POSTED IN: Recipes , Desserts
TAGS: Cake , Condensed , Cream , Dessert , Food , Leches , Mexican , Milk , Pastel , Tres , Vanilla , Whipped
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Pastel de Tres Leches or Three Milk's Cake, is one of the most, if not the most popular and sold cake throughout Mexico. It is also amongst the most requested recipes I have been asked for after Pickled Jalapeños and Piggies cookies. So dear readers, I am sorry it has taken this long but here it goes! I promise to get to the other requests, which I love getting on your emails, as soon as possible.
Tres Leches is a sweet, practically wet, homey cake. Its base is a vanilla sponge cake, completely soaked in a sauce traditionally made with three kinds of milk: sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk and regular milk. Some versions substitute regular milk with heavy cream. The cake will sometimes have a topping like fresh whipped cream, which I seriously consider of utmost necessity (!). Sometimes the topping turns out to be meringue or even chocolate ganache.
Growing up in Mexico City, there was a bakery called La Gran Via, which sold such delicious Tres Leches that even though it was far from home, we used to drive many Sundays to get one. These days La Gran Via has become a large chain store of bakeries... it has been years since I have eaten one of their cakes. This recipe, is as close as I get to my nostalgic memories.
To make the sponge cake as fluffy as can be, start by beating the egg whites until they hold soft peaks. Add the sugar and keep on beating until they hold stiff peaks.
Separately beat the egg yolks until thick, creamy and very pale in color and add some vanilla.
I really feel the need to take a photo of the vanilla and show it to you. It's Mexican vanilla from Papantla, the place where vanilla originated. And just look how pretty the bottle is...
...If I am showing you the bottle, let me show you the box. Because it is even prettier than the bottle. You can see there in the label, that the company Gaya, has been making it since 1873, with centennial traditional methods (I have no links to the company, I just think their products are outstanding). Its flavor and aroma, just blows me away...
Then pour the egg yolks (look at how thick and pale the egg yolks are after beating them for 4 to 5 minutes, that's what you want) with that hint of vanilla, onto the egg white mixture.
Pour it all on top...
Gently, with a spatula, in evolving motions, combine the yellow with the white, being careful not to lose much of the volume and fluffiness already achieved.
Once well combined, add the flour and incorporate it in evolving motions.
Pour that batter onto the prepared pan, buttered and lined with parchment paper.
It is a simple cake batter: just egg whites, sugar, egg yolks, vanilla and flour. But it turns out fluffy, homey and spongy because of the way these ingredients are used.
Into the oven for about 25 minutes, until the cake has a nice tanned crust, it is spongy to the touch and a toothpick comes out clean.
After you get the cake out of the oven, invert it onto a plate and poke all over with a fork, or two forks. You want to help the cake find ways to absorb the sauce you are about to make.
There goes the condensed milk and the evaporated milk into the regular milk, and a bit more vanilla.
Some modern versions of the cake add other kinds of flavors into the sauce, like chocolate, cajeta (Mexican goat's milk version of dulce de leche) or Rompope (Mexican eggnog). If you like a hint of alcohol in your desserts, go ahead and pour in some Rum or Kahlua.
Pour all the sauce on top...
Though not all versions of the cake have whipped cream on top I think it is of the most absolute necessity. Life or death. NEED it. Spoon it. Spread it.
The cake tastes much better when it has had a chance to soak in all of that sauce and when it is cold. So it is a good idea to cover it and refrigerate it for at least an hour.
It is simple to eat, simple to see, simple to make. It is a simply unfussy and tasty dessert that is somewhat neutral, so it can take many variations. Of course you can add some fruit on top or in between, fresh strawberries work really nice here, its your choice.
The fluffy yet completely wet cake holds its shape as it gives in to the flavor of the sauce. The whipped cream, as you can see, just needs, needs, needs to go on top. It makes such a nice contrast with the wetness and sweetness of the cake. After you try it, let me know what you think. Whipped cream on top?
TRES LECHES CAKE
9 eggs, separated
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1 14oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 12oz can evaporated milk
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
Preheat oven to 360 degrees. Butter a 9 x 13 inch pan, lining the bottom with a piece of parchment paper cut to fit the pan.
Pour the egg whites into the bowl of your mixer and beat on medium-high speed for 4 to 5 minutes, or until they hold soft peaks. Slowly stir in the sugar and continue beating until they hold hard or more stiff peaks. Turn off the mixer and with a spatula, move the egg white mixture onto a large mixing bowl.
Rinse the bowl of the mixer and its whisk. Now pour the egg yolks into the bowl of the mixer and beat on medium-high speed for about 5 to 6 minutes, or until the egg yolks become creamy, puffy and their color has toned down to an almost cream color rather than a loud yellow. Stir in the vanilla and continue beating for another minute. Turn off the mixer.
Pour the egg yolk mixture onto the egg white mixture and with a spatula, in evolving motions, combine them into a homogeneous single batter. Do so gently trying not to lose much volume from the mixture. When fully combined, fold in the flour, scraping the bowl with the spatula so that all the flour is well mixed.
Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and place into the oven for 22 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. It can be a bit moist, but not wet. The top of the cake should be tanned and feel fluffy if you touch it. Remove it from the oven and let it cool.
Once it cools down, turn it onto a platter. Remove the parchment paper and cover the top with an upside down platter and invert again. The platter should be large enough to hold the cake and the vanilla sauce you are about to prepare. Using a fork, or two, poke wholes all over the cake so that it will better absorb the vanilla sauce.
In a mixing bowl, combine the sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, milk, and vanilla extract. Pour the vanilla sauce over the cake.
In the bowl of your mixer, whip up the heavy cream with the confectioners' sugar on medium-high speed until the mixture holds up stiff peaks, about 1 to 2 minutes. Spread the whipped cream all over the already wet cake. Then yum, eat it all up.
OMG - that looks amazing! I hope you will make it for me one day :-). I am not much of a baker but i LOVE to eat cakes!
MonicaMonica Bhide | February 19, 2010 1:16 PM
Just let me know when your birthday is Monica, you will have one delivered at your door!!Pati Jinich replied to comment from Monica Bhide | February 19, 2010 1:38 PM
Aha! My birthday is coming up in March! Can I have one too?!
It looks amazing. I am wondering if I wanted to make a 2 layer version with strawberries in the middle, would I soak the layers separately first, then fill, stack and cover with whipped cream? Would I be able to lift a soaked layer to stack it or would it fall apart?
I was a pretty good decorator of traditional US celebration cakes, but haven't done one in ages since nowadays our celebration cakes are always tres leches and I don't know how to make one!
What's your advice?
Patricia the photos themselves look good enough to eat. I've never made a tres leches cake. Now I have a recipe. Thanks for sharing it.Domenica | February 19, 2010 3:09 PM
I use this same recipe...it is pretty incredible and very authentic!Raisa Berriz | February 19, 2010 3:10 PM
You did it again! I'm drooling all over my keyboard!!!!!!
Que delicia! Muero por el pastel de tres leches y se me antojo horrores!
Me encanto tu receta, a ver si me animo y lo hagao para el proximo shabat!
You are making me laugh! Yes you can have one too! Do you live in the DC area? Just tell me your birthday...
A two layer version with strawberries in the middle is amazing. I have tried it myself. Just make the two layers separately, unmold, top one with the sliced strawberries and some whipped cream, add the second layer, then pour a double amount of the sauce, let it all soak for about 10 minutes and then top with whipped cream. You can then decorate with more strawberries on top. You know what? Just talking about it made me feel like making it myself!
Let me know how you like it!
Many thanks Domenica!! It is very, very easy to make. It is my pleasure to share!Pati Jinich replied to comment from Domenica | February 19, 2010 5:26 PM
Gracias Gabitas!! Animate, tus hijos se lo van a devorar!! Muchos besos, PatiPati Jinich replied to comment from Gabriela Mekler | February 19, 2010 5:27 PM
Ya quiero que sea mañana!! voy a soñar con este pastel!! mmmmm, mi boca esta mas empapada que ni el pastel en las fotos! Se me hace agua la boca, perdon! Se ve una delicia.
Patti, me encanta como escribes tus recetas, le pones esa pasion que hasta cuentas de tus memorias! Gracias por compartirlas!
Que bueno que te gusta!! Espero que te quede rico y que te lo comas todo de un sentón!
Hi - I found a recipe for this decedent cake a couple years ago and I get asked to make it all the time, too. Hands down my favorite. I'll eat it for breakfast!
One thing I do with the sauce is heat the sweetened condensed milk until it darkens a bit and gets a slight caramel taste. Off heat, I mix the other milks and vanilla with it and pour.
...and definitely whipped cream on top. -Olivia
Oh my! That step of darkening the condensed milk sounds like such a wonderful idea!! Will try it next time I make it...
MMMMMMMMMmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. I want it NOW!
Where do you get that pretty Mexican vanilla? Does it change the flavor?
Yes it is MMMMmmmmmm!! That Mexican vanilla is just out of this world. The aroma when you open that little bottle just blows you away. And flavor is intense and rich. I have a couple extra bottles here... But I am pretty sure you can get it online...
Cake was fantastic! And easy. Kids loved watching the mixer beat everything. Husband and I both had doubts that the cake would absorb all the milk ("Are you sure you bought the right size cans?"), but it did. Only thing I didn't do was wash the mixer bowl between beating the whites and the yolks. If I had beaten the yolks first I would have washed the bowl to keep the fat in the yolks from making it hard to beat the whites, but since the whites came first I don't think it mattered. Thoughts? We ate it with strawberries. I will absolutely make it again.Kim Baxter | February 21, 2010 9:32 PM
So happy!! As for rinsing the mixer bowl, as you say, it matters more if you do yolks first, because then the whites can't gain as much volume as they could. And I love it with strawberries too. So much so, that sometimes I layer them on top...
We love Tres Leches cake in my family. It was the cake at my parent's 50th anniversary party this past summer and also the wedding cake at one of my siblings' weddings. Delicious! I can't wait to try your recipe, Pati. :)
TeriTeri | February 22, 2010 11:08 AM
Ooohhh!! Teri, perfect for Anniversaries and Weddings!! I am just picturing one over the other, over the other, Tres Leches cake layers, with in between layers of strawberries!Pati Jinich replied to comment from Teri | February 22, 2010 1:57 PM
La foto de las claras batidas está divina. Da ganas de comérselas tal cuales o hacer un buen merengue en el horno! Se ve genial la receta, Pati. Te felicito.Mónica | February 22, 2010 9:26 PM
Gracias! It was hard to get my husband's camera to work so close to the mixer! But, hey, took the shot! You are so right... reminds me, I have to post about merengues (!)Pati Jinich replied to comment from Mónica | February 22, 2010 9:29 PM
Oh my goodness! When we lived in Memphis, I had a friend there give me the recipe for her "Coconut Cake" recipe. It consisted of making a butter cake, poking holes in it, pouring 1-2 cans of sweetened condensed milk over it, spreading sweetened whipped cream over the top, and then sprinkling coconut on top of that. I had NO idea that what I have beem making all these years is basically tres leches cake!!! I cannot wait to try an authentic recipe. Yummalicious. You're the best!Fuji Mama | February 24, 2010 7:58 PM
Oh..... Fujimama, that spin with coconut sprinkled on top and maybe even some coconut milk mixed in with the milk sauce sounds like a perfect spin for a Coconut Tres Leches. Will have to give that a try!Pati Jinich replied to comment from Fuji Mama | February 24, 2010 10:17 PM
Definitely, definitely have to have the whipped cream. This is my favorite dessert by far, I cannot wait to try this recipe!! And my trick for a grown-up version is to add a shot of rum (Meyer's works well) to the milk mixture ... delicious!Gladys C. | February 28, 2010 9:08 PM
I can't have it with the whipped cream either... And shot of rum sounds just fabulous!
hola esta pastel esta delicioso!!!yo tambien lo eh echo pero de otra manera diferente tambien esta igual de rico///definitiva mente con crema y fresas mas rico eso que ni que
A mi tambien me gusta con crema y fresas...Pati Jinich replied to comment from liz | April 13, 2010 9:49 PM
Thanks for the recipe. I just made it for the first time today and it was lovely!Sara | April 21, 2010 10:12 PM
me gustaria k por fabor me mandes la reseta en espanolmayela replied to comment from Pati Jinich | April 23, 2010 8:35 PM
Más adelante voy a tratar de poner las recetas en ambos idiomas... Saludos!
Omg, this cake looks delicious! my friend told me about tres leche cakes so i decided to look them up. is there a way that i could get one of these yummy deserts for my birthday?sherry | April 26, 2010 6:19 PM
Hi Sherry, You are funny! Do you live in the DC area???Pati Jinich replied to comment from sherry | April 26, 2010 7:51 PM
I was wondering how far in advance this recipe for tres leches can be made? I'd like to make it for my sisters birthday, but can it sit in the fridge for a day or two?
Yes, of course, not only can you make it 1 or 2 days beforehand, but it will taste even better!
Thank you so much for this great recipe.. been looking all over the place for it. thanks! cant wait to try it.Maria | July 16, 2010 7:39 PM
My pleasure!Pati Jinich replied to comment from Maria | July 16, 2010 11:12 PM
Todavia no he hecho el tres leches, pero se ve increiblemente delicioso.Se me hace la boca agua!Migdalia | July 19, 2010 6:12 PM
Why Do You Need To Line The Bottom With Parchment Paper?
But Other Than That Its Excellent (:
It just makes it much easier to unmold. But if you find that you don't need it, skip it! Many thanks for your comment ; )
Hi this recipe sounds delicious!! I will be making a 1/2 sheet cake this weekend for a bday party, do u have any idea what the measurements would be for this size cake? should I just double ur recipe?? Would greatly appreciate ur feedback I've never made a tres leches cake and I'm so excited to try your recipe! =)Liz | September 22, 2010 2:59 PM
Yes! Precisely! Just double up the recipe. I hope you love it as much as I do!
I think your recipes are great! For our granddaughter's first birthday next month, our daughter-in-law has asked us to help her bake a pastel de tres leches (I've already purchased the Gaya vanilla extract). I know that you believe only a frosting of whipped cream will do; however, the party will be held outdoors in San Diego and the cake is likely to get warm. Any suggestions or should we make a different frosting? Thanks, A Loving Grandpa
Hi Bill, Loving Grandpa ; )
If you make the cake ahead of time, and place it in the refrigerator overnight, whipped cream and all, it should last beautifully for an outdoor party!
If you want to skip the whipped cream altogether, but really there is no reason to, you can just cover the cake with thin fruit slices. And maybe drizzle with some chocolate syrup too!
I am goiong to try this cake tonight!! With the coconut, sounds amazing! I am making fajita's for my family, and this sounds likt the perfect compliment!!Nikki | September 30, 2010 12:12 PM
Hola Pati, gracias por esta deliciosa receta de tres leches. Mi suegra hace un pastel muy parecido pero nunca ha querido compartir con nadie la receta. Ya lo hice y la verdad que quedo muy bueno, y se parece al que hace mi suegra. Asi que el sabor de este pastel esta bastante competitivo con el que ella hace. Ahora toda mi familia puede disfrutar de este delicioso pastel cuando quieran, y no solo en dias festivos. Saludos y seguire haciendo tus recetas, gracias.Veronica | October 3, 2010 2:12 AM
its seems delicious. can't wait to make it. and especially eat it.nezquik | October 6, 2010 8:28 PM
Yum! Looks great! Thank you for sharingCarol Bryant | November 17, 2010 12:12 AM
es el mejor que he hecho con tu receta que es especifacil , no como otras recetas que no le igualan a las tuyas, felicidades y gracias por compartir.patricia d. | January 11, 2011 8:11 PM
Con mucho gusto : )Pati Jinich replied to comment from patricia d. | January 13, 2011 12:08 PM
This recipe really looks good and easy. I will definitely try it this week. What size pan can you use with this recipe?Monica Cordova | February 8, 2011 2:11 PM
Se me hizo agua la boca!!! Lo voi a hacer pero una pregunta la vainilla tiene ke ser de esa porke yo tengo pero la regular ke venden en la tienda. ..... esspero encontraarla porke le kiero hacer una aa mi hermano en su kumple ke es ahora en marzo... yo vivo en san diego y me gustaria saber donde komprarla
Hola Karolina, Puedes usar cualquier extracto de vainilla que encuentres, no tiene que ser esa marca. Pero fijate que sea extracto de vainilla de verdad y no saborizantes...Pati Jinich replied to comment from karolina | March 1, 2011 1:29 PM
hola, soy de México, y se acostumbra rellenar el pastel con una crema pastelera, hecha con yemas, azúcar, vainilla, leche y maizena que se coce al fuego para espesar y ya fría se rellena el pastel que se va mojando poco a poco.rosa coronado | March 1, 2011 5:10 PM
I can not find the gaya vanilla extract that is affordable.
Everywhere i look,it claims 10 dollars,but by the time you add shipping it is over 20 dollars for a little bottle.
I just want to make this cake for the father of my child which so happens to be from Mexico.
I want to impress him.
Of course,someone can understand.
I want to make this cake for him by next week.
I am searching on internet.
What else is okay to use besides this certain brand?
I see a lot of "Mexican Vanilla Extract" claims,but i don't know if they are true.
It really is about price.
I want to pay around 15 dollars with shipping and all.
You can feel free to use any vanilla extract that you find at your local grocery store! If you find Mexican, great. I love the Gaya, but there are many more out there. So try to use one that is the Vanilla extract and not the imitation, or vanilla flavoring. Very best, Pati
Do I put the fruit in the middle before adding the tres leches or after?Required | March 21, 2011 11:23 PM
You could do it either way...Pati Jinich replied to comment from Required | March 22, 2011 3:13 PM
I am wanting to make a chocolate pastel de tres leches is it possiable to make the cake, syrup, and frosting chocolate and how would you do that?Cruz | April 10, 2011 8:17 PM
wow u have left me with out words.I been looking for the real mexican tres leches.I love that i found u in ch 6, April 23,11 @1:30 pm.This is my cooking channel.Love cooking all kinds of resetas.I miss real autetica mexican comida and resetas.Thanks so much for sharing ur delisiosas resetas.im gona try all of them.This is just from 1 time i seen ur show.:)i got 10 resetas to get cracking,so exited to try them out.:):):):).TNT Mom | April 26, 2011 12:58 PM
me encanto tu reseta,pero no se si la tienes en espanol y me la puedas mandar.graciaswendy | April 27, 2011 8:42 AM
HI PATI I MADE THIS CAKE A FEW WEEKS AGO AND IT WAS DELICIOUS!!!
I WOULD LIKE TO ASK IF ITS OKAY TO USE CAKE FLOUR INSTEAD OF ALL PURPOSE FLOUR??? IF SO WHAT WOULD BE THE MEASUREMENTS... THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR SUCH GREAT RECIPES!!!! BY THE WAY I LOVE UR SHOW!!
I recommend using all purpose flour with this recipes, but you can try using the cake flour too. It's great to hear that you are enjoying the show!
UMMM, se mira rico el pastel.....he estado buscando un receta que sea facil to do.....and this is it....y tambien my cumple años es 8/12 y vivo en IL
| June 15, 2011 2:03 PM
my question is, can we mix the whites in one bowl and then use another bowl to mix the yolks? or does it have to be in one to transfer to another bowl to mix the other part of eggs?
Hola unas preguntitas, No son muchos huebos para el pastel?...y si queda esponjadito, oh compresado?..Gracias?....Pablo | June 16, 2011 11:48 PM
Otra pregunta, como vivo en Alemania no encontré heavy cream... con qué la puedo sustituir? Aquí sólo hay creme fraiche, crema normal para batir (30% grasa) o un requesón de 40 o 50% grasa. También hay Philadelphia, claro, pero quisiera tu opinión. GraciasJimena | July 4, 2011 4:35 AM
La puedes substituir, para esta receta, con crema normal para batir. Provecho!
Gracias por tu respuesta Pati. Tengo otra pregunta rapida. 9 huevos se me hicieron muchos, ya que el pastel quedó un poco seco en algunas partes. Lo puedo hacer con menos huevos para que la salsa alcance a cubrirlo todo o de plano hago el doble de salsa?? Gracias otra vez!Jimena | July 9, 2011 4:03 AM
This recipe looks delicious but i'm wondering if the recipe stays the same if i want to make cupcakes or what would you recommend. Also i prefer my tres leches with less milk mixture therefore not as moist is that okay with this recipe?Brenda | July 13, 2011 6:07 PM
Hola Brenda, You should definitely try this recipe with cupcakes! The recipe will stay the same except the cupcakes require less baking time. Also, you can add as much or as little milk as you'd like! Let me know how it goes!Pati Jinich replied to comment from Brenda | July 14, 2011 10:39 AM
THANKS A LOT, I DIDN'T EXPECT A REQUEST SO QUICKLY SO THANKYOU!!! I'M ACTUALLY MAKING THE RECIPE RIGHT NOW IN CUPCAKES SO WE WILL SEE HOW IT TURNS OUT!Brenda replied to comment from Pati Jinich | July 15, 2011 4:58 PM
Hi Pati! I made this cake for my husband's birthday, and I did it in 2 layers with whipped cream and strawberries in the middle and covered in more whipped cream. It was delicious, but the edges of the cake didn't get very moist with the milk. Any tips on making sure the whole cake gets wet, especially if you are going to be unmolding it and decorating outside of the pan? Also, I would like to make this again but on a smaller scale. Would this recipe fit into 2 round cake pans, or would I need to adjust and make more or less batter? What do you suggest for a cooking time? Thanks so much! Can't wait to try more of your recipes :)Sarah | July 26, 2011 4:01 PM
Hola Sarah, I'm so happy you decided to make this for your husband's birthday. Thinking of all the whipped cream and strawberries is making me hungry! If you'd like to make the cake more wet, you can try adding additional sauce. Also, if you decide to use 2 round cake pans, I would double the recipe; however, it should be around the same cooking time. Enjoy!Pati Jinich replied to comment from Sarah | July 28, 2011 1:19 PM
Excelente receta,he hecho otras,pero definitivamente esta se ve mucho mejor,muy bien explicada,sin duda la hare este weekend,ahi les contare como quedo..! Gracias!Sandra | August 10, 2011 11:30 AM
OMG....esta receta esta deliciosa....siempre compraba los pasteles de tres leches en una panaderia que los hacia de maravilla. Me mude y no avia encontrado algun lugar que los hiciera igual hasta que me anime hacerlo con tu super receta...Y me sabe igual a mi pastel favorito...ME ENCANTA...love it...gotta have it!!! estoy haciendo ahora uno para un evento especial de la familia...aversi les gusta...no creo que hasta los dedos se van a chupar!!!janie | August 12, 2011 10:25 PM
Me da mucho gusto que te guste la receta! A mi me encanta con fresas o a veces le cambio la leche evaporada por leche de coco... Ojala que se chupen todos los dedos!!!
Que delicioso se ve esta version de Tres Leches! Yo he hecho una version q lleva baking powder, esta receta no lo necesita?Ruby | August 14, 2011 9:06 PM
Hi Pati, do you use regular full fat milk as the 'milk' you have listed or heavy cream? I only ask because I've seen several other recipes that call for the heavy cream as part of the sauce instead of regular milk. Thanks so much! I'm planning on making this treat tonight.Adriana Dwan | August 16, 2011 6:26 PM
Hi Adrianna, I use regular cow's milk, which for me is always whole milk . But always feel free to make things your own, so maybe try substituting with 2%.Pati Jinich replied to comment from Adriana Dwan | August 16, 2011 9:40 PM
Hi pati!! I just want to say thank you so much for this recepie!!! Im 19 years old and have two years living with my husband and he's been bugging me about making him a cake of tres leches and once i did it with your recepie, he fell in love with it!!! We say its by far one of the best pastel de tres leches we ever tried.. Again thank you so much, your my hero!Laura | October 9, 2011 6:03 PM
Thanks for posting this recipe. My mom specifically requested this cake for her birthday, I had a recipe I had gotten long ago but lost in when my computer crashed and thus went on a cyber hunt for a new one. This one looks the best of them all. The cake part looks much better than the one I had (this one is much sponge-ier). I'll be making it today and adding sliced peaches instead of strawberry. Again, Thanks for sharing =)Monica | November 5, 2011 12:27 PM
Hola Monica, I hope you all enjoyed the cake! Many birthday wishes to your mom :)Pati Jinich replied to comment from Monica | November 7, 2011 3:11 PM
I am so so happy I found your blog. My mother in law requested a tres leches cake for her birthday and that is the only cake I have never made.
I am going to make your recipe in layer cake form and I received some advice to bake in a 9 inch springform pan, poke holes in the cake, drizzle the tres leches and then cut in half, add a layer of fruit and whipped cream, put the second layer on and then frost in whipped cream.
Do you think that will work? I am so nervous about making this cake. I am the baker of the family and bake everything and i just feel this cake could either be too dry cause i am going to be too scared to add all the liquid or it will be too wet and she specifically said she does not like soggy tres leches. Can you tell I am stressing?? LOL! Oh man. :)
Thanks again for your recipe. I will making it tonight.
Well I made the cake and it came out good, but I was scared to put all the tres leches mixture and it showed. I am def. making this again hopefully this weekend and will follow all your instructions this time..LOL! Thanks Pati :)Vanessa Rivera | November 11, 2011 11:01 AM
Hola Vanessa, You can put as much of the tres leches mixture to your liking. Let me know how it goes! :)Pati Jinich replied to comment from Vanessa Rivera | November 15, 2011 11:17 AM
This cake came out INCREDIBLE!!! i loved it so much. so did the rest of my family. I am totally doing this recipe again. Love it! I am glad i found this recipe. thank you :)
My pleasure Zenayda!!Pati Jinich replied to comment from Zenayda | November 25, 2011 3:22 PM
I just make the tres leche last night and put it in the fridge. It seems to have turned hard. Any suggestions?
GinaGinna | December 8, 2011 5:26 PM
Hola Gina! What I can recommend is to make sure the cake is cool and to poke lots of holes in the cake before pouring the leches on top. :)Pati Jinich replied to comment from Ginna | December 9, 2011 11:24 AM
Hi Pati :-) I am baking it right now. I never have this cake before so i don't know how to compare it with other tres leches cake. I add some lime zest in the batter and thinking to add coconut cream with the sauce and add some peppermint essence in whipped cream topping. I will bring it to work tomorrow and let my mexicana friend to try :-)
Thank you for this recipe :-)
By the way, i was quite sceptical about the batter because there is no liquid in it.Angie | December 15, 2011 1:02 AM
Excellente! It's different but it was very good. My mexicana friend love it :-) She said better than the cake in Mexico :-)
The other friend from mexico and her mom who are visiting love your recipe. The caucasian friend wanted it for her wedding cake if she will marry again!
The added coconut in the mixture is a plus.
I put 3/4 cup of sugar in the batter instead of 1 cup.
Thank you again for this recipe. I will try your polvorones next time :-)
Hello Pati! I had an urgent question. Do you think Rice flour would go good with this recipe? I cannot use any type of all-purpose flour, my father cannot eat any gluten so any recommendations? thanks a lot! I love your show your charisma makes every show that special!Dulce | December 23, 2011 2:45 AM
I tried this recipe and it came out DELICIOUS!!!!! Gracias Pati por la receta me salio super deliciosoLourdes Canela | December 24, 2011 11:29 AM
Hola Dulce, Yes, you can substitute with rice flour. Hope you enjoy!Pati Jinich replied to comment from Dulce | December 26, 2011 2:19 PM
Pati this cake is amazing!
I searched all over the Internet for
An authenic tres leches cake
And yours was my choice !
I was amazed at how the cake can absorb
So much sauce and not become soggy!
I was nervous about not using baking powder
So at the last minute I threw in a half tsp
To alleviate my anxiety . I also bought and
Used cake flour before I saw your recommendation
To use all purpose flour. The cake was awesome!
I am making the cake
Again today and this time I will use all purpose flour
And no baking powder, As to follow the directions
Can u tell me why you recommend all purpose
Flour? Does it make the cake spongier?
Thanks for this delicious recipe, It will become
One of my staple desserts from now on , no
Need to use any other tres leche recipes
As this one is perfect and so versatile!!!
Thank you for your question Sandi! I use all-purpose flour in most of my cakes. I just like the way it makes the cakes turn out, it is easy to use, and it is always handy.Pati Jinich replied to comment from Sandi | January 13, 2012 10:34 AM
Mmmmm se ve delicioso! Pregunta: Si quiero hacer un pastel pequeno (solo para devorarmelo yo) divido los ingredientes a la mitad?? Y como dividiria 9 huevos? Crees que saldria bien si lo divido?
Hola Ana, Preparalo todo! Lo bueno de este pastel es que dura muchos días en el refrigerador y hasta se va poniendo mas rico.Pati Jinich replied to comment from Ana | January 31, 2012 2:13 PM
Hi Pati! Your recipes are amazing!
Just want to know how much of the evaporated milk and condensed milk I should use? How many ounces of each?
porque el pastel se me baja sube bien y cuando lo saco del horno se me bajaale | February 5, 2012 8:52 PM
I LOVE love LOVE this Tres Leches Cake Recipe, This is the BEST recipe!!
I'm a happy baker!
Thank you so much Ellie! I am so happy you love the recipe! :)Pati Jinich replied to comment from Ellie | February 10, 2012 3:56 PM
Hi pati. I really want to make this cake for my baby's baptism, but have a couple questions. The cake batter doesn't seem to have butter, oil, or milk. Is that correct? There isn't any liquid in the cake?Tiffany | February 17, 2012 1:41 PM
Hola Tiffany, Not in the cake, but there is liquid in the sauce! :)Pati Jinich replied to comment from Tiffany | February 17, 2012 4:10 PM
Thanks, muchas gracias por tu receta,delicioso .Cristina | February 29, 2012 5:45 PM
Gracias Cristina!Pati Jinich replied to comment from Cristina | March 7, 2012 3:22 PM
I made this cake with my daughter we Loved it! My mom said it was delicious and light. Thanks for the recipeFrances | March 16, 2012 3:49 AM
hola pati me gusta mucho tu programa pero ahora casi no lo veao porque ahora mirandolo todo se me antoja tengo cinco meses de embarasada y no mas mirando esto se me ase agua la boca me alivio asta julio 11 2012 en adelante asie k me perdere tu programa tantito pero regresare a miralo mucho saludo pati y ojala me digas como haser resetas con pollo me gusta mucho el pollo a mi. muchas gracias pati y que tengas mucho exito mas. Adriana HinojosaAdriana | April 1, 2012 4:01 AM
I made this for Easter, today, and everyone loved it! It was really easy to make (aside from separating the eggs,which I am horrible at). The only Issue I have with this recipe is the liquid amounts. I was pretty generous with the liquids and the cake still had dry spots. I would suggest 1 1/2-ing to doubling the recipes liquids. I added some caramel stuff to the sauce and it was great. Also, adding a bit of cinnamon to the whipped cream added a great depth of flavor.
I am adding this to my recipe box.Drew | April 8, 2012 5:26 PM
Hola Drew, I am so glad everyone loved the tres leches! The cake is a dry cake, so to prevent the dry spots make sure you poke all over it with a fork and store in the refrigerator. Your additions sound wonderful, and I love to hear how people take the recipes and make them their own. :)Pati Jinich replied to comment from Drew | April 9, 2012 2:01 PM
Muchas gracias Adriana! :)Pati Jinich replied to comment from Adriana | April 9, 2012 2:25 PM
estoy haciendo por primera vez ese pastel espero que me quede como se ven la foto solo que me gustaria saber como se hace el dulce o caramelo que llevan las fresas encima del pastel,es de color rojo claro y es transparente la verdad nose como se llama espero que me puedas ayudar gracias.
I am wanting to make this recipe with strawberries or peaches inside, but I am not sure how to do it. The cake is so moist that I am afraid to put one on top of the other after I put the fruit inside. How do you do it? I read you could put the fruit before adding the milk, but does is get moist in the bottom part if there is cream and fruits?
This turned out to be such a beautiful and delicious cake! I made the two layer round cake with sliced strawberries in the middle. Instead of removing the cake from the pans, poking w/ holes, and pouring the sauce on top, I decided to try something different. I cooled the cakes for 10 minutes, removed from the pans until completely cool, returned the cakes to the pans and poked with holes. I then spooned the sauce on top of each cake, covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated overnight. The next morning I made my whipped cream and assembled the cake (to remove the cakes from the pans I put them into a pan of shallow warm water for a minute or two and they popped right out). Wow!!! Yummy and very pretty too!Bridgett B | May 5, 2012 11:57 AM
Great idea Bridgett! Sounds beautiful!Pati Jinich replied to comment from Bridgett B | May 9, 2012 3:42 PM
Pati mil gracias por esta receta!! estoy con un antojo enorme del pastel que me hacia mi tia para mi cumple (que es el viernes), asi que ahora por lo menos podre compartir mi pastel con mis hijas, para que aprendan un poco de nuestras bellas tradiciones, gracias!!!Alicia | May 9, 2012 5:06 PM
Thank you for the recipe, Pati. Sometimes I like to put cajeta in the milk. I also like to decorate the cake with shaved chocolate. I lived in Col. Parque San Andres, Delegacion Coyoacan for many years and we used to buy them with different toppings, including fruit, shaved chocolate, coconut, chopped nuts. I also think that if you have a nut grinder that grinds the nuts finely, that could probably be folded in as well.
I agree that your recipe is authentic. A lot of recipes for this cake on the internet do not separate the yolks and whites. Yours is wonderful. Thanks for sharing with us!!Margo Sterling | May 13, 2012 6:10 PM
Pati! Muchas gracias por tu receta, nos fascino a toda
Mi familia!!! Las fotos me sirvieron mucho porque
Soy muy visual en cuanto aprender algo nuevo!
Y las fotos están muy claras y relucientes.
Me encanta la comida Mexicana, mi comida natal.
Soy de Tijuana B.C. Méx. Y disfruto mucho cocinar
Las increíbles recetas de mi mamá! Pero también
Disfruto aprender cosas nuevas y a mis Papas les encanta
Cuando les cocino. Así que me encantaría seguir visitando
Tu blog! Y comprar tu libro!
Muchos saludos desde San Francisco, Ca.!
Pati- This cake is phenomenal! I first made this cake for my boyfriend, and he loved it- it beat out his favorite local mexican bakery! :) I've since made it two other times, and it's been a hit! Thank you! :)Jodie | June 3, 2012 12:20 PM
I will try this for a dinner party Saturday. Was going to make a buttermilk meyer lemon cake, but then I had this cake at a party a week ago and decided to change my whole menu to a Mexican theme just so I could make this cake. I can't quit thinking about it. However, I remember the cake being more of a shortbread cake, than a sponge cake. Is this because of the milk soaking. Also, will I be okay to make the cake two days ahead, and just frost with the whipping creme the day of? Thank you so much!Rhonda | June 12, 2012 10:59 PM
Hola Rhonda, Yes, the cake is a sponge cake. And yes, you will be okay making it 2 days in advance and then frosting the whipped cream the day of. I believe it is actually better to do that because it allows the milk to soak into the cake :)!Pati Jinich replied to comment from Rhonda | June 13, 2012 5:35 PM
I am a newlywed living in the east coast far away from our family. When my husband requested a Pastel de Tres Leches for his birthday I was a little hesitant because I am not the best cook in the world. But the recipe was easy to follow and the pictures were great. For the first time making pastel de tres leches, it was a success. The recipe serves 10-12 but we both ate the whole thing.
From a very happy home, thank you for this traditional and wonderful recipe.Eunice | June 15, 2012 2:28 PM
Que tal PAti estoy viendo que comias este pastel de la gran via wow yo tengo unas ganas de un verdadero pastel de tres leches pero no lo encuentro como alla, vivo en phoenix desde hace 6 anos pero mi ingles no es muy bueno como le puedo hacer para ver las instrucciones en espanol por que se ve delicioso y la verdad me urge hacer uno gracias que tengas un lindo dia y esta muy bien tu pagina voy a seguir viendo tus recetas que tengas un lindo dia !!!
Hola Eunice, I am so so glad you and your husband loved the recipe!Pati Jinich replied to comment from Eunice | June 15, 2012 4:02 PM
Hola estuve buscando varias recetas pero esta me convencio x q habla de la pasteleria La Gran Via y cuando yo era chica my mama solia comprar los pasteles hay y estaban muy buenos .Ahora vivo en Los Angeles California y estudie decoracion de pasteles, pero ahora necesito tener diferentes recetas de pasteles me acaban de pedir uno y lo quieren de tre leches voy hacer esta receta y se q les va a gustar mucho ........en mexico tambien vendian un pastel q era envinado quisiera esa receta no se si usted me la puede proporcionar el pastel era muy humectado por licor suave se lo voy agradecer GRACIAS.Maria Galvan | June 27, 2012 1:48 AM
Hola Maria! Gracias por tu mensaje. Voy a tratar de poner una receta del pastel o parecido, al que mencionas pronto. Ojala que les guste el Tres Leches y mucha suerte.Pati Jinich replied to comment from Maria Galvan | June 29, 2012 10:17 PM
I tried this cake today and I must have gone wrong somewhere because the edges of the cake turned out very dry and the overall taste was quite bland. Perhaps some advice and/or more detail on the ingredients (as in brands of milk and can sizes) would be helpful.D | July 5, 2012 7:26 PM
I love tres leches cake. This recipe is delicious! One thing I have done to "cheat" is that when I'm pressed for time, I use a white cake mix out of the box and then do the 'sauce' and whipped cream the same. It is still yummy, and it's easy for someone who isn't an expert baker. LOL! I like to use crushed pineapple between the layers with pineapple slices on top. The tartness of the pineapple goes well with the sweetness of the cake and tres leches 'sauce'. :)Brandi | July 20, 2012 1:57 PM
I have used this recipe once before and it turned out fabulously
The only problem was that I didn't know how just how much cake I was making and it was A LOT.
I want to make it again for a smaller crowd, does anyone have any advice for smaller size recipe conversion? I usually just follow recipes straight on so I am not sure about changing the proportions and all of that.
Hola Janice, I would recommend just making the whole cake :)Pati Jinich replied to comment from Janice | August 1, 2012 10:33 PM
hello pati, i love your show. i'm trying this recipe for the first time and i couldnt get my egg yolks to be as creamy and fluffy as yours. its in the oven right now. i hope it comes out good. do you have any suggestions with the egg yolks? i beat them for 7-8 minutes and they didn't ever cream. do they need to be extra cold or at room temperature? :-( thanks for any helpjude | August 2, 2012 4:10 PM
Dios mio este pastel es un maravilla... I have tryed 3 different recipes which I tryed and were horrible and then I found yours pati and it wow me so much it's so delicious its just like the one @ the bakery I love it and family does too. My dad and husband always ask when are you making it but all I can say for this recipes yum..yum DELICIOUS!!!!!Jessica Lyle | August 4, 2012 10:46 PM
Can I use regular whip cream?
The one you would use for strawberries?
Hola Jude, I recommend to make sure the egg yolks are at room temperature. If you have anymore questions, just let me know!Pati Jinich replied to comment from jude | August 12, 2012 8:21 PM
Hola Jessica, I am so happy you and your family love the Tres Leches recipe so much!Pati Jinich replied to comment from Jessica Lyle | August 12, 2012 8:30 PM
I insisted that I make my own birthday cake for a work party because I really, really wanted to make this Tres Leches Cake recipe and I didn't want a box cake with hydrogenated oil frosting! :) It turned out AMAZING! I followed everything in your recipe, but used about 1/2 cup of sugar because I knew the sweetened condensed milk would give it enough sweetness. To top it off I put fresh strawberries and peaches on the whipped cream! Thank you so much for the recipe, I can't wait to make it again. My next culinary adventure is to make your Tamarind Apricot Chicken and Enchiladas Verdes! So glad I saw your show, you have so many awesome recipes I want to try!
GinnyGinny | August 22, 2012 8:29 PM
Hola Ginny, I love hearing that you have enjoyed the recipes. Idea of peaches on top of Tres Leches sounds amazing: I've never tried it, will do!Pati Jinich replied to comment from Ginny | August 28, 2012 8:58 PM
I made this cake for a mexican independence day party and It was so good! Thank you for sharing this recipe. Gracias por compartir la receta salio muy rico el pastel y me recordo a Mexico.Susana | September 15, 2012 1:44 AM
Hi, that recipe looks easy, but how much milk should I put in haft sheet cake.Amy | September 15, 2012 9:58 AM
Gracias, Susana! Happy Independence Day.Pati Jinich replied to comment from Susana | September 17, 2012 2:21 PM
I just discovered your show this week and watched the episode featuring this recipe. Thank you for explaining the difference between sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk! I love Tres Leches and now I am proud to have a wonderful recipe of my very own thanks to you! God bless you, Pati! I am a HUGE fan now!Terri | October 7, 2012 11:51 PM
I love tres leches and have tried several different recipes, but I wanted to make something special for my brother's rehearsal dinner (he loves tres leches, too) so I tried your recipe. It was great, really great, but the dead center of the cake was drier than the rest of the cake. Do you think it could have been that my pan wasn't exactly even or that I didn't poke holes evenly?
Hola Terri, You are so kind! I hope you enjoy the tres leches cake -- and thank you for watching.Pati Jinich replied to comment from Terri | October 17, 2012 12:39 PM
Hi. My name its erika & I just wanted to say thank you soooooooo. Much for this recipe. I tried this recipe for the first time a year ago & since then I don't buy 3 leeches cake any more!!! I'm always making this for any special celebration. The only thing the I change its the when it comes to the sauce I double the ingredients & I let it soak for at least 8 hours before putting the icing & it comes out perfect. I love when my cake its super moist & flavor full. I like to see the milk dripping out of the cake everyone love it so much. Great recipe & thanks for sharing!!!! :)erika | October 21, 2012 10:37 PM
Recently, I've been hunting for the perfect Tres Leches recipe for an important dinner party. I found your recipe here and two other's online that seemed really popular. I made all three in one day. That evening i went to a birthday party and had everyone taste test and the next day (today) I drove around and got some more opinions (namely from my mother who is am amazing cook specializing in Cuban food) And I'm happy to report that your recipe took the cake (sorry couldn't help it!) Thanks for sharing it! I will definitely be using your recipe!Desi | October 25, 2012 8:06 PM
I watched your show when you prepared this cake, and I couldn't wait to try your recipe.
My egg whites got nice and firm, but collapsed after I added the sugar! I whipped and whipped, and couldn't get them to firm up! They just liquified! I had to add 4 more egg whites (beaten separately to very firm) and add them into the mix, and this made a very small difference. What did I do wrong? I was thinking next time I will add the sugar to the yolks. This way the whites can be beaten very stiff.
The cake came out good, despite the extra eggs. My family enjoyed it and wants me to make it again. Thanks for this great recipe!
WillWill | November 3, 2012 10:33 PM
Thank you for trying my recipe, Kara! I think the density of the cake is different depending on the pan. Don't be afraid to go crazy with poking holes in the cake and really letting the milk soak in.Pati Jinich replied to comment from Kara | November 5, 2012 12:58 PM
Dear Chef Pati,
I tried your tres leches recipe for a birthday dinner party I put together for a friend of mine, and it was a hit! I tried my best to do the recipe justice, and had my same birthday friend... who bakes awesomely , supervise to make sure I beat those eggs into a perfect cake. I must say your step by step pictorial of the look of the cake was easy and great to follow! I had great time making the cake and I did amaze myself that I could actually make this tasty Mexican treat, I even added Amareto to the milk sauce. Man delish!!! My guest ate easily two to three slices of the cake. I even impressed my papis! Thanks for sharing this amazing recipe! I LOVED IT! ( I even love your show on That comes on PBS, I try to catch it for new recipes on Saturdays!) ;)
Hola Elda, It sounds like your tres leches cake was disappearing fast at your dinner party! Amareto? That sounds lovely!! Thank you so much for taking time to write me.Pati Jinich replied to comment from Elda | November 16, 2012 10:35 AM
Hi Pati, I made the Tres leches cake for Thanksgiving and everyone loved it (I put coconut on top) Thanks for an awesome recipe!Shana | November 23, 2012 9:30 AM
Hola Shana, What a nice surprise to have Tres Leches Cake for Thanksgiving! Thank you for using my recipe -- I'm glad everyone enjoyed it!!Pati Jinich replied to comment from Shana | November 26, 2012 5:23 PM
Hi Pati, After searching for what seemed like hundreds of recipes for Tres Leches, I finally settled on yours. I was a little worried about the egg yolks because they never turned a light cream color, just a notch up from pale yellow. It came out wonderful so I must have done something right! I have to admit I never saw your show before finding your website, but last night I was flipping through channels and saw you make chipoltle mashed potatoes. So you can guess what's on the menu tonight! Thanks for sharing your awesome recipes!Lisa Litwhiler-Vargas | November 30, 2012 4:02 PM
Thank you so much, Lisa!! I'm so honored you chose my Tres Leches Cake recipe. I'm glad you found the show!Pati Jinich replied to comment from Lisa Litwhiler-Vargas | December 3, 2012 10:07 AM
What a delicious recipe. I think I am going to try making Tres Leches this weekend! Keep sharing your wonderful recipes, I am sharing them with family and friends!
Gracias Maria :)Maria Islas | December 6, 2012 10:54 PM
Gracias, Maria! I hope everyone enjoys the cake. Thank you for writing me!!Pati Jinich replied to comment from Maria Islas | December 10, 2012 5:48 PM
Thanks so much for publishing this recipe! I will be bringing this to friends who are hosting a traditional tamale dinner on Christmas eve. My friend, who is from Mexico, talked about how much he loves, and misses the Tres Leches Cake from his childhood. I have been looking for an authentic version, and looks like I found it....many thanks!Christie Hall | December 21, 2012 11:59 PM
Today I am making this cake with gluten free flour. It looks so lucious that I am just loving the creaminess. I am celiac and cannot have gluten flour but can work with recipies to get a good likeness of your original. Thank you for the wonderful Mexican show! I always thought everyone in Mexico were poor, What was I thinking. It has a great history. Loving your show!!! SusanSusan Worthington | January 1, 2013 2:24 PM
I just want to thank you. I watched your tv show on the Create tv show, and I was amazed at how simple "El pastel de tres leche" is to make. I tried it myself and it came out delicious. I will continue checking out more of your recipes.
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