Tres Leches Cake, A Latin Dessert

In the event that you can only have one and only one dish, make sure it’s a dessert, especially if you can lay your hands on a Tres Leches Cake (made with three types of milk)! As delicious as this dessert is, there seems to be some dispute over it’s origin. Some historians believe that it originated in Nicaragua, some say Mexico. One thing is sure…there are not enough words to describe this cake that just melts in your mouth. Latin desserts are just the greatest whether you have a sweet tooth or not — churros, flan, Tres Leches to name a few.
We really want you to go ahead dig into this one without a worry in the world.

Prep Time: 30 min + overnight refrigeration
Cook Time: 45 min
Serves: 20-24 pcs.

For the Cake:
All Purpose Flour (Maida) – 2.25 cups
Baking Powder – 1.5 tsp
Salt – 3/4 tsp
Eggs – 4
Sugar – 1.5 cups
Vanilla – 1.5 tsp
Cold Water – 3/4 cup

For the Milks:
Evaporated Milk – 2, 12 oz cans
Sweetened Condensed Milk – 2, 14 oz cans
Heavy Whipping Cream – 2, 1 pint cartons/ 16 oz / 2 cups


1. Preheat the oven to 325 F/ 162 C.
2. Break Eggs into a bowl and whisk till the Eggs are light and fluffy.
3. Meanwhile also sift Flour, baking Powder and Salt and keep aside.
4. Mix the vanilla to the Cold Water and keep aside.
5. Once the Eggs are done, add a little bit of Sugar at a time and keep whisking.
6. Then add in the Flour mixture and Vanilla & Water mixture to the Eggs and keep beating.
7. Keep adding a little at a time till both the mixtures finish.
8. Keep whisking till the batter is smooth and has no lumps.
9. Grease and prep a 13X9 inch baking dish.
10. Pour the batter into the baking dish and bake for 45 min in the middle of the oven.
11. For the Milks: mix 1 can of Condensed Milk, 1 can of Evaporated Milk and 1 pint of Heavy Cream.
12. Insert a toothpick in the middle, if it comes out clean it is done.
13. Once baked, while it is still cooling, poke holes in the cake every 1/8th of an inch apart.
14. While still hot, pour the Milks over the cake allowing it to seep in through the holes and letting the cake absorb the Milks.
15. Cover the cake and refrigerate the cake overnight.
16. Next day repeat the process: mix another batch of milks and pour more over the cake.
17. Allow the Cake to absorb as much as possible and cover and chill till ready to serve.
18. At the time of serving pour a spoon or two of the Milks, top with some Cool Whip and a Strawberry.
19. Sit back and enjoy the compliments!

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125 thoughts on “Tres Leches Cake, A Latin Dessert

  1. Hi, Can I use a 9 inch round cake pan for this? Also, we don’t get evaporated milk in India easily, can I use full fat milk instead?

  2. Hetal and Anuja

    We tried this cake but it did not come fluffy as cake
    It did not rise and it was not soft
    While making the cake, we saw that the ingredidents did not have butter. Is that the cause. Whats the reason, it did not rise and was soft

    1. This cake is not meant to be fluffy like normal cake. Since we are adding so much liquid, a fluffy cake will just disintegrate. This cake will absorb the liquid and still hold its shape.

  3. Hello Hetal & Anuja,

    You guys are amazing. I wanna try this cake for my anniversary.I saw in one of your recipes, you have recommended flax seed powder as a substitution for eggs. I wanna give it a try as I don’t eat eggs. Could you please tell me quantity of flax seeds powder ( for substituting 3 eggs)? I read all the comments to check if you have mentioned about it. I see that you suggest half portion of flax seed powder.Could you please make it clear how many tbsp/tsp of flax seeds powder can be used? Please help. 🙂 🙂

  4. Hi Anuja and Hetal,
    I finally made this cake, and as big as it was, it didn’t even make it to the second day before it was all gone. Everyone Loved, loved, loved it!! Thanks so much for such a great recipe!!

  5. i tried this recipe and on the first day when i poured the cans of milk it absorbed right away, but on the second day when i poured it it didnt all absorb and a lot of it is just lying on top of the cake. Should i just take off the excess milk?

  6. I made this recipe for a party and it was a huuuuuge hit! Even the normally finicky people at the party loved it and had seconds. I used whole wheat flour because that’s what I had at home, and fat free condensed and evaporated milk. If only they made fat free whipping cream!
    Thanks for another great recipe!

  7. I absolutely LOVE tres leches cake but most people in my family are diabetics and i can’t use the condensed milk. Any idea what i can do instead or it just won’t work with the condensed milk? thanks in advance 😀

    1. Hi Anjali,

      Unfortunately, we have not tried tres leches without the condensed milk. That is the only source of sweetness in the recipe. You may be able to find recipes online for homemade condensed milk. You could then control the amount of sugar you use or try a sweetener.

  8. Can store bought cake mix be used for this recipe. If yes, which one- white cake mix or yellow cake mix, can I also use gluten free cake mix. Thanks.

    1. Hi Paul,

      The cake needs to be a little “tougher” so that it can absorb the milks. Store bought cake mix will get you a really soft cake…may become too soggy. We have not tried it with gluten free cake mix.

  9. Love your recipes! I love the fact that you guys have videos for every recipe which makes understanding and cooking them a “cake walk” 🙂 Keep up the great work and please do keep posting more recipes.

  10. Hi Dear, can you plz guide me how much flour you used its 10 ounces cause its says 2.25 cups and plz tel me about the sugar too how many ounces????? cant wait to bake this yummy cake. take care.

    1. Hi Fairy,

      We used standard US measuring cups to measure flour, sugar, etc. We don’t provide the weight because most people do not have a means for weighing things at home. Also, the weight will vary according to how you fill the cup.

  11. hi Hetal and Anuja
    i have been looking for this recipe and when i make it i accidently added 2 cps of whip cream together on the first milk pouring process and the next morning all the milk was still in the pan what do i do! please help!!!

  12. hi anuja/hetal

    I have a question…I followed everything as per the recipe…..My cake was little hard…..Can u give me some suggestion? I have tried other recipe of urs which came out very goood.Thanks for postiong it.PLs help me with this one.

    1. Hi Lovely,

      In this case, the cake is meant to be a little hard because it has to withstand all that milk going in without becoming a soggy mess. If it remains hard even after soaking, maybe you can reduce the baking time a bit.

  13. is this cake too sweet? it looks so yummy.. i will be baking this cake tomorrow.. just want to know that if the cake is too sweet?

    1. Hi Pari,

      If you are worried about the sweetness, you can cut the quantities of the milks in half. Just a note, it still is a bit sweet but it is heavenly :).

  14. I made the Tres Leches cake. OMG!! This has got to be the mother of all desserts!!
    Explosion of taste and flavour. My family loved it. Will make it on Eid day again.

  15. Hi, Thanks for the recipe. I just wanted to ask if you guys can tell me the actual amount of the flour and sugar rather than 2.25 and 1.5 cups. Sometimes even a little bit of less or more can make a lot of difference.


    1. Hi Nivedita,

      You are right. Ideally, you should weigh flour, especially for baking. However, as most people don’t own kitchen scales, we use cup measures. We don’t have the exact weight…sorry.

  16. Hey I am going to try this cake but i would like to know that for how many days leftover can be stored in refrigerator? thanks for wonderful recipes.

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