With roots in Mexico and Latin America, Tres Leches Cake is a must-have dessert for any Cinco de Mayo celebration. Also known as three milk cake, authentic Tres Leches Cake includes whipped egg whites in the batter for a light, spongy cake that resembles an angel food cake.Plan ahead for a caked packed with flavor by baking a day in advance. This will allow your cake to soak up the creamy syrup before serving. You can also create mini cakes by using a round cutter for a pretty presentation. Top this tasty treat with a grating of nutmeg and whipped cream, and you'll have a party-ready cake at your next Cinco de Mayo, birthday party, or Mother's Day celebration that guests won't be able to resist!

Southern Living


Credit: Photo: Hector Sanchez

Recipe Summary test

45 mins
13 hrs 20 mins
Makes 16 servings


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 350°. Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; add granulated sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition. Stir together flour, baking powder, and salt. Add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed until blended after each addition. Scrape bowl as needed. Stir in vanilla. Wash and dry beaters.

  • Beat egg whites at high speed until stiff peaks form. Stir about one-third of egg whites into batter; fold in remaining egg whites in 2 batches. Spoon batter into a lightly greased (with cooking spray) 13- x 9-inch pan.

  • Bake at 350° for 23 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack 10 minutes.

  • Pierce top of cake several times with a long wooden pick. Whisk together condensed milk, evaporated milk, and liqueur. Gradually pour mixture over warm cake, about 1/2 cup at a time. Allow mixture to soak into cake before adding more. Let cake stand at room temperature 3 hours. Cover and chill 8 to 12 hours.

  • Beat heavy cream and powdered sugar at medium-high speed with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form; spread on cake.