Tres leches is a cake I never get tired of. How could I? It has everything I look for, on a comfort dessert. As you may know, this cake is very popular in Latin America, it’s a cake you will often find in birthday parties or any celebration really. It must be made in advance, letting it rest preferably overnight, to give the cake time to really soak up the tres leches (three milks).
This recipe is the most basic and simple.There are lots of different ways to make this cake, anything from fruit fillings to 4 leches (the addition of dulce de leche). The 4 leches is quite interesting, basically you make two or three layers, pour some tres leches mixture on a layer then, spread some dulce de leche. Repeat the process then pour the remaining milk mixture all over the cake.
I love 4 leches but it’s on the sweeter side which is why you can only have a little piece but, oh boy, what a little piece of heaven that is. There are different toppings too, some people like whipped cream, some like meringue (in Central America, most people use meringue for tres leches). Finally, it’s all topped with whatever fruit you like or simply sprinkled with cinnamon. Here is my recipe, use it, abuse it, add your own twist, enjoy!
For the cake:
1 ½ cup flour
½ cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 stick butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup milk
one pinch of salt
For the three milks:
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
2 cups whole milk
Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Combine the flour, salt and baking powder in a bowl, set aside. In a bowl of a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream the butter, gradually add the sugar. In a bowl, add 4 eggs, vanilla and milk (don’t break the yolks). Add the eggs one by one, mixing well after each addition. When all the eggs are fully incorporated, add the dry ingredients in three parts and mix well (but don't over mix the batter). Evenly spread the batter in a 9"x 13" buttered and floured baking pan and bake for 25 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Let the cake cool completely before adding the tres leches. In a blender (you can do this in batches), combine the tres leches and mix until all tres leches are well combined. Once the cake is cooled, pierce the top all over with a fork then pour the tres leches mixture over the cake. Cover it and let it soak overnight. Next day before you serve it, spread whipped cream or meringue (I used whipped cream) and top it with fruit or cinnamon.