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Shortcut Tres Leches Cake

My mom's favorite cake is tres leches, a butter cake soaked in three kinds of milk. I developed a no-fuss version that’s rich and tender. —Marina Castle Kelley, Canyon Country, California
  • Total Time
    Prep: 20 min. + chilling Bake: 30 min. + cooling
  • Makes
    20 servings


  • 1 package butter recipe golden cake or yellow cake mix (regular size)
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup 2% milk
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 3 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a 13x9-in. baking pan.
  • In a large bowl, combine cake mix, eggs, milk, softened butter and vanilla; beat on low speed 30 seconds. Beat on medium 2 minutes. Transfer to prepared pan. Bake 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack 20 minutes.
  • In a 4-cup measuring cup, whisk topping ingredients until blended. Using a skewer, generously poke holes in top of warm cake. Pour milk mixture slowly over cake, filling holes. Cool 30 minutes longer. Refrigerate, covered, at least 4 hours or overnight.
  • In a bowl, beat cream until it begins to thicken. Add confectioners' sugar and vanilla; beat until soft peaks form. Spread over cake.
Nutrition Facts
1 piece: 343 calories, 20g fat (12g saturated fat), 89mg cholesterol, 257mg sodium, 36g carbohydrate (28g sugars, 0 fiber), 6g protein.
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  • Joanne
    Oct 27, 2020

    This cake looks awesome. I went to the store today and bought everything I need to make it. I have one question and would appreciate it if you could answer it before I attempt to make it. You said "1 package butter recipe golden cake or yellow cake mix (regular size)". These days cake mixes has gone down from 18 oz to 15.25 oz. Will the 15.25 oz Pillsbury yellow cake mix work with the 3 large eggs, 2/3 cup 2% milk, 1/2 cup butter, softened, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract? Thank you for your response to my question.

  • TallMaryAnn
    Oct 26, 2020

    That was so darned easy and delicious! I only added raspberries and a little cocoa powder on top Thanks!

  • Melanie
    Aug 27, 2020

    I made this cake for my son-in-laws Birthday, decorating with Kiwi fruit, raspberries, strawberries, blueberries and blackberries around the edges, and writing Happy Birthday in the middle. It was a Beautiful Cake! The flavor is Excellent...much better than a store bought Tres Leche cake. I am definitely going to make it again, but think I will lessen the amount of the three milks that are poured over the top, as it was quite wet on the bottom and I am interested to see how a little less milk would make it. My son-in-law loved it, so possibly an authentic Tres Leche Cake is supposed to be that wet. Thanks for the Recipe! Very easy to make!

  • Mayela
    Jun 20, 2020

    I followed the recipe and everyone on my family and I really liked the taste of this cake, I would make it again. Highly recommended.

  • Madelyn
    Jun 16, 2020

    I'm making this recipe for the fourth time. It's so easy and delicious! My husband is always asking me to make it again. Would definitely recommend!

  • Vanessa
    Feb 11, 2020

    OMG!!! This cake was AMAZING!!!! Not too sweet and just the right consistency. It was super easy to make with already at hand ingredients. My husband absolutely LOVED it! I'm definitely going to continue to make this delicious cake for years to come. Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe! ??

  • Rusty
    Jan 6, 2020

    I was invited to a traditional Mexican dinner party this evening, I said I would bring I googled “quick and easy Tres Leches Cake recipes” and this is the one I chose...OMG....!!! Perfection...the recipe was simple with very few ingredients, all of which I had in my pantry or fridge...and the result was heaven, sweet but not too sweet, creamy without losing the cake texture and a HUGE HIT at the dinner party, and it got a two thumbs up from my hosts who grew up with this cake being made at holidays and for special occasions in their native Mexico...I highly recommend it!!

  • Katie
    Dec 12, 2019

    Simple and delicious! I love tres leches, and this a fantastic shortcut. Note: It isn’t hard to make whipped cream if you use an electric mixer and a cold bowl. For the love of all that is holy, do not use Cool Whip. If you absolutely have to shortcut, use Reddi whip or another canned whipped cream, which is actually made of cream. Cool Whip isn’t, and does not do justice to the flavors that this cake is supposed to capture.

  • asprouse79
    Oct 27, 2019

    Very simple to make and tasty. My mother loved it, my children, not so much!

  • Dave
    Sep 14, 2019

    Almost forgot, if you want to make the coolest looking Halloween cake make a Tres Leche tiered cake and top it with frozen raspberries. The raspberries will bleed all over the cake and make it look like the greatest bloody Halloween cake you’ve ever seen!!! Seriously. It’s really cool!!!!!