Tres leches (i.e. three types of milk) cake, is one of my favorite desserts to order, whenever I go to a Mexican restaurant. The spongy cake is oozing with a tasty milk syrup, and topped with whipped vanilla cream. Granted, it is sweeter than most cakes I’m usually making, but it is also very delicious and irresistible. So far, I was happy enough with only ordering it when at the restaurant, and didn’t make it at home. But with limited restaurant experiences lately, things changed, and I was looking for an authentic recipe, in order to make it at home. When I saw the detailed recipe for it on a blog I follow, Irene’s “My slice of Mexico”, I knew it was the one to try first.
The cake turned out tastier than any I’ve tasted so far: the texture was spongy and moist, yet it was solid and kept its shape beautifully when portioned. The syrup was rich and tasty, and the fresh whipped cream on top gave it the slight tanginess and freshness needed to balance it all.
The only change I’ve made to Irene’s recipe was to bake the cake in a rectangular pan, rather than the round pan she suggested, as I was planning to serve smaller portions of it, as part of a buffet dinner. The cake survived this change without any problem.
This beautiful festive cake will delight anyone who loves sweet and rich syrup-soaked cakes. Try it and enjoy.
Prep time: 30 minutes
Baking time: 35 minutes
Soaking time: at least 3 hours, preferably overnight
For the cake:
1 tsp butter, soft
1½ cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1/3 cup whole milk, at room temperature
2 tsp vanilla paste
7 L eggs, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
For the syrup:
1 can (12 fl oz/354 ml) evaporated milk
1 can (14 oz/396grms) condensed sweetened milk
½ cup heavy cream
For the topping:
2 cups heavy cream, cold
½ cup powdered sugar, sifted
1 tsp vanilla paste
- Preheat the oven to 350F (175C). Spread the butter over the bottom and sides of a 9”x13” (23×33 cm) pan, and dust with a bit of flour. Turn the pan upside down and tap on it, to get rid of excess flour. Place in the fridge until using.
- Mix the flour with the baking powder and salt, and sift to incorporate. Mix the milk with the vanilla. Set aside.
- Place the eggs in a mixer bowl, attached with the whipping hook, and start whipping on low speed. Gradually add the sugar, and increase the speed to medium. Once you add all the sugar, increase the speed to medium-high, and whip until frothy and thick.
- Lower the speed to medium. Add the sifted flour mix, alternating with the milk/vanilla, in three batches, and whip shortly, to a smooth frothy batter.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for about 35 minutes, until the cake is deep golden in color, and if you gently press on the top, it springs right back. Place on a rack to cool a bit.
- In a medium jag, mix the evaporated milk, condensed milk and heavy cream. Prick the cake with a fork, and pour the syrup over it. Keep at room temperature until the syrup is absorbed.
- Cover with plastic wrap, and place in the fridge for at least 3 hours, preferably overnight.
- The topping: in a large cold bowl, mix the cold heavy cream, powdered sugar and vanilla. Whip with a hand blender on medium-high speed, to a firm peaks stage. Spread over the cake and serve.