Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Bake 52: Tres Leches Cake

This was a first for me.  First time making, first time tasting.  I can't really tell you how it would compare to a regular tres leches cake because I have never tried it before.  But Tyler said it was delicious and we all know how picky he can be.  And, of course, I loved it.

Apparently, tres leches means three milks; sweetened condensed milk (say no more), evaporated milk and cream.  Since I could eat sweetened condensed milk from the can, I figured I would have no objections to a cake you poke holes in and dump that lovely stuff all over (and the top it with whipped cream!).  And I was right.  No objections.  I get to be the host (or hostess) this week and share the recipe on my blog.  Since I didn't really tell anything about myself last time I hosted and everyone has kind of been doing that, I thought maybe I should do that today. 

1.  I was born and raised in Price, Utah
2.  I met my husband when I was a sophomore in high school (I had just turned 15, yuck!)
3.  Although we dated a little in high school, you could hardly say we were "sweethearts."
4.  We got married when I was 19 and he was 21 (what were we thinking??!!)
5.  He joined the Air force about a year after we got married and served 6 years (he was stationed in Rapid City, SD).
6.  I worked as a dental assistant until Hadlee was born and I had an orthodontic lab in my house up until last year.  See?  Now you know why I made Tyler go to dental school.
7.  I didn't learn to cook from my mom (as many people might think) I just started cooking and learned that I love it.
8.  We are in California while Tyler goes to dental school (Have I mentioned he is in dental school?  I can hardly believe it, I will say it again!) and I started this blog to try and keep my sanity.
9.  We lived in Hawaii for a year and a half before we came here and we loved it. (Tyler was going to school) 
10.  I hate talking about myself. :)

Enough about me, more about cake!  Although I halved the recipe and baked it in an 8 inch round pan, I am going to give you the full version.

1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 12 oz can evaporated milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla 

2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup whole milk
8 T (1 stick) butter, cut into 8 pieces
2 tsp vanilla
4 large eggs, room temperature
2 cups sugar

1 cup heavy cream
3 T corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla

1.  For the milk mixture:  Pour the condensed milk into a microwave-safe bowl 
and cover tightly with plastic wrap.  
Microwave on med-low power, stirring often and replacing the plastic wrap several times, until slightly darkened and thickened, 9-15 minutes.   I did it in 2 minute increments with the microwave on 30 percent power.  It took close to 14 minutes.  When it got near the end, I did 1 minute increments.  It seemed like it took forever, but it finally started to thicken up and turn a darker color, just be patient!
Gradually whisk in the evaporated milk, cream and vanilla.  Set the mixture aside to cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes. 
2.  For the cake:  Adjust oven rack to the middle position in the oven and preheat to 325.  Grease and flour and 9x13 baking pan.  Whisk the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon together in a bowl and set aside.  Heat the milk, butter and vanilla together in a small saucepan over low heat until the butter is just melted.
3.  In a large bowl (mixer), whip the eggs on med-high speed and gradually add the sugar, about 1 minute. 
Continue to whip the mixture until very thick and voluminous, 4-8 minutes.
4.  Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the melted butter mixture until combined, about 30 seconds.  Add the flour mixture, in 2 additions, until incorporated, about 30 seconds.  Increase the mixer speed to medium and whip the batter until fully combined and smooth, about 30 seconds.
5.  Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top and gently tap the pan on the counter to settle the batter.  My batter was thinner than I was expecting.
Bake the cake until a tooth pick inserted in the center comes out with a few crumbs attached, 30-35 minutes, rotating the pan half way through baking.  Let the cake cool in the pan for about 10 minutes.  It was getting a little too brown, I turned the heat down for the last 10 minutes to about 300 and only cooked it for 25 minutes, but maybe your oven doesn't hate you....
6.  Using a skewer, poke about 50 holes in the warm cake-you don't need to poke all the way through.  Slowly pour the cooled milk mixture over the cake.    I was being a weirdo and transferred my cake to a springform pan.  I thought it would be easier to serve the round cake.  I don't think that was worth the effort, next time I half it, I will just use a square pan.
Let the cake cool slightly at room temperature for about 15 minutes, then refrigerate it until the milk mixture is completely absorbed and the cake has cooled, about 3 hours.
7.  For the frosting:  Let the cake sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes.  Beat the heavy cream, corn syrup, and vanilla together in a medium bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed to soft peaks, 1-2 minutes.  Spread evenly over cake and serve.

I will definitely be making this again, it's so, so good.  You should make it. :)

A tip:  Make sure your oven is level.  Mine isn't and neither is my cake!


Printer friendly version (of the recipe, not the whole cookbook. ;))


  1. Thanks for hosting this week! I thought your Grandma and Grandpa taught you to cook :) You got any Milky Way recipes you could share with us on here? Oh I miss that place! (I'm sure you hear that all the time!)

  2. Thanks for sharing some about yourself, even if you don't like it :)
    My husband thanks you very much for this week's dessert!

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. I love tres leche cake and have never made it. I'm glad it worked out and was super delicious. I'll have to try it soon.

  5. This was soo good, thanks for hosting it still. I love the cinnamon sparkles showing in your cake!

  6. Amanda,
    Looks so good!

    One of my absolute favs. I add a splash of Bacardi Rum in the milk mixture. Divine!


  7. Woooooooow that looks really tasty!!!!

  8. Yum! I love tres leches cake. This looks great!

  9. beautiful! I was so skeptical this week-- but it was amazing!

  10. your cake looks great (makes me wonder what happened with my whipped frosting)! It was also fun to hear about you, thanks for hosting!

  11. Looks so good! I too love the cinnamon "sprinkles" in your cake. Thanks for hosting this week... you're a good sport. Yummy cake.


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