Tres Leches Cake 

I made this cake for a Cinco de Mayo bash at work. It’s a traditional Mexican dessert and it’s extremely rich, due to the evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, and heavy cream mixture that you pour over it… the “three milks.” It has a delicate, creamy taste with just a hint of cinnamon!

Tres Leches Cake

Serves: 12-15


  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, cut into chunks
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar


  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  1. To prepare milk mixture, empty the can of condensed milk into a small saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring continuously. Bring to a boil and reduce heat and simmer, stirring constantly until mixture begins to thicken and becomes slightly darker in color.
  2. Remove from heat and gradually whisk in the evaporated milk, cream and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Set aside to cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes.
  3. For the cake, adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat to 325 F. Grease and flour a 9×13-inch baking pan. Whisk the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in a medium bowl.
  4. Heat the milk, butter and vanilla in a small saucepan over low heat until the butter is melted.
  5. In a large bowl whip the eggs with an electric mixer on medium-high speed and gradually add the sugar; beat 1 minute. Increase speed and whip until the mixture is very thick and voluminous, 4 to 8 minutes longer.
  6. Reduce mixer speed to low and add the melted butter mixture, beating until combined, about 30 seconds
  7. Add the flour mixture in two additions, beating until incorporated, about 30 seconds. Increase the mixer speed to medium and whip the batter until it is fully combined and smooth, about 30 seconds.
  8. Scrape batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top and gently tap the pan on the work surface to settle it. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few crumbs attached, 30 to 35 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes.
  9. Using a skewer, poke about 50 holes in the warm cake (you do not need to poke all the way through). Slowly pour the cooled milk mixture over the cake. Let the cake cool about 15 minutes, then refrigerate until the milk is completely absorbed and the cake has cooled completely, about 3 hours. Let the cake sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before frosting it.
  10. For the frosting: With an electric mixer, beat whipping cream, sugar and vanilla until soft peaks form. Spread evenly over cake. Cake can be covered with plastic wrap and stored in the fridge for up to 3 days.

*Recipe adapted slightly from the Cooks Country cookbook.

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