Tag Archives: de leche cake

Tres Leches Cake “Three Milks Cake”

2 Feb

pastel tres leches

I suck when it comes to making desserts. This is not to say that I don’t have a sweet tooth. On the contrary. I would go as far as holding back on ordering a big main to reserve some space for dessert. But when it comes to making desserts, I always seem dissatisfied with the result. Perhaps it’s because I don’t stick to the recipe because I see myself as a non-conformist?

There is one dessert though that I can make which has improved with time. Perhaps the secret lies in not just the taste but in the fact that it allows much room for error. It’s difficult to get this one wrong. One thing I do know is that this cake has turned heads since the first time I made it. And it’s very popular with the girls. It’s got it all: sweetness, creaminess, nuttiness and zestiness. Add cinnamon and can you start to see why it’s a to-die-for dessert?

Now that I’ve convinced you to put on your apron and warm up your oven, you’re probably asking how do I make a Three Milks Cake? Easy. Vanilla cake, milks, cream and pecans, in that order. It can even be a packet cake mix if you wish to cut back on a few steps. Next I infuse the milks (sorry no short cuts here) and poured over the cake. Finally once the cake is completely cool, top with cream and pecans.

The quantities I describe below will produce a cake the size of an A4 sheet (12” x 8”) by about 5 cm (2”) thick. It’s very rich and yield 12 serves. I usually make everything a day ahead and finish it off on the day with whipped cream. This recipe could easily be modified to make it vegan friendly by substituting eggs with flax, dairy with soy or rice or oat milk. Cream can probably be replaced with whipped up silken tofu. I haven’t tried it but am planning too.

Let me know if you try it.


Cake Batter

Dry Mixture

  • 1 1/2 C flour
  • 3/4 C sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder

Wet 1

  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1/3 C vegetable oil
  • 1/2 C cold water
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Wet 2

  • 2/3 C egg whites (from about 5 eggs)
  • 1/4 C sugar
  • pinch of salt
Milk Mixture
  • 1 can evaporated milk (375ml/12.5oz)
  • 1 can of condensed milk (400g/14oz)
  • 300ml heavy whipping cream (10oz)
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • one orange peel
  • one lime peel
Whipped Cream Topping
  • 1 C  heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp grated orange zest

In my world, 1 C = 1 cup = 250ml = 8.5oz



1. Preheat oven to 160C (325F). Sift flour into bowl, stir in sugar and add baking powder (Dry Mixture)

2. In a separate bowl, whisk egg yolks. Then add oil, water and vanilla extract one at a time as you whisk the mixture. (Wet 1)

3. Fold Wet 1 mixture into Dry Mixture. Then beat for about one minute to aerate slightly.

4. Combine egg whites and salt in a bowl and whisk until you get a soft peak. Then add sugar and keep whisking until it holds a firm peak. Fold Wet 2 mixture into batter.

5. Pour into baking tin and bake for about 30 minutes.

6. Remove cake from oven and allow to cool, then pierce with a skewer all over. These holes are to help the milk mixture get absorbed by the cake. (Tip: if you’re patient enough, allow the cake to go stale)

vanilla cake batterbatter mix

cake batter mixingwhisking egg whites

vanilla cake batter preparing cake

Milk Mixture

1. Pour milks into a heavy based pot, add lime and orange peels, cinnamon sticks and bring to boil. Drop temperature and simmer uncovered for 5-10 minutes on low heat.

2. Allow milk mixture to cool, pass through a sieve then pour mixture over the cake.

3. Place cake in the fridge to chill.

three milksorange peel

three milks cakepoured milk on cake

Whipped Cream Topping

1. Whip cream, sugar and zest.

2. Spread whipped cream across the cake and arrange pecans.

3. Cover with cling film and return to fridge until ready to serve.

heavy creamwhipping cream

spreading creampecans


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