A light and fluffy Mexican cake soaked in three different types of milk, making it incredibly moist and delicious. Piled high with whipped cream and infused with cinnamon. Quite possibly the best cake I’ve ever eaten!
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I’m a big fan of Mexican food, despite my mouth being a giant wimp! I don’t think I’ve tried a mexican dish I haven’t loved, and if my liver would allow it I would drink margaritas all day every day! We don’t get much Mexican food in the UK, at least not good Mexican food. I eat a fair bit of it when I’m in Atlanta since there’s a lot of good Mexican food there, but I’d still never tried Tres Leches Cake until I took matters into my own hands and made it for myself.
Tres Leches Cake always intrigued me, it looked yummy but I didn’t think it could be as good as everyone seemed to say it was, but boy was I wrong! Now this is the first time I’ve ever eaten Tres Leches Cake so I can’t vouch for it’s authenticity, but I can vouch for it’s downright deliciousness. I honestly could not get enough of this cake and I’m pretty sure I put on at least 5lb from how much of it I ate.
You know that episode of Friends where Chandler and Rachel keep stealing that cheesecake and Chandler says “I’m full but if I stop eating this cheesecake I know I’ll regret it”, well that was how I felt about this cake. I was so full up on cake but I knew I needed more, to stop eating it would have been the biggest mistake – it’s just too good! The other problem was normally I eat a little of my creations and then send them off to work with my mum, but since she was in hospital for over a week the cake stayed in my fridge with only me to eat it! (On a related note, my mum is now home from hospital and doing well, thank you for all your well wishes!)
This is a very egg and milk rich cake. There’s 5 eggs in it and, well, tres leches literally means “three milks”, once it’s baked the whole thing is soaked in a mixture of three different types of milk – double (heavy) cream, condensed milk and evaporated milk. I steeped my cream with cinnamon before adding it to the mix to give a subtle hint of cinnamon throughout the cake, and I think that is really what tips this cake over from regular delicious to never-stop-eating-it delicious. A lot of liquid goes into this cake, you might think it’s too much and the cake will come out soggy but I really do urge to use up all the milk mixture because there’s not one single thing I’d change about this cake – it’s not soggy at all, just ridiculously moist and to die for! To enjoy this cake at its best, you really will want to leave it in the fridge overnight after soaking before topping and serving so plan accordingly, the waiting is torture but it really is worth it!
One tip I will give you is, if like me, you do not have a lipped serving platter keep the cake in the baking tin. I made the mistake of removing the cake from the tin and transferring it to a lipped baking sheet to soak it, then I had to transfer it to the board I was serving it on. And that is not an easy thing to do in a cake that’s been soaked in 750ml of milk! Soak it in the dish you baked it in and you’ll have none of those problems and you’ll probably have a much easier time of soaking the cake through! Even if you have a lipped serving plate I would recommend soaking and serving it from the baking dish anyway, unless the presentation is super important for what you’re baking for.
Traditionally, tres leches cake is usually topped with fresh fruit and I had planned to top mine with strawberries – but considering it’s winter here the berries have been a bit hit or miss so I decided to just go with a dusting of cinnamon. I love how it looks with just the cinnamon, but I imagine it would be even tastier with some fresh strawberries if you can get your hands on some good ones – or mango I think would be really yummy, particularly with the cinnamon.
I really do urge you to give this cake a go, it’s honestly one of the best cakes I’ve had the pleasure of baking or eating. I adapted it from a recipe by Ree Drummond and, of course, put my own cinnamon obsessed spin on it! Do let me know what you think of it if you give it a go. What’s the best cake you’ve ever eaten? If your answer isn’t tres leches cake your answer might just change if you try this one!
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- 140g plain flour (all purpose)
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 5 large eggs, separated
- 210g caster sugar (super fine granulated sugar), divided into 160g + 50g
- 90ml whole milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 100ml double cream (heavy cream)
- 397g can of sweetened condensed milk
- 340ml evaporated milk
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 600ml double cream (heavy)
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 1/4 - 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Grease a 9" x 13" baking dish.
- Sift the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl, set aside.
- Separate the eggs and beat the yolks with 160g of the sugar on a high speed until pale in colour. Stir milk and vanilla into egg yolks to combine.
- Pour the egg mixture into the flour mix and stir gently until just combined.
- Whisk the egg whites on a high speed until soft peaks form
- Add the remaining 50g sugar and continue whisking until stiff peaks are just formed (see notes for more info on peaks)
- Very gently fold half of the the egg whites into the batter until combined. Then gently fold in the remaining half until all combined.
- Spoon the batter into the prepared dish and spread evenly. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until golden brown and skewer comes out clean.
- While the cake is baking, pour the double cream for the milk mixture into a small saucepan and add the cinnamon stick. Heat on medium until it's just about to boil and remove from heat. Put lid on pan and steep for at least 30 minutes.
- Place dish on a wire rack and cool cake in pan for 10 minutes.
- Pour the steeped cinnamon cream, condensed milk and evaporated milk into a jug and stir to combine.
- Keeping the cake in the pan, poke holes all over the top of the cake with skewer or fork.
- Pour 1/4 of the milk mixture all over the cake while it's still warm and leave to soak in. Repeat with the remaining milk (doing 1/4 at a time) until all has been soaked in, making sure you get the sides of the cake too.
- Once completely cooled, cover cake and place in fridge overnight.
- To make the topping, whisk together the cream and sugar until you have soft peaks, spread evenly over the cake and sprinkle with ground cinnamon (using a sieve works well for even sprinkling).
- Soft peaks look like - when you remove the whisk from the mixture, peaks should be just starting to form and will melt back into the mixture within a few seconds
- Stiff peaks look like - When you remove the whisk from the mixture, peaks should be standing up straight with only the very tips folding over.
- Cake is best the day after baking/soaking
- Store covered in fridge for 3 days.
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Beautiful, I love tres leches cake. Looks so good It has been too long since I’ve had one and now you have me thinking about it.
Thank you Suzanne! You should definitely make one, even if you had some yesterday it’s been too long 😉
This really looks and sounds amazing! It’s so funny, I live in Arizona, and eat great Mexican food all the time, but have never been exposed to Tre Leche Cake. I really like the idea of adding the cinnamon. Wonderful recipe – thank you!
Thank you Shari! I am very surprised that somebody who lives in Arizona hasn’t had Tres Leches Cake, you should definitely try it! x
Looks so delicious Michelle!!! yum!!! 🙂
Thank you so much Amy! x
This looks amazing Michelle! I have never had tres leches cake and have been wanting to try it since I moved to the USA but just never did! I may need to follow your recipes and try it at home 🙂 It definitely has intrigued me too!
Thank you Dini!
This is definitely a yummy recipe for your first tres leches cake, worked on me anyway!
Your cake really looks delicious – never ate a piece (I don’t think) let alone made one. Looks like you followed Ree’s recipe except for your addition of cinnamon. I have not converted many recipes to US measurements and I have a bunch. Looks pretty simple and I just might have to make this for my next gathering 🙂
You should definitely give it a go, it’s yummy
And yep the only changes I made were the addition of cinnamon and I used a little more cream and a little less evaporated milk. I just liked to weigh my ingredients instead of using cups where possible, since we don’t use cups in the UK!
This looks amazing, Michelle! I love the cinnamon – what a great addition 🙂
Thank you Ginger 😀
I’ve never tried making tres leches cake, yours sound incredible! Pinning to try.
Thank you Joy! It’s pretty easy to make, it’s just the waiting that’s hard haha
The cake, its texture and the topping all look divine
Thank you Hirra! x
Now that’s my kind of cake! Sounds like I need to give it a go asap!
Thank you! I hope you like it!
I love Tres Leches cake!!
It’s yummy isn’t it! Thanks for stopping by Diana xxx
What a beautiful cake!! Your photos are gorgeous too! Pinning and yumming!!
Thank you so much Michelle! And extra thanks for the compliment on the photos, I’m still figuring the photography thing out! x
So this is the cake. 😀 This is indeed so heavenly addictive with all those milks. Ugh, I want one now!!
It is the cake, in all it’s Mexican glory!! Thank you Jhuls, you should definitely try it! 😀
This cake looks fantastic Michelle- especially the cream on top. Happy FF 🙂
Thank you Jess! Happy FF xx
Lovely looking cake Michelle! By coincidence I’ve been collecting Tres Leches cake recipes to take to the Pick the World event by laChouette (it’s Guatemala day). Do you mind if I link to your recipe? Think I’ll also be making it. Thanks for sharing! 🙂
Thank you Lili!
No I don’t mind at all!
Hope you like it if you do make it x
This looks such a delicious cake, I am with you on the cinnamon addition. Somehow I don’t think I have had tres leches cake either, despite a couple of long stays in Mexico. I did have four cheese ice cream, though, which was SO good, despite how it may sound. Might just have to give your cake a go. Thanks for bringing to Fiesta Friday!
Ooh four cheese ice cream? That sounds weird but also awesome!
Thank you Caroline x
I can only imagine how awesome this tastes Michelle!!
The memory still lingers for me Lori haha! Thank you x
I have yet to try my hand at tree leches cake let alone try eating it! Bookmarking this for sure! It looks so fluffy and scrumptious Michelle thanks for sharing 🙂
Thank you Cynthia! I hope you like it if you try it, its yummy!
This cake looks amazing Michelle! I’m pinning!
Thank you Julie! x
Gorgeous photos and great recipe Michelle!! I’m definitely pinning 😀
Thank you Amanda! xx
I’m usually not a huge fan of cakes (especially when they aren’t chocolate), but this looks absolutely delicious. Well done!
Thank you! x
My favorite kind of cake.. lovely !
Thank you Prachi 🙂 x
Looks super yummy..
This looks like the most amazing Tres Leches Cake I’ve ever seen!! Your description has made it impossible for me to resist- I have to have some!! 🙂 mmmmm
Aww thank you Josette!! x x
This cake looks incredible!
I’ve been wanting to make this kind of cake for such a long time. The thing is that we don’t have evaporating milk – so I need to time to make it myself before making this cake/
Anyways – I’m tweeting it
Thank you Winnie! I hope you find the time to make it soon x
Wow this looks good! Wonderful bake – thanks so much for linking up to #Bakeoftheweek New linky open later tonight x
Thank you 😀 will be sure to join x