Sponge cake drenched in a three milk mixture then topped off with homemade whipped cream. This easy pastel de tres leches is super decadent and will be a hit at your next party!
Pastel de tres leches is the cake my mother made for every birthday and holiday. Therefore it only made sense for it to be one of my first Youtube videos. I grew up eating this cake and it’s still one of my favorite cakes.
Tres leches should be super moist and soft even after hours of refrigerating. This is a very rich cake so a small serving will leave you very satisfied.
This cake will melt in your mouth and become your new favorite cake! Since this cake is so rich, I love serving it with tons of fresh fruit. Like strawberries and blueberries.
This tres leches cake recipe is fail-proof, extremely easy to make. I made a 1 layer style cake but feel free to make a 2 layer cake. You can bake the cake and pour the milk mixture over it the night before serving it. All you’ll have to do is prepare the whipped cream and decorate the cake the day of.
What is pastel de tres leches?
Pastel de tres leches is known as a milk cake. It’s a light and airy sponge cake drenched with sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, whole milk, and then topped off with whipped cream. Extremely popular in Latin America. Pastel just means “cake” in Spanish.
What you need to make pastel de tres leches
- All-purpose Flour
- Baking Powder
- Vanilla Extract
- Whole Milk
- Sweetened Condensed Milk
- Evaporated Milk
- Heavy Cream
- Powdered Sugar
How to make pastel de tres leches – step by step
First, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Sift the all-purpose flour, salt, and baking powder (photo 1).
In a separate bowl, beat 5 egg yolks and 1/2 cup of granulated sugar with an electric mixer until the mixture turns a pale yellow color (photos 2 and 3).
Add the sifted flour mixture to the egg and sugar mixture (photo 4).
Place the remaining granulated sugar in a large bowl along with 5 egg whites and mix until firm peaks form (photos 5 and 6).
Add the egg white and sugar mixture to the flour mixture and fold in well (photos 7 and 8).
Place the batter into a buttered 9×13 baking pan and bake for 35-40 minutes (photos 9 and 10).
Let the cake cool completely and then invert onto a large platter. In a large bowl combine the condensed milk, evaporated milk, and 1/3 cup whole milk (photo 11).
Using a fork or skewer, poke holes all over the cake (photo 12).
Pour the milk mixture all over the cake and refrigerate for 1 hour (photo 13).
Place the heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract in a large bowl and mix with an electric mixer. Mix for 3-4 minutes (picture 14).
Frost the entire cake with the whipped cream (photo 15).
Decorate with strawberries and blueberries, if desired (photo 16).
Top tips for making pastel de tres leches:
- Use room temperature eggs and fresh ingredients.
- Do not overmix the cake batter.
- If you don’t want to make homemade whipped cream, use store-bought whipped cream.
Recipe tips and variations:
- Variations include adding sweetened canned fruit like pineapples or peaches.
- Want some crunch? Add some roughly chopped walnuts or pecans.
- You may serve a warm slice of tres leches cake by heating a slice in the microwave before adding the whipped cream.
How long is tres leches cake good for in the fridge?
This cake will last 3-4 days in the fridge. Although, I highly recommend eating on the first or second day.
More dessert recipes you’ll enjoy:
Pastel de Tres Leches Cake
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- pinch of salt
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup whole milk
- 5 large eggs separated
- 1 can condensed milk
- 1 can evaporated milk
- 1/3 cup whole milk
- 1 pint heavy cream
- 3 tbsp powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Sift the all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt set aside.
- Using an electric mixer, beat the egg yolks and 1/2 cup sugar until the egg yolks turn a pale yellow color.
- Add the vanilla extract and milk, set aside.
- In a separate bowl using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites and remaining 1/2 cup sugar until firm peaks form. 5-6 minutes.
- Mix the flour mixture into the egg yolk mixture until well combined, then fold in the egg whites.
- Place the batter in a buttered 9x13 baking dish and bake for 35-40 minutes.
- Let the cake cool completely and then invert onto a large platter.
- Whisk the whole milk, condensed milk, and evaporated milk.
- Poke holes all over the cake and drizzle the milk mixture all over and refrigerate for 1 hour.
- To make the frosting, whip the heavy cream for 3-4 minutes or until it starts resembling whipped cream
- Add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract and mix for an additional 20 seconds.
- Frost the entire cake with the whipped cream, serve with fresh berries, and enjoy!