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Mexican Tres Leches Cake. Super moist!

This Mexican Tres Leches Cake is deliciously soft, moist and so easy to make at home. This airy sponge cake is soaked in a creamy milk mixture and topped with fresh whipped cream and strawberries.

The key for this recipe is to allow the cake to soak overnight, so this also make this cake perfect to make ahead of time and not only, since you can bake it on a casserole, is also transfer well, so is perfect to bring to parties and gatherhings!

FAQ’s

What does “Tres Leches” mean? Tres leches is the spanish translation for “three milks” and describes that the cake is soaked in a three milk mixture.

Can this cake be frozen? Yes! tres leches cake can be frozen before soaking with the milk mixture and decorating. Once the cake has cooled completely, wrap it tightly with cling film and froze for up to 3 months.

Can tres leches cake be stored? Yes, if you have leftovers you can place them in the fridge for up to 2 days.

Can I use other type of milk? Absolutely. If you want you can use coconut milk, almond milk, etc. Just make sure to add some “creamy milk” such as coconut cream or even heavy cream to balance the thickness in case you’re not using condensed or evaporated milk.

Can I make Tres Leches Cake ahead? Yes, actually I strongly suggest to make it at least one day ahead and leave it in the fridge to soak all the milk mixture. You can also make only the cake 3 days prior, then soak the cake the next day and on the third day decorate it and consume.

Cake Ingredients

Important: The ingredients list with the exact measurements can be found below, in the recipe card. Please take in mind that while I posted the measurements also in US cups, if you want better results, I strongly suggest to use a kitchen scale instead.

FLOUR – All purpose flour is the best flour for cakes. If you’d like to use cake flour just remember to omit the baking powder listed below.

SUGAR – As you probably noticed, there’s a lot of sugar involved, because, well…is a cake. Sugar helps to “airy” this cake, so no substitutes here.

MILK – Using whole milk here, 80 ml (about ⅓ cup), make sure it at room temperature when using it.

OIL – I like to use oil in this recipe instead of the butter (or sometimes nothing) other recipes suggest. A neutral flavoured oil works wonder, like canola or sunflower oil.

EGGS – Eggs are beaten separately to add fluffiness to the cake, make sure when you’re incorporating the egg whites to not overmix or the cake won’t be as fluffy as it’s suppose to be.

BAKING POWDER – 2 teaspoons is all you need. If you rather use cake flour, omit the baking powder or use only 1/4 tsp.

LIME – Lime adds that extra mexican flavour and -in my opinion- helps a lot to hide the egg flavour (which I personally hate in all sponge cakes). If you don’t have limes, use lemons instead, just add more zest to the mix.

For the milk mixture

You can use a mixture of 3 types or milk. The most traditional is whole milk, evaporated milk and condensed milk. But sometimes there’s also other milks involved such as coconut (for extra flavour) or even cream.

I personally don’t like condensed milk so much, specially since this cake has a lot of sugar already so most of the time I swap condensed milk for cream or just skip it at all and add more evaporated milk. The decision is up to you.

Tres Leches Cake Recipe (step by step)

Preheat oven to 350°F/175°C and butter a 9×13″ (22×33 cm) baking pan.

Sift the flour and baking powder in a small bowl. Separate egg yolks and whites in two different mixing bowls. Set aside.

Add the sugar to the bowl with egg yolks and beat with electric beaters at high until you achieve a very fluffy and yellow pale mixture.

Separating eggs in two bowls. Beating yolks and sugar on a bowl.

Add lime zest and vanilla extract, beat to incorporate. Add flour and beat on low speed until lightly combined.

Pour in milk, oil and lime juice. Slowly beat at low speed until there are no lumps in the batter. Set aside.

Adding oil to the mix. Batter ready.

Clean the beaters, then add salt to the whites eggs bowl and beat for 2 minutes at high speed or until peaks form.

Add egg whites to the bowl with the batter and gently fold in with an spatula just until everything is perfectly combined.

White eggs forming peaks. Incorporating white eggs into the batter.

Pour the cake mixture into the prepared pan and with the spatula spread to even out the surface. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Place the cake on a cooling rack and let it cool completely.

Placing batter into the baking pan. Cake just taken from the oven and placed on a cooling rack.

Make the tres leches mixture and soak the cake.

In a large measuring cup or bowl pour the evaporated milk, condensed milk and milk. Mix throughly to combine.

Pierce the surface of the cake with a fork. Then pour the milk mixture all over, making sure to pour it also near the edges. Cover with cling film and chill preferably overnight or at least 6 hours.

Pinching cake with a fork. Pouring milk mixture on top of the cake.

Make the topping

Pour the heavy cream into a mixing bowl and beat on high speed for about 2 minutes or until peaks forms. Spread the whipped cream over the cake.

Decorate

Sprinkle the tres leches cake with a little bit of cinnamon and decorate with strawberries. You can also use canned peaches or pineapple for decorating or any other berries you prefer.

Tres Leches Cake Cut.

More Mexican Desserts

Mexican Tres Leches Cake

This Mexican Tres Leches Cake is deliciously soft, moist and so easy to make at home. This airy sponge cake is soaked in a creamy milk mixture and topped with fresh whipped cream and strawberries.
PREP 30 minutes
COOK 40 minutes
TOTAL 1 hour 10 minutes
5 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Servings: 12
Author: Maricruz

Ingredients 

For the cake

  • 150 gr (1 cup) all purpose flour
  • 200 gr (1 cup) sugar
  • 80 ml (⅓ cup) milk
  • 120 gr (½ cup) corn oil (or any other neutral flavoured oil)
  • 6 medium eggs
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 lime (zest & juice)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp salt

For the milk mixture

  • 300 ml (1 ¼ cup) whole milk
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk (14oz/414ml)
  • 1 can can evaporated milk (12oz/354ml)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

For topping & garnish

  • 480 ml (2 cups) heavy whipping cream
  • 3 Tbsp powdered sugar
  • fresh strawberries (or the fruit you prefer)
  • ground cinnamon

Instructions

  • Sift the flour and baking powder in a small bowl. Separate egg yolks and whites in two different mixing bowls. Set aside.
  • Add the sugar to the bowl with egg yolks and beat with electric beaters at high until you achieve a very fluffy and yellow pale mixture.
  • Add lime zest and vanilla extract, beat to incorporate. Add flour and beat on low speed until lightly combined.
  • Pour in milk, oil and lime juice. Slowly beat at low speed until there are no lumps in the batter. Set aside.
  • Clean the beaters, then add the salt to the whites eggs bowl and beat for 2 minutes at high speed or until peaks form.
  • Add egg whites to the bowl with the batter and gently fold in with an spatula just until everything is perfectly combined.
  • Pour the cake mixture into the prepared pan and with the spatula spread to even out the surface. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Place the cake on a cooling rack and let it cool completely.

MAKE THE 3 LECHES MIXTURE AND SOAK THE CAKE.

  • In a large measuring cup or bowl pour the evaporated milk, condensed milk and milk. Mix throughly to combine.
  • Pierce the surface of the cake with a fork. Then pour the milk mixture all over, making sure to pour it also near the edges. Cover with cling film and chill preferably overnight or at least 6 hours.

MAKE THE TOPPING

  • Pour the heavy cream into a mixing bowl and beat on high speed for about 2 minutes or until peaks forms. Spread the whipped cream over the cake.

DECORATE

  • Sprinkle a little bit of cinnamon on the cake and decorate with strawberries. You can also use canned peaches or pineapple for decorating or any other berries you prefer.
Nutrition
Calories: 434kcal
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4 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I made it two daya ago. The milk mixture was a little bit too sweet for my taste. But the cake was amazing 😻

    Next time I’ll try without condensed milk as you suggest :)

  2. 5 stars
    Wow this was delicious! I made it exactly as a recipe stated…fantastic! I already shared this recipe and I will make again 100%.

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