For years, I’ve been baffled why people go nuts over Tres Leches Cake, because the first time I tried it, I concluded it was nothing but an overly sweet, sloppy mess.
Forgive me. I was so wrong.
Then, my little sweetheart asked me to bake one for her and there was no way I could decline. That’s when I fell in love with this delight from the Latin kitchen.
Usually a soft vanilla cake is drenched with 3 kinds of milk, Condensed, evaporated and fresh, hence the name Tres Leches. Here, we will skip fresh milk and top ours with homemade whipped cream, then finish it with a dusting of cinnamon. You’re gonna love it!
You know that I never turn down an opportunity to use butter. And, whenever I’m cheating with boxed cake mix, I always substitute a couple of the ingredients listed on the back of the box.
Instead of oil, I go with butter and substitute water with milk. Well, this recipe here just might surprise you, because I use oil and water instead of butter and milk in the cake batter.
The reason for this is chemistry. While butter tastes amazing, it has a tendency to make this particular cake a bit more dense than I’d like. The vegetable oil will yield an lighter, more spongy crumb. As for the water, it lets the tres leches take the spotlight on flavor.
Classic Tres Leches Cake
Makes: 13×9 pan (~ 24 2-inch squares)
Prep: 10 mins
Bake: 35 mins
Chill: 60 mins
3 free-range eggs, @ room temp
1 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup neutral vegetable oil (like canola)
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
12 oz can evaporated milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 cups heavy cream
2 tsp cinnamon
Butter & flour 13×9 casserole pan.
Preheat oven to 325*F.
Beat eggs, sugar, vanilla, water and oil.
Place a sieve over the mixing bowl.
Sift flour, baking powder and salt into the batter.
Mix just until incorporated.
Pour into prepared pan and transfer to hot oven.
Bake 30-35 mins.
Remove from oven and use a fork to poke holes into the cake.
Set aside to cool completely.
Mix sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk and heavy cream.
Pour evenly over cake, cover with plastic and transfer to the fridge to chill 1 hr.
Whip another cup of heavy cream and top cake evenly.
Dust with cinnamon, cut into squares and serve. Enjoy!
Yes please!! Looks amazing, Colette. I’ll take my serving with my coffee. 😉 ~Valentina
Thanks, Bella! One coffee and slice coming right up!
Oh, how very delicious! I haven’t made a Tres Leches Cake in a long time – as you, I also thought that it was a bit “too wet” for my taste. Now I have a go-to recipe – what a delightful idea for a great afternoon teatime treat!