Monday, March 8, 2010

Tres Leches Cake - Heaven on a Plate

I did not know what it was called the first time I had it. I was at a b'day party and  a huge piece of cake sat in front of me waiting to be eaten. I almost swore that I would have just a tiny little piece. And thank God that I only almost swore, because OMG, I just bit into super-tasty, ultra moist goodness with sweetened milk syrup oozing out of it leaving a delightful, lingering after taste that made me wonder if I tasted heaven.
I complimented the host on the amazing find. And then I forgot about it.

Until... I had it again, at another party. So I tasted heaven, again! And that's when I decided, I had to make this cake at home!

Tres Leches is the name - stands for 'three milk'. It's a Mexican dessert, with three forms of milk working hand in hand to give you a a perfect balance of sponginess and sogginess. I googled for the recipe, and out of all the different ones I found, I chose this one.

Ingredients :
For the cake
1 1/2  cups  all purpose flour or  maida
1 1/2  teaspoons  baking powder

1/2  cup  unsalted butter, softened
1  cup  sugar
5  eggs
1/2   tsp  vanilla essense

The 3 milks
1  cup milk
1  can condensed milk (14 oz)
1  can evaporated milk (12 oz)

1 1/2  cups  whipping cream
1/4  cup  sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla essense

Method (refer the pictures below for notes) :

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease a 9"X13" baking dish.

Combine flour and baking powder and keep aside.
In a large bowl, with an electric hand mixer, beat butter and sugar until creamy. Add eggs one at a time and beat. Add vanilla and beat further. To this add the flour mixture little by little and beat at a low speed till it mixes well. Pour into baking pan.

Bake for 30 mts or until fork inserted comes out clean.

Combine the 3 milks in a large mug. Poke the cake with a fork several times and pour the milk all over the cake. Refrigerate.

Whip  cream, sugar  and vanilla on medium for 5 to 7 minutes. (don't overwhip). Top the cake. Decorate with cherries (optional).

 The butter-sugar-eggs are working their magic.

Here's the cake ready to be poked. A hundred times!

Poke poke poke. Keep on poking. You want the magical concoction to seep right into the cake till it cries out of intoxication!

And the syrups get ready for their selfless mission of filling the sponge with all the goodness.

Don't worry, it's a sponge. It will absorb all the liquid. The best bet is to refrigerate it for a few hours. And when you take it out, you will not see any trace of the liquid on the surface. Also, the middle of the cake absorbs a lot more than the sides and will be soggier, so feel free to scrape off a little bit of the sides (which can serve as a yummy snack while topping the cake). And if given a choice, go for the middle pieces :D.

Here's the cream getting whipped.

And here's the the Tres Leches cake, all dressed up and decked with Maraschino cherries and rouged with pink whipped cream. Now, isn't that a pretty lass?

Update : I feel fresh strawberries make a tastier adornment. So just chop some strawberries and decorate the cake with it. You can actually cut the cake into smaller portions and top each one with a strawberry. And don't worry if you can't. The cake tastes great on it's own.



  1. CONGRATS Aparna !
    What a start i must say ! Good photos ,great writing ..Kudos !! atlast you did it !!Keep going....... I shall be an avid follower :)

  2. Thanks Jyothiakka. And thnx for encouraging me to start the blog :)

  3. I'll wait for you to come back and we can have this for our next re-union :)

    btw, the cake name sounds evil to me ....

    Can we expect to see some awesome amchigele recipes also??? :)

  4. Hi Harsha, thnx! Sure, amchigele recipes will come up soon.

  5. And having tasted this cake of yours I can definitely vouch for your excellence ! Congrats on the blog and look forward to many more entries and opportunities to taste them all :)

  6. Hey Aparna.. Nice blog! Tres Leches and the basket weave cake look great. I just noticed, you and I have started blogging on the exact same date! :) Best wishes!

  7. Good to see you started blogging food. Your cakes look pretty.
    So this is the tres leches cake. Lovely!

  8. So the next time we meet, I'm requesting this cake for dessert!! :) I love tres leches cake and the one you made looks delectable. Congrats on a great start to your blog! I'm looking forward to more pics, recipes, and of course, your light-hearted and conversational prose :)

  9. @ Swati and Seema
    Sure, wud luv an opportunity to make something fr u.

    @ Aparna
    thnx! i finally joined the pool!

  10. Nice cake Aparna, I can see that u love to make cakes....and thanks for stopping by at my space......

    for the question U asked....well, my family loves to eat cake with freshly whipped cream & buttercream has so much of sugar, I decided to ice cake with whipped cream this time & only deco. with Butter cream, it was a kind of experiment also....but it worked well & overall it tasted very light because of W.cream. Hope it explains the reason....

  11. hav been thinking of trying this one..this week for sure..thanks for the simple and yummy recipe :)

  12. Wow!! Simple yummy dessert!!
    Can I try this for the egg-less cake recipe?
    Because I'm afraid whether that may be too soggy? :(



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