Favorite Tres Leches Cake Recipe
Favorite Tres Leches Cake Recipe photo by Taste of Home
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Favorite Tres Leches Cake Recipe

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During our extensive travels to Central America, my husband and I have sampled many kinds of the popular tres leches (three milks) cake. We think this is the absolute best! --Joan Meyers, Palos Park, Illinois
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 45 min. + chilling Bake: 20 min. + standing
MAKES:15 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 45 min. + chilling Bake: 20 min. + standing
MAKES: 15 servings


  • 6 eggs
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
  • 1 cup 2% milk
  • 3 egg yolks, beaten
  • 1/4 cup rum, optional
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

Nutritional Facts

1 piece: 357 calories, 7g fat (4g saturated fat), 143mg cholesterol, 156mg sodium, 64g carbohydrate (51g sugars, 0 fiber), 10g protein.


  1. Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, beat eggs for 3 minutes. Gradually add sugar and vanilla; beat for 2 minutes or until mixture becomes thick and lemon-colored. Combine flour and baking powder; fold into egg mixture. Spread batter into a greased 13x9-in. baking dish.
  2. Bake 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Place on a wire rack. Poke holes in cake with a skewer, about 1/2 in. apart.
  3. In a small saucepan, bring the three milks to a boil over medium-low heat. Remove from heat; gradually stir a small amount of hot mixture into egg yolks. Return all to pan, stirring constantly. Stir in rum if desired. Bring to a gentle boil; cook and stir 2 minutes.
  4. Slowly pour milk mixture over cake, allowing mixture to absorb into cake. Let stand 30 minutes. Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.
  5. In a large heavy saucepan, combine frosting ingredients over low heat. With a hand mixer, beat on low speed 1 minute. Continue beating on low over low heat until frosting reaches 160°, about 14-18 minutes.
  6. Pour into a large bowl; beat on high until stiff peaks form, about 7 minutes. Spread over cake. Store in the refrigerator. Yield: 15 servings.
Originally published as Tres Leches Cake in Taste of Home's Holiday & Celebrations Cookbook Annual 2010, p235

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kckamargo63 User ID: 7981779 240585
Reviewed Dec. 30, 2015

"I made this cake for my husband's birthday. It's one of his favorite cakes and It turned out pretty good, although I felt that there was too much milk mixture. I also used a seafoam frosting rather than the topping given here."

KWeckerly User ID: 4736203 186498
Reviewed Apr. 28, 2014

"I want to make this cake but am confused--Does it use six eggs for the cake and an additional six for the milk mixture and frosting? I looked at another recipe that called for a total of five eggs."

DDPLoeches User ID: 1536323 105584
Reviewed May. 2, 2013

"The extra 1/4 cup of rum is added to the liquid that's poured on top, not to the cake batter. It'll be 2 oz less liquid than the approximately 32 oz of liquids that you pour on top of the cake. It shouldn't make much difference, except that it won't taste like rum."

Maiden Faire User ID: 5247517 117261
Reviewed Apr. 29, 2013

"I am curious, it says that the 1/4 cup of rum is optional. I don't care for the taste of alcohol so prefer to omit it; however leaving out 1/4 cup of liquid isn't the same as leaving out a tablespoon of liquid. How does it affect the final outcome of the cake? Are there any other adjustments that need to be made?"

sarahjames User ID: 3204221 174702
Reviewed Apr. 18, 2012

"Hi - You can simply use a whisk as an alternative to the hand mixer. You should beat the frosting ingredients over low heat until the frosting reaches 160 degrees. It should take about the same amount of time, but a bit more elbow grease. The point of this exercise is to get the eggs up to proper temperature (160 degrees.) Then simply follow the remaining directions: Pour into a large bowl; beat on high until stiff peaks form, about 7 minutes."

juliesinfort User ID: 3418575 186497
Reviewed Apr. 18, 2012

"I've always wanted to try Tres Leches cake and since this is someone's fav, I'd like to make it. But I have no saucepans without a non-stick interior, so cannot use a mixer in them. Can someone suggest a modified way to make the frosting?"

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