Sunday, May 3, 2009

Pastel Tres Leches - Tres Leches Cake Recipe

Pastel Tres Leches (Three-Milk Cake) is a wonderful dense, moist cake topped with vanilla whipped cream. What makes it unique is that after baked, it is perforated and soaked in a mixture of three different milk products. The three milks, when combined, create a distinct texture. I personally like it with an orange flavor to it, the tang of the orange cuts some of the sweetness providing the perfect balance.

Pastel Tres Leches - Tres Leches Cake

Although very popular in Mexico this dessert is enjoyed throughout Latin American. You will find variances in recipes from Mexico, Cuba, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico, Panama, Guatemala, and Costa Rica. Tres leches cakes come in a wide array of presentations and flavor profiles. Here is our version we have enjoyed over the years, taking some traditional ingredients and adding some new.

5 eggs
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup white sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Dash of cinnamon
Dash of grated orange peel
2 Tbsp of Grand Marnier Liqueur

2 cups whole milk
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (12 fluid ounce) can evaporated fat free milk
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Sift flour and baking powder together and set aside.
Cream butter and 1 cup sugar together until fluffy.
Add eggs and the 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract; beat well.
Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture 2 tablespoons at a time; mix until well blended. Grease and flour baking pan, pour batter into prepared pan.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes.

Pastel Tres Leches - Tres Leches Cake

Combine the whole milk, condensed milk, and evaporated milk together. Add a dash of cinnamon, dash of grated orange peel, and 2 tbps of Grand Marnier Liqueur.
Pierce entire cake with toothpicks.
Pour over the top of the cooled cake.
Let cake absorb all the liquid.
Note: We actually refrigerate overnight and let cake absorb leches.

Pastel Tres Leches -Tres Leches Cake

Whip the heavy whipping cream until it beads and add 1/2 cup white sugar, and 1 teaspoon vanilla together until thick. Spread over the top of cake.
Be sure and keep cake refrigerated and serve it well-chilled. Garnish with strawberries and mint. Provecho!

Tres Leches Cake - Pastel Tres Leches

No "The Masa Assassin" isn't going Martha Stewart on you, I just wanted to share a traditional dessert that we are accustom to making in my household. I'm still tweaking my Tijuana Taco Diaries and its back to the Masa soon. We have been working in the kitchen making a variety of quesadillas including Flor De Calabaza (Squash Blossom) with epazote.

flor de calabaza

Print and or Download Printer Friendly Recipe Here
Pastel Tres Leches Masa Assassin Pastel Tres Leches Masa Assassin Masa Aassassin


Anonymous said...

Nice Blog! Will try your recipe today. Not sure what size pan you used for this, 9X13? Hope so.

Laura said...

I just had tres leches for the first time and it was incredible! How can you go wrong with a cake soaked in 3 milks?

Masa Assassin said...

Hi An - Thanks, we used a 11 x 7 pan, we have also used an 8 x 8 in the past, hope this helps.

Hello Laura - Yes tres leches is quite good. Very nice blog you have.

Anonymous said...

Ah...I knew I should have stayed with the 9x13...I used a larger pan because it looked like it was the one you have on the picture and unfortunately the cake is much too thin to soak up all the milk. It still tastes very good, just a bit too wet. Ok, I won't give up on it just yet. Will try the 9x13 or 11x7 on my next attempt.

Siri said...


First time reader- I was taken by seeing a tres leches on tastespotting. It's one of my favorites. I love the idea of using some Grand Marnier in the cake.

Look forward to checking back in on your blog for more great stuff!


Poetica said...

Oh geez, I was googling Tres Leches Cake for a friend who has never tasted and found you. What a great site! I'm checking back in...

Masa Assassin said...

Thanks Poetica you should make the tres leches for your friend :)

Home=Kitchen said...

I LOVE ur blog name!! N the cake came out GREAT! U shud rlly write a book :D Thanks!!

Masa Assassin said...

Thanks home kitchen :)

Anonymous said...

Tres leches is my favorite pastry! I had it for the first time in Nicaragua back in 1996, and then also at a Gandhi bookstore in Mexico City when I was a student there. Your blog post made me hungry for it again.

Anonymous said...

Your recipe might be nice and delicious but if it is not printer friendly then what is the use of posting/sharing it. It would be very inconvenient for me to drag my pc to the kitchen/tedious to hand write too.


Masa Assassin said...

I am working on some web design that will enable readers to print a recipe without the header, sidebars, and photos and without having to highlight the text. Hopefully I can get this to work soon, thanks for your patience.

Dazy said...

I was looking for something creative like this. Then tried this awesome recipe. This recipe does not disappoint. It's a snap to prepare and really tasty.

chou said...

Oh, I can't wait to make this. Off to buy some sweetened condensed milk.

Masa Assassin said...

Hi Dazy, Im glad you enjoyed the recipe.

Hi Chou, I’m sure you will do great judging from some of the awesome stuff you have baked on your site. Would love to hear back on the turnout.

Anonymous said...

This was the best recipe I found! thank you so much!!!

Monica said...

I've been eyeing this recipe for quite some time, and I finally tried it out. IT. WAS. PHENOMENAL. My first time making it, and it was such a success! It was heavenly, not too sweet at all. But what really brought it together was the cream on top. Thank you thank you thank you!

Masa Assassin said...

Thanks so much Monica Im glad it worked out for you. I love hearing this :)

mollykiely said...

...made this for the first time last night and the cake is very tasty. It didn't absorb as much of the milk as I expected -- like Anonymous (May 5), I may have used too big a dish.

But, I came up with a tasty fix, for anyone else who makes the same mistake. I made a white chocolate ganache from the extra, unabsorbed milk and topped the cake with that instead of the whipping cream; turned out great.

Anonymous said...

hi i had a question.
if i make two 13x9 cakes and stack one on top of the other then pour the milk mixture on top will it do anythin to my cake?

MsWestchester said...

Thank you so much for this recipe!! I'm going to try it TODAY - wish me luck!! :-)

DrNyGrL said...

Hi! I was craving this cake and decided to make one.. It's in the oven right now will let you know how it turns out. I lost the recipe my mother gave me a long time ago and now I am trying yours. Will let you know how it turns out!

Sara said...

Thank you so much for posting this recipe! My friend Monica gave me this recipe after I had tried the tres leche cake she made and it was delicious. It was super easy to make and the crowd absolutely loved it! I made it for my friend's cinco de mayo party but now everyone keeps requesting I make this for their events. I've been saying yes to all of them bc it's that easy to make!

The milk mixture is so delicious with the hint of orange, vanilla and cinamon mixed together. Thanks again! I used less sugar than recommended since I felt like it would be too sweet.

john jay said...

oh I like that it looks so tasty this so lovely cake i ever see here on internet.
i love eating that's why im too fat now :)
but most of the time what i eat are any kind of chocolates
like milk chocolate ,French macarons, and macarons london and so on.
well anyway that cake recipe above is interesting i wanna try that.

Anonymous said...

Can I omit the 2 tbsp of liquor? if so, how does that change the taste? Also what could I use a rum flavoring or something like that?.

Rachel Page said...

We definitely make this every time we can. It is very simple and so full of taste. Highly recommended! :D