Tres leches cake, a Latin dessert that never disappoints

Evaporated milk, condensed milk and cream. That is why this Latin dessert is called ‘Tres leches’ (three milks). Very typical of all Central America and other countries such as Colombia, Venezuela, Chile, Peru… In almost all the countries where it is served, it is a very popular dessert. In almost every corner of America this soft and delicate dessert disappears quickly from the plate. Even in Spain this cake is becoming more and more popular. A simple cake that (almost) everyone likes.

tres leches

Tres leches cake. | Shutterstock

Ingredients for the tres leches cake:

For the sponge cake:

  • 120ml milk
  • 5 eggs L
  • 200g wheat flour
  • 150g sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • Lemon zest

3 milks sauce:

  • 250ml condensed milk
  • 250 ml evaporated milk
  • 250 ml cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Whipping cream to decorate if desired:
  • 50ml whipping cream
  • 40g sugar
  • Vanilla essence to taste

How to make the tres leches cake:

  1. We begin by preparing the sponge cake. To do this, separate the egg whites from the yolks. In a bowl, mix the egg whites with the sugar for 10 minutes until you get a very firm meringue.
  2. In another bowl, beat the yolks for 5 minutes until they whiten and then add the vanilla essence and the milk. Stir well and add the sifted flour and baking powder. Once everything is well mixed, add the meringue little by little and with enveloping movements.
  3. Place the mixture in an airtight mold, so that the 3-milk sauce can be poured in later. It is advisable to line the mold with baking paper to prevent the cake from sticking. Bake at 180ºC for 45 minutes.
  4. Now we make the 3 milks mixture. It is as simple as mixing all the ingredients of the sauce and wait until the cake is done.
  5. Once the cake is out of the oven, let it rest in the mold for 10 minutes. After this time, remove from the mold and let it cool completely on a wire rack. Once cool, return to the airtight mold.
  6. Prick with a knife all over the cake so that the sauce enters well. Add ¾ of the mixture on top of the cake so that it is well soaked. It is therefore important to use an airtight mold. Let stand tightly covered overnight in the refrigerator.
  7. The next day, unmold on a serving plate and add the rest of the 3-milk sauce on top, so it will be more aesthetic. You can decorate it with whipped cream and a little cinnamon powder. This is the most traditional (and what works best).

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