Tres leches cake is a decadent sponge cake soaked in three kinds of milk. This sweet treat will become a favorite you’ll be baking over and over again!
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Cake is something we all agree on in our family.
As in we all love it and can’t get enough of it.
Since we all love it, we bake a lot of cake in this house.
And this tres leches cake is one of our favorites!
It’s pretty easy to make and so delicious that I have no doubt it will become one of your favorites as well!
What is tres leches cake?
Tres leches cake literally means three milks cake. You may have also heard it called pan tres leches.
This Mexican cake consists of a rich buttery cake full of air bubbles, soaked in three different kinds of milk for a moist, decadent cake experience that’s simply to die for!
Let’s break this down into two sets of ingredients: cake ingredients and frosting ingredients.
For the cake you’ll need:
- Butter– Go for unsalted butter and let it soften on the counter prior to using it.
- Oil– Canola or vegetable oil work best because of their very light flavors.
- Sugar– Granulated sugar for this recipe, not brown sugar.
- Eggs– Let them come to room temperature on the counter before using them.
- Vanilla extract– Use real vanilla instead of imitation vanilla extract for the best flavor.
- Flour– All purpose flour, not cake or bread flour.
- Baking powder– For leavening.
- Salt– To balance the sweetness of the cake.
- Milk– Room temperature milk. Use any kind you have on hand but I do recommend avoid skim milk.
- Tres Leches– The three milks you will soak the cake in are evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk and whipping cream.
For the whipped cream frosting you’ll need:
- Heavy cream– Use cold heavy cream for the base of your frosting.
- Sugar– Use granulated sugar.
- Vanilla extract– Again real vanilla has better flavor than imitation.
How to Make
To make this yummy sponge cake recipe, start by preheating the oven to 350F.
Grease and line a 9” x 13” casserole dish. Set aside.
Then, beat in the eggs, one at a time.
After you beat the eggs in, whip in the vanilla extract and set the wet ingredients aside.
Stir together the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium mixing bowl.
Gently fold half of the flour mixture into the butter mixture.
After you’ve folded in the first half of the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, then stir in the milk.
Then gently fold in then the remaining flour mixture.
Next, pour the batter into your prepared casserole dish and bake for 35-40 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
While the cake is cooling, use a skewer to poke holes all over the cake.
Combine the evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk and heavy whipping cream until completely combined in a large bowl.
Pour the milk mixture over the cake and then refrigerate until completely cooled. Letting it sit overnight is best.
Once the cake is fully cooled, beat the heavy whipping cream for 4 minutes with an electric mixer, then add the white sugar and vanilla extract and continue to beat for 2-4 minutes until light, fluffy and thick.
Smooth the whipped cream frosting over the finished cake and serve.
While you can store this cake in the fridge in a cake container for up to 4-5 days, this cake tastes best the first day or so after it’s made.
Tips and Tricks
- You can make this even easier on yourself by subbing a yellow cake mix baked according to package instructions in a 9×13″ glass baking dish.
- If you do sub a boxed cake mix, pick up the instructions at step 8.
- While a tres leches cake is literally oozing with flavor on the inside, it’s not always evident at first glance. Want to give it some garnish? Add some cinnamon to a fine mesh sieve and sprinkle over the cake and/or add some fresh fruit and mint leaves for color.
Other Cake Recipes You’ll Love
This tres leches cake is a must make classic your family will love! Bake it up this weekend and enjoy!
Looking for other easy cake recipes? Try these:
- Glazed Strawberry Lemon Yogurt Cake
- Boston Cream Pie Cupcakes
- Old Fashioned Depression Cake
- Chocolate Chip Ricotta Cake
If you’ve tried this TRES LECHES CAKE or any other recipe on the site, let me know in the comment section how it turned out, we love hearing from our readers! You can also follow along with me on PINTEREST, FACEBOOK, and INSTAGRAM to see more amazing recipes and whatever else we’ve got going on!
Tres Leches Cake
- 1/2 cup butter softened
- 1/2 cup oil
- 1 1/2 cups white sugar
- 4 eggs room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 cups flour
- 1 Tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/4 cups milk room temperature
- 1 can evaporated milk
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- For the whipped cream frosting:
- 1 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350F
- Grease and line a 9” x 13” casserole dish. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat together the butter, oil and sugar until light and completely combined.
- Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition, then the vanilla extract. Set aside.
- In a medium-sized bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and salt.
- Gently fold half of the flour mixture into the butter mixture, then the milk, then the remaining flour mixture.
- Pour the batter into your prepared casserole dish and bake for 35-40 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
- While the cake is cooling, use a skewer to poke holes all over the cake.
- In a large bowl, combine the evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk and heavy whipping cream until completely combined.
- Pour the milk mixture over the cake and then refrigerate until completely cooled. (Overnight is best.)
- Once the cake is fully cooled, beat the heavy whipping cream for 4 minutes with an electric mixer, then add the white sugar and vanilla extract and continue to beat for 2-4 minutes until light, fluffy and thick.
- Smooth the whipped cream frosting over the finished cake and serve.
This post may contain affiliate links. As an amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. See my full Disclosure Policy for details. As always, all opinions are my own.