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Tres Leches Cake is an incredibly delicious milk-soaked sponge cake topped with whipped cream.  So good! 

Tres Leches Cake

This Tres Leches Cake was created in partnership with the dairy farm families of New England. All opinions are 100% ours.
If you need a special dessert for a special occasion – Tres Leches Cake will fit the bill 100%!

What is Tres Leches Cake?

Tres Leches Cake is a popular Latin American dessert that translates to “three milks” cake – and it’s essentially a version of the poke cakes that so many people know and love.
A light and buttery sponge cake is first baked, then poked with holes. Then, a mixture of three kinds of milk (sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, and cream) is poured over the top of the cake so it soaks in.
Tres Leches Cake
After chilling the cake overnight (so the milks really have a chance to get absorbed), the cake is frosted with whipped cream and sprinkled with a dusting of cinnamon before serving.
Tres Leches Cake

Partner News

Our partners, The New England Dairy Promotion Board and their sister organization New England Dairy & Food Council are now known simply as New England Dairy. Check out their new website at and read more about the name change here.

More than 1,000 dairy farming families call New England their home. Through the use of innovative and safe technologies, the dairy industry delivers exceptional animal care, sustainable nutrition, and a high-quality fresh product we can all enjoy.

Tres Leches Cake

Cooking and Baking with Dairy

Cow’s milk dairy contains important vitamins and minerals like Vitamin D, calcium, and high-quality protein. Cheese and yogurt are also sources of calcium and protein, along with other essential nutrients.

Not to mention – dairy is delicious! (Have you noticed that so many of the best recipes around include dairy?)

Tres Leches Cake

You may enjoy these other recipes made with dairy from the dairy farmers of New England:

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Tres Leches Cake

Tres Leches Cake

  • Author: A Family Feast
  • Prep Time: 12 hours 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 13 hours 15 minutes
  • Yield: 12 servings
  • Category: dessert
  • Method: baking
  • Cuisine: Mexican



Butter and flour, to prepare a 9×13-inch pan

1 cup whole milk

1 cinnamon stick

6 tablespoons butter

7 whole eggs

2 cups granulated sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt


¼ cup heavy cream

1 can sweetened condensed milk

1 can evaporated milk


2 cups heavy cream

¼ cup confectioner’s sugar

Ground cinnamon to dust the top


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

**This cake preparation method is not the traditional way that a cake is usually made, which is to cream sugar and butter, beat in eggs and then alternate wet and dry. Instead, please follow the steps below carefully. The result is a light and airy cake.

Butter and flour a 9X13 inch pan and set aside.

In a small sauce plan place milk, cinnamon stick and butter and heat to melt butter, do not boil.

While the milk mixture is heating, in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat eggs on medium speed for four full minutes, no less.

Add sugar and beat for four more minutes, no less.

Add vanilla, mix and scrape bowl then mix again. Make sure all residue from the bottom is scraped and incorporated into the batter before going to the next step.

Sift flour, baking powder and salt and slowly add to the egg mixture with machine running on low.

Scrape the bowl and beat to combine.

Remove and discard cinnamon stick from milk.

With the mixer running on low, slowly drizzle in the hot milk and butter. Beat, scrape the bowl and beat again.

Add the batter to the prepared pan and bake for 40-45 minutes, carefully rotating half way through. Be careful not to handle the pan too hard as it may deflate.

After 35 minutes, insert a tooth pick into the center to test for doneness and continue baking until a tooth pick comes out clean and the center of the cake bounces back.

Cool on a rack completely.

Once cool, use a wooden skewer or a chop stick and poke lots of holes in the top. I poked a few hundred holes.

Mix the heavy cream, sweetened condensed milk and the evaporated milk in a 2-cup measuring cup with a spout and slowly pour all over the cake getting the mixture to absorb into the holes and not all drip down the edges. Pour slowly to accomplish this.

Cover and place in the refrigerator overnight or at least four hours. (I put a bunch of toothpicks over the top before covering with plastic so the plastic didn’t stick to the top of the cake).

After the cake sits for four hours or overnight, whip the heavy cream and confectioner’s sugar to a soft whipped consistency and spread over the top of the cake.

Dust with cinnamon then cut 4X3 into 12 pieces.

Use a strong spatula to remove the pieces, making sure to get the spatula all the way under each piece so they don’t stick to the bottom. The bottom will be slightly moist.

Keywords: tres leches cake, milk


Tres Leches Cake

Tres Leches Cake

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  • Meet The Author: Martha

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  • Lisa Barger wrote:

    Your cake is beautiful! It doesn’t look soggy and there is no milk standing at the bottom like all the other Tres Leches Cakes I have seen. Why isn’t yours that way? I love it that yours isn’t that way!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Lisa! My husband Jack developed this recipe and his cake is lighter and more absorbent than some of the cakes we’ve eaten in the past – I think that did the trick! 🙂

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