Tres Leches Cake

An eternal crowd pleaser, this cake is the perfect ending to a Mexican style feast. Your guests and you will be in heaven with each creamy bite. My preferred version of Tres Leches has no frosting as the cake is rich enough on its own. It’s not an inherently pretty cake, but the flavor more than makes up for it. Berries and mint, or a  few slices of fresh mango would be a lovely garnish if you like to add a little bit of pop to the presentation.


Beat the egg yolks and sugar until pale in color.


Beat the egg whites in a separate bowl, slowly adding in the sugar.


Beat the egg whites to stiff peaks.


Fold the egg whites into the yolk and flour mixture.


Pour into the prepared pan.

Poke holes

Once the cake has baked, poke holes with a sharp knife.

Top with milk mixture

Pour the milk mixture over the cake. It will seem like too much, but use it all.


Make Ahead Dinner Party


Tres Leches Cake

Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time2 hrs
Servings: 8


For the cake:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 5 large eggs separated
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar

For the milk mixture:

  • 12 ounce can evaporated milk
  • 1 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon dark rum


For the cake:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 13 x 9 inch baking dish and set aside.
  • In a stand mixer, beat ¾ cup sugar and the egg yolks for about 5 minutes until pale in color and increased in volume. Beat in the milk and vanilla. In a separate bowl combine the flour and baking powder, whisking to combine, then mix into the egg yolk mixture.
  • In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar to soft peaks. Add the remaining ¼ cup sugar a tablespoon in two additions and beat until the egg whites are glossy and hold stiff peaks. Fold the whites into the yolk mixture gently, then pour into the baking dish.
  • Bake cake for 30-40 minutes until the top feels firm to the touch and the sides have pulled away slightly. Remove from the oven and cool slightly in the baking dish.

For the milk mixture:

  • Combine all ingredients for the milk mixture in a bowl and whisk until combined well.
  • Using a small knife, pierce the cake all over being careful not to tear the cake. Pour the milk mixture all over the cake. Let it absorb for 15 minutes, then spoon over any liquid that has pooled around the sides. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours, or up to 8.

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