Decadent Chocolate Tres Leches Cake Recipe

Welcome my dear friends and food enthusiasts! Today, I would like to invite you all to explore the delicious world of chocolate tres leches cake. As a chef specializing in Brazilian and American cuisine, it is my pleasure to share with you one of my favorite dessert recipe – a decadent treat that has won the hearts of many.

If you love chocolate, milk, and cake, then this recipe is perfect for you! This heavenly creation is essentially a sponge cake soaked in three different kinds of milk – sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, and heavy cream. And that’s not all – to take this recipe up a notch, we have added an extra flavor of cocoa powder and a touch of vanilla that perfectly complements the richness of the chocolate.

This Mexican-inspired dessert has become extremely popular over the years and for a good reason. It is a true celebration cake – perfect for birthdays, holidays or any occasion that deserves something special. Trust me; once you have tasted its incredible combination of moistness and sweetness, you will find it hard to resist diving into another slice.

With every bite of this delicacy, you’ll experience an explosion of flavors that will leave your taste buds tingling with delight. The luscious light brown sugar balances out the richness of the cocoa, while the whipped cream adds just enough creamy goodness to make it irresistible.

So without further ado, let’s dive into this incredible journey of taste – Let me show you how easy it is to make tres leches chocolate cake at home!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Chocolate Tres Leches Cake
Chocolate Tres Leches Cake

My dear friends, let me introduce you to a dessert that will take your taste buds straight to paradise! I am talking about the Chocolate Tres Leches Cake, and believe me when I say, it is unlike any other cake you’ve ever tasted.

For those of you who may not know, Tres Leches literally means “three milks,” and that’s exactly what this cake is all about. A delicate sponge cake soaked in a mixture of sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, and heavy cream – it’s an experience worth savoring.

But wait, there’s more! This recipe takes things up a notch with the addition of rich, decadent chocolate in the mix. Imagine biting into a fluffy sponge cake infused with a deep cocoa flavor and indulging in the creamy, luscious chocolate milk sauce that envelops it. Your taste buds will be dancing with joy!

And here’s the best part: this recipe is not just delicious but also incredibly easy to make. All you need are some basic ingredients from your kitchen pantry like all-purpose flour, light brown sugar, baking powder, eggs, cocoa powder, vanilla extract combined with our star ingredients – the three kinds of milk and some good quality chocolate.

If you’re looking for an impressive dessert to WOW your guests at your next party or dinner, this Chocolate Tres Leches Cake will be your new go-to dessert recipe. Trust me; there won’t be any leftovers on the table!

So what are you waiting for? Give this recipe a try; you’ll thank me later!

Ingredient List

 A slice of heaven on a plate
A slice of heaven on a plate

Ingredients to Make the Best Chocolate Tres Leches Cake Recipe

Here are the ingredients you will need before you start baking this delicious recipe. Be sure to use three kinds of milk for the cake to be at its best. Together, sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, and heavy whipping cream make up the “tres leches” part of this cake that sets it apart from any other chocolate cake.

The following is everything you need for our chocolate cake mix:

  • 1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup whole milk

And for soaking the sponge cake, these are the three milks used in this Chocolate Tres Leches recipe:

  • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

So make sure you have all these ingredients on hand before starting this scrumptious baking experience.

The Recipe How-To

 Chocolatey goodness with every bite
Chocolatey goodness with every bite

Step 1: Making the Chocolate Sponge

To start off the Chocolate Tres Leches Cake recipe, we need to make a chocolate sponge cake. Begin by preheating your oven to 350°F (180°C). Prepare a 9×13 inch baking pan by greasing it with butter or oil.

In a large bowl, mix together 1 ½ cups of all-purpose flour, 1 ½ teaspoons of baking powder, and ⅔ cup of unsweetened cocoa powder. In another bowl, whisk together 4 eggs and 1 cup of light brown sugar until well combined.

Add in dry ingredients into the wet mixture, a little at a time, mixing continuously until you get a smooth batter. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Step 2: Soaking the Cake with Three Milks

Now that we have our chocolate sponge cake ready, it’s time to soak it with three kinds of milk. In a bowl, whisk together a can each of sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk, along with 1 cup of milk and 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract.

Using a fork, poke holes all over the surface of the cake. Slowly pour the milk mixture onto the cake until it is completely soaked. Let it cool down for about an hour before you try to remove it from the pan.

Step 3: Preparing Whipped Cream Topping

For this recipe, I like to top my Chocolate Tres Leches Cake with whipped cream frosting. In a not-so-cold mixing bowl, whip up some heavy cream until soft peaks appear. Add in some sugar and vanilla extract and continue mixing until you reach stiff peaks and have achieved your desired level of sweetness.

Spread the whipped cream topping over the soaked cake once it has cooled down completely. You can also sprinkle some cocoa powder or grated chocolate over the top for added flavor.

Step 4: Serve and Enjoy

Your Chocolate Tres Leches Cake is now ready to be served. Cut into slices and enjoy this indulgent and flavorful dessert that’s perfect for any occasion from birthdays to celebrations of all sorts. This delicious Mexican dessert truly has it all: a spongy chocolate cake soaked in three-milk mixture and topped with whipped cream, making it the best cake ever!

Substitutions and Variations

 Creamy, dreamy, and chocolate flirty
Creamy, dreamy, and chocolate flirty

One of the joys of cooking is that there are so many creative ways to make a recipe your own. That’s true for this chocolate tres leches cake recipe as well! While it’s already a delicious dessert treat, you can also experiment with some substitutions and variations to tailor the recipe to your taste preferences.

For starters, if you’re looking for a non-dairy or eggless option, you can easily swap the whole milk in the recipe for almond milk or coconut milk. This will give a slightly nutty or tropical flavor that pairs well with chocolate. You can also use flax eggs (a mixture of ground flaxseed and water) instead of the eggs to make this cake vegan.

For a triple chocolate version, try incorporating Hershey’s chocolate syrup into the milk mixture or add melted dark chocolate to the cake mix before baking. These additions will take your dessert to an even more decadent level.

Another variation is to use Mexican chocolate instead of cocoa powder. Mexican chocolate has a unique blend of spices like cinnamon and nutmeg, which gives your cake an exotic flavor. You can find Mexican chocolate at specialty food stores or online retailers.

If you’re short on baking powder or in the mood for a denser cake, try substituting some of the all-purpose flour with self-rising flour. This will give your cake more structure and texture. Adding mashed banana or canned pumpkin puree can also serve as a great substitute for baking powder while lending subtle flavors.

Finally, experiment with different toppings to pair with this delicious cake. Whipped cream goes perfectly well with tres leches, but sliced strawberries or raspberries, toasted almonds or pecans, and shaved dark chocolate are all fantastic choices.

Remember to always have fun and be creative when cooking; sometimes those subtle tweaks can be just what takes a dish from good to great!

Serving and Pairing

 A cake that will make you say
A cake that will make you say “tres-leches, por favor!”

You might wonder: what should I serve with this rich and delicious chocolate tres leches cake? Fear not, my dear sweet-toothed reader! I am here to give you some amazing pairing ideas!

As the cake is already quite sweet, I suggest pairing it with something that will cut through the sweetness and balance the flavors. For instance, a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream can magically enhance the dessert experience without overpowering it.

For a decadent twist, serve each slice with a drizzle of dark chocolate sauce on top of whipped cream. It’s also great to add a few fresh berries like strawberries, raspberries or blackberries as they add both color and freshness to the dessert.

If you want an adult beverage, go for a glass of red wine. A bold and fruity one like Malbec or Zinfandel would complement the cake beautifully.

If you’re hosting a party, you could add some crunch by serving it alongside nuts like almonds and walnuts or dried fruits such as cranberries or apricots. Those elements will provide texture contrasts and add extra flavors that work well with chocolate.

Trust me; your guests won’t be able to resist this dessert, especially when paired with these delightful accompaniments. They might even beg you for seconds 😉

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Rich, moist, and indulgent
Rich, moist, and indulgent

When it comes to making a decadent and rich Chocolate Tres Leches Cake, you always want to have leftovers for later – whether it be for tomorrow’s dessert or for an upcoming event. To prepare ahead of time, consider making the cake a day or two in advance. This will give the cake enough time to soak up all of those milk mixtures and become extra moist and flavorful.

To store this Mexican dessert, be sure to cover it tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and store it in the refrigerator. The chocolate sponge cake will stay fresh and delicious for up to 4 days if stored properly. However, be sure not to freeze the cake as that may ruin its textures.

When reheating the Tres Leches Cake, you can enjoy it either warm or cool! For a warm slice, place it in the microwave for about 10 seconds to heat it up. Alternatively, you can heat up individual slices in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 5-10 minutes. If you prefer your cake chilled, simply serve it straight from the fridge.

Adding whipped cream, chocolate shavings or cocoa powder over the top adds an extra touch of indulgence to this chocolatey treat when reheating. Enjoy!

Tips for Perfect Results

 The ultimate chocolate lover's dream
The ultimate chocolate lover’s dream

As a chef, I know how small details can make a huge difference when it comes to cooking. That’s why I have some helpful tips to ensure your chocolate tres leches cake turns out perfectly every time.

1. Use room temperature ingredients: It’s always best to use room temperature eggs and milk for the cake batter. They blend better, allowing for an even distribution of ingredients.

2. Don’t overmix: When mixing the batter, be careful not to overmix it. Overmixing can cause the batter to become dense and tough. Mix the ingredients just until they are combined.

3. Properly measure your flour: Properly measuring your flour is crucial in any recipe, especially in baking. Make sure to spoon flour into the measuring cup and level it off with a knife for accuracy.

4. Allow ample soaking time: One of the key elements of this recipe is the soaking process. Make sure to give the three milk mixture enough time to soak into the chocolate sponge cake completely. Allow it to rest in the refrigerator for at least a few hours or overnight.

5. Use quality chocolate: The choice of chocolate can take any dessert from good to great, and this recipe is no exception. I recommend using high-quality cocoa powder and dark chocolate shavings for that extra touch of indulgence.

6. Be generous with whipped cream: Whipped cream is a vital element in this recipe, as it balances out the sweetness of the condensed milk and adds a lightness to each bite. Don’t be afraid to be generous with whipped cream while serving!

By following these tips and tricks, you’ll be able to create a delicious and decadent chocolate tres leches cake that will satisfy any sweet tooth. Enjoy!


As you get ready to whip up this delicious chocolate tres leches cake recipe, you might have some questions about the ingredients and the baking process. Below are some frequently asked questions that can help you achieve a perfect result. Don’t hesitate to keep reading to find out all about this decadent dessert.

Is there chocolate tres leches?

One delectable dessert that is worth trying is the chocolate tres leches cake. It’s a heavenly chocolate sponge cake that has a unique twist of being soaked in a blend of three different kinds of milk after it’s baked. The cake doesn’t become mushy, but instead gets infused with the delightful flavors of the milk mixture that’s enriched with cocoa powder and ground cinnamon to give it a warm and comforting taste, similar to a cup of hot chocolate.

Why is my tres leches cake not soaking?

When making a tres leches cake, it can be frustrating if the milk mixture is not being absorbed even after several hours. A potential reason for this issue could be the batter being overmixed, resulting in a dense, heavy cake with a non-absorbent texture. To ensure optimal absorption, use a skewer to poke several holes all over the cake prior to pouring the milk mixture.

How do you keep tres leches from getting soggy?

When making our cake, we want to make sure that it stays moist and doesn’t become waterlogged from the tres leches mixture. To achieve this, we will reduce the amount of the three milks by half a cup, striking a perfect balance that allows the liquid to properly soak the cake without causing it to deflate or become soggy.

Where is chocolate tres leches cake from?

To ensure that your chocolate tres leches cake comes out perfectly, it’s important to use sweetened condensed milk instead of evaporated milk. These two types of milk are not interchangeable in recipes. The tres leches cake is a traditional Nicaraguan dessert that is saturated with three different kinds of milk, giving it a distinct flavor and maximum moisture. Interestingly, the longer you store it, the more delicious it becomes.

Bottom Line

your chocolate tres leches cake journey with a slice of this indulgent dessert. With its rich chocolate sponge soaked in three kinds of milk – sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, and heavy cream – this cake is sure to satisfy any sweet tooth.

Whether you’re looking for a dessert to impress at a dinner party or simply seeking a decadent treat to enjoy solo, this chocolate tres leches cake is the answer. The combination of velvety chocolate sponge and creamy milk mixture is a match made in heaven.

Don’t be intimidated by the use of multiple milks – the recipe is easy to follow and delivers stunning results every time. With basic ingredients including cocoa powder, all-purpose flour, eggs, and vanilla extract, it’s a recipe you can make anytime without running to the store for special ingredients.

So go ahead, indulge in the sumptuous goodness of this chocolate tres leches cake. Let its rich flavor and moist texture transport you to chocolate heaven. And be sure to share the love – this cake makes an excellent birthday cake for any chocoholic!

In conclusion, elevate your dessert game with this knockout chocolate tres leches recipe. Trust me, your taste buds will thank you!

Chocolate Tres Leches Cake

Chocolate Tres Leches Cake Recipe

The traditional version is a white, vanilla flaovered cake that is infused with 3 types of milk--sweet milk, whole milk and cream. This chocolate version was published in Sabroso!, a southwest dining guide. The preparation time and cook time are estimates. When making a tres leches cake it is usually best to begin early in the morning or even the day before in order to have it ready in the evening. The process is lengthy and time consuming; but oh what wonderful results.
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Prep Time 45 mins
Cook Time 6 hrs
Course Dessert
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 1 cake
Calories 8957.4 kcal



  • 6 eggs, separated
  • 2 cups light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla


  • 1 (12 ounce) can evaporated milk
  • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 5 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted
  • 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream

Chocolate Ganache

  • 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 12 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Prepare a cardboard circle using the bottom of cake pan as a guide; set aside.
  • Grease two 9-in round cake pans then dust with powdered cocoa, knocking out excess.
  • For the cake, in a large bowl combine flour, cocoa and baking powder.
  • In a medium size bowl, combine the milk and vanilla.
  • Set both aside.
  • Place egg whites in a clean bowl and beat at high speed until peaks are formed.
  • Turn the mixer down to medium speed and gradually add the sugar to the egg whites.
  • Once the sugar is dissolved, add egg yolks and beat for 3 minutes.
  • Continue beating egg white mixture on medium-low speed and add flour and milk alternately until well blended.
  • Divide batter between the two pans and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  • Leave the cakes in the baking pans.
  • While the cakes are still warm, punch holes in cake with wooden skewer.
  • Combine the sauce ingredients and pour evenly over the two layers.
  • Place the cakes in refrigerator and allow to cool.
  • In a small, heavy saucepan on medium heat, stir the cream and chocolate together until chocolate is melted and mixture is blended.
  • Add vanilla and stir for 1 minute.
  • When ready to assemble, remove cake for refrigerator and allow to reach room temperature.
  • The cakes will be very moist and will need special handling.
  • Run a spatula around the inside of the pan and slightly under layers to loosen.
  • Place the prepared cardboard over one pan and invert.
  • Pour some frosting over the layer and spread with spatula.
  • Using your hand or a spatula to hold second layer in pan, invert onto frosted layer and carefully lift pan away.
  • Set the cake on a rack over a jellyroll pan and power the warm frosting over the cake, smoothing with a spatula to completely coat top and sides of cake.
  • Let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes and scape any excess frosting from the jellyroll pan back into the saucepan.
  • Heat excess frosting, stirring until smooth.
  • Cool slightly and againpour over the cake, smoothing with a spatula over top and sides.
  • Refrigerate until glaze is set.
  • Let cake stand at room temperature for at least 15 minutes before serving.
  • Garnish with fresh strawberries or dust lightly with powdered sugar.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 2889gCalories: 8957.4kcalCarbohydrates: 1070.8gProtein: 204.5gFat: 520.7gSaturated Fat: 313.3gCholesterol: 1970.1mgSodium: 2881.8mgFiber: 102.3gSugar: 652.4g
Keyword Dessert, Mexican, Oven, Southwestern
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Dora is a chef well-versed in Brazilian and American cuisine. After a hard day's work in the kitchen of her restaurant, she finds the time to jot down recipes for her food blog. Her recipes are sure to delight foodies everywhere, as she strives to make each one unique and enjoyable to read.