Heavenly Tres Leches Cake: Simple & Satisfying Recipe

Attention all dessert lovers, I am about to introduce you to one of the most indulgent and mouthwatering cakes you will ever taste – the Tres Leches Cake! As a chef with expertise in both Brazilian and American cuisines, I can attest that there are few desserts that capture the flavors of both cultures as well as this cake does.

This classic Latin American dessert is a rich, decadent confection that consists of a sponge cake soaked in three different kinds of milk – evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, and whole milk. The result is a velvety and moist cake with amazing depth and complexity of flavor.

Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or just craving something sweet, the Tres Leches Cake is an easy-to-make crowd-pleaser that not only tastes great but also impresses with its beautiful presentation. In this recipe article, I will walk you through the steps required to make an authentic Tres Leches Cake that’s sure to please your taste buds. So gear up and get ready for a culinary adventure!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

The Best Tres Leches Cake
The Best Tres Leches Cake

Listen up, dessert lovers! I have a cake recipe that is sure to turn your taste buds into ecstasy: The Best Tres Leches Cake Recipe! If you haven’t tried this classic Latin American cake yet, then you’re missing out on one of the most mouth-watering desserts ever created.

There are so many reasons why you’ll love this recipe. Firstly, it’s the perfect combination of light and moist, thanks to the three kinds of milk that it’s soaked in. With carefully measured amounts of evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, and whole milk, the cake manages to stay airy and fluffy while also being rich and decadent.

The sponge cake itself is also a masterpiece. Made with a mix of all-purpose flour and baking powder, it’s soft and tender, with just the right amount of spring to it. Plus, since we’re using a yellow cake mix as the base, there’s no need to worry about complicated mixing techniques or lengthy baking times.

But perhaps the biggest reason why Tres Leches Cake is worth trying is because of its versatility. You can easily customize it to your heart’s content by adding any flavorings or mix-ins that you like. Dusting cinnamon on top adds a touch of warmth, while fresh fruit like berries or peaches can turn it into a summertime favorite. And don’t forget to pile on some freshly whipped cream for an additional layer of richness.

Still not convinced? Natasha from Natasha’s Kitchen says that this cake is “like floating on a sweet cloud” – and she’s not wrong. So go ahead and give The Best Tres Leches Cake Recipe a try – your sweet tooth (and your loved ones) will thank you for it!

Ingredient List

 Delicate sponge cake absorbed with a trio of milks.
Delicate sponge cake absorbed with a trio of milks.

The ingredient list for the Best Tres Leches Cake Recipe contains three kinds of milk – evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, and whole milk – which give this cake a luscious, moist texture. You will also need water and eggs, as well as sugar, all-purpose flour, and baking powder to create the sponge cake that will be soaked in the milk mixtures. For the whipped cream topping, you’ll need some heavy cream.

Here’s everything you’ll need to make this delicious cake:

  • Yellow cake mix 1 (or make a homemade sponge cake)
  • Water 1/2 cup
  • Eggs 3 large
  • All-purpose flour 15 oz (3 cups)
  • Baking powder 2 teaspoons
  • Granulated sugar 1 1/4 cups
  • Whole Milk 1 cup
  • Vanilla extract 1 teaspoon
  • Evaporated milk heavy cream 12 oz
  • Sweetened condensed milk 14 oz
  • Whipping cream heavy cream for topping
  • Fresh fruit or berries for decor

Pro tip: If you’re looking for an authentic Tres Leches Cake recipe, skip the yellow cake mix and make a homemade sponge cake instead. The flavor and texture will be more complex and satisfying.

The Recipe How-To

 A slice of pure bliss intertwined with creamy ecstasy.
A slice of pure bliss intertwined with creamy ecstasy.

Now, let’s dive into the exciting part – making this delicious Tres Leches Cake. Follow these easy instructions and prepare to impress your friends with your baking skills!


  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup whole milk

For Tres Leches Mixture:

  • 12 oz evaporated milk
  • 14 oz sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/4 cup whole milk


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine cake mix, eggs, vegetable oil, and whole milk. Mix well until smooth.
  3. Pour batter into a 9×13 inch greased cake pan and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  4. Once the cake is done baking, let it cool in the pan.
  5. In a separate bowl, combine the evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk and whole milk for the Tres Leches Mixture.
  6. Using a fork or a toothpick prickty-poke the top of the cake several times to make many little holes – this helps the cake soak up the leche mixture!
  7. Slowly pour the tres leches mixture over the entire surface of the cake just until all of it is absorbed.
  8. Allow cake to chill thoroughly in refrigerator at least 2 hours or overnight to absorb all of those fantastic flavors.

Dusting Cinnamon:

Now that you have chilled your Tres Leches Cake, you can be creative and sprinkle some ground cinnamon on top before serving it.

Make It Fancy:

To take things over-the-top, add some fresh fruit like berries or even whipped cream!


Substitutions and Variations

 Overflowing with indulgence in every bite.
Overflowing with indulgence in every bite.

Hey guys, I know that we all have different tastes and preferences when it comes to food, and in order for you to customize your tres leches cake according to your preferences, let me share with you some substitutions and variations that you can try out.

Firstly, you can use different kinds of milk for this recipe. Instead of the three kinds of milk being used in the recipe, you can try replacing one of them with coconut milk, almond milk, or oat milk. These options give a unique twist to the original recipe while still maintaining the cake’s moistness.

If you like a bit of tangy flavor in your cake, you can also add a tablespoon or two of lemon juice or lime juice to the liquid mixture. It adds a delightful citrus tang that balances out the sweetness from the sweetened condensed milk.

For those who prefer a chocolatey dessert, replace your yellow cake mix with a chocolate flavored one. This will give you a chocolate tres leches cake that will satisfy any chocolate cravings.

Another variation I recommend is turning this into a layer cake or a berries cake. When putting together your cake layers, add whipped cream and fresh berries like strawberries, blueberries or raspberries between each layer. This not only gives an added deliciousness but also makes for a beautiful presentation especially if serving as celebratory birthday cake.

Now let’s talk about my favorite – dusting cinnamon on top of the whipped cream as part of my authentic tres leches recipe. Not only does it enhance the taste with its warm-spicy richness but it also brings an aromatic note that leaves your house smelling divine.

The possibilities are endless with this recipe! So feel free to experiment and explore different flavors and toppings for your easy tres leches dessert. Don’t be afraid to get creative and customize as per your liking!

Serving and Pairing

 The beauty of Tres Leches cake lies in its moist decadence.
The beauty of Tres Leches cake lies in its moist decadence.

Once you’ve baked this scrumptious Tres Leches Cake, the fun part is just beginning. Serving it with the right combination of flavors can take the cake to the next level. As this cake is rich in flavor and calories, it’s important to balance it out with fresh and light ingredients.

A classic serving suggestion is to top it off with a generous amount of whipped cream and a dusting of cinnamon powder to create a perfect contrast between the warm cake and cool cream. Top it up with fresh berries or fruits like strawberries, blueberries, mangoes or kiwis for an extra burst of flavor.

Almost any kind of fruit compote would complement this cake. You can also slice it into smaller pieces and serve as a snack item at parties or gatherings. The cake pairs well with hot beverages such as coffee or tea, as well as cold refreshing drinks like a chilled glass of lemonade or iced tea.

If you’re feeling adventurous, pair it up with traditional Brazilian brigadeiro candies. These delicious and fudgy truffles made with condensed milk are similar to chocolate but are not overly sweet when mixed with Tres Leches Cake.

Overall, this cake is very versatile and can be served on any occasion. It’s perfect as a birthday cake, celebration cake or even just a casual weekend dessert. No matter how you choose to present it, this Tres Leches Cake will surely amaze your taste buds and leave your guests satisfied beyond words.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 The perfect balance between lightness and richness.
The perfect balance between lightness and richness.

Look, I get it – sometimes you just can’t get enough of this delicious Tres Leches Cake. And it’s always great to be prepared for those unexpected guests that may pop up. Luckily, this recipe is a great candidate for make-ahead meals!

After allowing your cake to fully cool and soak up all three kinds of milk, you can easily cover it well with plastic wrap and store it in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Trust me, the wait time will only deepen the flavors and make it even more irresistible.

When ready to serve, you may want to consider letting it sit on the counter for about 20 minutes before cutting into it so that it’s not too cold. And don’t forget to garnish with fresh fruit or simply a dusting of cinnamon!

If you absolutely must reheat your Tres Leches Cake (though I have a feeling that won’t be necessary), the preferred method would be to heat slices in the oven at 350°F for about 15 minutes. This will drastically reduce any sogginess in the cake and retain its texture and consistency.

It’s also worth noting that this cake does not freeze well – all the liquids in the cake will cause ice crystals to form and ruin its texture. It’s best enjoyed fresh or within a day or two of making it to ensure optimal deliciousness.

But let’s be real, with how delicious this Tres Leches Cake is, there probably won’t be any leftovers anyway!

Tips for Perfect Results

 The tres leches trio will make your taste buds dance!
The tres leches trio will make your taste buds dance!

When making the Best Tres Leches Cake recipe, achieving the perfect balance and texture is crucial. Here are some tricks that I’ve learned throughout my years of experience in the kitchen that will help you make the perfect Tres Leches Cake every time.

1. Use whole milk

When it comes to the three kinds of milk used in Tres Leches Cake, using whole milk is very important. Whole milk helps to give the cake its rich and creamy texture, which is essential in this dessert.

2. Keep the Tres Leches Cake from leaking

To keep your Tres Leches Cake from getting soggy and leaking out of the pan, poke holes in the top of the cake with a fork before pouring the liquid mixture over it. This will allow for even soaking, ensuring your cake is moist but not too wet.

3. Use fresh fruit as topping

Adding fresh fruit such as strawberries or blueberries on top of your Tres Leches Cake just before serving adds a burst of flavor to this already decadent cake. The freshness of the fruit cuts through the richness of the cake and provides a nice color contrast.

4. Dust with cinnamon

Dusting cinnamon over the top of your Tres Leches Cake right before serving gives it an extra layer of flavor depth without overpowering it. The light and subtle spiciness of cinnamon make for a great complement to this dessert.

5. Chill before serving

It’s important to chill your Tres Leches Cake before serving to give it time to set and absorb all that delicious liquid mixture fully. This ensures that each bite will be evenly soaked with the three kinds of milk, making for a truly divine dessert experience.

By following these tips, you can ensure that your Best Tres Leches Cake Recipe will come out perfectly every time!


Now that you have learned how to make the best Tres Leches Cake Recipe, you might still have some questions in mind. Don’t worry; we got you covered! Here are some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) and their answers to help you understand this recipe better. So, read on and satisfy your curiosity!

How soggy should tres leches be?

When making Tres Leches cake, it’s important to strive for a delicate texture that doesn’t become too moist. The cake should have a light flavor with a consistency reminiscent of vanilla custard or pudding. When piercing the cake with a fork, a small amount of milk should pool on the surface. To add a bit of contrast to the creaminess of the cake, consider dusting it with a subtle cinnamon spice.

Why is my tres leches cake not soaking?

Sometimes, despite letting your tres leches cake sit for a few hours, it may still not be absorbing the milk mixture. This can happen when the batter is overmixed, resulting in a dense, heavy texture that doesn’t allow the cake to absorb the milk. To avoid this, make sure to poke the cake all over with a skewer to encourage absorption.

What milk is tres leches made of?

One way to make a decadent cake is by creating the famous “tres leches” dessert. To achieve this, you will need to bake a cake and use a fork to make holes in it. Afterward, you will pour a combination of three different types of milk over the top, including evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, and whole milk. The cake will then absorb these delectable liquids, making the dessert incredibly moist and flavorful.

How do you keep a tres leches cake from leaking?

To prevent any leakage of the tres leches cake, opt for a cake pan with elevated sides capable of confining the liquid mixture. Likewise, allow the cake to cool entirely before pouring the mixture over it. After baking, you should refrigerate the cake for a few hours to help set it.

What is tres leches frosting made of?

This cake is coated with a blend of three different types of milk – evaporated milk, heavy whipping cream, and sweetened condensed milk.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this Best Tres Leches Cake Recipe is not to be missed! With its rich and creamy texture, it is the perfect dessert for any occasion. Whether you are celebrating a birthday, hosting a dinner party, or looking for an easy yet delicious treat, this recipe will not disappoint.

By following these instructions and using high-quality ingredients, you can recreate an authentic Tres Leches Cake that will transport your taste buds straight to Latin America. So go ahead, impress your guests with this decadent dessert that is sure to leave everyone begging for more!

In addition to its amazing taste, this recipe can also be easily customized to suit your preferences. From adding fresh fruit or dusting with cinnamon to experimenting with different cake mix flavors, the options are endless.

So what are you waiting for? Grab your mixing bowl and get ready to create the ultimate Tres Leches Cake with this recipe! And don’t forget to share it with friends and family because good food is always better when shared.

The Best Tres Leches Cake

The Best Tres Leches Cake Recipe

This is SO GOOD! It's a moist, rich, sweet and yummy cake, made with a simple sauce that is poured over it, and slowly seeps into it. Leaving you with heaven in every bite. "Tres Leche" means three milks therefor, this cake has three different types of milk: condensed, evaporated and regular milk. The top of the cake is ugly, because you have to poke holes in it, so I like to top it with whipped topping, and berries. Try it!
No ratings yet
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 2 hrs
Course Dessert
Cuisine Mexican
Calories 259.9 kcal


  • 1 (18 ounce) box yellow cake mix
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 -2 cup whipped topping (optional)


  • Mix together the cake mix, eggs, and water in a large bowl.
  • Pour into a greased Large baking pan, and bake at 350 degrees for 25-35 minute or until toothpick comes out clean.
  • Meanwhile, in a large sauce pan heat up the three milks, and whisk until well combined.
  • Take the cake out of the oven, and let it cool for 15-20 minute Once cool you can take either a tooth pick, or a fork and poke many holes into the cake.
  • Slowly pour milk mixture over the cake, so it seeps in through the holes. Let it sit until all milk is absorbed, and thenplace in the refrigerator until cold.(at least 1-2 hours or overnight).
  • Top with whipped topping, and enjoy!

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 68gCalories: 259.9kcalCarbohydrates: 40.2gProtein: 6gFat: 8.5gSaturated Fat: 3.2gCholesterol: 52mgSodium: 290mgFiber: 0.4gSugar: 25.9g
Keyword < 4 Hours, Dessert, For Large Groups, Healthy, Mexican, Oven, Refrigerator, Stove Top, Sweet
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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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.