Tres Leches Cake from Cafe Central, El Paso

Recipe by Jessica T

I visited El Paso and was won over by the excellent "Cafe Central" restaurant downtown. Upon arriving home, I searched the internet for their recipes and found one from the 1999 Texas Monthly magazine, courtesy of Cafe Central's pastry chef, Maria Devora. Instead of merengue icing, it substitutes a "sugar-cream." All prep times are guesses.

Top Review by CookofLove

I'm from El Paso and was excited to try your recipe from the famous Cafe Central! My DH loves tres leches but this cake came out too dense and not really tasting like tres leches even though the flavor was good, especially the icing. I'm not sure what went wrong...

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Cake:.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Separate egg yolks and whites, keeping whites at room temperature.
  4. In bowl of an electric mixer, cream sugar and butter together until pale yellow and fluffy.
  5. Add egg yolks and beat until fluffy again, 2 to 3 minutes on medium-high speed.
  6. In a separate bowl combine flour and baking powder.
  7. In a third bowl mix milk and vanilla.
  8. Alternately add the flour mixture and the milk mixture to the butter mixture (a fourth at a time) until all are combined.
  9. Beat until smooth after each addition.
  10. Beat egg whites with cream of tartar until soft peaks form and, using a large spatula, gently but thoroughly fold into flour-and-butter mixture.
  11. Grease bottom of a 9- by 13-inch metal baking pan.
  12. Pour in batter and bake for approximately 25 minutes, until golden brown. Allow to cool.
  13. (May also be baked in an 11.5- by 17.5-inch sheet pan for 20 minutes; this size rises very evenly, helpful for inexperienced cooks.).
  14. Three Milks:.
  15. Stir the milks together thoroughly; do not beat.
  16. Do not refrigerate canned milks before using.
  17. Cream Icing:.
  18. Whip cream and sugar together until stiff.
  19. When cake is cool, slice or peel off the thin top crust.
  20. Ice sides first, creating a small lip on top to catch milk mixture.
  21. Pour milk mixture evenly over top of cake (if necessary, poke holes in cake with a knife or toothpick to facilitate soaking; you will probably need only 3/4of mixture).
  22. Finish icing top.
  23. Refrigerate.
  24. (If using an 11.5- by 17.5-inch pan, cut cake in half to make 2 equal pieces. Soak first layer, ice top if desired, and place second layer on top of it. Proceed as above.) Serves 12.

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