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.
Square cake, round cake?
The original recipe below shows a round layered cake. It was beautiful! For an easier version, you can prepare this recipe is a 13X9 prepared pan. Grease and flour the pan before pouring in the cake batter. Follow instructions for adding the tree milks and preparing the whipped topping. I kept it simple by using some colorful sprinkles.
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
- 1 tbsp 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 optional
- 4 large eggs separated at room temperature
- 11/4 cups sugar
- ½ cup whole milk at room temperature
- 1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 12 oz. can evaporated milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 teaspoons Vanilla extract
- 3 cups heavy cream
- 5 tbsps sugar
- *you will need 1 1/2 pints of fresh strawberries if using
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. If using a 13X9 pan, there is no need to line with parchment paper.
- Mix the flour, baking powder, and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Set aside. In a large bowl, and using an electric mixer, whip the egg whites until frothy and white. With the mixer running, gradually add the sugar and beat until loose peaks form and it looks glossy. Beat in the egg yolks one at a time, blending well after each addition.
- Now mix in the flour and milk, alternating each ingredient. Mix in 1/3 of milk, Then mix in 1/2 of flour, mixing well after each addition. More milk, then the other half of the flour. You will finish with the last of the milk. Mix just until incorporated, do not over mix.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan(s) and bake for 22 to 26 minutes or until knife or cake tester inserted comes out clean. If preparing the layered round cake, let cool slightly in pan, then invert one cake onto a platter. 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. If preparing 13x9 cake leave in pan and pierce as instructed.
- Mix the sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, heavy cream and vanilla, and pour 1/3 of the mixture slowly over first layer of cake. Spread 1/2 cup of raspberry jam(or preserves) over the top. Place other cake on top, pierce and pour 1/3 more of remaining milk mixture over the top. In the 13x9 version, pour 2/3 of the milks over the entire surface evenly. Spread raspberry spread 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. Add sliced strawberries(or other fruit) and serve. Store in the refrigerator.
Tips~ I love this recipe. The only thing I changed recently, is that I don’t add all of the milk mixture to the recipe. 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 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!!