Mexican Tres Leches Cake (Three Milks Cake)
I confessed my love for Mexican food in my previous post. After writing the post, I felt like this would be the perfect time to make the Tres Leches Cake!!! I have heard and read so much about this cake and had been waiting to bake this. Somehow I had been putting this off for a long time wondering if I would like a cake soaked in milk. It sounded appetizing but not so much. And to add to that Venkat is not a fan of milky desserts so I was all the more apprehensive. But the how can you decide if you like something or not without even having a bite?! So I geared up and finally made the cake. I followed Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond’s recipe which seemed to the most popular one on the web.
Now before getting to the recipe, lets see what Tres Leches is. This is a Mexican dessert, as the title says In spanish, Tres means three and Leche means milk. So this is a Three Milks Cake. Evaporated milk, condensed milk and heavy cream. Actually we also use regular milk in this recipe but I have no idea why the poor milk was left out from the title 😛 The cake is basically a sponge cake which is soaked with a mixture of the three milks and frosted with a layer of whipped cream and it is served cold. I absolutely loved the taste of the cake, though it is a bit too soggy for my palate. But the sponge cake does have a good texture and holds up the liquid very well. This is an incredible treat for people who like milk!! The recipe is pretty straightforward. You need patience for only whipping up the egg whites!
Original recipe – Ree Drummond’s Tres Leches Cake
All purpose flour – 1 cup
Baking powder – 1 1/2 tsp
Salt – 1/4 tsp
Eggs – 5 large
Sugar – 1/4 cup plus 3/4 cup
Pure Vanilla Extract – 1 tsp
Milk – 1/3 cup
Evaporated Milk – 1 12oz can
Condensed Milk – 1 14oz can
Whole Milk or Heavy Cream – 1/4 cup
Heavy Cream – half Pint
Sugar – 2 Tbsp
Pure Vanilla extract – 1/2 tsp
Strawberries and Mango (optional)
- Separate the eggs while they are still cold. Then leave them out on the counter covered with plastic wrap for about 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350 F with a rack in the middle. Grease a 13 by 9 inch baking pan very generously with butter or cooking spray.
- In a separate bowl. sieve together the flour, baking powder and salt.
- I first whip the egg whites so I don’t have to wash the stand mixer bowl in between, I am a lazy woman 😀 So start with whipping the egg whites to a soft peak. Then gradually, with the mixer running add in 1/4 cup of sugar and beat on high speed until the egg whites are glossy and form stiff peaks. Transfer to a clean bowl.
- Now in the same bowl combine the egg yolks and remaining 3/4 cup of sugar and beat until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture looks pale yellow. Then reduce the speed to low and add in the vanilla and milk.
- Add the flour mixer to the yolks gradually and mix until just combined. DO NOT over mix. Now remove the bowl off the stand mixer and using a rubber spatula, fold in the egg whites a little bit at a time so you don’t deflate the air bubbles too much. Make sure the eggs whites are thoroughly incorporated.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread the top evenly with a rubber spatula. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Cool the cake in the pan itself or remove it out onto a rimmed plate and let it cool to room temperature. Use a fork to make perforations throughout the cake.
- Mix the evaporated milk, condensed milk and 1/4 cup of heavy cream/whole milk in a small bowl. Pour this milk mixture on the cake slowly, making sure you cover all of the surface so the cake is uniformly soaked. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
- Whip the heavy cream. Make sure the bowl you use is cold, place the bowl in the freezer for 10 minutes before whipping. Then using the whisk attachment of the stand mixer or hand mixer whip the cream to soft peaks, then add in the vanilla and the sugar gradually with the mixer running. Increase the mixer speed and whip until you see stiff peaks. Be careful not to whip too much or you will end up with butter!!
Frost the cake with the whipped cream however you want!! I had some time so I did some pattern, but its not necessary at all. You can just spread the cream on top of the cake in an even layer. If you would like to use fresh fruits for decorating, add the fruits only a couple of hours before serving. Fresh fruit can bleed juice onto the cream and make it ugly. If its not for a party or an occasion, then its all right!