Soft, airy, and decadent, this Easy Tres Leches Cake with a sweet whipped cream and cinnamon topping will surely please everyone at the table!
Indulge in the heavenly sweetness of this easy Tres Leches Cake, a classic Latin American dessert that will hit the spot and leave you longing for just one more bite. This delectable masterpiece is made with a light and airy sponge cake that is the perfect foundation for the three-milk concoction that it is soaked in.
What is Tres Leches Cake?
“Tres Leches” means “Three Milks.” It’s a traditional Mexican dessert of soft, airy cake chilled and soaked in a sweet, sumptuous blend of sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, and cream. Topped with whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon, this dessert is cold, sweet, moist, and light all at once!
Tres Leches Cake Ingredients
- For the Cake: yellow cake mix, eggs, milk, butter, and pure vanilla extract.
- For the Tres Leches: whole milk, heavy cream, sweetened condensed milk, and evaporated milk.
- For the Whipped Cream Topping: heavy cream, granulated sugar, vanilla extract, and ground cinnamon.
How to Make Tres Leches Cake
- Mix and Bake the Cake. Beat together the cake mix, eggs, milk, softened butter, and vanilla extract until well combined. Transfer the cake batter to a greased 9×13 pan and bake at 350°F for 30 minutes or until done.
- Cool the Cake and Make the Milk Blend. Cool the cake in the baking pan on a wire rack for about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, combine the milk, cream, evaporated milk, and sweetened condensed milk.
- Soak and Chill the Cake. When the cake has cooled, poke holes into the cake and pour the milk mixture over it. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
- Whip the Cream. In a mixing bowl, whip the cream, sugar, and vanilla extract together until soft peaks form. Spread the whipped cream over the cake and sprinkle with cinnamon before serving.
- Pour The Milk on Warm Cake: It’s best to pour the milk mixture on the cake when it is still warm but not hot to the touch. This will ensure an evenly moist cake.
- Don’t Unmold the Cake. This cake is very moist and pudding-like when served. While it is possible to unmold the cake before pouring the tres leches mixture over it, the liquid will most likely leak out of the base of the cake. So it’s best to leave the cake in the pan and serve it from there.
- Add Toppings: Make the cake even more special by topping it with garnishes like chocolate shavings, cocoa powder, maraschino cherries, a drizzle of caramel syrup, or flaky coconut.
How to Store
- This cake should be kept in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or frozen without the whipped cream topping for up to 2 months. Make the whipped topping while the cake thaws in the fridge overnight.
More Easy Desserts to Try:
Easy Tres Leches Cake
For the Cake:
For the Tres Leches Milk Mixture:
For the Whipped Cream Topping:
- 2 cups heavy cream
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ground cinnamon, for garnish, optional
- Preheat oven to 350°F and grease a 13 x 9 inch baking dish with butter or cooking spray; set aside.
For the Cake
- In a large mixing bowl, beat together the cake mix, eggs, milk, softened butter, and vanilla extract until well combined.
- Transfer the cake batter to the prepared pan and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Cool the cake in the baking pan set on a wire rack for 20 minutes.
For the Tres Leche Mixture
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk the milk, 1/2 cup heavy cream, evaporated milk, and sweetened condensed milk.
- Generously poke holes into the cake and pour over the milk mixture.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
For the Whipped Cream Topping
- In a mixing bowl, whip the heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla extract together until soft peaks form.
- Spread the cream mixture over the cake and dust with ground cinnamon before serving.
- Poke Enough Holes: After baking, use a skewer to poke holes all over the cake. This helps the milk mixture to be evenly absorbed.
- Let it Soak: Allow the cake to soak in the milk mixture for several hours or overnight to ensure it fully absorbs the flavors.
- Keep the Cake in Its Pan: Given its exceptionally moist and somewhat custard-like consistency, it’s best to refrain from removing the cake from its pan before adding the tres leches mixture. Attempting to unmold it could result in the liquid seeping out from the bottom. The most practical approach is to serve it directly from the pan it was baked in.
- Garnishes: Add toppings such as shavings of chocolate, a dusting of cocoa powder, maraschino cherries, a luscious caramel drizzle, or a sprinkling of tropical flaky coconut.
- Store in the fridge for 4 days or freeze for up to 2 months.