Tres Leches cake is the perfect summer treat: sweet, refreshing, melt-in-your-mouth deliciousness, topped with sweet whipped cream and fresh fruit.
Everyone wish my hubby Brian a happy 27th birthday!
We’ve been together since he was 18 years old, I cannot believe he really hasn’t aged. Just refuses to get old….
Except for that one gray hair in his beard. Well, it may be blonde, we aren’t too sure yet.
This tres leches cake was his birthday cake this year, and it was gone by the end of the day. I always tease him about his love for tres leches but I can’t even blame him, it’s an amazingly delicious cake that’s rich, sweet, creamy, tender, all those good adjectives.
If you’ve never heard of tres leches, or just stumbled across this blog post looking for something for Cinco de Mayo, tres leches is a cake called ‘three milks’ because the beautiful sponge cake is drenched in evaporated milk, heavy cream, and sweetened condensed milk, which it soaks up beautifully. You may think “OMG, I put too much.” but you’re wrong. There’s never too much. Then whipped cream is smoothed over the top, maybe a sprinkle of cinnamon over the top, or maraschino cherries or strawberries to decorate and put in the fridge to let set.
…or just eat it immediately.
Because, you know, who wants to wait? I know Brian didn’t, he was mad I had to take photos!
A great thing about tres leches is that you can make it your own if you want, adding maybe tropical fruit purees with the milks or putting in different types of milks or a ton of different milks, but the classic is still absolute perfection. No one is going to say, “The classic tres leches cake just doesn’t do it for me anymore.”
Anyone who does is a cake hater.
I love tres leches cake in the summer because it’s served cold (from the fridge) and goes great with those fresh summer fruits like berries and even peaches. Try some of this next time you’re sitting on your porch in the heat. The coldness and sweet creaminess of the milks in this light and fluffy sponge cake with some fresh fruit, it’s just so refreshing. Or for any summery party, a pool party, or for a nice little picnic in the park (love this, because it gets so hot here, it really is such a cooling treat!)
I promise it’ll be your new summer tradition.
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- ½ cup unsalted butter, (1 stick) room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 5 eggs
- 1½ cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 12-ounce can evaporated milk
- 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 cup half-and-half or heavy cream
For the Whipped Cream
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9 x 13 inch baking dish with non stick baking spray liberally.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or a large bowl and a hand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes.
- Add the eggs one at a time and mix well to combine. Add the vanilla extract and mix.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt to combine. Add the mixture to the mixer in 1/2 cup batches and mix just until incorporated. Scrape well to ensure the batter is well combined.
- Pour into prepared baking dish and spread in an even layer. It will double in size while baking.
- Bake for 25-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow cake to cool in the pan for 30-45 minutes or until completely cooled.
- In a 4-cup measuring cup or medium sized bowl, pour in condensed milk, evaporated milk, and heavy cream, whisk well to combine.
- When cake is completely cool, poke the cake several times with a fork across the surface. You want it well poked across the entire cake. Slowly drizzle all of the milk mixture over the cake as evenly as possible, focusing on the edges of the cake.
- Allow cake to absorb the milk mixture for 30 minutes. In a large, clean bowl, whip heavy cream with sugar and vanilla extract until thick and spreadable, then smooth over the surface of the cake.
- Decorate cake with whole maraschino cherries or an even sprinkling of ground cinnamon or fresh berries. Let refrigerate for 4 hours to overnight, or cut into squares and serve immediately if you can't wait.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 295
Eden Westbrook is the recipe developer, writer, and photographer behind Sweet Tea and Thyme. A classically trained chef, Eden has inspired home cooks into the kitchen with cultural comfort foods, easy family-friendly eats and sweets, and glorious spreads for date night and entertaining since 2015.