Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Cake of the Week: Lime Leches Cake

A while back I posted about a de-freaking-licious Tres Leches Cake. And in light of the impending Cinco de Mayo (omgggg it’s already almost May!!!), I have a slightly-simpler, possibly even more delicious variation to share: Lime Leches Cake.

I can't claim to be much in touch with my Hispanic roots, and I know that Cinco de Mayo is not really a holiday in Mexico, but being the California girl that I am, give me any excuse to eat enchiladas (or burritos, or tacos, or chimichangas), dip some chips in salsa, and finish it off with some sort of super-sweet dessert, and I am in!

I think that limes often get sold short, pigeon-holed in their too-common role as a throw-away green garnish. So let’s take a moment to appreciate them. They’re like lemons, but sassier. And I looove lime-y things – key lime pie, drinks with lime, lime cake, lime cookies.

I’m calling this creamy concoction a Lime Leches Cake (taking out the “tres”), because I switched lime juice for the milk. The lime flavor is definitely strong enough to taste, but not overpower, and even without the milk the cake itself is deliciously spongey and good. Instead of the traditional whipped cream topping, I topped mine with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. You could, of course, do this the normal tres leches way – any way you want!

You could also halve the recipe below (2 eggs instead of 5) to make an 8x8-inch cake, for a smaller something delicious.

Lime Leches Cake

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1-½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoons salt
  • 5 whole eggs
  • 1 cup sugar, divided
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/3  cups lime juice
  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • ¼ cups heavy cream
  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 lime juice 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. Serve cold, topped with vanilla ice cream (or whipped cream topping) and enjoy!

Printable recipe.