Tres Leches Cake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This Tres Leches cake is so light it practically melts in your mouth. The subtle flavors of coconut, cinnamon and rum make this a cake of pure indulgence. Finish with a thick layer of sweetened whipped cream and a dusting of cinnamon.

Tres Leches Cake gets its name from a mixture of three kinds of milk, typically evaporated, condensed, and whole milk or cream which is then poured over a baked sponge cake. A sponge cake acts just like its name implies, it soaks up that heavenly milk mixture beautifully.
Recipe type: Dessert | Sponge Cake | Milk Cake
Serves: 15 to 20 servings
Small amount of vegetable shortening and flour plus parchment paper for preparing pan
Cake Batter:
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup milk (preferably whole milk,) room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
Soaking Milk:
  • 1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
  • 1¼ cups sweetened cream of coconut, such as Coco Lopez (not coconut milk)
  • 1 cup whipping (heavy) cream
  • 1 tablespoon rum
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups whipping (heavy) cream
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • About 1½ tablespoons confectioners’ (powdered sugar)
  • About ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare one 9x13x2 inch oblong cake pan; lightly grease the pan with shortening and dust with flour. Tip: to make baked cake easier to remove from pan, lightly grease the pan, line with parchment paper, and then lightly grease the top of the parchment paper and dust the pan with flour.
Cake Batter:
  1. In a small mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon; sift or whisk together to mix. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, stir the milk and vanilla extract together. Set aside. Tip: To warm the milk to room temperature heat in the microwave 15 to 20 seconds.
  3. Separate 4 of the eggs, placing the egg whites in a medium mixing bowl. Place the 4 egg yolks along with the remaining 2 whole eggs in a large bowl of an electric mixer.
  4. Beat the egg whites to stiff moist peaks (do not overbeat.) Set aside. Tip: a copper bowl and wire whisk are ideal for beating egg whites. Or, beat with an electric mixer.
  5. Beat the egg yolks and whole eggs with an electric mixer on medium speed 1 to 2 minutes to blend, add the sugar and beat another minute to blend the eggs and sugar. Increase the mixer speed to medium-high and beat for 5 to 8 minutes or until the mixture is very thick and drops in ribbons when the beater is lifted. Remove the bowl from the mixer.
  6. Using a balloon type whisk or large rubber spatula, gently fold the beaten egg whites into the egg yolk mixture.
  7. Place the flour mixture into a wire mesh strainer or flour sifter and sprinkle 2 to 3 tablespoons at a time over the egg mixture. Using a balloon type whisk or large rubber spatula, fold the flour mixture into the eggs, using about 3 to 4 turns with each addition of flour, and making sure to reach to the bottom of the bowl as you fold. Do not worry about incorporating all the flour until the last addition, as too much handling will deflate the batter. The flour should be added quickly in about 4 to 5 additions.
  8. Before the last addition of flour, quickly pour the warm milk mixture in a stream over the batter. Immediately sprinkle in the remaining flour mixture, and fold into the batter taking about 12 to 15 more turns to completely incorporate the ingredients, and taking no more than 15 to 20 seconds as the batter can deflate quickly.
  9. Using a rubber spatula, immediately push the batter into the prepared pan. Smooth the top of the batter with a small offset spatula or the back of a large spoon.
  10. Bake: Tap the pan on the counter to remove air bubbles, and place the pan in the oven. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until the cake is golden brown, springy to the touch, and has come away from the sides of the pan. Remove the pan from the oven and let stand 15 minutes on a wire cooling rack.
Soaking Milk:
  1. Meanwhile while cake is cooling, prepare the soaking milk.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl combine evaporated milk, cream of coconut, whipping cream, rum, and vanilla; stir to mix. Tip: a large liquid measuring cup with a pouring spout is ideal to use for the soaking milk.
  3. Poke holes all over top of cake with a wooden toothpick or skewer or fork, penetrating to the bottom of the cake. Tip: the more holes the better to allow the soaking milk to penetrate the cake all over. Try to get holes at least ½ inch apart and making sure and poke holes around the cake edges also.
  4. Slowly drizzle about half of sauce over cake, making sure to get all around the edges. let liquid mostly soak in then add the remaining soaking milk. Let cake sit about 30 minutes to completely cool and allow soaking milk to soak in. Cover cake tightly and refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight.
  1. For best results chill the bowl and beaters in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or until well chilled before whipping the cream.
  2. In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the whipping cream until just until the cream starts forming soft peaks. Add the granulated sugar and vanilla, and continue beating just until stiff peaks begin to form. Do not overbeat.
  3. Spread whipped cream over top of chilled cake. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve. Refrigerate leftovers.Tres Leches Cake
  1. In a small bowl combine powdered sugar and cinnamon, stir to mix.
  2. Pour mixture into a fine mesh sieve or flour sifter and lightly dust the topping with the cinnamon mixture.
Recipe Notes
Pan: one 9x13x2 inch oblong pan Pan Prep: Greased, Parchment Lined, Floured Oven Temp: 350° Storage: Cover and Refrigerate

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