Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Cake of the Week: Tres Leches Cake

So I find myself asking myself, how have I lived this long without making this creamy cake confection of considerable amazingness??? (I ran out of “c” words there…#AlliterationFail…suggestions?)

But really – it is shameful that I grew up in California, have a Hispanic last name, celebrate Cinco de Mayo with the best of them, and yet until very recently had never eaten Tres Leches Cake! Well well well, welcome me to the light friends – I’m a full convert.

I made this for a party a while back, to go with some fabulous shrimp tacos. And holy YUM. Everyone started with “just a small piece” and before we knew it one small piece became another became another, and the four of us had eaten almost the entire thing.

Tres Leches is a yellow eggy cake (i.e. sponge cake) with milk in the cake, then soaked in a mix of sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, and heavy cream. (So technically this recipe is a Quatres Leches cake!) And then it’s all covered with a layer of fresh whipped cream. AKA not for the faint of heart.

It’s served cold and doesn’t feel soggy/gross at all. There’s no butter in the actual cake, so holds its shape well and is like a sponge of pure creamy goodness on your fork.

And I’m not embarrassed to admit: leftovers of this cake = best breakfast cake EVER.

Tres Leches Cake

Adapted from The Pioneer Woman
Printable recipe. 
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1-½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoons salt
  • 5 whole eggs
  • 1 cup sugar, divided
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ⅓ cups milk
  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • ¼ cups heavy cream
For the Whipped Cream Topping:
  • 1 pint heavy cream, for whipping
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Maraschino cherries (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray or butter a 9 x 13 inch pan.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. 
  3. Separate eggs into two medium-sized bowls (whites and yolks).
  4. Beat egg yolks with 3/4 cup sugar on high speed until yolks are pale yellow. Stir in milk and vanilla. Pour egg yolk mixture over the flour mixture and stir very gently until combined.
  5. Beat egg whites on high speed until soft peaks form. While still beating, pour in remaining 1/4 cup sugar and beat until egg whites are stiff but not dry.
  6. Fold egg white mixture into the batter (of yolks and flour) very gently until just combined. Pour into prepared pan and spread to even out the surface.
  7. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, and allow to cool completely in the pan.
  8. For the tres leches: Combine condensed milk, evaporated milk, and heavy cream in a small pitcher. When cake is cool, pierce the surface with a fork many times. Slowly drizzle all the milk mixture over the cake, trying to get all over and around the edges too. 
  9. Allow the cake to absorb the milk mixture for at least 30 minutes. 
  10. For the topping: Before serving, beat  1 pint heavy cream with 3 tablespoons of sugar until thick and spreadable.
  11. Spread over the surface of the cake. Decorate cake with whole or chopped maraschino cherries. Serve cold and enjoy!