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Tres Leches Cake Recipe

Tres leches Cake with a cherry on top

This Tres Leches Cake recipe is super moist, milky, and absolutely delicious. It is the perfect sweet treat for any celebration.

Hello there, my friend 👋! Want to try a truly delicious cake? This tres leches cake is it.

“Tres leches” means “three milks” in Spanish. This cake gets its name from the soaking in a mixture of evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, and whole milk.

Let’s get started!

Utensils You Need

These are the utensils and/or equipment you need to make this recipe:

  1. Two large mixing bowls.
  2. Several smaller mixing bowls.
  3. A whisk.
  4. A 9×13 inch baking pan.
  5. A hand mixer or stand mixer.
  6. Oven mitts.
  7. Wire racks.
  8. Serving plates

The Recipe

Tres leches Cake with a cherry on top

Tres Leches Cake

This moist, delicious cake is made with a fluffy cake base soaked in three different types of milk and topped with whipped cream.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Chill Time 1 hour
Total Time 2 hours 5 minutes
Course Brunch, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 16 slices
Calories 400 kcal


For the cake:

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup milk

For the milk mixture:

  • 1 12 ounce can evaporated milk
  • 1 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup whole milk

For the topping:

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Make the cake:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9×13 inch baking pan.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, cream together the butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  • Stir in the vanilla extract.
  • Alternate between adding the dry ingredients and the milk to the wet ingredients, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Blend until just combined – don’t overmix!
  • Pour the batter into your prepared pan and spread evenly.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Let the cake cool completely in the pan.

Make the milk mixture:

  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, and whole milk.

Soak the cake:

  • Poke holes all over the cooled cake using a fork or the end of a wooden spoon.
  • Pour the milk mixture slowly and evenly over the cake.
  • Cover the cake and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, but preferably overnight.

Make the whipped cream topping:

  • In a medium bowl, whip the heavy cream and powdered sugar until soft peaks form.
  • Stir in the vanilla extract.

Decorate the cake:

  • Spread the whipped cream evenly over the chilled cake.
  • Cut into squares and serve cold.


Use full-fat milk and heavy cream for the best flavor and texture.
  1. For an extra decadent treat, sprinkle the whipped cream topping with cinnamon.
  2. Add a handful of fresh berries for a delicious garnish.
Keyword cake, Mexican dessert, tres leches cake

Alternative Ingredients

If you don’t have the ingredients I listed above, do not worry. You can swap them out for the alternatives below.

All-purpose flourCake flour, whole-wheat flour
Unsalted butterSalted butter (reduce salt in recipe), shortening, vegan butter substitute
MilkAlmond milk, coconut milk (unsweetened), or any other milk alternative
Granulated sugarBrown sugar, honey, maple syrup

What to Serve with Tres Leches Cake

This delicious cake is perfect all on its own, but you can also try pairing it with:

  • Fresh fruit.
  • A scoop of vanilla ice cream.
  • Coffee or tea.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my tres leches cake soggy?

Tres leches cake is meant to be moist, but if the bottom is soggy, this means it absorbed too much of the milk mixture. Next time, try adding the milk mixture more slowly.

Can I make tres leches cake ahead of time?

Yes, you can. Prepare the cake and soak it a day in advance. Make the whipped cream topping right before serving.

How long can I store leftover tres leches cake?

Store leftover cake covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Let me know if you have any other questions!

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