Tres Leches cake is a sponge cake that is soaked in three kinds of milk and topped with sweetened whipped cream and fruit. It is a rich moist delectable treat. This version gets a little help from a cake mix making it an easy and quick dessert to whip up.
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Tres Leches is a popular treat at celebrations throughout Central America and the United States with its origins contributed to a number of Latin nations. Basically, it’s so good everyone claims it! My kiddos wanted Mexican food (chicken taquitos and cheese dip) for dinner on Sunday. So I decided to have a bit of fun and carry the Mexican food theme into dessert. Any excuse to make some cake!!
There are so many recipes out there for Tres Leches cake and they are all delicious. It’s really hard to go wrong with a cake that is soaked in sweetened condensed milk and heavy cream. This recipe is just as yummy but no need to spend time measuring all the dry ingredients. Just open up a cake mix.
I tried to keep this as close to traditional as I could considering I was using a cake mix. To do this, I did change up a few ingredients from what is recommended on the box like using milk instead of water and melted butter instead of oil. The trick to getting a spongy cake from a cake mix is to add an extra egg and separate them. Once separated, I added the yolks to the batter and whipped the egg whites to stiff peaks and then folded them into the batter as the last step before baking. The result is amazingly buttery sponge cake.
Let’s Make Tres Leches Cake!
First combine the 4 egg yolks, 1/2 cup melted butter, 1 box of yellow or white cake mix and 1 1/4 cup milk. Whisk together and then set aside.
In a separate bowl whip the egg whites with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form.
Now to combine them- fold a small amount of the egg whites into the first mixture of the yolk and cake mix. Then add all of that to the egg whites. Carefully and gently fold the mixtures together so as not to flatten the egg whites. It will be light and fluffy.
Pour the batter into a greased 13″x9″ baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean and the top will be golden. Set aside to cool completely.
While the cake is cooling, make the tres leeches. Combine 1 teaspoon of vanilla, with a can of evaporated milk, a can of sweetened condensed milk, and a cup of heavy cream.
Poke holes all over the cake using a skewer or toothpick. Slowly pour the three milks mixture all over the cake then refrigerate for an hour or more. The spongy cake will soak up the yummy milk mixture.
Now for the topping:
While the cake is in the fridge soaking up the tres leches, make the sweetened whipped cream and cut up the fruit. To make the whipped cream, whip 2 cups of heavy whipping cream with 1/2 cup sugar and a teaspoon of vanilla until stiff peaks form. Spread the whipped cream evenly over the top of the cake.
For the fruit, I used strawberries and kiwi cut into circles to give it a bit of a uniform look. I’ve seen it with other fruit too. Like pineapples and maraschino cherries cut and arranged in all kinds of decorative ways. Spread the fruit over the top if the cake however you like. Just try not to do so much that the whipped cream goes flat. Refrigerate the cake again until ready to serve.
And that’s it! This rich delicious cake is perfect for Cinco de Mayo or for any celebration. Now it’s your turn to get your Tres Leches Cake on!