Tres Leches

Tres Leches Cake | Photo by Zoë François

Tres Leches Cake is a light sponge cake that is soaked with three kinds of milk: sweetened condensed, evaporated and heavy cream (milk-ish enough to count), hence the name. Today is Cinco de Mayo and this cake seemed just the thing to celebrate with. It’s a rather simple cake, both in it’s presentation and in the making of it. Just bake a sheet cake, soak it and cover in whipped cream. I added a layer of cinnamon for the intensity of flavor and because I like how it looks. The recipe is from the newest cookbook by the America’s Test Kitchen folks, The Perfect Cake. As is suggested in their name, they test the living day lights out of every recipe they print, so I always trust they will work. The book is filled with the how’s and why’s of baking cakes, so you understand what you are up to while baking. You know how I love a good tutorial on baking, so this is right up my alley. It’s a great book and covers all the basics of cake baking.

The only place I went off script was in the whipped cream topping. I had a little bit of homemade creme fraiche left over from my Pot de Creme, so I added it to the whipping cream and made a slightly more decadent topping. I also wanted a slightly thicker layer of the cream, so the creme fraiche stretched it for me. Then I dusted with cinnamon, which is not required, but it’s delicious.

To watch me make the tres leches cake, check out my instagram video. Recipe is below.

Tres Leches Cake and The Perfect Cake cookbook | Photo by Zoë François

GIVEAWAY: The America’s Test Kitchen said I could give away a copy of their wonderful book to my readers, so I am going to do just that. Leave me a comment below about your favorite cake and you will be entered to win. The giveaway is limited to the USA only.

Tres Leches Cake | Photo by Zoë François

Tres Leches

from The Perfect Cake by The America’s Test Kitchen

Milk Mixture:
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk

1 cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract (make your own)


2 cups (10 ounces) all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

8 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 cup whole milk

4 large eggs, room temperature

2 cups (14 ounces) sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract


1 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup creme fraiche (optional)

1/4 cup powdered sugar (the book called for 3 tablespoons corn syrup, but I used the powdered sugar in it’s place)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cinnamon for dusting (optional)

To make the Milk mixture:

You can watch me make this in my instagram video

Pour condensed milk into a large bowl, cover and microwave (set to low power) for about 10 minutes, stirring every few minutes, until it is thick and slightly darker.

Stir in the evaporated milk and heavy cream. Set aside.

To make the Cake:

You can watch me make this in my instagram video

Preheat oven to 325°F

Butter and flour a 9×13″ baking dish

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in a bowl.

Heat the butter and milk until butter is melted, cool completely (my timing was a touch off, so the mixture was still warm and it worked just fine)

Whip the eggs (stand mixer or hand held will work), until foamy, then slowly add the sugar. Whip until thick and glossy, about 7 minutes. Reduce speed and slowly add the cooled milk mixture. Then add the flour mixture in three additions.

Transfer batter to pan and bake until a skewer comes out clean, about 30 to 35 minutes.

Let cake cool for 10 minutes, then poke it with a skewer to create holes in 1/2-inch intervals. Pour the milk mixture evenly over the cake. Let sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes, then refrigerate, uncovered, for at least 3 hours, but overnight is best.

When ready to serve, let the cake sit at room temperature for 30 minutes, then make the whipped cream. In a bowl whip the cream, creme fraiche, sugar and vanilla on medium speed until medium peaks. Spread over the cake, dust with cinnamon and serve.

Tres Leches Cake | Photo by Zoë François

Enjoy and leave a comment to win a copy of The Perfect Cake: Your Ultimate Guide to Classic, Modern, and Whimsical Cakes.

To watch this tres leches video and many more tutorials please visit my instagram page.