Ménage à trois au lait

Tres leches cake

The basics for most cakes is flour, eggs, sugar, baking powder, vanilla extract and milk. From there a recipe for can diverge wildly. Sometimes chocolate is incorporated. Butter or oil is used to make it moist. And even carrots have made an appearance. But when a cake includes three types of milk it’s daring to be noticed.

For the record, only one milk is baked into the cake batter for tres leches. It’s what happens to the cake after it is baked that makes it unique. Evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk and heavy whipping cream are mixed and poured over a simple sponge cake that’s familiar in Latin America. For the uninitiated or the unbelieving, they will think the milk will run off the cake. Instead, the cake absorbs the milk. Actually, the cake is soaked twice with three-milk mixture, guaranteeing there is not a dry cake in the house. You might think the cake is soggy at this point, but it’s not. It’s rich, yet light. Decadent, but so easy to bake and assemble. The hardest part might be opening the can of sweetened evaporated milk and not dipping your finger in to taste it. Or eating just one slice.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Tres leches cake

Tres leches cake

Tres Leches Cake

3/4 cup white sugar
5 eggs, whites separated from the yolk
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 12-fluid ounce can evaporated milk
1 pin heavy whipping cream
1 pint ripe strawberries

Preheat oven to 360 degrees F. Butter and flour bottom of 9-inch springform pan.

In large bowl, beat egg yolks with 1/2 cup sugar until light in color. Add milk, vanilla extract, flour and baking powder until combined.

In a small bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Add remaining 1/2 cup sugar. Whip until firm but not dry. Fold in white whites into yolk mixture. Pour into prepared pan.

Bake in oven for 40-45 minutes or until toothpick inserted into cake comes out clean. Cool cake for 20 minutes.

Remove cake from pan and place on a serving plate with high sides. Pierce the cake several times with fork.

Mix together condensed milk, evaporated milk and 1/4 cup of the whipping cream. Slowly pour half milk mixture over the cake, cover and refrigerate for an hour. When cake has absorbed the milk, pour remaining milk mixture over cake, cover and refrigerate. Whip the remaining cream until thick and frost with cake. Garnish with sliced strawberries.

13 thoughts on “Ménage à trois au lait

Add yours

  1. Between you and Mary, I want to go buy strawberries now! I’ve only had tres leches cake twice – the first was so wet it puddled on the plate and the cake was mushy; the last one was dry (I know!) and had a pudding filling in between layers that made it weird. And not tres-leches-cake to me. I’m going to tuck your recipe into my to-make files and see if I might actually like this tasty sounding dessert.

  2. hi darlene! happy valentine’s to you and paul!

    great cake recipe! the cake sounds so decadent but looks so light!

    my husband surprised me today by making dark chocolate dipped strawberries!

    1. It is surprisingly light. And condensed milk?? What’s not good about that aside from the calories.

      Sounds like you had an nice Valentine’s Day too!

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