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If there is one dessert that is truly Latin American I would have the say this is it. Tres leches cake is a super easy to make and oh so tasty! You start with a simple sponge and soak it with evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk and whole milk. Top it off with some whipped cream and you have a cake dairy delight known in Latin America and Spain as tres leches pastel. These types of cakes with a sweet syrup of fruit liquid poured over are getting popular in American and known as “poke cake”. You poke holes and then pour over your sweet soaking liquid. Enoy! | ethnicspoon.com
5 from 5 votes

Traditional Tres Leches Cake Recipe

A deliciously moist cake made with three types of milk: sweetened condensed, cream, and evaporated milk. Perfect for any occasion.

Course Desssert
Cuisine Latin American
Keyword authentic, cake, pastel, poke cake, postre, tres leches, whipped cream
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: Change to adjust-> 15 servings
Calories 262 kcal


Cake ingredients:

  • 1 ¼ cups flour all purpose, sifted
  • 5 eggs separated
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¾ tsp Kosher salt

Milks for soaking:


  • 1 ½ cups whipping cream
  • 1 Tbsp powdered sugar


Prepare the cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

  2. Butter a 9"x11" glass pan, then lightly flour.

  3. Separate the eggs from the yolks and place them in different bowls.

  4. In the bowl of a stand up mixer place the yolks. Slowly add the sugar while beating on high. Continue to mix until the yolks are fluffy and ribbon stage. (Forms a ribbon on top when drizzled back into the bowl.) Mix in the vanilla.

  5. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl. 

  6. In another bowl beat the whites until they form soft peaks.

  7. Slowly fold the whites into the yolk mixture using a spatula. Next, slowly sift the flour mixture into the yolk mixture and fold ingredients carefully. Try not to deflate the air whipped into the eggs.

  8. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Place in center rack, and bake for about 35-40* minutes or until cake tester comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool completely before adding the milk mixture.

Prepare the soaking milks:

  1. In a large bowl whisk together evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, and whole milk. 

  2. Pour milk mixture all over the cake, and allow it to soak for about an hour before frosting.

Prepare the frosting:

  1. Beat whipping cream with the powdered sugar until thick and forms stiff peaks. Spread over cake using a flat frosting spatula.

  2. *I usually check my tres leches cake with a cake tester after about 35 minutes to make sure it does not overcook. 

Nutrition Facts
Traditional Tres Leches Cake Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 262 Calories from Fat 126
% Daily Value*
Fat 14g22%
Saturated Fat 9g56%
Cholesterol 103mg34%
Sodium 206mg9%
Potassium 248mg7%
Carbohydrates 26g9%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 18g20%
Protein 7g14%
Vitamin A 560IU11%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 176mg18%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.