I've got to be honest with you, I'm not a huge cake fan. If I do have cake, I'm not into an overly sweet icing and I never really crave it. BUT THIS TRES LECHES CAKE. Oh LAWD. This gorgeous gal checks all of my boxes and then some.
Have you ever had Tres Leches Cake? It's a Latin American dessert where you soak the cake in three different types of milk (hence tres leches). If you haven't had it...well, let's just say you've been sleeping on punchin' that jackpot ticket. It's also so incredibly simple to make, which is a bonus.
At first, you question the fact that you're about to drench your cake in liquid and feel slightly cringe-y about what's going to happen with the texture. But because the cake is made with egg whites and is spongy like an angel food cake, it absorbs everything so nicely while also keeping its structure. I'm here to assure you that it is not mushy by any means and the texture is fabulous.
An item of note when making the cake: it will look so lame and wrinkly and honestly not that appealing when you take the cake out of the oven. This is fine and totally normal, and after you drench that fine gal in the milk mixture she'll go from zero to hero in no time!
Once the whipped topping is added and the cake is fully assembled, grab a spoon and dive right in. It has THE most luxurious mouth feel and it's just the right amount of sweet. Ugh. Seriously, look at this picture and tell me you don't want to absolutely demolish that. It's physically impossible.
If you've never tried Tres Leches Cake, I know you're going to love it. It's in my top five favorite desserts (and I've had a lot of desserts 😉 ) Give it a go and let me know what you think!
Tres Leches Cake
- Stand mixer with paddle and whisk attachment (or hand mixer)
- 13 x 9 inch pan
- 1 cup all-purpose flour (120 g)
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 5 large eggs separated
- 1 cup white sugar (215 g) divided
- ⅓ cup whole milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 12 oz can evaporated milk
- 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
- ¼ cup whole milk
- 1 pint heavy cream
- 3 T white sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- Ground cinnamon for topping (optional)
- Strawberries for garnish (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and grease a 13 x 9 inch pan.
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.
- In two separate bowls, separate the egg yolks from the whites, being sure not to let any yolks get into the whites or else they won't whip properly.
- Add ¾ cup sugar and the egg yolks to your stand mixer and mix on medium high speed (using the paddle attachment) until yolks are pale yellow (about 3-4 minutes). Add the ⅓ cup milk and vanilla and mix on low to combine.
- Pour the egg yolk mixture over the flour mixture and gently stir by hand until combined (don’t over mix).
- Using a clean, dry bowl for your stand mixer, whip (using the whisk attachment) the egg whites on high. Once soft peaks begin to form, gradually add the remaining ¼ cup sugar and continue to whip until stiff peaks form.
- Fold the egg whites into the flour/egg batter until just combined, careful not to stir and deflate the batter. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth with a spatula. Bake the cake for 25-35 minutes until completely set. The cake will have pulled away from the edges of the pan and be slightly browned. Allow the cake to cool completely on a wire rack.
- When the cake is cool, combine the evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, and whole milk in a bowl and mix by hand until it comes together. Using a fork, poke holes all over cake and slowly pour the milk mixture over the entire cake (make sure you get the edges!)
- Cover the cake with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, but preferably overnight. This allows the cake the absorb the milk mixture.
- To top the cake, whip the heavy cream on high until it starts to thicken, then slowly add in the sugar and vanilla until stiff peaks form.
- Smooth the whipped cream over the cake and garnish the top with dashes of cinnamon and fresh strawberries (or any fruit of your choosing)! Slice, and serve!