Pastel de tres leches! I can never refuse a slice! This recipe was adapted from one of my favorite Mexican chefs, Chef Marcela Valladolid. I really enjoy her style of cooking and how she cooks with many traditional Mexican ingredients. A couple of years ago, I was hosting a Valentine’s day theme dinner party, I asked my friend what Mexican dessert she had always wanted to try and she chose the tres leches cake. After researching many recipes, I found this one to be simple, and pretty easy to follow. For the party, I prepared the cake with no icing and we served it with fresh fruit. For this past Valentine’s day, I added a fresh whipped cream for icing and sliced strawberries, just the way my Dad would have like it. And more importantly, just the way my husband loves it! By the way, the cake was a success at the dinner party. Everyone was full, but very happy.
Tres Leches Cake
- Unsalted butter for the pans
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour plus more for the dusting cake pans
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 full teaspoon fresh ground Mexican cinnamon or regular cinnamon
- 4 large eggs separated
- 1½ cups sugar
- ½ cup whole milk
- 1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 12 oz. can evaporated milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons Vanilla Citrus Liqueur Tacua or Grand Marnier
- 3 cups heavy cream plus 6 tablespoons of sugar
- *you will need 1 1/2 pints of fresh strawberries
Directions For Cake:
- Preheat oven to 350ºF. Butter and flour two 8-inch cake pans and then line the bottom of each with parchment paper. Butter the paper as well.
- Mix the flour, baking powder, and cinnamon in a medium bowl. In a large bowl, and using an electric mixer, whip the egg whites until frothy. With the mixer running, gradually add the sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Beat in the egg yolks one at a time, blending well after each addition. Add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the whole milk in two additions.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 22 to 26 minutes or until knife or cake tester inserted comes out clean. Let cool slightly in pan; then invert one cake onto a platter with 1/2 sides. You need a platter with sides to accommodate the sauce that will run off.
- Pierce the top of the warm cake all over with a thick skewer. Mix the sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, heavy cream and liqueur, and pour 1/2 of the mixture slowly over cake. Spread 1/2 cup of raspberry jam(or preserves) over the top. Place other cake on top, pierce and pour remaining milk mixture over the top. Cover and refrigerate until cold, about 3 hours or overnight. Prepare icing the next day. Add sliced strawberries and serve. Store in the refrigerator.
- Using an electric mixer, whip 3 cups heavy cream with 6 tbsp sugar until thick and spreadable.
Tips~ I love this recipe. The only thing I would do different next time is not add all of the tres leches mixture. I found it to be too much and the liquid pooled at the bottom of the plate. It was not terrible, but was a little messy when cutting the cake.
The nice people at Tuaca sent me this tasty bottle of vanilla citrus liqueur. I could not think of a more tasty way to enjoy it for Valentine’s day than in a dessert!
The icing and strawberries reminded me of the cakes my sister Chris would order from this special bakery in downtown L.A. My dad would have loved this cake!!