Tres Leches Cake

In honor of Cinco de Mayo, I decided to make a tres leches cake……a boozy, tres leches cake.  I usually make churros and hot chocolate, but I was in the mood for something I’ve never made before.  I didn’t realize it, but tres leches is really like an angel food cake soaked with milk (tres leches).  I had no idea.  I was always curious to know what type of cake could handle so much liquid while maintaining its structure.

For some reason, my cake didn’t seem to have much leche.  The cake baked just fine, but I wonder if I didn’t poke enough holes in the bottom or top, or maybe I didn’t let the milk soak long enough before adding more, because it was somehow still a little dry in parts even after adding 4 cups of milk!  And a bit of bourbon.

I was pleasantly surprised by it’s sweetness.  I thought it would be a lot sweeter than it was, but it was very nice.  Very creamy and rich, and the bourbon was a nice touch.  I would have added rum, but I didn’t have any.  With every bite, there seemed to be an echo of coconut at the end.  I think next time, I might try this will a little coconut milk and rum.  It’ll be like a take on the pina colada!

Tres Leches Cake

For the cake

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 6 large egg whites
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 2 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract (, divided)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • 1 cup evaporated skim milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • ¼ cup bourbon ((or rum))

For the whipped cream

  • 2 ¼ cups heavy whipping cream
  • 5 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons vanilla

Make the cake

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare a 9 x 13 cake pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. Whisk 1 1/2 cups flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites in another large bowl until firm peaks form, 7-8 minutes. Gradually beat in sugar. Add egg yolks one at a time, beating to blend between additions. Beat in 2 tsp. vanilla. Add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with milk in 2 additions, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Pour batter into pan; smooth top.
  3. Bake cake for 25 minutes. Reduce heat to 325°; continue baking until cake is golden brown and middle springs back when pressed, 20-25 minutes more. Let cake cool in pan for 15 minutes. Invert cake onto a wire rack set inside a rimmed baking sheet.
  4. Whisk 1/2 tsp. vanilla, evaporated milk, and remaining ingredients in a medium bowl. Poke holes all over top of cake with a skewer. Slowly drizzle half of sauce over cake, letting liquid soak in before adding more. Let cake sit for 10 minutes.
  5. Invert a plate on top of cake. Lift rack and gently invert cake onto plate. Drizzle remaining sauce over. Spoon any liquid collected on sheet over cake.

Make the whipped cream

  1. Beat cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla in large bowl until peaks form. Spread or pipe over cake as desired.

Adapted from

One Comment Add yours

  1. Bonnie Eng says:

    Beautiful! I’ve actually never had Tres Leches Cake…poor me! =)

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