Tres Leches Cake (Americas Test Kitchen)

Total Time
Prep 30 mins
Cook 30 mins

From Cook's Country, 2009, absolutely delicious! DH could not stop raving about this one. This cake absorbs all of the milk mixture, and does not sit in its own 'puddle'. When heating the condensed milk, my microwave needed to be at 30% to keep from boiling over.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. For the milk mixture: Pour condensed milk into large microwave-safe bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Microwave on low power, stirring and replacing plastic every 3 to 5 minutes, until slightly darkened and thickened, 9 to 15 minutes. Remove from microwave and slowly whisk in evaporated milk, 1 cup cream, and 1 tsp vanilla. Let cool to room temperature.
  2. For the cake: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour 13 by 9-inch baking pan. Whisk flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon in bowl. Heat butter and milk in small saucepan over low heat until butter is melted; set aside off heat.
  3. With electric mixer on medium speed, beat eggs in large bowl for about 30 seconds, then slowly add sugar until incorporated. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until egg mixture is very thick and glossy, 5 to 7 minutes. Reduce speed to low and slowly mix in melted butter mixture and 2 tsp vanilla. Add flour mixture in three additions, scraping down bowl as necessary, then mix on medium speed until fully incorporated, about 30 seconds. Using rubber spatula, scrape batter into prepared pan and bake until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer cake to wire rack and let cool 10 minutes.
  4. Using skewer, poke holes at 1/2-inch intervals in top of cake. Slowly pour milk mixture over cake until completely absorbed. Let sit at room temperature 15 minutes, then refrigerate uncovered 3 hours or up to 24 hours.
  5. For the frosting: Remove cake from refrigerator 30 minutes before serving. With electric mixer on medium speed, beat 1 cup heavy cream, corn syrup, and 1 tsp vanilla to soft peaks, 1 to 2 minutes. Frost cake and slice into 3-inch squares. Serve. (The assembled cake can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.).
Most Helpful

I seriously, seriously adore this version of the Tres Leches cake! What sets it apart is the slight caramelization of the condensed milk, the sturdy cake crumb, and the cinnamon, and the two applications of vanilla extract. Just spectacular! I went on a Tres Leches making binge over the course of a little over a year, trying 12 different recipes that I'd found across the web and TV just to see which variation I liked best, and also tried a few slices at different restaurants I'd visited - I don't know, I just got it into my head to find a doggone good version, and I have to say it's this one. THIIIIIS ONE! It's really really lovely, with the most developed flavor and feel in your mouth. I'd say if you wanted to kick it up and add some liqueur or extras to this or switch up the topping, this provides the very best base to start with. As for me, I and everyone who has tried this cake (I didn't adjust the recipe at all from what was written) finds this version the most stellar. And so my Tres Leches obsession has concluded, deliciously.

LoveliestChef June 11, 2014

I've become famous for this recipe! I absolutely love that it's not a wet soggy mess like most Tres Leches are. I finish mine off with an italian meringue rather than the whipped cream frosting. Takes it up to a whole other level!

aricheight6 September 11, 2013

I don't know how, but this recipe has managed to make dry tres leches. no, i am not joking. Every time i have made this recipe it has a dense, dry texture to it. By far my least facorite tres leches recipe.

alasor November 30, 2013