Tres Leches Cake

2015-09-05 18.09.31RECIPE #59, DAY #69

ORIGINAL RECIPE: Ree Drummond’s “Tres Leche Cake,” on*

TIMING: It takes an afternoon to bake and prepare a cake, but this one’s on the shorter end

DIFFICULTY: Pretty easy, for a cake. As long as you can whip cream…

TOOLS: A 9×13 inch cake pan, some parchment paper, a sifter, etc.

COOK TYPE: Oven. Baking

HEALTH: As I keep finding myself having to say, this is not meant to be a healthy food. It’s a traditional cake. However, it is on the less-sweet end of the cake spectrum, so I suppose you do have a little less sugar (and fat) to contend with, here. It’s a sweet indulgence.

2015-09-05 18.09.40EXPERIENCE: I was making smothered burritos for a crowd, and of course I wanted a dessert to cap off the meal. Tres Leches Cake had also made an appearance on the Netflix airing of The Pioneer Woman collection in my kitchen, and it seemed like a breeze compared with the four-layer Lane and Red Velvet Cakes I had made recently.

However, I had little to no experience with actual Tres Leches Cake. It always seemed really yummy, but I was unsure if I had ever tasted it. So, in the end, my tastebuds were going in blind. Despite that reviewers rave about this version, I found it to be too wet and also a little one-note, like a singer without a symphony. Then again, all the men in the family had two to three servings.

NOTES: If I was going to mess with this recipe, I would take out the cream from the drizzle. I would also decorate–as Ree did–with candied cherries or maybe candied orange or lime peel. Lime peel! That would be nice, as well as a little zest in the cake. Coconut would also be a very happy addition, as well as Kahlua, tequila, or rum. Coconut-rum? Tequila-lime? Kahlua-cherry? Yum. And of course there’s always chocolate-cinnamon, berries, or coffee to work with.


  1. Preheat your oven to 350F. Grease and flour a 9×13 inch baking pan, fit the bottom with parchment paper, and grease again. Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, sift 1 cup all purpose or cake flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  3. In your stand mixer, beat 3/4 cup granulated sugar with 5 eggs yolks (whites set aside) on high until pale yellow. Mix in 1/3 cup milk and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.
  4. Pour wet ingredients over dry and stir gently to combine.
  5. Clean and dry out your stand mixer. Beat with the whisk the 5 egg whites on high until soft peaks form. Add 1/3 cup granulated sugar and continue until firm peaks form.
  6. Gently fold the egg whites into your batter until just combined. Dump into the cake pan, smooth carefully, and bake for 35 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean.
  7. Allow to cool 10 minutes, then run a paring knife around the edges and carefully turn out onto a platter.
  8. Meanwhile, in a Ball jar, combine 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk, 12 ounces evaporated milk, and optional 1/4 cup cream (or coconut milk). Cover and shake until combined.
  9. When cake is cool, pour milk mixture all over the cake and refrigerate for at least a few hours, up to 1 day.
  10. When almost ready to serve cake, whip 1 pint heavy cream with 3 tablespoons powdered sugar and a pinch of salt until very firm, but not yet curdled.
  11. Frost cake with the whipped cream and decorate with cherries, coconut, lime peel, or what have you.


Serve with hot coffee or Mexican hot chocolate.

*Recipe changed from the original.


2 Comments Add yours

  1. I love Tres Leches! Great blog, looking forward to following.


  2. I have decided to add a list of my dream Tres Leches Cake lineup:


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