Pastel de Tres Leches Cake
Posted by: Tuddles Wed, 18 Feb 2004, at 4:28 a.m.
Serves 10 - 12
Pastel de Tres Leches is a butter cake sometimes flavored with
vanilla. What makes it unusual is that it is soaked in a mixture
of three different milk products, hence the name Tres Leches.
The three milks, when combined, create just the right sweetness,
density and "mouth feel" for a rich cake, making it moist but not
1-½ cups All-purpose flour
1 teaspoon Baking powder
½ cup Unsalted butter
2 cups White sugar (divided)
1-½ teaspoon Vanilla extract (divided)
1 cup Milk
½ of a 14-ounce can Sweetened condensed milk
½ of a 12-ounce can Evaporated milk
1-½ cups Heavy (whipping) cream
1/3 cup Liqueur, Frangelico, Brandy or Chambord, for example (optional)
Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Grease and flour a 9x13-inch baking pan.
Sift flour and baking powder together and set aside. Cream the butter
and 1 cup of the sugar together until fluffy. Add the eggs and 1/2 teaspoon
of the vanilla. Beat well. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, 2
tablespoons at a time, mixing well until blended. Pour batter into prepared
pan. Bake for 30 minutes.
When cake has finished baking, pierce it in 8 or 10 places with a fork or
and let it cool. Combine the whole milk, evaporated milk, condensed milk and
liqueur and pour over the top of the cooled cake. Refrigerate for at least 2
before serving. When ready to serve, combine the whipping cream, 1 teaspoon
of vanilla and 1 cup of sugar, whipping until thick. Spread over top of
Because of the milk in the cake, it is very important that you keep the cake
refrigerated until ready to serve. Serve chilled.
There are any number of ways to add subtle distinction to your Tres Leches
cake. Substituting sweetened coconut milk for the condensed milk, and an
added sprinkle of toasted coconut or fresh shaved coconut will lend a
flair. Also, any variety of complimentary liquors can be added to the rich
soaking mixture. Some recipes call for ¼ cup of rum or brandy. Flavored
like Kahlua or Irish Cream will work nicely. And fruit or nut flavor
liqueurs will enhance the milk mix, too.
Caribbean Version: Replace the sweetened condensed milk with ½ cup of Coco
Lopez Cream of Coconut in the milk mixture. You can also add ¼ cup rum.
Southern Version: In addition to the three milks, add 1/3 cup peach
You can add ½ cup of diced, drained peaches to the batter. About ¼ cup of
pecans can be added to the batter or sprinkled on top of the cake before
Now, if you like cherries, blueberries, raspberries or apples, you can add
this cake much in the same way. Well, what about chocolate? Why not add some
chocolate syrup to the three-milk mixture, or temper in some white
This is another one of those great recipes that allows for culinary
Plus, it is just plain delicious.