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Classic Tres Leches Cake

Tres leches means "three milks." This cake gets its name because it uses three kinds of milk—evaporated, condensed and cream. This cake's light and airy texture has made it a classic in Mexican kitchens for generations. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
  • Total Time
    Prep: 45 min. Bake: 20 min. + chilling
  • Makes
    10 servings


  • 4 large eggs, separated, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup sugar, divided
  • 2/3 cup cake flour
  • Dash salt
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 3/4 cup evaporated milk
  • 3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon rum extract
  • 1-1/4 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • Optional: Dulce de leche or sliced fresh strawberries


  • Place egg whites in a large bowl. Line bottom of a 9-in. springform pan with parchment; grease the paper.
  • Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350°. In another large bowl, beat egg yolks until slightly thickened. Gradually add 1/3 cup sugar, beating on high speed until thick and lemon-colored. Fold in flour, a third at a time.
  • Add salt to egg whites; with clean beaters, beat on medium until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating on high after each addition until sugar is dissolved. Continue beating until soft glossy peaks form. Fold a third of the whites into batter, then fold in remaining whites. Gently spread into prepared pan.
  • Bake until top springs back when lightly touched, 20-25 minutes. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Place cake on a rimmed serving plate. Poke holes in top with a skewer. In a small bowl, mix cream, evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk and extracts; brush slowly over cake. Refrigerate, covered, 2 hours.
  • For topping, beat cream until it begins to thicken. Add sugar; beat until peaks form. Spread over top of cake. If desired, top cake with dulce de leche or strawberries just before serving.
Nutrition Facts
1 slice: 392 calories, 23g fat (14g saturated fat), 142mg cholesterol, 104mg sodium, 40g carbohydrate (33g sugars, 0 fiber), 8g protein.

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  • Debbie
    Dec 25, 2020

    I made this Classic Tres Leches cake recipe this morning to serve with Christmas dinner. Followed directions exactly. It has been 4 hours since I added the 3 milks and extracts to the top of the baked cake and it is still not fully absorbed into the cake. Is this to be expected? I have made a chocolate version of a Tres Leches cake and the milk has been fully absorbed in minutes. This looks like it is going to be a plate of mush. What did I do wrong?

  • jennyjoy
    Jun 6, 2020

    This is an amazing Tres Leches cake. It came out perfect. Although, I thought too much flour was added to the egg yolk and sugar mixture because it was very thick. To fix it I added in a little of the whipped egg white at a time till it was thin enough to fold. I didn't have cake flour so I substituted it with 3/4 cup of AP flour and tablespoon of corn starch. I also shifted all of the dry ingredients into the egg yolk mixture to get a smoother cake. I used caramel on top. I'll have to make dulce de leche and use it next time.

  • Vikki
    May 8, 2020

    I don’t see where you add the 3/4 cup of heavy whipping cream in the cake recipe...???

  • shofheins
    Mar 5, 2020

    Would love to try recipe but, I’m with mariegel. When do you add the milks.

  • song_of_joy
    Mar 4, 2020

    Mariegel, the blend of the three milks is brushed (or even poured) over the finished cake, which absorbs the milk like a sponge. Delicious!

  • Sheri
    Mar 4, 2020

    Mariegel - read Step 5. The milks are added then to the poked holes. Tres leches in Spanish means 3 milks,

  • mariegel
    May 26, 2018

    I kept reading the recipe, but when do you add the milks? To the egg yolks after they are beaten? This cake sounds different in that it uses three different milks.

  • suelvsrick
    Sep 30, 2016

    So delicious doesn't need changed at all!!

  • somerset96
    Apr 4, 2013

    No comment left