Tres leches cake is a sponge cake soaked in three types of milk – condensed milk, evaporated milk and, depending on the recipe, half and half, whole milk or heavy cream. Sometimes topped with whipped heavy cream, this rich sweet cake is a sample of the Latin cuisine.
The first time I heard about tres leches cake was before I had this blog and hardly knew how to turn the oven on. Back then I made it from a boxed yellow cake mix following the easy instructions and simply poured the three milks on top of it, praying for the best.
The smell of sweet milk was calling my name so loud I ended up eating most of the cake straight from the plate, no cutting needed, no fancy plates or even whipped cream on top.
It reminded me of the way cakes are made in Romania. We don’t have dry cakes in my home country. All our cakes are lightly soaked in a sweet syrup before frosting them.
This time, after eating my weight in cakes in the meantime, I waited patiently for the cake to soak overnight before cutting it into squares and call it breakfast.
It has milk, it has eggs – totally acceptable for breakfast!
There are lots of recipes for tres leches cake but this time I decided to try Alton Brown’s version and I was happy I did.
The cake itself is light and airy, but then you add the evaporated milk, condensed milk and half and half and let is sit for a couple of hours or overnight to let the flavors develop and the cake absorb all the liquid. If before soaking was a good cake, after was Ah-mazing!!!! Quickly whip up some heavy cream, spread on top of the cake and enjoy a piece. It will brighten your whole day!
Tres leches cake - sweet and spongy cake soaked in three milks (evaporated milk, condensed milk and half and half) and topped with sweetened whipped cream.
- 6 3/4 oz (190 grams) cake flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup (113 grams) butter, room temperature
- 1 cup (200 grams) sugar
- 5 whole eggs
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
- 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 cup half-and-half
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Heat the oven to 350 F. Grease a 13 by 9-inch baking pan and set aside.
- Place the butter into the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the paddle attachment, beat on medium speed until fluffy, approximately 1 minute.
- Decrease the speed to low and with the mixer still running, gradually add the sugar and mixed until creamed in. Stop to scrape down the sides of the bowl, if necessary.
- Add the eggs, 1 at a time, and mix until well combined. Add the vanilla extract.
- Add the baking powder and salt followed by the flour in 3 batches and mix just until combined. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and spread evenly.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until the cake is lightly golden.
- Remove the cake pan to a cooling rack and allow to cool for 30 minutes.
- Poke the top of the cake all over with a skewer or fork.
- Allow the cake to cool completely and then prepare the glaze.
- *when the cake is cooled, you can either leave it in a pan or take it out and place it on a rimmed serving plate/platter, like I did.
- Whisk together the evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk and the half-and-half in a 1-quart measuring cup. Once combined, pour the glaze over the cake.
- Refrigerate the cake overnight.
- Place the heavy cream, sugar and vanilla into the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the whisk attachment, whisk together on low until stiff peaks are formed.
- Spread the topping over the cake and allow to chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
recipe from Alton Brown
Sending love your way,