Bunsen Burner Bakery

Tres Leches Cake

A simple vanilla sponge cake soaked in a sweet three-milk glaze and covered with freshly made whipped cream, Tres Leches Cake is delightfully moist and rich. This easy-to-follow recipe guarantees the perfect balance of sweet cake and custardy texture for a truly decadent dessert!

overhead view of a tres leches cake covered in whipped cream and sliced strawberries.

Despite the vast number of cake recipes on this site, I’m going to go ahead and admit something: I don’t actually love (most) cakes. Much of this stems from the fact that I don’t really like frosting. And of course, frosting and cake go hand-in-hand most of the time.

There is one cake, however, that has always been the exception to the rule: tres leches cake. In case you’re not familiar, a tres leches cake is a spongey vanilla cake with — you guessed it — three kinds of milk poured over the top.

The milk soaks into the cake and creates a creamy, dreamy, custardy texture. And then the whole cake is topped with fluffy whipped cream and YES, PLEASE.

No one actually knows the origins of the cake, though the two main lines of thought seem to be Mexico or Nicaragua. Recipes for milk-soaked cakes date as early as the 19th century in Mexico, though whether this originated there is up for debate. You’ll often find tres leches cakes on the menu at Mexican restaurants, but with the helpful tips I’ll include below, now you can make them at home!

Tres leches cakes do require a little more work than just dumping ingredients together and baking. You’ll have to whip egg whites (the secret to the fluffy sponge cake!) and while you could use store-bought whipped cream, making your own at home is really so much better for this.

But don’t worry! Even if you’ve never whipped an egg white before, I have all the tips and tricks you need to make this truly spectacular cake.

side view of a square slice of tres leches cake on a pink scalloped plate.
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