Tres Leches

Last week was Melissa's birthday. She is a good friend of mine and not necessarily a big fan of desserts but there was no doubt in her mind when I asked her what kind of cake she would want for her birthday party. Tres Leches, literally translates to "Three Milks". It is my all time favorite cake.
This cake is a keeper, every time I'm in charge of bringing dessert, I always come back to this one. Actually, I'm starting to suspect that I am invited to parties just for this cake. Mmm.., very possible.

This cake is a very popular dessert in Latin America. It's basically a sponge cake soaked preferibly over night in three kinds of milk: evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk and whole milk.  

Lately, I have been making individual servings of it and I don't really know why because I always end up eating two of them, I guess I like the idea of  "portion control". Well, that idea doesn't quite work when it comes to eating this cake. 


For the cake:

2 1/4 cup cake flour
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
pinch salt
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla 
2 Lg eggs

Tres leches:
12 oz can of evaporated Milk
14 0z can of sweetened condensed milk 
12 oz whole milk 

maraschino cherry
whipped cream

Preheat the oven 350 F.
Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment, mix the dry ingredients just to blend. Add the vegetable shortening to the dry ingredients and blend on low speed for 2 to 3 minutes. In a mixing bowl, whisk to blend the milk, vanilla and eggs. On medium speed, add slowly half of the liquid to the dry ingredients and blend well, slowly add the other half and mix until well combined. Turn the speed up and mix for 30 seconds or until batter is smooth. Bake for 1 hour or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. 
Cool for 30 minutes before adding the tres leches. While cake is cooling, add into a blender the tres leches and blend for 20 seconds. With a fork, poke holes in the cake and pour the tres leches mixture over the cake. Cover and refrigerated for at least 6 hours or overnight. When ready to serve, top with whipped cream and cherries.

Note: If you would like to make individual servings, just divide batter into ramekins 1/3 of the way and bake for less time. 


  1. Looks beautiful. Love the contrasting colours.

  2. It's gorgeous! And i am sure it is delicious, i love condensed milk.


  3. No parece dificil...el proximo miercoles lo intento!
    Las fotos se ven divinas. jaja,a mi tambien me pasa que me gusta hacer individuales por lo de "porcion control" pero luego me como tres!
    Saludos desde Zürich. CarmenZh

  4. Que rico!! este lo hagoa el miercoles a ver como me sale. saludos Carmen zh

  5. Beautiful dessert. Love the little pots.

  6. this is absolutely unbearably irresistible !!

  7. It looks beautiful! I can't wait to try it.
    Xina L.

  8. moist and delicious. sweet and addictive. love them.

  9. Wow..great recipe! I will try these recipe next time I wanna impress my in laws hehehe...amazing!

  10. This looks absolutely delicious. Thanks for sharing -- it's going in my "things to make" file, for sure. If only I could have it for breakfast this morning... mmmm. :)

    Have a beautiful day, new friend.

  11. I've never tried this before, but it looks absolutely DELICIOUS! Where did you get the little glass containers for this dessert? robbing@brydonlaw.com

    Thanks, and have a blessed day!

  12. One of my very favorite cakes! I'm wondering the same thing about the little glass jars, and are they oven safe? I've never seen anything so pretty AND oven safe!

  13. Thank you everyone for your sweet words. The dessert jars were a gift from a friend from France, and yes, lucky for me they are oven safe!
    Thank you

  14. The containers are Weck canning jars, available online & at Sur La Table etc. Heat tolerant but not Pyrex (borosilicate glass). Avoid thermal shock--do not place on wet surfaces when hot.

    You could cut a tres leches pan cake into shapes to fit glass serving containers like .99 cent votives. Use a biscuit cutter.

  15. So beautiful!!! I am definitely stealing this idea!

  16. Your photography is divine. Really captures the essence. They say you eat with your eyes first, and you have a wonderful ability for making me fat just seeing these photos. LOL You are a very gifted photographer. Can't wait to try this recipe. My daughter likes to bake and I'm asking her to make this for me for Mother's Day. Thanks! - Shannon

  17. These are Weck canning jars. Ovenproof but not Pyrex, so be careful not to let hot glass come in contact with wet or very cold surfaces.

  18. Are they the Weck jam jars? Which size?

  19. Divine cake in divine jars...
    Cake in a jar is very trendy now.

  20. Those are just gorgeous. I love the recipe and presentation. Two? I bet I could eat three.:)

  21. This is sitting in my refrigerator soaking as we speak. Thanks for the recipe!

  22. Thank you! At Brett, I would love to hear how it came out, thank you for trying the recipe!.

  23. Hello! Thank you for the recipe; I've heard of Tres Leches before but never made it (and possibly never eaten it before either). I tried this recipe last night in a 9 x 13, and I was wondering-- I accidentally forgot to poke holes in the cake before pouring the milk mix on top (awful, I know). There seemed to be a lot more milk than the cake could soak up, but I figured it would take time to soak in so I left it in the fridge overnight. This morning when I looked at it, quite a bit of the milk had soaked in, but quite a bit had not, which resulted in a cake floating in milk! I tried a piece and it still tastes pretty good, but I'm wondering how long it's safe to keep the cake in the fridge without eating it, as it is only covered with aluminum foil and I know milk can go bad. Also, have you ever had this kind of issue before or known anyone who has? If I remembered to poke holes in the cake next time, would that solve my problem, or do I need to make less of the milk mixture?

    Sorry for all the questions! This recipe looks amazing and even my messed-up version tastes pretty good so it would be great if I could do it right next time and get an even better cake. :)


  24. Hi Sharon, thank you very much for trying the recipe! Poking a hole to the cake does help the liquid to get into the cake better and quicker but it shouldn't be a huge deal if you didn't. The cake is supposed to have a lot of liquid even after being soaked, or even float. It really depends on how you like it, it goes from recipe to recipe. You could try less milk mixture next time. I would keep it for 3 or 4 days maximum just covered and airtight, so it doesn't absorb fridge odors.
    Thank you very much again!

  25. This looks amazing. I cant wait to try it! I'm going to try it with glass cups I use for making trifles. mm

  26. How did you get them into those little glasses? They look perfect but I think if I had to make them in ramekins and then transfer to the glasses they would look so sloppy!

  27. At Lia, I baked them in the jars, but you could bake the cake and transfer it to jars and then add the liquid to avoid a mess. Thank you!

  28. BEAUTIFUL! I am making these tomorrow! Out of curiousity, how many individual servings did this recipe make?

  29. Hello Emily, thank you for trying the recipe! this recipe makes 8 to 10 servings depending on the size jars. I would love to know how it came out!
    thank you again xox

  30. Update on my cakes: they turned out fabulous and were a huge hit!! I bought a case (12) of the 8 oz. quilted Ball jelly jars and they worked perfectly and were super cute. I actually doubled the cake part of the recipe (the tres leches part was already more than enough) and filled each jar a 1/3 of the way and and they baked up enough to still add the liquid. So it made exactly 12 jars, which was exactly what I needed! Thank you so much, can't wait to make again!! It was so easy!

  31. Emily Thank you very much! I am so glad your like the recipe and idea! it motivates me to create more! xox

  32. Oh My God!! Your food shots are absolutely brilliant!!!! This is my first day on your blog and I'm already a huge fan!!

  33. Wonderful.Eat Cream with friit. But if more fruit are put onto it, it will be be more healthy.
    Fruit and vegetable processing machine

  34. I would have never thought that making Tres Leches were so easy. I just made this and it came out PERFECT! Instead of shortening I used a stick of cold butter.

  35. Hi there, I want to replicate your recipe in small jars or glass cups and I love the ones that you have. where did you get them? or how can I get them. Thanks!

    1. Hi! Those jars are a gift from a friend from France. Someone successfully did this recipe using quilted Ball jelly jars (comment above). Those jars are also cute and have lids. Thank you for stopping by!


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