Tres Leches

Tres Leches Cake

I’ve heard of Tres Leches cake for years but it was only recently that I actually tasted it and boy was it delicious!! When I finally attempted to make it, I realised this cake is pretty simple to make. Right here is a failproof recipe for making Tres Leches. It makes for a wonderful dessert just like the Dulce De Leche cake I posted earlier.

What is a Tres Leches Cake:

Tres leches like the name suggests, means three kinds of milk, which is a combination of evaporated milk, condensed milk and regular whole milk. I’ve yet to meet someone who can resist condensed milk, so imagine how quickly you will have a slice of this cake that is soaked in a mixture of it. The evaporated milk and whole milk balance off the sweetness, so you won’t have to stop at one piece. Yayyy!!!

Tres Leches Cake

Now if you are googling evaporated milk, let me help you out. It’s been one of the main reasons I took so long to make a tres leches cake mostly because I didn’t what it was. You won’t believe how simple it is to make your own. All you have to do is boil milk and reduce it to half it’s quantity. That’s it!!! Don’t think of using substitutes like coconut milk in this recipe, it just won’t have the same charm. Just make your own. I’ve added detailed instructions in the notes below.

How to make a Tres Leches Cake:

Making a tres leches cake is very simple. All you need is a little extra time. There are 3 elements to this cake. One, the sponge cake, two the mixture of 3 milks and three the whipped cream that goes on top. That’s it. The cake and the whipped cream won’t take long to make and the milk mixture will come together rather quickly. What this cake does need time for is for the cake to soak in the three milks mixture once it has baked. While it’s often mentioned 3-4 hours is a minimum, I found it best to let the cake soak overnight.

Tres Leches

Also with Diwali coming up, I thought this could be the perfect dessert. A lot of Indian sweets use reduced/evaporated milk, so you’ll definitely find a familiar flavour in this cake. Happy Baking.


  • To make evaporated milk, boil 1 cup of milk in a heavy-bottomed saucepan on a gentle flame. Once the milk reaches a boiling point, reduce the flame and let the milk simmer till it reduces to half the quantity.
  • Using a loose-bottomed cake tin makes it easier to take the cake out once it’s soaked in the milk mixture. Make sure to line the bottom of the tin with baking paper.
  • I’ve used non- dairy whipping cream to make the topping. It’s much easier to use and not as delicate as fresh milk cream.

Tres Leches Cake:

For the cake:

5 eggs

1 cup castor sugar

1 1/4 cups flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 cup milk

2 tsp vanilla essence

For the milk mixture:

2/3 cup regular milk

400 ml/1 can condensed milk

1/2 cup evaporated milk.(Read notes to make your own)

For the topping:

1 cup whipped cream

1/4 cup icing sugar

1 tsp vanilla essence

Strawberries for garnish.


  • Begin by preheating your oven to a 180 C. Grease and line an 8 inch round baking tin with baking paper.
  • Separate the egg whites and yolks.
  • In a large clean and dry bowl, beat the egg whites till they form stiff peaks. Then add 1/4 cup of the castor sugar. Beat till just combined.
  • In a separate large bowl, beat the egg yolks and the remaining castor sugar. Then drizzle in the vanilla. Beat till just combined.
  • Sift in the flour and the baking powder and then add the milk. Beat till the batter is just combined.
  • Add one-third of the egg whites. With a spatula or wooden spoon, fold them in gently into the cake batter. Then add the rest of the egg white mixture and fold it in, till the batter is even and smooth.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin and let it bake in the preheated oven for about 30 – 35 minutes.
  • The cake is ready when a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.

To soak the cake :

  • Mix the evaporated milk, regular milk and condensed milk.
  • When the cake has baked and cooled down, poke holes all over the cake using a fork.
  • Pour the milk mixture over the cake, still in the pan, little by little till you have used up all the mixture.
  • Leave the cake to soak up all the liquids for a minimum of 3-4 hrs or better still overnight.
  • While the cake is soaking, prepare the whipped cream.
  • In a bowl, combine the whipping cream, vanilla and icing sugar till the cream forms stiff peaks.

To assemble the Tres Leches cake:

  • Once the cake has soaked up all the liquid, take it out of the tin and place it on your serving board.
  • Pipe the whipping cream on top and garnish with cut strawberries. Serve the cake chilled.

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