Uno….Dos….Tres Leches Delight


I knew this was my husband’s favorite cake of choice, and maybe that’s why I’ve been intimidated all these years to make Tres Leches from my own kitchen.  It just seemed so complicated, there’s cake….the perfect whipped cream on top….and getting the milk to soak just right….perfect ingredients for disaster.  After moving north, and leaving the native Texas soil, (good) Tres Leches became very hard to come by, so I had to step up my game.  My friend passed along this recipe from Relish Magazine just in time for Cinco de Mayo.  My husband didn’t mind being the guinea pig, before I unleashed this sweet & soggy concoction to party goers, but his standard is pretty high especially when it comes to sweets.  Well, I must say this passed his test with flying colors, it was absolutely amazing….I can’t believe that my non-baking hands could create such a delight. 

tres leches 

So, of course….I have to pass this fail-safe recipe along, for those of you that have ever wanted to try it (or have already tried it) this recipe is definitely one to make your summer events and turn a few taste buds.  A few tips, I chose to top ours with rasberries which added a nice tartness to the sweet cream topping, and we also discovered that this was actually better the next day….the cake achieved the perfect soggy consistency (and if you don’t like soggy cakes, bread puddings or custards, you may want to pass).

Tres Leches Cake Recipe:


3/4 cup (11/2 sticks) butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided 5 eggs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 cup whole milk
1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened- condensed milk
2 cups heavy cream
1 tablespoon of rum or liqueur
Fresh berries for garnish (optional)


1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour a 13 x 9-inch baking dish.
2. Combine butter and 1 cup sugar in a large bowl. Beat with a mixer at medium speed until fluffy. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat in eggs one at a time, mixing well.
3. Combine flour, baking powder and cream of tartar. Add to butter mixture slowly and beat well. Spread batter in pan. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Set aside to cool.
4. Stir together milk, evaporated milk and condensed milk. Pour 3 cups over cake. Reserve remaining milk mixture to serve with cake. Refrigerate cake.
5. Combine heavy cream, remaining ½ cup sugar, remaining ½ teaspoon of vanilla and rum. Beat until thick and spread over cake. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
6. Pour leftover milk mixture onto dessert plates. Slice chilled cake into squares and place on dessert plates. Garnish with fresh berries, if using. Serves 16.
Recipe by Robin Noelle, a food writer in San Diego, Calif.

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