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Tres Leches Cake

Tres Leches Cake

Tres Leches Cake: A Soaked-in Sensation You'll Love

Calling all cake lovers! Get ready to experience the magic of Tres Leches Cake. This light, not-too-sweet dessert is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser and a personal favorite in my family. We love it for its simplicity, ability to be made in advance, and of course, its incredibly delicious flavor! It's the perfect ending to a festive meal, especially alongside other Mexican food favorites.

Why You'll Love This Recipe:

  • Family Favorite: This cake has become a treasured tradition in our household, holding a top spot on everyone's dessert menu.
  • Light and Luscious: Tres Leches Cake is known for its airy and moist texture. The "three milks" soak into the cake, creating a light and refreshing dessert, not a dense and heavy one.
  • Easy Does It: Don't be fooled by the impressive taste – this recipe is surprisingly easy to make. With straightforward steps and minimal ingredients, you can whip up this delightful dessert in no time.
  • Make-Ahead Marvel: Tres Leches Cake is perfect for preparing in advance. The cake itself can be baked a day ahead, and the soaking and frosting steps can be done later.


  • For the Fluffy Cake:

    • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
    • 1 cup granulated sugar
    • 5 large eggs
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • ½ teaspoon salt
  • For the Three Milks Soak:

    • 2 cups whole milk
    • 1 (12 ounce) can evaporated milk
    • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • For the Whipped Cream Topping:

    • 1 ½ cups heavy whipping cream, chilled
    • 1 cup powdered sugar
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • For the Finishing Touch:

    • Ground cinnamon (optional)


  1. Preheat and Prep: Get your oven started by preheating it to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175 degrees Celsius). Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish for easy cleanup.

  2. Creaming for Success: In a large bowl using an electric mixer, cream together the softened butter and sugar until light and fluffy. This will take a few minutes.

  3. Adding the Eggs: One at a time, beat in the eggs, followed by the vanilla extract, until well combined and the batter becomes light and airy.

  4. Dry Ingredients in Action: In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing until just incorporated. Be careful not to overmix.

  5. Baking to Perfection: Pour the batter into your prepared baking dish and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

  6. Cooling Completely: Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool completely on a wire rack before soaking and frosting.

  7. Preparing the Soak: In a large bowl, whisk together the whole milk, evaporated milk, and sweetened condensed milk until well combined.

  8. Soaking Up the Goodness: Once the cake is cool, use a fork or a skewer to poke holes all over the top of the cake. Slowly pour the three milks mixture over the cooled cake, allowing it to absorb evenly. You may need to do this in stages, letting the cake soak up the milk before adding more. The cake is done soaking when it feels slightly heavy and the milk is absorbed.

  9. Whipped Cream Magic: In a chilled bowl, using an electric mixer, whip the heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract until stiff peaks form.

  10. The Grand Finale: Frost the top and sides of the cooled, soaked cake with the whipped cream. For an extra touch, sprinkle ground cinnamon over the top of the cake.

  11. Refrigerate and Serve: Tres Leches Cake is best served chilled. Cover the frosted cake and refrigerate it for at least an hour, or up to overnight, before serving.


  • For a richer flavor, use full-fat milk instead of whole milk in the cake batter.
  • Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.