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tres leches cake

Three milk cake, or Pastel de Tres Leches, is one of the most common cakes in Latin American.  Similar to mole, the cake recipe differs slightly by country and also within families.

The recipe here does not take that long, and is adapted, just slightly, from a cooking class at La Cocina in San Miguel de Allende.  I changed around some steps to make is easier.  I also added the juice of ½ orange to the batter for a hint of flavor.  My sister in law always adds juice to her cakes and they are delicious.

You can also use a store bought yellow cake and then add the creams (tres leches) as directed.

tres leches cake

Three milk cake, or Pastel de Tres Leches, is one of the most common cakes in Latin American.  Similar to mole, the cake recipe differs slightly by country and also within families.

The recipe here does not take that long, and is adapted, just slightly, from a cooking class at La Cocina in San Miguel de Allende.  I changed around some steps to make is easier.  I also added the juice of ½ orange to the batter for a hint of flavor.  My sister in law always adds juice to her cakes and they are delicious.

You can also use a store bought yellow cake and then add the creams (tres leches) as directed.

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Ingredients

Recipe serves: 8-10
7 eggs
1 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
¾ cup milk
juice of 1/2 an orange
2 tablespoons vanilla
For the Tres Leches
14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
14 ounces evaporated milk
1 cup heavy cream
whipped cream topping
2 cups whipped cream
whole fresh seasonal fruit for garnish
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thoughts&stories

My sister in law is from Costa Rica, and makes Tres Leches for special occasions.  We have all fallen in love with it.  Her cake takes three days to make because she “feeds” the milk into the cake over time.

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tres leches cake
  • time
    2 hours or overnight
  • serves
    8
  • skill level
    Medium

Ingredients

  • For the Tres Leches

  • whipped cream topping

Directions

1
Done

Preheat the oven to 350 (175C).

2
Done

Grease the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish or two 9 inch round pans (for a layer cake) with butter.

3
Done

Separate the eggs yolks from the egg whites into two separate bowls. Set aside.

4
Done

In another bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, salt with a whisk. Set aside.

5
Done

Place egg whites into the bowl of an electric mixer with whisk attachment and whip on high speed for about 2 minutes until in soft peaks.

6
Done

Add all the sugar and mix another 30 seconds until well blended.

7
Done

Slowly place egg yolks into the whites and sugar mixture, beating until incorporated, about 1 minute on medium speed.

8
Done

Take one-third of flour mixture and add to the wet ingredients, pour in half the milk.

9
Done

Add the second bit of flour, blend, and then add the other half of milk with juice of one-half an orange.

10
Done

Finish with last third of flour and mix for no more than one minute.

11
Done

Place in prepared baking dishes, bake in oven for 25-30 minutes.

12
Done

soaking the cake

In the cooking class, we added the three milks when the cake was still warm. Other recipes have suggested to cool the cake. I did both ways and it did not seem to make a difference.

13
Done

Whip the three milks together until nice and blended.

14
Done

Now here is where you have to have a little patience and lots of love.

When cakes are still warm, remove baking dishes. If they are a bit fiddlel-y and sticky around edges, just use a knife to loosen.

15
Done

Place cake on a dish with a ridge, or on a cooling rack over a large baking sheet.

16
Done

With a toothpick, poke holes all over the gorgeous cake, don’t be shy, get them all over the top of the cake.

17
Done

Slowly begin to pour the milk over the cakes, stopping and massaging in with gentle circular movements. Keep repeating slowly.

18
Done

Add more holes and continue to soak in the milks. This takes about 10-15 minutes—patience…sigh.

19
Done

Pour any of the run off milks from the plate into container and add again to cake- you want all the milk to be absorbed into the cake.

20
Done

Cover with cling film and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

21
Done

to serve

Whip fresh heavy cream in bowl of an electric mixer until forms peaks.

22
Done

Serve with fresh whipped cream either on top of cake or on the side as a fluffy dollop, and add some fruit for flavor and prettiness.