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Easy tres leches cake recipe

Easy tres leches cake recipe

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  • Dish type
  • Cake

Tres leches means 'three milks' in Spanish, and this classic Mexican cake is soaked in just that. Super moist and delicious, this cake is easy to make and will be the talk of your next party!

26 people made this

IngredientsServes: 8

  • 6 eggs, separated
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 125g self raising flour
  • zest of 1 lime
  • 350ml condensed sweetened milk
  • 350ml evaporated milk
  • 250ml double cream
  • 1 dash amaretto or dark rum
  • To decorate
  • 1 small tin peach slices, drained
  • 250ml whipping cream
  • extra lime zest

MethodPrep:20min ›Cook:50min ›Extra time:1hr chilling › Ready in:2hr10min

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 C / Gas 4. Grease and flour a 23cm springform cake tin.
  2. Beat the egg whites until stiff. Add 1/2 of the sugar and continue beating till the sugar is dissolved.
  3. With clean beaters, beat the egg yolks until creamy. Add remaining 1/2 of the sugar and continue beating till pale.
  4. Fold the egg yolks into the egg whites. Sift over the flour and fold in. Fold in the lime zest. Tip the mixture into the prepared cake tin.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes. Turn off the oven and keep the cake in the oven for a further 20 minutes. Do not open the oven.
  6. Meanwhile, prepare the 'three milks' mixture by blending the condensed milk, evaporated milk, double cream and amaretto or rum until well combined.
  7. Remove the cake from the tin and place on a serving plate. Pierce the cake several times across the top with a fork. Pour over the 'three milks' mixture. Place cake in the fridge for about an hour to chill and allow the milk mixture to soak in.
  8. Before serving, garnish the top of the cake with peach slices, whipped cream and lime zest. Enjoy!


Easy tres leches cake

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(22)

Reviews in English (2)

Lovely cake - followed recipe exactly and it came out great. Found it tasted even better with additional chilling time-10 Jul 2013

by kirthana2007

Very easy to make. The end result wasn’t super sweet and went down a treat with my group. I only used 2/3rd of the milk mixture to soak the cake and left the remaining for whoever wanted to have some extra topping. The cake wasn’t eggy either and I made it a day in advance and left it to soak in the fridge. Another tip, to maximise absorption , try and pour the mixture while the cake is hot/warm.-04 Mar 2018(Review from this site AU | NZ)

Tres Leches Cake

A quick and easy Tres Leches Cake recipe made of leftover or make-ahead chiffon cake, topped with vanilla whipped cream. This easy delicious dessert recipe is ready in 15 minutes.

Why is it called Tres Leches?

Tres Leches is a Spanish word that means three-milk. A popular Mexican dessert made of sponge cake and three kinds of milk poured all over the cake.

Should tres leches cake be wet?

Tres Leches cake should be a moist and wet cake, it is soaked in three different kinds of milk. Tres leches are made of a light cake with many air bubbles. That is why even it is soaked with liquid, the distinct texture is not soggy.

How do you make tres leches from scratch?

To make tres leches from scratch, you need to make the sponge cake base first. Typically the base of the cake for the tres leches cake is a vanilla sponge cake or vanilla chiffon cake.

Collage instruction image of How to make tres leches

After baking the cake. Mix the tres leches ( three milk ) mixture in a liquid measuring cup or small pitcher until well blended. Poke the cake with the fork several times. Slowly pour the milk mixture all over the cake. Allow the cake to absorbs the milk mixture for few minutes. While allowing the milk mixture into the cake, make the topping. In a large bowl, whip the cold heavy cream until stiff peaks then spread evenly onto the wet cake.

Can I make tres leches a day before? Yes, you can make tres leches a day before and will even taste better because the 3-milk mixture will have time to soak into the cake. This is a good make-ahead cake that freezes well too. You can also make the base of the cake in advance, or even freeze it, thaw then pour the 3-milk mixture and topped with the whipped cream.

Recipe Summary

  • 1 (18.25 ounce) package Swiss chocolate cake mix (such as Duncan Hines®)
  • 1 ¼ cups chocolate milk
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
  • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • ¾ cup half-and-half
  • ¾ cup evaporated milk
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 cups heavy whipping cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Prepare a 9x13-inch pan with butter and flour.

Beat cake mix, chocolate milk, canola oil, eggs, and espresso powder together in a large bowl with an electric hand mixer on a low speed until dry ingredients are moistened. Increase speed to medium and continue beating another 2 minutes pour into prepared pan.

Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Remove cake from the oven and allow it to cool in the pan until it is no longer hot to the touch. While the cake is still warm, poke lots of holes all over the cake with a small skewer or a fork.

Whisk sweetened condensed milk, half-and-half, evaporated milk, and 3 tablespoons cocoa powder together in a bowl until cocoa is mostly incorporated into the liquid slowly pour the milk mixture evenly over the cake. Allow the cake to cool completely as the liquid soaks into it.

Sift confectioners' sugar and cocoa powder together in a bowl.

Beat heavy whipping cream in a stand mixer on medium speed for about 1 minute. While continuing to mix, add sugar-and-cocoa mixture to the cream in 2 batches, allowing the first to incorporate before adding the second. Increase mixer speed to medium-high beat until soft peaks form and the cream is thickened and spreadable. Spread chocolate whipped cream on the cake to serve.

An insanely delicious and easy-to-make dessert, Tres Leches Cake!

If you’ve ever made a boxed cake mix, you know how easy it can be to create a dry dessert. But with the help of a bath of milk, this tres leches cake transforms a plain boxed cake into a delicious and decadent dessert.

The next time you’re looking for a simple dessert to make for a party or celebration, this dessert is it! Simply whip up a boxed cake, moisten it with three different types of milk, frost the baked cake, and top with fresh fruit for an amazing dessert everyone at the party will devour.

This cake is where two worlds collide, old-fashioned yellow cake and melted ice cream.

Honestly, I’m not the biggest cake fan. I don’t really enjoy dry, crumbly cake at all, but this cake is not dry at all, in fact, it is the moistest cake ever, thanks to it being doused in tres leches, three full-flavored milks.

What You’ll Need to Make This Tres Leches Cake Recipe:

  • Yellow cake mix (I used Betty Crocker SuperMoist yellow cake mix)
  • Water
  • Vegetable oil
  • Vanilla
  • Eggs
  • Sweetened condensed milk
  • Whole milk or evaporated milk
  • Whipping cream
  • White frosting (I used Betty Crocker Whipped Fluffy White Icing)

How to Make Tres Leches Cake with Cake Mix:

Step One:

  • Start by preparing your yellow cake. Combine the cake mix, water, vegetable oil, vanilla, and eggs in a large mixing bowl. Beat on low for 30 seconds to combine the ingredients, then raise the speed to medium and beat for an additional two minutes.

Step Two:

  • Pour the batter into a prepared baking dish and bake according to the package instructions, usually between 30 and 33 minutes or until a cake tester or toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Step Three:

  • Remove the cake from the oven when it’s finished baking and allow it to cool in the pan for five minutes.
  • While the cake is cooling, combine the sweetened condensed milk, whole milk, and whipping cream in a bowl and whisk to mix. Use a fork to poke holes all over the top of the cake.
  • Pour the milk mixture over the entire cake, then place the cake in the refrigerator to chill for at least one hour.

Step Four:

  • When the cake is completely cool, remove it from the refrigerator and top with frosting. Sprinkle with fresh fruit, if desired, then slice and serve.

What is Tres Leches?

Popular in Mexico and Latin America, this delicious cake is a Cinco de Mayo favorite. The phrase tres leches means three milks in Spanish. And since a tres leches cake is soaked in three types of milk, the name is pretty fitting. To make a traditional Tres Leches cake, you start by making a light sponge cake, then soaking it in a sweet milk mixture to moisten and flavor the cake.

Tips and Tricks

While this cake is so easy to make, there are a few simple tips and tricks you can use to make it taste amazing. Try these ideas as you’re making your Tres Leches cake:

Tres Leches


For the cake:

  • 6 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 8 ounces Cool Whip

For the milk mixture:

  • 14 ounces condensed milk
  • 24 ounces evaporated milk
  • 8 ounces whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


For the cake:

Step 1: Separate the egg whites and egg yolks.

Step 2: Whip egg whites at high speed using a hand or standing mixer until fluffy.

Step 3: Slowly add the sugar.

Step 4: One at a time add the milk, vanilla and egg yolks.

Step 5: Slowly add the baking powder and flour to the mixture.

Step 6: Pour in a greased 13 by 9 inch pan.

Step 7: Bake at 350F for 45 to 50 minutes.

For the milk mixture

Step 1: Blend half of the evaporated milk (one can), the condensed milk and whipping cream in a blender.

Step 2: Once thoroughly mixed transfer the milk mixture to a separate bowl.

Step 3: Add the final half of the evaporated milk and mix using a hand mixer.

Step 4: Pull the finished cake from the oven.

Step 5: While still hot, use a chopstick, skewer or the round end of your hand mixer attachment to poke holes over the entire top of the cake.

Step 6: The more holes the milkier the cake.

Step 7: Pour the milk mixture over the top of the cake.

Step 8: Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Step 9: Cover the chilled cake in Cool Whip and serve.

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 5 egg whites
  • ⅓ cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 (12 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk
  • 1 pint heavy whipping cream
  • 10 maraschino cherries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Butter and flour bottom of a 9-inch springform pan.

Beat the egg yolks with 3/4 cup sugar until light in color and doubled in volume. Stir in milk, vanilla, flour and baking powder.

In a small bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining 1/4 cup sugar. Beat until firm but not dry. Fold 1/3 of the egg whites into the yolk mixture to lighten it fold in remaining egg whites. Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake in preheated oven for 45 to 50 minutes or until cake tester inserted into the middle comes out clean. Allow to cool 10 minutes.

Loosen edge of cake with knife before removing side of pan. Cool cake completely on a wire rack.

Place cooled cake on a deep serving plate. Use a two-pronged meat fork or a cake tes

What is Tres Leches Cake?

Tres Leches means “three milks”, which is precisely what makes this cake unique. After being baked, it’s soaked with three milks – whole milk, sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk. It’s a popular cake in Mexico and Latin American and is perfect for celebrating Cinco de Mayo!

As far as texture, it’s a super light cake that gets a lot of it’s light texture from whipping egg whites. You might notice that it lacks a very common cake ingredient – butter – and has a little bit of a unique method for mixing the batter. You absolutely do not miss the butter in the slightest way and the method gives it it’s super light texture. I tried making it with the more common creaming method using butter and this version was BY FAR the best!

This cake is also sort of like the original poke cake because after baking it, it’s poked with holes all over and then the milks are poured over the cake and soak into it.

About this recipe

Easy Tres Leches cake is Mexican Dessert (Pastel de Tres Leches) . It is a very light sponge cake soaked with a mixture of three kinds of milk : condensed milk , evaporated milk and whole milk. Hence , the name " Tres Leches " meaning 3 milk . This decadent dessert is a true sweet creamy bliss.

The most important part of the recipe is the structure of the cake . Sponge cake should be as light as air and full of air bubbles. So that when it's soaked in 3 types of milk , sponge cake should hold up while absorbing the milk without weighed down or soggy. Hence care should be taken to bake a perfect sponge cake. The cross sectional image below shows the spongy and airy light structure of a cake.

What Milks are Best for Tres Leches Cake?

Tres leches means “three milks” in Spanish. Different recipes use different kinds of milk. My favorites are:

  • Whipping cream
  • Sweetened condensed milk
  • Milk, either whole milk or 2%

This combination gives the cake a sweet flavor with a rich texture. If you don’t want to use whipping cream, replace it with one cup of evaporated milk. Don’t use more than three cups total of milk or you risk a soggy cake.


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease an flour a 9x13 baking pan and set aside.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer beat the egg yolks with the sugar until lighter in color, around 7 minutes. Add flour, milk, vanilla, baking powder, cinnamon and beat until everything is well incorporated. Set aside.

3. In a separate bowl whip the egg whites until stiff peaks form. With the help of a spatula fold the whipped egg whites into the cake batter.

4. Transfer the cake batter to the prepared pan and take to the oven. Bake for 30 minutes or until done. Remove from the oven and let it cool.

5. Combine sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, and heavy cream in a bowl. Using a fork poke holes evenly across the top of the cake and pour the mixture over the cake. Refrigerate for around 1 hours to give the cake time to soak up the mix.

6. Cover with the whipped cream and sprinkle with cinnamon. Refrigerate until ready to serve.