Classic Tres Leches Cake

Tres Leches cake is so unique and delicious, it has reached almost mythical proportions. Make it and you'll know why. This is one of Dorothy Sibole's excellent recipes.

  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 cups white sugar (divided)
  • 5 eggs
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (divided)
  • 1 cup milk
  • Half of a 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • Half of a 12-ounce can evaporated milk
  • 1/3 cup liqueur (Frangelico, Brandy or Chambord, for example; optional)
  • 1-1/2 cups heavy (whipping) cream
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Grease and flour a 9x13-inch baking pan.
  3. Sift flour and baking powder together and set aside.
  4. Cream the butter and 1 cup of the sugar together until fluffy.
  5. Add the eggs and 1/2 teaspoon of the vanilla.
  6. Beat well.
  7. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, 2 tablespoons at a time, mixing well until blended.
  8. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 30 minutes.
  9. When cake has finished baking, pierce it in 15 or more places with a fork or skewer, and let it cool.
  10. Combine the whole milk, evaporated milk, condensed milk and liqueur and pour over the top of the cooled cake.
  11. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.
  12. Whipped Cream Topping:
    1. When ready to serve, combine the whipping cream and the remaining 1 teaspoon of vanilla and 1 cup of sugar, whipping until thick.
    2. Spread over top of cake.

Note: Because of the milk in the cake, it is very important that you keep the cake refrigerated until ready to serve. Serve chilled.


Caribbean Version: Replace the sweetened condensed milk with 1 cup of Coco Lopez Cream of Coconut in the milk mixture. You can also add 1/4 cup rum.

Ready in: 3 Hrs

Recipe editor Patricia Mitchell

Kitchen tools you'll need for Classic Tres Leches Cake:
9x13 Baking Dish, Electric Mixer, Mixing Bowls, Rubber Spatula, Saucepan, Sifter

Cake Recipes