not familiar with Tres leches cake, it’s a sponge cake soaked with a mixture of “three milks” then topped with sweetened whipping cream. It’s tender and creamy and so, so good. This cake kind of just melts in your mouth. I’ve had versions of tres leches cake before that were just a little too soggy for me, but this one is not! I promise. It has the most incredible flavor and I love the hint of cinnamon in it. Don’t leave it out.This cake is heavenly. It’s moist, but not mushy and not too sweet. . . .it’s perfect! An an added bonus is that your house smells amazing while it’s baking! YUM!Print
Tres Leches Cake
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cup whole milk
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, cut into chunks
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Empty the can of condensed milk into a small saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring continuously. Bring to a boil and reduce heat and simmer, stirring constantly until mixture begins to thicken and becomes slightly darker in color. Remove from heat and gradually whisk in the evaporated milk, cream and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Set aside to cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes.
- Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat to 325 F. Grease and flour a 9×13-inch baking pan.
- Whisk the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in a medium bowl, set aside. Heat the milk, butter and vanilla in a small saucepan over low heat until the butter is melted, set aside. In a large bowl whip the eggs with an electric mixer on medium-high speed and gradually add the sugar; beat 1 minute. Increase speed and whip until the mixture is very thick and voluminous, 4 to 8 minutes longer.
- Reduce mixer speed to low and add the melted butter mixture, beating until combined, about 30 seconds. Add the flour mixture in two additions, beating until incorporated, about 30 seconds. Increase the mixer speed to medium and whip the batter until it is fully combined and smooth, about 30 seconds.
- Scrape batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top and gently tap the pan on the work surface to settle it. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few crumbs attached, 30 to 35 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes.
- Using a skewer, poke about 50 holes in the warm cake (you do not need to poke all the way through). Slowly pour the cooled milk mixture over the cake. Let the cake cool about 15 minutes, then refrigerate until the milk is completely absorbed and the cake has cooled completely, about 3 hours. Let the cake sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before frosting it.
- With an electric mixer, beat whipping cream, sugar and vanilla until soft peaks form. Spread evenly over cake.
- Cake can be covered with plastic wrap and stored in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- Cook Time: 35 minutes
- Category: Cakes & Cupcakes
Recipe Source: Adapted slightly from The Cook’s Country Cookbook
Sounds delicious. Thank you and Happy New Year.
Happy New Year!! Made this for New Years Eve dinner with friends and it was a hit! And the kids are excited that there are leftovers!
My batter came out liquid.hopefully it cooks right
For the frosting do you use powdered sugar or regular sugar?
I use granulated sugar Katy, but powdered sugar would work too.
Jen Savage says
Do you think it would work in a bunt cake pan?
That is a good question Jen. I honestly don’t know how it would turn out. I think it’s definitely worth trying. I found this recipe where she used a bundt pan and she gives a few pointers on how she poured the three milks. You might want to check it out, here is the link: http://www.bhg.com/blogs/delish-dish/2015/09/10/tres-leches-cake. Let me know if you try it and how it works.
Hi, I was wondering if we could change the heavy cream by Greek yogurt? Thanks!
Hi Ana, I’ve never tried replacing the whipping cream with Greek yogurt, but it’s definitely worth trying. The cake won’t be as sweet without the sweetened whipped cream on top, but let me know if you try it.
I will Jody, thanks!!!
Hi Jodi. So, I make a few changes on your recipe and the result was fantastic. I change the heavy cream in the cake for regular milk, I reduced the sugar to 1/2 cup instead of 2 cups and for the frosting I used Greek yogurt instead of the whipped cream. Delicious, I will do it again for sure!!
Hi Ana. Thanks for letting me know how it turned out. Just curious, did you make it without any changes the first time and then make it a second time with changes? Good to know it still tastes good cutting out that much sugar.
No, I just tríed once with the changes. My father is a French pastry chef so I asked him before if I could cut the sugar and the heavy cream. It turns out he was right! If some people don’t like cakes too sweet like me, it’s a good alternative.
Good to know, thanks again.
Hi I am making the cake and I am wondering is the cake supposed to be a little moist when it is finished or should I keep it in the oven for a few more minutes
I left it in the oven and it came out really good
Hi Christine! Sorry I didn’t respond sooner. I’m glad it turned out for you. It’s ok if there are a few crumbs on the toothpick when you pull it out, but they should just barely moist.
Hi Christine, sorry I didn’t reply sooner. I’m glad this turned out for you. When you insert a toothpick, you just want a few crumbs on it. The crumbs should be moist, but not “wet.” Does that make sense? You did the right thing leaving it in the oven for a few minutes.
OK I made the cake and it was awesome and a big hit. This was the first time I ever made a cake from scratch I plan on making a lot more thank you
Veronica Magana says
I love Tres Leches Cake and for a while now I’ve been looking for a good recipe. A few days ago i stumbled upon your recipe, so I decided to make it. I have to say I’ve never had it with cinnamon, until I tried yours. It’s absolutely delicious. Everybody including me loved it. It didn’t have a chance. Thank you
Thanks Veronica! I love hearing comments like that. So happy you loved it!
I tried other Tres Leche recipes and none of them worked out.
Your recipe did and my family loves it!!!
We feel like we’re in the Caribbean again without the sunny weather
Thanks Trisha! I’m so glad this turned out for you. Thanks for letting me know.
Do you have some tips or ideas to create a chocolate version? We’re chocoholics
Hi Trisha! I’ve actually been wanting to make a chocolate version of tres leches too. My son lived in Peru for two years and had chocolate tres leches several times and has asked me to try making it. I’ve been looking for a good recipe for a chocolate version, so I’ll let you know when I find a good one.
Hello Jodi, have you tried to make cupe cakes tres leches? How long you suggest to bake them?
Have you already found a good chocolate recipe? I’ve tried to improvise to make a chocolate version but it didn’t came out as I wanted.
Hi Trisha, I haven’t not made these into cupcakes. I would probably cook them for 15 minutes to start and then check them, that may be all the time they need. Let them cool, then use a skewer to poke holes all over, but don’t poke all the way through the cupcake liner. I actually tried a chocolate version just this past weekend. I tried adapted this recipe, the flavor was delicious, but I didn’t love the texture so I’ll give it another try and make adjustments. I’ll keep you posted.
Judy Jewell says
Why don’t you use tres leche instead of condensed milk? You really should try this cake with the chocolate!!
Would it be okay if i took the cake out and frosted the sides?
Hi Zoe, I’ve never tried and and I don’t know how well it will work. You will definitely have to take the cake out of the pan and put it on a platter (or whatever else) before you poke the holes and pour the milks over it. Trying to get the cake out of the pan after you’ve poured the milks would be a mess I think. You can certainly give it a try. Let me know if you do.
I took it out after pouring the milk mixture to frost the sides, I used a silicone pan.
Great, glad to know it worked that way. Thanks for letting me know.
Hi 🙂 I am really keen to try this cake as I have been looking for a recipe for a while now. Have you tried other variations of it? Perhaps a rose flavour? Could you please suggest how I might be able to make a rose variation of it 🙂 Thank you!
Hi Sameera, I’m not sure what to tell you because I’ve never made anything using rose flavoring. I’m sure could google it and find out. Sorry.
Sue Kuhrts says
This is the second time I have made this cake. The first time it was fabulous. I sees it will be this time too. Thank you,
Hi Sue. I’m so happy to hear you’ve made this cake and loved it. It truly is the best tres leches cake I’ve ever had. Thanks for leaving a comment.
I’m in the process of making this but confused and concerned. It says you’ll need a cup of heavy cream for the milk part but I dont see where it says insert it, I only see it at the end for the whipped cream. I’m worried if I should leave it out of the milk part since no one else commented on this or if I should just add it in…
It does say when to add it in the instructions. It says “gradually whisk in the evaporated milk, cream and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Set aside to cool. . . “ Hopefully you see this in time. Good luck.
My question is the same as above. I have read/re-read the recipe. I am not finding where it says to add the condensed milk mixture to the eggs and sugar (in the cake section) My apologies if I’m missing something.
Hi Cheryl! You don’t add the condensed milk mixture to the cake batter. You poke holes into the baked cake and pour it over the top after. You add the melted butter mixture to the cake, not the condensed milk mixture. I hope this clears things up. Let me know if you’re still confused.
Yes….I’m re-reading again and that was my initial understanding.
I am obviously confusing myself. I asked because after adding the sugar to the eggs as instructed, my mixture did not become thick and voluminous. I am using an electric hand mixture. Could that be the cause?
A hand mixture should work. Were your eggs at room temperature? That would make a difference in how they mix up.
I don’t usually leave comments on blogs, but had to leave one here. Tres Leches is my all time favorite dessert and I have been searching for a good recipe for years, literally. This is, BY FAR, the best tres leches I have ever had, either homemade by me or at a restaurant.
Hi Michelle! Thank you for the nice comment, I really appreciate it. I am so happy you loved this cake. I have to agree with you that it is THE best Tres Leches cake ever! Thanks again! I love hearing from my readers.
I made this tonight and it was so delicious. I omitted about 3/4 cup of the sugar, used whole milk instead of cream, and didn’t do the whipped cream topping and still turned out amazing! Thank you for this recipe!
So happy to year you loved this!. Good to know it’s still delicious without all the sugar. I loved whipped cream topping too much, so I don’t think I could ever leave that off (LOL!) Thanks for leaving a comment!
I tried making this and the sweetened condensed milk became clumpy. I think that it’s burnt, right?
Hi Rachel, I’ve never had the sweetened condensed milk become clumpy so I’m not sure what happened. If you turned your stove down to low and let it simmer while constantly stirring it like the directions say, I’m not sure why it would burn. Sorry, I wish I knew.
Hi, can I half the ingredients for a 8 inch by 8 inch pan?
Yes you should be able to half it and use an 8X8 inch pan. I haven’t done that with this particular cake, but I have with plenty of other cakes made in an 9×13 pan and it works just great. Take care!
Yes…4 eggs were definitely room temp. I am just really scratching my head about this. Usually have no difficulty following recipes. Was really excited to try after reading others’ responses. Any other thoughts regarding why my mixture is not thickening?
Cheryl, I’m not sure why they didn’t get thick. I’ve never had that happen. I hope it still turned out for you.:)
I don’t think I’ve ever left a comment on ANY recipe EVER! I’ve been using this recipe for a couple of years now and I just want to let you know how absolute perfect it is. My friends and family LOVE IT! I’m asked to bring it to events and my husband regularly requests it.
I follow it exactly to a T and it comes out perfect! Thank you for your time and effort with this recipe and it’s about time I left my respects to you!
Hi Hayden! Wow, thank you so much for that very sweet comment, it truly just made my day. I’m so happy to hear you love this cake and have been making it for awhile now. It definitely is a favorite around our house and I love that it’s loved by your family and friends too. Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment, I really appreciate it. ❤️
Hello, do you think I could successfully double the recipe using a 13×18 cake pan?
Hi Ana! I’ve actually never even seen or heard of a 13×18 pan so I can’t tell you how this would turn out using that pan size. My suggestion would be if you want to double this recipe, then double it and divide it evenly among two 9×13 pans. I actually just made this over the weekend for a family dinner and everyone went crazy over it. It’s absolutely delicious!
Do you need to separate the eggs?
Hi Franki! No you don’t separate the eggs. Just whip the entire egg, like the recipe says.
Can the cake batter baked a couple days before pouring the milk portion on it.
Hi Fay! The milk needs to be poured onto a warm cake so it will soak in, so unfortunately you can’t bake the cake a couple days ahead of time.
I saw this recipe and am currently making it after 35 minutes the middle if the cake was still liquid – the cake has now been in the oven for 70 minutes and the middle is still liquid. The oven is at temperature and other foods/ cakes cook fine what am I doing wrong!
Hi Jill. I’m sorry this didn’t work. I don’t know what you did wrong because I wasn’t there to watch what you did. I have never had that happen and haven’t heard of anyone else having that problem. You did wait and pour the milk mixture over the cake after it baked, right and not before? I’m sorry I really can’t tell you what when wrong.