Tres leches cupcakes involve a sponge cupcake filled with a delicious creamy milk mixture. Finally, topped off with homemade whipped cream and maraschino cherries. Enjoy these with a cup of coffee or tea for a perfect treat!
This pastel de tres leches is a very popular recipe on my blog and so it was the inspiration for this cupcake recipe. I love how cute these are and the fact that they are a small individual serving. Although, one cupcake may certainly be two servings since they’re so incredibly rich. I absolutely love tres leches cake but these cupcakes are definitely giving it a run for its money!
What Does Tres Leches Mean?
Tres Leches simply means “three kinds of milk” in Spanish. Its a mixture of sweetened condensed, evaporated, and whole milk. You bake a sponge dry cake that will soak up all of that mixture and then top it off with whipped cream. It’s mostly popular in Latin America.
How To Make Tres Leches Cupcakes
First, start by whipping the egg whites until they form soft peaks form. Then, whip the egg yolks along with the granulated sugar, 1/2 cup whole milk, and vanilla extract until it is a pale yellow color. Fold in half of the egg whites to the egg yolk mixture and gradually fold in the rest. Sift the all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt and then fold it into the egg mixture.
Fill the cupcake liners 3/4s of the way and bake for 20 minutes in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F. While the cupcakes bake, prepare the milk mixture. Simply mix the whole milk, sweetened condensed milk, and evaporated milk in a measuring cup and stir until well incorporated.
Once the cupcakes are done baking, let them cool completely. Poke lots of holes in the cupcakes using a toothpick or a fork. Pour about 2-3 tbsp of the milk mixture on every cupcake. Continue pouring the milk mixture over them every 2-3 hours. Do this 2-3 times. Top the cupcakes off with whipped cream and cherries if desired.
Top Tips and Recipe Variations
- Let the cupcakes cool completely at room temperature before adding the milk mixture and frosting them.
- If you like it extra soaked, make sure to poke a lot of holes. Using a fork will give you larger holes and make them super moist.
- Replace the whole milk with coconut milk if you’d like to incorporate some coconut flavor. Decorate them with toasted coconut flakes if using coconut milk.
- Avoid any flavor extracts for this recipe.
- Add a pinch of ground cinnamon on top, if desired.
- If you don’t have cherries on hand, feel free to decorate with fresh raspberries, blueberries, or sprinkles.
- Use aluminum cupcakes liners, they are stronger than cupcake paper liners and will be able to contain the milk mixture.
- Insert a toothpick in the center of the cupcakes, if it comes out clean then they’re perfectly baked. But be careful not to overbake.
How Do I Store These?
Refrigerate these for up to 3-4 days in an airtight container.
You guys are going to devour these rich delicious tres leches cupcakes! Please let me know if you have any further questions about this recipe. Don’t forget to share it with friends and family.
More Dessert Ideas…
Tres Leches Cupcakes
- Electric mixer
- 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour sifted
- 1 cup sugar
- 5 eggs separated
- 1/2 cup milk whole
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 + 3 tbsp cup sweetened condensed milk
- 1/2 cup evaporated milk
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1 pint heavy cream
- 3 tbsp powdered sugar or to taste
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form and then set aside.
- In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks with 1/2 cup of sugar. Once it starts getting pale, add the remaining sugar along with the 1/2 cup whole milk and vanilla extract, beat until pale yellow.
- Add half of the egg white mixture to the egg yolk mixture and fold it in gently. Then add the remaining egg white mixture and fold until well incorporated.
- Sift the all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt. Fold the flour mixture into the egg mixture gently.
- Fill a cupcake liner 3/4's of the way using an ice cream scoop. Bake the cupcakes for 20 minutes or until fully cooked through. Let the cupcakes cool completely.
- To prepare the milk mixture, mix the sweetened condensed milk, 1/2 cup whole milk, and evaporated milk.
- Poke holes all over the cupcakes using a fork or toothpick. Pour the milk mixture all over the cupcakes and repeat this step every 2-3 hours. Ideally, you'll want to do this 2-3 times.
- To make the whipped cream, mix the heavy cream and powdered sugar with an electric mixer for 3-4 minutes or until it resembles whipped cream.
- Frost the cupcakes with whipped cream and decorate with cherries, if desired. Enjoy!
- I used 1/2 cup of sweetened condensed milk plus 3 tbsp extra. Feel free to adjust the sweetness to your liking.
- Do not overmix the egg mixture.
- Let the cupcakes cool completely before pouring the milk mixture over them.