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Tres Leches Cake Recipe

Tres Leches Cake Recipe

Finish off a fiesta with a piece of this moist and refreshing cake from Anna Yeatts of Pinehurst, North Carolina. Though it’s been lightened, the sweet flavors of this traditional Mexican dessert aren’t lost, making it the perfect end to any meal.
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 35 min. Bake: 20 min. + chilling YIELD:15 servings


  • 5 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar, divided
  • 1 tablespoon butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup fat-free milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 can (14 ounces) fat-free sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 can (12 ounces) fat-free evaporated milk
  • 1 cup fat-free half-and-half
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 15 tablespoons frozen reduced-fat whipped topping
  • 15 fresh strawberries


  • 1. Place egg whites in a large bowl; let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Coat a 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish with cooking spray and dust with flour; set aside.
  • 2. In a large bowl, beat egg yolks on high speed for 5 minutes or until thick and lemon-colored. Gradually beat in 3/4 cup sugar and butter. Stir in milk and vanilla. Sift flour and baking powder; gradually add to yolk mixture and mix well (batter will be thick).
  • 3. With clean beaters, beat egg whites on medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in remaining sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, on high until stiff peaks form. Gradually fold into batter.
  • 4. Spread evenly into prepared dish. Bake at 350° for 18-22 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched. Place on a wire rack.
  • 5. In a large saucepan, combine the condensed milk, evaporated milk and half-and-half. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly; cook and stir for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat; stir in vanilla. Cool slightly.
  • 6. Cut cake into 15 pieces, leaving cake in the baking dish. Poke holes in cake with a skewer. Slowly pour a third of the milk syrup over cake, allowing syrup to absorb into the cake. Repeat twice. Let stand for 30 minutes.
  • 7. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours before serving. Top each piece with whipped topping and a strawberry. Yield: 15 servings.

Nutritional Facts

1 piece: 233 calories, 3g fat (2g saturated fat), 76mg cholesterol, 126mg sodium, 42g carbohydrate (34g sugars, 1g fiber), 8g protein.

Reviews for Tres Leches Cake

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Lia Turnbull
Reviewed May. 18, 2015 Edited May. 19, 2015

"I am said Mexican called for, born and raised in the state of Puebla. I needed to make a tres leches cake, but Mexicans are terrible at written recipes. I made this recipe, and with some minor changes, it was a hit (among the Mexicans I served it to). If you want to try for a more authentic taste and presentation you can try my changes:

- I made it in a round cake pan, and after cooling slightly, I turned it out on a rack, cooled some more, and sliced into a top half and bottom half.
- I only used half of the syrup called for, dividing it between my layers.
- I reduced the amount of condensed milk, so my syrup was 3/4 cup evaporated milk, 1/2 cup half and half and 100 gr condensed milk (though I don't know how Mexican condensed milk compares to what you would buy in the US)
- After pouring the syrup over the bottom half (if you place it sliced side up, you don't need holes for it to absorb), I spread whipped cream, and a layer of sliced fresh strawberries, then put the top half on, sliced side up. After pouring on the remaining syrup, I "frosted" it with more whipped cream, and decorated with strawberries.
So on the whole, I recommend the recipe, and I hope my comment is helpful!"

Reviewed Nov. 20, 2011

"The recipe calls for 5 eggs.

The first step of the instructions deals with the egg whites, the second step deals with the egg yolks."

Reviewed Nov. 20, 2011

"i dont understand this recipe it doesnt even call for egg whites in the recipe ! it confused the [expletive] out of me i need to find a real recipe for this cake."

Reviewed Sep. 6, 2011

"It turned perfect and it was a great hit with my family and guests. I'd like to try it with a sprinkle of cinnamon or baked apples instead of strawberries sometime. Definitely use real whipped cream instead of the frozen."

Reviewed May. 18, 2011

"This turned out way too soggy and way to sweet. We couldn't even eat it. My cake probably only soaked up half the milk liquid. If I attempt to make it again I won't pour all the milk liquid over the cake. The actual cake part (w/out) the liquid was ok."

Reviewed May. 4, 2011

"Absolutely perfect!! (I didn't make it lowfat though)"

Reviewed May. 1, 2011

"For A.Kuhl: Tres Leches should be wet. it should soak the came and have a little bit for a sauce type..I have tried some recipes that show a little liquid like the picture and some that are swimming..I guess it depends on the preference of the cook..If its too much liquid but the flavor is good next time cut down the fluid a bit. I have noticed to some degree its trial and error because everyone likes different things.."

A. Kuhl
Reviewed Apr. 29, 2011

"Is the cake supposed to be so soggy? I was a little nervous pouring all that milk mixture over it!"

Reviewed Feb. 3, 2011

"although it's a bit time consuming - it's well worth the wait.... we only have 1 Mexican resturant that serves this in our area... and everyone says this tastes better than theirs."

Reviewed Jan. 1, 2011

"Made with petite four sized cakes, wonderful bite sized dripping in sauce. Very rich - but worth the time and effort."

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