I had this cake for the first time over a year ago, and I remember it very well.  It came along as the dessert course of a post-baby dinner delivery courtesy of good friend and gourmand, Courtney.  The rest of the meal was super yummy, too, and it was with deep regrets that we were unable to return the favor to them when she delivered last August.  No way the Soup Peddler could compete with this cake.  Lucky for me, Courtney shared her recipe with me, and now I will share it with you.

On first glance, its not hard to see why this cake would be delicious.  Six eggs, almost six cups of cream, cans of evaporated and condensed milk.  But no butter, so its kind of healthy, right?  I made two 8″ cakes for two occasions, but 9″x13″ works too.  After I pulled the towering layers out of the oven, I found it hard to believe I could possibly coax 6 cups of tres leches in there, but that spongy cake lapped it up and asked for more.  You need one night to chill, but don’t worry if it goes longer, it actually gets better.  It’s not bad for breakfast, either, if I remember clearly from those bleary mornings of Miles’ newborn days.  Not bad at all.

Tres Leches Cake

  • Six eggs, separated
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 9 oz (1 and a half cans) evaporated milk
  • 14 oz (1 can) sweetened condensed milk
  • 3 cups whipping cream
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups whipping cream
  • powdered sugar to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 350F, and grease and flour your pan(s) – either two 8″ rounds or one 9″x13″.
  2. Sift together flour and baking soda, set aside.  Measure out your milk, set aside.  In a large bowl with an electric mixer (or use your stand mixer, just don’t gloat to me about it), whip the egg whites until soft peaks form.  With beaters running, add the sugar slowly and whip to stiff, glossy peaks.
  3. Working quickly to avoid losing air, add yolks to the egg whites and sugar, beating until incorporated.  Then alternatively add flour and milk until incorporated.  Mix in vanilla.
  4. Spread batter into the prepared pan(s).  Bake 20-25 minutes until golden on top.  Remove from oven and use a toothpick to poke holes all over the top of the cakes.
  5. Meanwhile, whisk condensed milk, evaporated milk, 3 cups of cream and 2 tsp vanilla.  While cakes are still hot, slowly pour milk mixture over hole-poked cake, until all the milk is absorbed.  I had the two cakes and kept going back and forth between them, pouring on about 3/4 cup at a time.
  6. Cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate 4 hours or overnight. At this point, I removed my cakes from the pan to ease serving. This required loosening the cakes from the bottom of the pan with a spatula, then inverting it onto a plate.  Before serving, whip remaining cream to peaks, adding as much sugar as you like (I don’t like much), then spread on top.
  7. Serve, preferably following a feast of mexican martinis, fajitas, enchiladas, salsa verde, guacamole, homemade tortillas and pico de gallo.
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