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Tres Leches Cake | The Novice Chef


Do-it-yourself from scratch, this conventional Tres Leches Cake has a candy and tender vanilla crumb drenched in three milks and topped with a cloud of fluffy whipped cream. Mild, ethereal and splendidly moist, you may whip up this dessert whenever you need one thing candy that received’t weigh you down.

On the lookout for a faster model of this cake? Do that Straightforward Tres Leches Cake, which makes use of a boxed cake combine as a base.

One square of Tres Leches cake on a plate topped with whipped cream and a single maraschino cherry.

Tres Leches Cake Comprised of Scratch

Additionally referred to as “pan tres leches,” this traditional Mexican dessert gives up an insanely moist sponge cake with delicate vanilla sweetness. Soaked in tres leches, or three milks, it has the creamy taste of a custard cake with out the richness and dense texture. It’s good whenever you’re on the lookout for decadence however don’t need to replenish on dessert.

The important thing to this cake is the sponginess within the crumb. Like a sponge, it may take in the moisture of the tres leches combination with out ever getting soggy. It all the time retains its form and tender consistency, even beneath the load of the creamy whipped topping.

Tres Leches Cake on a plate with a single bite taken out of it and balanced on a fork next to it.

What’s Tres Leches Cake?

In Spanish, tres leches actually means “three milks,” and this dessert positively lives as much as the title. Not counting the common complete milk that goes into the batter, 3 totally different types of milk make up the syrup that tres leches cake is soaked in. Evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk and heavy cream are combined collectively and poured over the cake, turning it wealthy, moist and flavorful.

All of the ingredients for Tres Leches Cake laid out on the counter.

Recipe Components

This tres leches cake is created from scratch utilizing three totally different sorts of milk. Scroll right down to the recipe card to search out the precise quantities for every ingredient.

  • Eggs: Separate the yolks from the whites. 
  • Granulated Sugar
  • Vanilla Extract
  • All-Goal Flour
  • Baking Powder
  • Salt
  • Entire Milk
  • Evaporated Milk
  • Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • Heavy Whipping Cream: That is interchangeable with common heavy cream.
  • Powdered Sugar
  • Maraschino Cherries
A slice of Tres Leches Cake with whipped cream and a maraschino cherry on top.

How one can Make Tres Leches Cake

Whipping up this traditional Mexican dessert is a breeze. With this recipe, you’ll have a standard tres leches cake in simply 8 straightforward steps.

Prep Your Supplies: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Flippantly grease a 9×13-inch baking dish with cooking spray, then set it apart.

Egg yolks, sugar and vanilla beaten into a light golden yellow mixture with a paddle mixer attachment in the bowl.

Combine the Moist Components: Beat the egg yolks, 1 cup of sugar and the vanilla extract for two minutes within the bowl of a stand mixer utilizing the paddle attachment, till the combination turns pale yellow and easy. 

One and 1/4 cup of loose all-purpose flour spooned and leveled into a mixing bowl.

Mix the Dry Components: Sift the flour, baking powder and salt right into a separate mixing bowl. Slowly combine the dry elements into the egg yolk combination on low pace, alternating with the milk. Proceed mixing your batter on low pace till it comes collectively. Switch the batter to a big mixing bowl and clear and dry the stand mixer. 

Add the Egg Whites: Add the egg whites to the mixer and beat them on medium pace utilizing the whisk attachment for two minutes, or till mushy peaks seem. Slowly add within the remaining ¼ cup of granulated sugar and proceed beating the egg whites till medium peaks kind. Gently fold the egg whites into the cake batter, being cautious to not deflate the batter an excessive amount of. Fold till it’s simply mixed. 

Vanilla cake in a pan fresh out of the oven.

Bake: Switch the batter to the ready baking dish and use a spatula to easy the highest. Bake your cake for half-hour, or till a toothpick inserted within the heart comes out clear. Transfer the cake to a cooling rack for 10 minutes. 

Make the Tres Leches: Whereas the cake is cooling, whisk collectively the evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk and heavy cream. Poke holes within the prime of the cake utilizing a fork or a big toothpick. Slowly pour the milk combination excessive, ensuring to soak the cake evenly. Switch the cake to the fridge for round 2 hours, or till it cools utterly, masking the highest of the pan with foil or saran wrap.

Heavy cream whipped into stiff peaks in a mixing bowl with the whisk mixer attachment inside.

Whip the Topping: As soon as the cake has chilled, beat 2 cups of heavy cream within the stand mixer till mushy peaks seem. Add within the sugar and proceed mixing simply till stiff peaks kind.

Frost and Serve: Unfold the whipped cream excessive of the cake. Slice the cake into 12 equal items and serve it instantly, or retailer it as much as 24 hours earlier than serving. Garnish every slice with maraschino cherries if desired. 

A pan full of Tres Leches Cake seen from above dotted with maraschino cherries.

Ideas for Success

This straightforward cake has come collectively fantastically each time I’ve made it. Comply with the following tips so yours seems simply as heavenly.

  • Use the Spoon and Degree Technique: Flour settles simply, so it will get packed fairly tightly inside a bag or jar. To be sure to’re not scooping up packed flour, it’s best to fluff it up with a spoon or fork earlier than you measure it. Spoon the flour into the measuring cup. This can cease you from by accident utilizing an excessive amount of flour, which might go away you with a dense cake.
  • Don’t Over-Combine: Each the egg whites and the whipped cream have to be combined for simply the correct amount of time. Mixing them too little could make them flat or watery, whereas mixing an excessive amount of could make them chunky or trigger them to separate. Additionally, be sure to fold within the egg whites as an alternative of blending them, or your batter may deflate.
  • Add Some Cinnamon: If you wish to deliver some heat to your cake, you may add about 1.5 teaspoons of cinnamon to the batter. You can even sprinkle cinnamon on prime, or add it to the whipped cream for the same impact.
  • Change Out the Fruit: If maraschino cherries are too candy for you, contemporary berries additionally work nice as toppers for this cake. For a barely extra tart possibility, attempt including a fanned strawberry or a couple of raspberries to the highest of each slice as an alternative!
A single slice of vanilla cake soaked in three milks on a plate.

FAQs

What does tres leches style like?

Tres leches has a delicate sweetness to it, and a richness that comes from the three totally different types of milk. This offers it a posh, layered taste that provides physique to the vanilla cake.

Is tres leches Spanish or Mexican?

This explicit mixture of milks started to indicate up in soaked muffins from Mexico within the 1800s. It’s nonetheless very a lot a Latin American dessert, seeing its highest reputation exterior of Mexico in locations like Cuba, Venezuela, Puerto Rico and Guatemala.

Ought to tres leches cake be moist?

Since tres leches makes use of sponge cake, it ought to have the ability to take in the moisture of the milks with out ever getting soggy or falling aside. When it’s made appropriately, it has a consistency just like custard.

A side view of Tres Leches Cake still in the pan with a few slices missing.

How one can Retailer this Mexican Cake

The ethereal texture of this cake holds up finest throughout the first 24 hours. After that, gravity begins to take its toll. If you happen to don’t thoughts a barely deflated cake, you may retailer it for as much as 4 days within the fridge. You could need to line the perimeters of your hermetic container with dry paper towels to take in any extra moisture.

Can I Freeze It?

The completed cake doesn’t maintain up effectively to freezing and defrosting, however the cake itself can positively be frozen. Simply wrap it tightly in foil with out soaking or frosting it. When wrapped tightly, it may keep in there for as much as 3 months. Take it out, let it thaw within the fridge in a single day, after which soak it and add the whipped topping. It would choose up a bit moisture from the freezing course of, which may cease it from absorbing fairly as a lot of the tres leches, however it can nonetheless prove fairly tasty!

Yield: 12

Tres Leches Cake

A side view of Tres Leches Cake still in the pan with a few slices missing.

Do-it-yourself from scratch, this conventional Tres Leches Cake has a candy and tender vanilla crumb drenched in three milks and topped with a cloud of fluffy whipped cream. Mild, ethereal and splendidly moist, you may whip up this dessert whenever you need one thing candy that will not weigh you down.

Prep Time
half-hour

Cook dinner Time
half-hour

Extra Time
2 hours

Whole Time
3 hours

Components

For the Cake

  • 6 eggs, separate the yolks and whites
  • 1 ¼ cups granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ⅓ cup complete milk
  • 1 ½ cups all goal flour
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk
  • 1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream

For the Whipped Topping

  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • Maraschino cherries

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and flippantly grease a 9×13” baking dish. Put aside. 
  1. Within the bowl of a stand mixer, beat egg yolks, 1 cup of sugar and vanilla extract with the paddle attachment for two minutes, till pale yellow and easy. 
  2. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt right into a mixing bowl. Slowly add the dry elements, alternating with the milk, to the egg yolk combination, mixing on low pace. Proceed mixing on low pace till the batter comes collectively. 
  3. Switch batter to a big mixing bowl and clear and dry the stand mixer bowl. 
  4. Add the egg whites to the mixer and beat on medium pace (with the whisk attachment) for two minutes, till mushy peaks kind. Slowly add within the remaining ¼ cup of granulated sugar and proceed beating till medium peaks kind (don’t over-beat). 
  5. Gently fold the egg whites into the cake batter, being cautious to not deflate the batter an excessive amount of. Fold till it’s simply mixed. 
  6. Switch the batter to the ready baking dish and use a spatula to easy the highest. Bake for half-hour, or till a toothpick comes out clear. Transfer the cake to a cooling rack for 10 minutes. 
  7. In the meantime, whisk collectively the evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk and heavy cream. 
  8. Poke holes within the prime of the cake utilizing a fork or a big toothpick. Slowly pour the milk combination over prime, ensuring to soak the cake evenly. Switch cake to the fridge to chill utterly, masking the highest of the cake with foil or saran wrap.
  9. As soon as the cake is chilled, in a stand mixer, beat 2 cups of heavy cream till mushy peaks kind. Add within the sugar and proceed mixing simply till stiff peaks kind. Don’t over-mix the whipped cream – it needs to be gentle and fluffy. 
  10. Unfold the whipped cream excessive of the cake. Serve instantly or retailer as much as 24 hours earlier than serving. Garnish with maraschino cherries on prime when serving, if desired. 

Notes

  • To Retailer: Retailer for as much as 4 days within the fridge in an hermetic container lined with dry paper towels.
  • To Freeze: Wrap tightly in foil with out soaking or frosting and freeze for as much as 3 months. Let thaw within the fridge in a single day earlier than soaking and frosting.

Vitamin Data:

Yield:

12

Serving Dimension:

1

Quantity Per Serving:
Energy: 371Whole Fats: 22gSaturated Fats: 13gTrans Fats: 1gUnsaturated Fats: 7gLdl cholesterol: 167mgSodium: 185mgCarbohydrates: 38gFiber: 0gSugar: 26gProtein: 7g

Extra Mexican-Impressed Desserts

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