Tres Leches Cake

15 Jul

Now, I don’t know about you, but I absolutely love condensed milk. I have it in my oatmeal, I put it in jello, I even spread it on toast. Basically, I can slap it on just about anything and call it a meal. So when my friend suggested the Tres Leches cake as my next blog post, I jumped at the idea. I started searching recipes online and finally decided on a recipe from a trusted cook, Alton Brown! Honestly, there has not been an Alton Brown recipe that I haven’t liked, and sure enough this was no exception! It was scrumptious!

Did you know that Pastel Tres Leches means Three Milk Cake in Spanish? It is a sponge cake soaked in three different kinds of milk – condensed milk, evaporated milk, and heavy cream (this particular recipe calls for half & half, rather than heavy cream). The cake part is spongy and airy, so it does a great job of soaking up the milks without becoming soggy.

Originally I had wanted to top this cake off with caramelized bananas, coconut, or dulce de leche (just so I can say it’s actually a “four milks cake”). But in the end I decided that this cake did not need any of that. It’s a very simple cake and tastes absolutely great on its own.  Adding anything else would just take away from its yummy-ness.

Tres Leches Cake Recipe

Adapted from Alton Brown


For the cake –

  • Vegetable oil
  • 6 3/4 ounces cake flour, plus extra for pan
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 8 ounces sugar
  • 5 whole eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the glaze-

  • 1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup half-and-half

For the topping –

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 8 ounces sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


For the cake:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly oil and flour a 13 by 9-inch metal pan and set aside.

Whisk together the cake flour, baking powder and salt in a medium mixing bowl and set aside.

Place the butter into the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the paddle attachment, beat on medium speed until fluffy, approximately 1 minute. Decrease the speed to low and with the mixer still running, gradually add the sugar over 1 minute. Stop to scrape down the sides of the bowl, if necessary. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, and mix to thoroughly combine. Add the vanilla extract and mix to combine. Add the flour mixture to the batter in 3 batches and mix just until combined. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and spread evenly. This will appear to be a very small amount of batter. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until the cake is lightly golden and reaches an internal temperature of 200 degrees F.

Remove the cake pan to a cooling rack and allow to cool for 30 minutes. Poke the top of the cake all over with a  fork or chopstick. Allow the cake to cool completely and then prepare the glaze.

For the glaze:

Whisk together the evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk and the half-and-half in a 1-quart measuring cup. Once combined, pour the glaze over the cake. Refrigerate the cake overnight.


Place the heavy cream, sugar and vanilla into the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the whisk attachment, whisk together on low until stiff peaks are formed. Change to medium speed and whisk until thick. Spread the topping over the cake and allow to chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Look at all the air bubbles! Yes, it is very spongy!


Mmmm…milk oozing out. I don’t think anyone can resist a slice of Tres Leches cake!



One Response to “Tres Leches Cake”

  1. jackie t July 17, 2011 at 3:41 am #

    that looks delicious!! :9

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