Pastel De Tres Leches

Make this authentic Mexican recipe for Pastel De 3 Leches (Tres Leches Cake). A delicious spongy yellow cake saturated with a mix of 3 milks. It’s so good it walks the line between pudding and cake! Yum! 

If you like creamy recipes like Arroz Con Leche, Ensalada De Frutas and Horchata, then you’ve got to get in on this goodness!

3 small plates with pieces of cake topped with whipped cream and strawberries

The perfect Tres Leche Cake recipe! The cake is soaked with three milks and it holds up beautifully. It’s perfectly moist without being overly saturated. If you’ve been searching for the right Tres Leches cake for years, then this is it!

I posted this recipe back on 2015 and it was time to get a facelift with new pretty photos (lots of them!) and step by step instructions. The recipe remains the same so I hope you get to make it again!

Pastel De 3 Leches on a small plate being scooped with a fork
Delicious Mexican Tres Leches Cake!

Ingredients

For the Cake you’ll need:

  • all-purpose flour
  • baking powder
  • kosher salt
  • 6 large eggs at room temperature
  • granulated sugar
  • vanilla extract
  • vegetable oil

To make the 3 leches:

  • 1 14 oz can, condensed milk
  • 1  12 oz can, evaporated milk
  • 1 7.6 oz can, media crema or 1 1/4 cups heavy milk – Note: the traditional way in Mexico is to use the media crema but if you can’t find it then heavy milk will do.
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

The toppings:

highly recommend homemade whipped cream as the commercial version does not compare! To make it you’ll need:

  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 4 Tbsp confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Then top with any kind of berries or canned fruit like peaches (very common in Mexico), nuts and even sprinkle with some cinnamon. It’s all about what you like!
Ingredients: A bowl with flour, eggs on the side, sugar & oil

How To Make Pastel De Tres Leches

BAKE THE CAKE

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9×13-inch baking pan and set aside.
  • Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into a small bowl and set aside.
  • Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs and sugar on medium speed until light yellow and fluffy. About 5 to 8 minutes.
  • When the eggs are fluffy, add the vanilla. Keep mixing for another 8 to 10 minutes or until the batter has multiplied and it’s not liquidy.
  • Add one third of the flour mixture and using a spatula, fold the flour into the egg/sugar mixture. mix well. Repeat this process until all of the flour has been incorporated.
  • Add the oil and fold gently into the batter. The consistency will be very light and creamy.
  • Pour batter into pan and bake for 30 to 35 minutes until cake is golden brown and middle springs back when pressed.
  • Cool the cake in the pan for about 15 minutes.
  • Poke holes all over top of cake with a fork or a large thick wood skewer.

Make the 3 Leches

  • In a large bowl, whisk together the media crema (or heavy cream), evaporated milk, condensed milk and vanilla.
  • Slowly drizzle half of milks mixture all over cake, letting liquid soak in before adding more.
  • Cover the cake with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours but preferably overnight.

Make the Whipped Cream

Pour the cream into the mixing bowl and add the sugar. Using an electric hand mixer or balloon whisk, beat the cream to the desired consistency. It took about 5 minutes for me.

Now it’s time to decorate your Paste De 3 Leches with your favorite toppings. Everyone’s favorite is strawberries and can sliced peaches. What’s yours? ?

A rectangular baking dish with cake topped with whipped cream and two small plates on the side.

This cake is so delicious and it’s perfectly moist without being overly saturated. Just splendid!

A rectangular baking dish with cake topped with whipped cream and two small plates on the side.

FAQ

What does tres leches cake taste like?

Pastel De Tres Leches is a dense, pudding like cake milk flavored dessert. Between bread pudding and arroz con leche. Sweet but not overly sweet. Just perfect!  

Does tres leches cake need to be refrigerated?

Tres Leches Cake needs to be refrigerated covered with a lid or plastic wrap. Since it has dairy in it, it can spoil very quickly if left on the counter for too long.

How long will a tres leches cake last?

Tres Leches Cake can last up to 4 days refrigerated but it taste better when consumed within two days. This recipe is so good it won’t last that long!

Cake squares on small little plates next to a bowl with strawberries
Taking a bite of a piece of cake with a white fork

Pastel De Tres Leches (Cake)

Servings 24 servings
Ana Frias
5 from 12 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 40 mins
A classic Mexican cake. It may look small when it comes out of the oven but it puffs up after all the milk mixture has been absorbed by the cake.

Equipment

  • 9×13 inch bake pan
  • Hand or standing mixer
24 servings

Ingredients
  

Cake
  • 1 ¼ cups (156g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¾  teaspoon  kosher salt
  • 6 large eggs room temperature
  • ¾ cup (150g) granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 Tbsp vegetable oil
3 Leches
  • 1 14 oz can, condensed milk
  • 12 oz can, evaporated milk
  • 1 7.6 oz can, media crema or 1 1/4 cups heavy milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
Whipped Cream & Toppings
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 4 Tbsp confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 to 2 cups berries to garnish, optional

Instructions
 

Bake the cake

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9×13 inch baking pan and set aside.
  • Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into a small bowl and set aside.
  • Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs and sugar on medium speed until light yellow and fluffy. About 5 to 8 minutes.
  • When the eggs are fluffy, add the vanilla. Keep mixing for another 8 to 10 minutes or until the batter has multiplied and it's not liquidy.
  • Add one third of the flour mixture and using a spatula, fold the flour into the egg/sugar mixture. mix well. Repeat this process until all of the flour has been incorporated.
  • Add the oil and fold gently into the batter.
  • Pour batter into pan and bake for 30 minutes or until cake is golden brown and middle springs back when pressed.
  • Cool the cake in the pan for about 15 minutes.

Make 3 leches mixture

  • While the cake is cooling off, in a large bowl, whisk together the media crema (or heavy cream), evaporated milk, condensed milk and vanilla.

Assemble the cake

  • Poke holes all over top of cake with a fork or a large thick wood skewer. Slowly drizzle half of milks mixture all over cake, letting liquid soak in before adding more.
  • Cover the cake with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours but preferably overnight.

Make the Whipped Cream

  • Pour the cream into the mixing bowl and add the sugar. Using an electric hand mixer or balloon whisk, beat the cream to the desired consistency.
  • Top the cake with the whipped cream plus berries or any other toppings you like.
  • Enjoy cold or room temperature

*Ana’s Notes:

Tres Leches Cake lasts up to 4 days in refrigerator. Best if eaten within 2 days. 

ADD YOUR OWN PRIVATE NOTES

Whenever you come back to this recipe, you’ll be able to see your notes.

NUTRITION

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 252kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 40mg | Sodium: 176mg | Potassium: 45mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 19g

The nutritional information and US conversions are calculated automatically. I cannot guarantee the accuracy of this data. If this is important to you, please verify with your favourite nutrition calculator and/or unit conversion tool.

One piece of cake with strawberries on the side

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Recipe Rating




16 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    So delicious. I made this with and for my 2 year old for her birthday. Everyone loved it. We will definitely use your recipe again. Excited to try some more recipes from Muy Delish. Thank you!

  2. Hi, I’m half- way through making your recipe and the sponge looks great but just wondering why I only pour half the cream mixture over the cake – what do I do with the other half as the recipe doesn’t say. Had this cake last weekend in a Mexican restaurant in London and it was amazing so have to recreate it at home. Your recipe looks very promising!

    1. Hi Juliette! You add half of the milk mixtures, let it soak, then add the rest. On that step it says “Poke holes all over top of cake with a fork or a large thick wood skewer. Slowly drizzle half of milks mixture all over cake, letting liquid soak in before adding more.”

      I hope this helps! I’m so happy you enjoyed this cake at a restaurant and are willing to give it a go! Please let me know how you liked it. Cheers!

      1. 5 stars
        Thank you for your reply Ana. The cake turned out amazingly and was a real hit with my family. I only added about 2/3 of the liquid this time as I read your reply too late but it was still delicious. I served a pool of the spare sauce with each portion (as the restaurant did this) and it worked well but I will soak it all in next time (and there will be a next time very soon). Thank you for the great recipe.

  3. 5 stars
    I made this for my mom for Mother’s Day today. She loved it! It was absolutely delicious! Thank you for the wonderful recipe!

    1. Thank you Yaelan for your kind comments! I’m thrilled that This Tres leches cake was a hit for Mother’s day. That was so kind of you to make it for your mom! Thanks for the the review! It means a lot. XO, Ana

  4. 5 stars
    When I’ve tried this several times in different restaurants it was not for me BUT this recipe was excellent and made me a convert! THANKS again Muy Delish!

  5. 5 stars
    This recipe looks so simple and delicious! I’ve always loved Tres Leches but never actually made it. I can’t wait to try this recipe.