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Margarita Tres Leches Cake

The first time I had tres leches cake I felt like I was in heaven. I have made it using several techniques and flavors, but this Margarita Tres Leches Cake is my favorite. —Laurie Lufkin, Essex, Massachusetts
  • Total Time
    Prep: 20 min. Bake: 20 min. + chilling
  • Makes
    15 servings


  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup tequila
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 6 tablespoons key lime juice, divided
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup 2% milk
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • Optional: Whipped cream, and lime slices and zest


  • Place egg whites in a large bowl; let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Grease and flour a 13x9-in. baking pan; set aside. Preheat oven to 375°.
  • Beat sugar, tequila, butter, yolks, 3 tablespoons lime juice and vanilla until well blended. Combine flour, baking soda and salt; gradually beat into yolk mixture until blended.
  • Add confectioners' sugar and cream of tarter to egg whites; beat with clean beaters until stiff peaks form. Fold into batter. Transfer to prepared pan.
  • Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 18-20 minutes. Place pan on a wire rack. With a wooden skewer, poke holes in cake about 1/2 in. apart.
  • Beat condensed milk, 2% milk, evaporated milk, whipping cream and remaining lime juice until blended. Drizzle over cake; let stand for 30 minutes. Refrigerate for 2 hours before serving.
  • Cut cake into squares. If desired, garnish with whipped cream, lime slices and zest.

Margarita Tres Leches Cake Tips

What is the origin of tres leches cake?

The origin story of the classic tres leches cake is a little murky. While most claim it's an authentic Mexican dessert, others believe it originated in a different country, like Nicaragua, Cuba or Puerto Rico. No matter where it originated from, it's a sweet favorite in a lot of regions.

Can I use regular lime juice instead of Key lime juice in this cake?

Yes, it's fine to use regular lime juice instead of Key lime juice. You'll hardly notice the difference between Key limes and regular limes when baked into a delicious cake like this one. If you do opt for Key limes and wind up with extra juice on hand, use it up in these Key lime dessert recipes.

How long does Margarita Tres Leches Cake last?

This Margarita Tres Leches Cake recipe lasts for about four days when stored in the fridge. If you're making it in advance for a celebration, you can bake it the day before and it will still taste fresh.

Research contributed by Christina Herbst, Taste of Home Assistant Digital Editor, and Sarah Tramonte, Taste of Home Associate Culinary Producer
Nutrition Facts
1 piece: 345 calories, 14g fat (8g saturated fat), 88mg cholesterol, 282mg sodium, 46g carbohydrate (34g sugars, 0 fiber), 7g protein.

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