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Tres leches cake

Tres leches cake

Tres leches cake is one of the most tyical cakes in mexico and Latin America, we all know it. It is an spongy vanilla biscuit to which you make small holes to then add a mixture of three types of milk (consensed milk, evaporated milk, and half cream). Then on top, you usually add an egg whites merengue and sometimes maraschino cherries to decorate. Our mom, for example, adds pecan nuts on top to deocrate, and they go great with the cake softness.

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Mexican tres leches cake recipe

You do have to take into account you have to use a cake pan or mold that has walls, and to present it there, so it is able to hold the tres leches mixture. This makes the cake moist and humid all the time, which makes it taste amazing, as it makes it taste to the tres leches mixture.

This is one of those recipes we mexicans or latinos love. This is one of those cakes our mom used to make all the time when we were little, for birthdays or any other celebration. It is something easy, simple and light, that doesn’t take much time, and both children and adults love.

Sometimes, is common to find in the supermarkets mixtures ready to use for the tres leches cake, which are good to use every once in a while. But i’m telling you, if you want the best tres leches cake, then there is nothing better than making this mixture yourself.

After baking the cake it is important to let it cool down completely and put it in the fridge as the recipe says. This is so it can be cool when you add the meringue on top. The cake is served in small squares or rectangles with the meringie on top and pecans or cherries, or whatever you use to decorate it.

If you like this recipe, then you will love our dulce de leche cake roll with coconut.

Tres leches cake

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Prep Time 50 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr 20 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 10


For the cake:

  • 6 eggs
  • 1 C white sugar
  • 2 C all purpouse flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder

For the tres leches mixture:

  • 1 can (13.40 oz) (380 gr) condensed milk
  • 1 can (11.50 fl oz) (340 ml) evaporated milk
  • 19 oz (540 gr) cream
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 tbsp rum (optional)

For the meringue:

  • 1/2 C white sugar
  • 1/4 C water
  • 2 egg whites at room temperature
  • 1 pinch cream of tartar
  • The juice of 1/2 lemon


For the cake:

  • Preheat the oven at 350°F (180º C).
  • In a clean dry bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Add in the sugar little by little, beating after each addition. 
  • Continue beating until the mixture is firmer and fluffier (about 5 min).
  • Incorporate the flour and the baking powder with a rubber spatula, making outside in movements.
  • Pour this mixture in a rectangular pan with high walls and bake at 350°F for 30 min. or until a wooden stick comes out clean when inserted. 
  • Pour the batter into a rectangular pan and bake for about 30 min. or until golden brown.
  • Let the cake cool completely.

For the tres leches mixture:

  • In a large bowl whisk together the sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, sweet cream, vanilla extract salt and ron.
  • Mix with a wooden spoon until it is all well incorporated and set aside.

For the meringue:

  • In a small saucepan, combine sugar and water. Heat over high heat, brushing down sides of pot as necessary with a pastry brush dipped in water. Cook until sugar syrup registers 240°F on an instant read or candy thermometer (this can also be tested dripping some syrup in cold water; if a soft ball forms, it´s ready!). ake away from the heat when ready. 
  • Meanwhile, combine egg whites with cream of tartar and lemon juice in the bowl of a stand mixer. Set mixer to medium speed and mix until soft peaks form, about 2 minutes.
  • With the mixer running, carefully and slowly drizzle in hot sugar syrup. Increase speed to high and whip until desired stiffness is achieved.

To assemble:

  • Pierce the cake all over the top with a fork and set aside.
  • Pour the tres leches mixture slowly all over the top of the cake so that it all soaks in the tender sponge.
  • Refrigerate the cake for 30 min. or until all the juices absorb.
  • Spread the meringue all over the top of the cake and decorate to your liking.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Tres leches cake

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We are Irmi and Andy.

We want to share with you our desire to eat life and some good donuts. All our recipes are made with love for you to enjoy and get inspired in the kitchen.

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