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Tres leches cake

Tres Leches cake, vanilla sponge cake soaked in 3 kinds of milk, soft and moist cake perfect for a dessert and any type of sweet craving.

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Let’s be clear about one thing: when I was growing up back home, I have never heard about this cake, working in France as a chef, and never heard about it either. But I keep hearing about this cake so much and many of my followers are requesting this recipe, so I decided to jump on google, and do my research before I actually give this cake a try.

Tres Leches is a Mexican origin cake, It is called tres leches because it is a direct translation to ‘3 kinds of milk’ which means it’s soaked in 3 kinds of milk. What does it taste like? well if you imagine yourself biting into an extra moist cake soaked in condensed milk, but not overly sweet, but with a hint of cinnamon, well that’s what a Tres Leche cake tastes like.

There are so many desserts soaked in different types of liquids such as the Italian tiramisu that’s is soaked in a coffee mix or the British trifle and rum cake. This dessert resembles a similarity between many desserts around the world, but as the story goes, it was first introduced in Mexico.

And as far as how it got popular back home in Sri Lanka, now that’s something to ponder about. But I believe since it was popular in the USA, it automatically was introduced in Sri Lanka and went on from there.

If not the condensed milk tins also had a recipe for tres Leches cake, maybe that was also a contributing factor for it to be very popular in Sri Lanka. I also had a few of my followers tell me that a shop called butter boutique in Sri Lanka introduced this cake and from there it was popular. However it got famous, I am glad that my followers practically forced me to try and give out this recipe, cause it is DELICIOUS full stop!!!

How to make 3 milk cake from scratch

It is so easy to make this cake. I repeat it is ultra-easy. You don’t have to worry about eating dry cake. After all, it will not be dry because it will be soaked in milk, which means it will be ultra-moist. My step by step recipe will guide you in making this cake.

Should tres leches cake be wet?

It should not be wet or soggy, but moist. Now as soon as you make the cake it will be wet or soggy, when you leave it for some time, it will be moist but not soggy.

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How do you pronounce Tres Leches cake

Trez- Letches

How long to store tres Leches cake

Honestly, I thought the tres Leches cake tasted better the next day, As it had time to fully settle down and also adjust its sweetness. as soon as I made it, it felt very sweet, but after keeping it overnight, it had the perfect amount of sweetness
You can store it for 1-2 days and not more, as the topping is a whipped cream base.

How to store tres Leches cake

Store it in the refrigerator and when you need to serve, you can take it out of the fridge 10 minutes before

How to garnish a tres Leches cake

I add red berries (strawberries, raspberries)on the top for flavour, because it gives a nice balance of flavour also for the appearance and textural element as well

You can also check my other dessert recipes here.

Watch how to make tres leches cake

Step by Step recipe on how to make tres leches cake

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Tres leches cake

Sponge cake soaked in 3 kinds of milks with a hint of cinnamon
Cook Time: 10 minutes
30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Servings: 6 people


  • Cake mixer
  • Oven


Cake base

  • 125 g All-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp Baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 5 Eggs
  • 200 g White sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla essence
  • 78 g Milk (Fresh)

3 Milk Syrup

  • 340 g Evaporated milk
  • 255 g Condensed milk
  • 78 g Milk fresh milk

Whipped cream topping

  • 300 g Whipping cream thickened cream
  • 2 tbsp Icing sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla essence
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon powder


  • 5 Strawberries


  • Preheat oven to 180C
  • In a medium bowl mix flour, baking powder, salt and mix well
  • In a cake mixer with the whisk attachment add the egg yolks, half of the sugar, vanilla and mix well until aerated and the egg yolks become pale yellow colour.
    Finally, add in the milk and incorporated it well.
  • Once the egg yolk mix is mixed, then you have to wash and dry the mixing bowl prior to whisking the egg whites. If it has egg yolks or is wet, the egg whites will not whisk.
    In a clean mixer with the whisk attachment add the egg whites and half of the sugar and mix well until aerated.
  • Mix in the flour mix, the egg yolk mixture together. Finally, gently fold in the egg white mix
  • In a 25×25 oven proof dish ( ceramic if possible) spray with oil spray or just oil the dish and add the cake mix into the dish
  • Bake in the oven for 30-40 mins until fully baked

3 Milk Syrup

  • In a medium jug, mix evaporated milk, fresh milk, and condensed milk and stir it well
  • Once the cake come out of the oven let it cool for 30 mins, prick holes with a toothpick.
    If you wish you can take off the brown top with your fingers, it comes out very easily, but you can just leave the top if you dont want to remove it. it will not make any difference, I took it off, because when cut inside it will look much nicer presentation wise.
  • Pour the syrup into the cake and let it absorb the mix for approximately 1 hour. You can also shape the edges of the cake with a back of the spoon at this time, as its moist and soft.

Whipped cream topping

  • In a cake mixer with the whisk attachment add cream and beat until it is doubled in size, halfway through the whipping add the icing sugar, vanilla and whisk until it turns into whipped cream.
    Do not overbeat then it becomes curdled.
    Finally, add in the cinnamon powder and mix through
  • Once the 3 milk syrup is fully absorbed. Layer the cream on top of the soaked cake and let it set. Garnish with strawberries
  • If you are not serving immediately, then reserve in the fridge until needed


Did you make this recipe?

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2 thoughts on “Tres leches cake”

  1. I was in SL a few months ago and tried the Tres Leches cake at Butter Boutique and I have to say it was very good. I am not a huge fan of sweets but I wanted devour the entire cake myself. I will try your recipe soon and post a comment on here.

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