How to Make a Traditional Tres Leche Cake

Make your own traditional Tres Leche Cake with this easy-to-follow Tres Leche Cake Recipe! This tender cake soaked in the creamiest milk mixture makes the best dessert!

Tres Leche Cake

Tres Leche cake has always been one of my husband’s favorite desserts, and with this Tres Leche Cake recipe, it’s becoming one of my favorites too!

The name ‘three milks’ gives everything away about this recipe, because pouring on evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, and heavy cream makes this cake ultra-dense and moist! Yum. 

I’ll admit that this isn’t the quickest recipe in the world (if you want a super quick one, my Oreo mug cake is the best)! But this tres leche cake is surprisingly easy to make!

Just don’t be surprised if the whole pan is gone in a night because this cake is amazing!

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Tres Leche Cake Recipe

This Tres Leche Cake recipe is surprisingly easy to make right at home! Grab your kids and give this one a try. 

Ingredients

For the cake

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 5 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ⅓ cup milk, whole or 2%

For the milk syrup

  • 1 – 12 oz can evaporated milk
  • 1 – 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • ⅓ cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract 

For the frosting

  • 2 cups chilled heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tbsp powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp clear vanilla extract 

For the topping

  • Fresh fruit
  • Cinnamon sugar

Some additional tools you may need: 

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • Mixing bowls
  • Silicone spatula
  • 13 x 9 inch glass baking dish

How to Make Tres Leche Cake

Don’t forget to download the full printable recipe below so you can print it out and use it whenever you feel like making this delicious recipe!

  • To make your tres leche cake, start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees.
  • Using nonstick cooking spray, coat a 13×9 inch glass baking dish. Dust the dish with flour and set it aside while you make your batter.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. 
  • In separate mixing bowls, separate the egg whites from the yolks. Set the whites aside.
  • Add ¾ cup of granulated sugar to the egg yolks and beat the mixture until it’s smooth and a pale yellow color. 
  • Stir in the milk and the vanilla extract to the egg mixture until smooth.
  • Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and stir gently to combine. Set the batter aside.
  • Add the reserved egg whites to a large mixing bowl and beat them at high speed until soft peaks begin to form. 
  • Gradually add in the remaining ¼ cup of sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form. 
  • Fold the egg whites into the batter gently just until the batter comes together. 
  • Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish and spread it out evenly.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 35-45 minutes or until you can insert a toothpick in the center and it comes out clean. 
  • When the cake is baked, remove it from the oven and let it cool on a wire rack.
  • While your cake cools, move a mixing bowl and beaters into the freezer to chill for your frosting.
  • Next, make your milk syrup by combining evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, and heavy cream in a medium-sized mixing bowl.
  • When your cake is cool, use a fork or a skewer to poke many small holes in the cake.
  • Slowly drizzle the milk mixture over the cake, allowing it to soak in completely. Set the cake aside.
  • To make your frosting, remove the prepared bowl and beaters from the freezer.
  • Add the whipping cream to the bowl and beat on high speed until soft peaks begin to form.
  • Add the powdered sugar and vanilla and beat again on high for a few minutes.
  • When the frosting reaches stiff peaks, spread it evenly onto the cake.
  • Top the cake with fresh fruit and cinnamon sugar and serve! 

Tips Tricks and FAQs 

  • This cake gets pretty sticky, especially when you add in the milk mixture. So you’ll want to make sure that you coat your baking dish super well with cooking spray and flour before adding in your batter.
  • If you don’t have a baking dish with a lid it’s time to get one! Having a lidded glass baking dish for recipes like this one is so helpful. Instead of having to deal with plastic wrap or removing the cake from the pan you can just pop on a lid and put the cake in the fridge. 
  • You can top the cake however you’d like, but my family always sprinkles on some cinnamon sugar and fresh chopped berries. To make some cinnamon sugar, just combine ½ cup of granulated sugar and 2 teaspoons of cinnamon in a bowl before sprinkling it onto the cake. 

Storage

You can serve this cake right away or store it in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve. If kept in an airtight container, it should stay fresh for about 3-4 days! 

More Easy Dessert Recipes

Did you make this? Let us know how it went in the comments!

Yield: 12

Tres Leche Cake

Make your own traditional Tres Leche Cake with this easy-to-follow Tres Leche Cake Recipe! This tender cake soaked in the creamiest milk mixture makes the best dessert!

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 5 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ⅓ cup milk, whole or 2%
  • 1 - 12 oz can evaporated milk
  • 1 - 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • ⅓ cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups chilled heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tbsp powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp clear vanilla extract
  • Fresh fruit
  • Cinnamon sugar

Instructions

  1. To make your tres leche cake, start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Using nonstick cooking spray, coat a 13x9 inch glass baking dish. Dust the dish with flour and set it aside while you make your batter.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. 
  4. In separate mixing bowls, separate the egg whites from the yolks. Set the whites aside.
  5. Add ¾ cup of granulated sugar to the egg yolks and beat the mixture until it’s smooth and a pale yellow color. 
  6. Stir in the milk and the vanilla extract to the egg mixture until smooth.
  7. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and stir gently to combine. Set the batter aside.
  8. Add the reserved egg whites to a large mixing bowl and beat them at high speed until soft peaks begin to form. 
  9. Gradually add in the remaining ¼ cup of sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form. 
  10. Fold the egg whites into the batter gently just until the batter comes together. 
  11. Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish and spread it out evenly.
  12. Bake in the preheated oven for 35-45 minutes or until you can insert a toothpick in the center and it comes out clean. 
  13. When the cake is baked, remove it from the oven and let it cool on a wire rack.
  14. While your cake cools, move a mixing bowl and beaters into the freezer to chill for your frosting.
  15. Next, make your milk syrup by combining evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, and heavy cream in a medium-sized mixing bowl.
  16. When your cake is cool, use a fork or a skewer to poke many small holes in the cake.
  17. Slowly drizzle the milk mixture over the cake, allowing it to soak in completely. Set the cake aside.
  18. To make your frosting, remove the prepared bowl and beaters from the freezer.
  19. Add the whipping cream to the bowl and beat on high speed until soft peaks begin to form.
  20. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla and beat again on high for a few minutes.
  21. When the frosting reaches stiff peaks, spread it evenly onto the cake.
  22. Top the cake with fresh fruit and cinnamon sugar and serve! 

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