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Tres Leches Cake

By Kelsey Banfield |

Tres Leches

This is a little late for Cinco de Mayo but I think you should know about it anyone. It certainly isn’t only for Cinco de Mayo. Trust me, you would be happy to eat this any day of the week! I made it last week during our Cinco de Mayo celebration and everyone loved it. It was so rich and creamy and totally decadent. I couldn’t get over how much it reminded me of Dulce de Leche, the cake had an almost caramel like flavor. I think I’ll make this a lot this summer and serve it with fresh berries or sorbet. It is the simplest cake that is always a hit.

Tres Leches Cake

adapted from Alton Brown of The Food Network

For the cake:

Vegetable oil

3/4 ounces cake flour, plus extra for pan

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

4 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature

8 ounces granulated sugar

5 eggs

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the glaze:

1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk

1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

1 cup half-and-half

For the topping:

2 cups heavy cream

8 ounces sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the cake:


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly oil and flour a 13 by 9-inch metal pan and set aside.

Whisk together the cake flour, baking powder and salt in a medium mixing bowl and set aside.

Place the butter into the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the paddle attachment, beat on medium speed until fluffy, approximately 1 minute. Decrease the speed to low and with the mixer still running, gradually add the sugar over 1 minute. Stop to scrape down the sides of the bowl, if necessary. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, and mix to thoroughly combine. Add the vanilla extract and mix to combine. Add the flour mixture to the batter in 3 batches and mix just until combined.

Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and spread evenly. This will appear to be a very small amount of batter. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until the cake is lightly golden.

Remove the cake pan to a cooling rack and allow to cool for 30 minutes. Poke the top of the cake all over with a skewer or fork. Allow the cake to cool completely and then prepare the glaze.

For the glaze:

Whisk together the evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk and the half-and-half in a 1-quart measuring cup. Once combined, pour the glaze over the cake. Refrigerate the cake overnight.


Place the heavy cream, sugar and vanilla into the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the whisk attachment, whisk together on low until stiff peaks are formed. Change to medium speed and whisk until thick. Spread the topping over the cake and allow to chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve

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About Kelsey Banfield


Kelsey Banfield

Kelsey Banfield is the food writer and the founder of The Naptime Chef. She writes a daily food column for Babble Food and her food writing has also appeared in the places like Parents magazine, and Martha Stewart Living. Kelsey lives in southern Connecticut with her husband and daughter. Read bio and latest posts → Read Kelsey's latest posts →

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4 thoughts on “Tres Leches Cake

  1. Sue @ JustforLicks says:

    Love, love, love Tres Leches! Your topping looks delicious. I’ve never made it but now that I have a recipe I just might try it.

  2. marla {family fresh cooking} says:

    This cake looks fabulous!

  3. Eli says:

    I absolutely love this cake! I’ve made it before but didn’t do all “the work” that is described here. I simply used a white cake box and made the glaze and whipping cream. It turned out fabulous and was a great hit with my dinner party. Now everyone things I make gormet-time-consuming food but I’ll keep my secret with me!

  4. Serene says:

    Love the photo but going through the ingredients … found out from Googling the recipe n visiting food network that the flour measurement is missing the 6 of the 6 3/4 ounces!

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