Tres Leches Cake

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

By Darra Goldstein

Published 2015

  • About

tres leches cake (pastel de tres leches in Spanish) is a sponge cake soaked in three milks (tres leches), usually condensed milk, evaporated milk, and cream. The immediate origin is almost certainly a recipe developed or at least disseminated by Nestlé in the 1970s or 1980s in cookbooks and on the backs of labels on cans of La Lechera (the milkmaid) condensed milk. The technique of soaking cakes and tortes in liquids goes back several centuries and is found in English trifle and Italian tiramisù. In the Spanish world, antes (starters) were often liquid-soaked cakes and tortes that bridged the sweet-savory boundary.