This pumpkin spice tres leches cake is a seasonal twist on the traditional Hispanic recipe of the 3 milk cake. You will love all of the Autumn flavors from the pumpkin and spices used in this super moist cake. A real crowd-pleaser. 

I haven’t met anyone who isn’t a fan of classic tres leches cake but this version is one that you have to try! The addition of pumpkin puree along with the warming spices of fall including pumpkin spice and cinnamon, elevates this cake to another level.

The cake is full of amazing pumpkin spice flavor and consists of the usual ingredients you will find in a delicious cake including flour, sugar, vanilla, eggs, oil, baking powder, baking soda, plus the addition of pumpkin and earthy spices.

Pumpkin spice tres leches cake could be made and serve all year round, but it is perfect during the Autumn months. A great dessert for Halloween or Thanksgiving.

Close-up of the cake in a baking dish with a portion removed.

How to Make Pumpkin Spice Tres Leches Cake

This is a visual overview of the steps to make this recipe. See the detailed list of ingredients & instructions in the recipe card below.

First of all, gather all of your ingredients together and measure them out. Then heat the oven to 360°F/180°C and grease a 9×13-inch pan with butter. Set aside until you are ready to use it. 

Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, pumpkin spice, and salt in a medium bowl. In another bowl, mix the pumpkin puree, eggs, brown sugar, oil, and vanilla extract.

Now add the dry ingredients into the bowl with the liquid mixture and mix until nicely combined. It is ok if there are some lumps, they might be from the pumpkin puree.

Top tip: Be careful not to overmix when combining the wet and dry ingredients. Overmixing can lead to a dense cake.

The pumpkin spice cake batter in a bowl.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake in your preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes.

Test by inserting a skewer into the cake, if it comes out clean, it’s done. 

Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature.

Meanwhile, prepare the milk mixture. Mix milk, sweetened condensed milk, and evaporated milk in a large bowl.

Poke holes in the cake with a skewer and pour the milk mixture all over.

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate the cake overnight. 

Whip the cream with powdered sugar, vanilla extract, ground cinnamon, and a little orange zest to a mixing bowl until soft peaks form.

Spread it across the cake and sprinkle with a pinch of cinnamon powder and a bit of orange zest.

Pumpkin spice tres leches cake on a baking dish.

Slice and serve as dessert or afternoon treat along with hot chocolate or tea.

Recipe Notes & Tips

  • Adjust the amount of pumpkin pie spice or individual spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, etc.) to suit your taste. You can add more for a stronger spice flavor.
  • Keep an eye on your cake while it’s baking. Oven temperatures can vary, so it’s essential to check for doneness after 30 minutes. Use a toothpick or cake tester to insert into the center of the cake. If it comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs (not batter!), the cake is done.
  • When ready to serve your cake, use a clean knife and wipe the blade between every slice. 
  • This cake needs to be refrigerated, and in all honesty, it tastes much better served cold. Transfer any leftovers to an airtight container and store them in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. 
A close-up of pumpkin spice tres leches cake.

Variations to Try

This pumpkin spice tres leches cake is SO delicious as it is, however, there are a few other tweaks or additions you might want to try.

Let me share with you my favorites:

  • Cupcakes: Distribute the batter into cupcake liners and bake for 20-25 minutes, then proceed with the soaking and decorating as per recipe.
  • Chocolate: Add chocolate chips or chunks to the cake batter for a pumpkin-chocolate combo.
  • Cream cheese frosting: Top the pumpkin cake with a layer of cream cheese frosting for a creamy and tangy contrast to the sweet cake.
  • Nut topping: Sprinkle chopped pecans, walnuts, or even toasted pumpkin seeds on top of the cake for added crunch and texture.

More Pumpkin Recipes

If you’re a fan of autumn flavors and enjoyed this pumpkin spice tres leches cake recipe, then you might also like…

slice of pumpkin tres leches cake

Pumpkin Spice Tres Leches Cake

12 servings
This pumpkin tres leches cake features an amazing flavor of pumpkin spice. It is moist, decadent, and perfect to serve for your Thanksgiving meal!
prep 20 minutes
cook 35 minutes
Resting time 8 hours
total 8 hours 55 minutes

Equipment

  • 9×13″ (22×33 cm) baking pan

Ingredients 

  • 1-15 oz can pumpkin puree
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin spice
  • 4 medium eggs
  • ¾ cup vegetable oil
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

For the 3 milk mixture

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1-12 oz can evaporated milk
  • 1 cup sweetened condensed milk

For the topping

  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • orange zest

Instructions
 

Make the cake

  • Heat the oven to 350°F and grease a 9×13-inch pan with butter.
  • Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, pumpkin spice, and salt in a bowl.
  • In a separate bowl, mix the pumpkin puree, eggs, sugar, oil, and vanilla extract.
  • Mix to combine everything and make a smooth batter. Don't worry if there are a few lumps left, just don't overmix.
  • Bake the cake in your preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool to room temperature.

Make the 3 milk mixture and soak

  • Mix milk, sweetened condensed milk, and evaporated milk in a large bowl.
  • Poke holes in the cake and pour the milk mixture over it.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate the cake overnight.

Top & serve

  • Place heavy cream, powdered sugar, ground cinnamon, and orange zest in a mixing bowl.
  • Mix until the cream forms soft peaks.
  • Spread the whipped cream topping across the cake and sprinkle with a pinch of cinnamon powder and more orange zest.
  • Slice the cake and serve on dessert plates.

Notes

  • Adjust the amount of pumpkin pie spice or individual spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, etc.) to suit your taste. 
  • Be careful not to overmix when combining the wet and dry ingredients. Overmixing can lead to a dense cake.
  • Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container up to 3-4 days in the fridge.
  • Recipe adapted from Woks of Life blog: Pumpkin Tres Leches Cake.
Nutrition Information
Serving: 1 serving | Calories: 578kcal | Carbohydrates: 59g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 15g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 119mg | Sodium: 320mg | Potassium: 390mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 41g | Vitamin A: 6347IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 275mg | Iron: 2mg
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Maricruz Avalos Flores is a Mexican cook and photographer living in Italy where she shares authentic Mexican & Italian recipes that can be easily made at home using easy-to-find ingredients.

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Recipe Rating




2 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Just made this yesterday for my family and it turned out so good. Imagine the best fall flavors in a super moist cake. It’s a total crowd-pleaser!

  2. 5 stars
    As someone who loves the classic tres leches, this pumpkin spice version is so good! It’s really perfect for fall. I love how it is so decadent and flavorful. Must try!