Tres Leches Cake

20 Mins Preparation Time
35 Mins Cooking Time
40 Mins Resting Time

This is a recipe for a cake that is originally from Latin America, soaked in three milks and topped with cream. A dream cake, in other words ...


For the cake:

  • 130 g ( oz) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 5 eggs
  • 200 g (7 oz) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 80 ml ( fl oz/¼ cup) full-cream (whole) milk
  • 1 teaspoon natural vanilla extract
  • 250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) evaporated milk
  • 250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) sweetened condensed milk
  • 65 ml (2 fl oz) thin (pouring/whipping) cream

To decorate:

  • 350 ml (12 fl oz) thin (pouring/whipping) cream, well chilled
  • 2 tablespoons icing (confectioners’) sugar
  • Preserved maraschino cherries


MAKE THE CAKE. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4). Butter a baking tin or dish, measuring about 23 x 28 cm (9 x 11¼ inches). Combine the flour and the baking powder in a large mixing bowl. Separate the eggs.

IN ANOTHER MIXING BOWL, WHISK THE EGG YOLKS WITH 150 G ( OZ) OF THE CASTER SUGAR UNTIL THEY ARE PALE AND HAVE DOUBLED IN VOLUME. Add the milk and vanilla. Pour this mixture over the flour and gently mix it in to make a smooth batter.

BEAT THE EGG WHITES TO SOFT PEAKS WITH AN ELECTRIC BEATER, THEN POUR IN THE REST OF THE SUGAR. Keep beating until the egg whites form firm peaks. Fold them gently into the previous mixture, lifting and turning with a spatula.

POUR THE BATTER INTO THE BUTTERED BAKING TIN OR DISH AND BAKE FOR ABOUT 35 MINUTES. Check whether the cake is cooked by inserting the blade of a knife into the middle; it should come out clean. When the cake comes out of the oven, let it cool slightly before turning it out onto a rack, then place it in a rectangular dish, slightly larger than the baking dish, to cool completely.

COMBINE THE EVAPORATED AND CONDENSED MILKS WITH THE CREAM IN A BOWL. Prick all over the surface of the cake with a fork, then pour over this mixture so the cake can gently absorb it. Let it rest for 30–40 minutes.

MAKE THE CREAM FOR TOPPING THE CAKE. Whip the cream with the icing sugar using an electric beater until light. Spread this mixture over the cake, then return it to the fridge before serving. Decorate the cake with maraschino cherries (compulsory!) and serve.