Tres Leches Cake

Tres Leche Cake...sponge cake soaked with a mixture of “three milks"

The cake hidden under that fabulous whipped cream frosting is a basic sponge cake. But this is not just any sponge cake, no folks, what happens after this cake comes out of the oven is what sets this cake apart from all the rest. Holes are poked all over the cake and a mixture of “three milks” (heavy cream, evaporated milk, and sweetened condensed milk) is slowly drizzled over the cake. The mixture slowly seeps deep down into the holes creating the most amazing cake drenched in creamy flavor. Top it with freshly whipped cream and you have yourself a cake that will leave you thinking of ways to hide it from your family. It’s alright, I won’t let anyone in on our little secret. 😉

Tres Leche Cake...sponge cake soaked with a mixture of “three milks"

What you don’t see in the picture above is the pool of deliciousness hidden under the slice of cake. All of that creamy goodness soaking through the cake leaves a nice little surprise just for you.

Tres Leche Cake...sponge cake soaked with a mixture of “three milks"

The sponge cake just soaks up that three milks mixture like a sponge. The cake is moist, but never soggy, and as the hours pass, the better it gets. Here’s the printable recipe….just print it off and stash it away for when the craving strikes. Because trust me on this one, once you make this cake and taste all of its deliciousness, you’ll be wondering where this recipe has been all your life!

Tres Leches Cake

Simple sponge cake soaked in a mixture of “three milks" (heavy cream, evaporated milk, and sweetened condensed milk).

Yield: Serves 12


For the Milk Mixture:
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Cake:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup whole milk
4 large eggs, room temperature
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the Frosting:
1 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


1. For the milk mixture: Pour condensed milk into large microwave-safe bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Microwave on low power, stirring and replacing plastic every 3 to 5 minutes, until slightly darkened and thickened, about 9 to 15 minutes. Remove bowl from microwave and slowly whisk in evaporated milk, cream, and vanilla. Set aside and let cool to room temperature.

2. For the cake: Heat oven to 325 degrees. Grease bottom and sides of a 13 by 9-inch baking pan; dust with flour, tapping out excess. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. In small saucepan over low heat, heat butter and milk until butter is melted; remove from heat and set aside.

3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat eggs on medium speed for about 30 seconds, then slowly add sugar until incorporated. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until egg mixture is very thick and glossy, 5 to 7 minutes. Reduce speed to low and slowly mix in melted butter mixture and vanilla. Add flour mixture in three additions, scraping down bowl as necessary, then mix on medium speed until fully incorporated, about 30 seconds. Using a rubber spatula, scrape batter into prepared pan and bake until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer cake to wire rack and let cool 10 minutes.

4. Using a skewer, poke holes at 1/2-inch intervals in top of cake. Slowly pour milk mixture over cake until completely absorbed. Let sit at room temperature 15 minutes, then refrigerate uncovered for at least 3 hours or up to 24 hours.

5. For the frosting: Remove cake from refrigerator 30 minutes before serving. In the bowl of a stand mixer on medium speed, beat heavy cream, corn syrup, and vanilla to soft peaks, 1 to 2 minutes. Frost cake and slice into 3-inch squares. (The assembled cake can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.)

Tres Leche Cake...sponge cake soaked with a mixture of “three milks"

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24 Responses to “Tres Leches Cake”

  1. #
    Rachel @ Bakerita — January 15, 2014 @ 9:22 am

    A good tres leches cake is SO good, and yours looks amazing!! Must try this recipe for sure. So glad I found your blog – loving all your gorgeous recipes. Pinning this!

  2. #
    Cat Davis | Food Family & Finds — January 15, 2014 @ 10:48 am

    I’m probably the last person alive that has NOT tried this kind of cake yet. I see recipes for it all the time but in my mind, I’m imagining this soggy cake (and that thought grosses me out). Aside from that, it does look really delicious.

  3. #
    Gloria // Simply Gloria — January 15, 2014 @ 11:23 am

    Christina, this cake looks absolutely divine and ever so moist! Love how you used sweetened condensed milk… my fave! I could just grab a spoon and eat the whole jar! (Sometimes, I can’t help myself!) Have a most fabulous day!

  4. #
    Lin — January 15, 2014 @ 11:39 am

    One of my favorite cakes! Pinned!!! <3

    • Christina replied: — January 16th, 2014 @ 3:54 pm

      I hope you give it a try Lin. It had been on my must-bake list for quite sometime, I’m so glad that I finally got around to baking one. It certainly has become a favorite in our house! :)

  5. #
    Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes — January 15, 2014 @ 11:50 am

    This just looks like the perfect cake! Love that it’s made with all ingredients I always have on hand :)

  6. #
    Laura Dembowski — January 15, 2014 @ 1:59 pm

    I have always wanted to make tres leches cake. Yours looks incredible! I’d be hiding it from people too :)

  7. #
    Elle — January 15, 2014 @ 2:47 pm

    This sounds so delicious and very naughty – just my cup of tea! Thanks for posting.

  8. #
    Cindy Wilson — January 15, 2014 @ 3:36 pm

    Would it make a difference if i used 99% fat free evaporated milk. i know I’m being a spoil sport but if it works I would like to try it.

    • Christina replied: — January 16th, 2014 @ 4:13 pm

      Hi Cindy,
      I think it would turn out great using the 99% fat free evaporated milk. If you give it a try I would love to hear how it turns out! :)

  9. #
    Liz — January 15, 2014 @ 5:05 pm

    Thank you for the nice recipe. Have a Happy Wednesday!

    • Christina replied: — January 16th, 2014 @ 4:14 pm

      Thanks Liz! Hope you have a great day too! :)

  10. #
    Ashley | Spoonful of Flavor — January 15, 2014 @ 5:34 pm

    Oh this looks divine! The cake looks so moist. I would love a slice for dessert!

  11. #
    dina — January 16, 2014 @ 8:13 am

    i haven’t had this in a long time. it looks great!

  12. #
    Stu Borken — January 16, 2014 @ 11:39 am

    Eating this cake is a perfect test to see if you are lactose intolerant. If you survive the 24 hours following consuming it, you are NOT lactose intolerant. If your friends or family find you on the floor writhing in pain or you are the sole occupant of that special throne room in the house, then you know you are lactose intolerant.

    • Christina replied: — January 17th, 2014 @ 7:41 am

      Ha! You are right Stu! Maybe I should have posted a warning on this cake! 😉

  13. #
    Kris - Sugar Cookies to Peterbilts — January 16, 2014 @ 12:15 pm

    I have wanted to make a Tres Leches Cake ever since first seeing one in a Mexican Bakery. It’s on my baking bucket list! Pinning this for when the day comes for me to bake it!

  14. #
    Ruby @ The Ruby Red Apron — January 16, 2014 @ 11:41 pm

    Yum! I love tres leches cake. Looks perfect!

  15. #
    Medeja — January 19, 2014 @ 4:01 am

    I had no idea we made tres leches cake almost at the same time ! :) It’s is divine cake..definitely :)

  16. #
    Renee @ Awesome on $20 — January 23, 2014 @ 1:28 am

    This cake sounds super awesome!

  17. #
    Tiffany — February 27, 2014 @ 2:47 pm

    I used 2 9-inch rounds and they are perfect! I just poured over the milks and stuck them bad boys in the fridge. I cannot wait to gorge myself. I was picking off tiny crumbs and the cake by itself is delicious!!

    Thank you for the recipe!

    • Christina replied: — March 2nd, 2014 @ 9:05 pm

      I hope you enjoyed the cake, Tiffany! :)

  18. #
    Christina Massie — May 14, 2014 @ 12:42 am

    I made this cake for the first time today, and it did turn out very moist indeed. I do think it could also be made omitting 1/2 cup of the sugar in the cake mix as the sweetened condensed milk adds more than enough sugar to the cake. Just my own taste preference, but overall a good recipe and a very moist cake.

  19. #
    Andrea — February 9, 2015 @ 9:18 pm

    I made this yesterday for my mom and dads birthday and it was a hit! So moist and absolutely delicious! Definitely making again and again!

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