Tres Leches Cake (Alton Brown)

"Tres Leches translates to "three milks" which is what makes this cake unbelivably moist, light, and sweet without being overly so. I recently served this at my fiance's birthday dinner and it was a huge hit. But of course, as my fiance says, "Alton Brown is THE MAN!" You do need to start the cake the day before you plan to serve it, so keep that in mind with your timing."
photo by BombshellLightsey photo by BombshellLightsey
photo by BombshellLightsey
Ready In:
1 cake




  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Butter and flour a 9 x 13 inch baking pan. Avoid using a very shallow pan.
  • Whisk to combine cake flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  • Cream butter with mixer.
  • Slowly add 1 cup of sugar to butter until combined.
  • Pour eggs into mixture one at a time, making sure that each egg is combined before adding the next egg.
  • Add 1.5 tsp vanilla.
  • Slowly add the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined.
  • Pour batter into the buttered and floured baking pan and smooth.
  • Bake for 20 - 25 minutes until golden brown.
  • Remove cake from oven and allow to cool completely.
  • Perforate cake all over using skewers or a fork.
  • Stir together the evaporated milk, condensed milk, and half-and-half.
  • Pour milk over cake and refrigerate overnight (or 8 hours) to allow the cake to soak up all the milks.
  • Before serving, whip heavy cream, 1 cup sugar, and 1 tsp vanilla until thickened.
  • Spread whipped topping over cake and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Questions & Replies

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  1. Use this recipe all the time. My wife is Mexican and says it's better than a lot of the cake shops around town. I always come back to this recipe. Traditionally, they make this like a layer cake with the fruit in the middle and the whipped cream as icing, decorating the cake based on the event. Strawberry and peaches are most common between the layers. If using the whipped cream as icing, you will need a stabilizer such as gelatin to hold it.
  2. Excellent recipe!
  3. I have made this cake easily a dozen times- always a crowd pleaser! I always add fresh berries on top? perfect every time!
  4. I love this recipe! My friend from Mexico says that her family likes to put fruit on it. (I think that's actually how most people in Mexico do it.) She uses canned peach slices; just drain them and place the slices on top of the whipped cream right before serving.
  5. oh, dear, i missread and thought that alton brown made this for his fiancee and then proceeded to tell people that i would of all the glorious renditions available select this one as if brown did it for his girl, to think of all the recipes he could have chosen, it must be the bomb! oh well, gonna do it anyhow as it's his recipe and it looks traditional and he picks up on the innuendo. believe the real thing has a dense or course cake for absorption purposes. thanks for the submission, read above and apparently missed his show making this creation. thanks again.



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