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Recipe: Pastel de Tres Leches (Three Milks Cake)

Pastel de Tres Leches cakeA tres leches cake, also known as pastel de tres leches, is a sponge cake – in some recipes, a butter cake – soaked in three kinds of milk: evaporated milk, condensed milk, and heavy cream. When butter is not used, tres leches is a very light cake, with lots of air bubbles. Served with sliced fruit, this authentic Mexican recipe is bound to agree with almost everyone! The following recipe serves 15.


  • 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
  • 2 ¼ tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 ½ cup of sugar, divided
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • 8 eggs, separated in separate bowls

For the milk mixture:

  • 1 can condensed milk
  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • 1/3 cup whole milk

For the whipped cream:

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 3 T powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla


~ Preheat the oven to 350F. Butter a 9×13 inch baking pan.

~ Combine the flour, baking powder and salt, set aside.

~ Beat the egg whites and ¾ cup of sugar until firm peaks form. This will take a while, about 6 minutes. Set aside.

~ Beat the egg yolks with ¾ cup of sugar until they turn a pale yellow. Add the vanilla and milk. Set aside

~ Mix the flour mixture into the egg yolks, until well combined than fold in the egg whites. Try not to overmix.

~ Place the batter into the prepared baking dish and bake for 40 – 45 minutes.

~ Let the cake cool completely. Whisk the condensed milk, the evaporated milk, and the whole milk. Invert the cooled cake on a large serving platter and pierce all over with a fork. Drizzle the milk mixture over the cake and refrigerate for at least one hour.

~ When ready to frost, whip the heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla until it looks like whipped cream.

~ Frost the cake with the whipped cream. Serve with fresh berries or, in the winter, dried fruit.