Tres Leches Cakes

Recipe adapted from American Girl Around the World Cookbook, Williams Sonoma

These single serving cakes are refreshing little spongecakes soaked in sweet, milky goodness. I’m pretty sure my daughter has been dreaming about them every night since we made them. When I say “sweet dreams” at bedtime, I’m not joking around.

Tres Leches is a popular Latin American dessert. Latin America includes countries in South, Central, and North America. It is not defined by borders, but by shared language, culture, and historical experience. It includes most of the South American continent, but goes as far as to include all the countries in the Americas that speak a romantic language derived from Latin such as French, Spanish, or Portuguese. 

Some interesting facts about Latin America from (check out the link for more fun facts!):

  • Over 90 uncontested tribes live in Latin America.
  • Mexico City sinks ten inches every year!
  • In the small town of Yoro, Honduras, it rains fish twice a year!
  • 20% of the world’s oxygen is generated by the Amazon Rainforest.

To learn more about the amazing Amazon Rainforest watch this YouTube video:

Now, that you have learned a little something, it’s time to reward yourself with a Latin American dessert.

Tres Leches is Spanish for 3 milks. This dessert is a light, airy cake that is soaked in 3 different kinds of milk: heavy cream (or whole milk), evaporated milk, and sweetened condensed milk. This cake is best served cold so it’s a great cake for these hot summer months. 

It’s really a fun and surprisingly easy dessert to make! Watch us and see for yourselves how to do it:

Prepare you Ingredients:


  • 1-2 TBSP unsalted butter, for greasing the muffin pan
  • 1 (12 or 14oz) can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 (12 oz) can of evaporated milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream (or whole milk)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Whipped Cream:

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Kitchen Tools Needed:

  • muffin pan
  • 13×9 glass dish
  • large bowl
  • medium bowl
  • whisk
  • wooden skewer (or other hole poking device)

STEP 1: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 12-cup muffin pan with butter.

STEP 2: In a 13 x 9 inch glass dish, pour in the tres leches: sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, and heavy cream (or whole milk). Whisk them together and set the dish aside.

STEP 3: In the large bowl, whisk together the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt.

STEP 4: In the medium bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, and vanilla until well combined.

STEP 5: Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and whisk gently until just combined and batter is evenly moistened.

STEP 6: Divide batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups.

STEP 7: Bake for 18-20 minutes until cakes are light golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of a cake comes out clean.

STEP 8: Right out of the oven, poke several holes in each cake with wooden skewer.

STEP 9: While still hot, carefully invert cakes onto a wire rack. If you greased your muffin pan well, they will come out nicely!

STEP 10: Place the cakes in a single layer in the glass baking dish with the milk mixtures, the tres leches. Generously spoon the tres leches over each cake.

STEP 11: Let the cakes soak up all the milky goodness and cool completely in the baking dish for approximately 1 hour.

STEP 12: Carefully transfer the cakes to an airtight container, arranging them in a single layer. Pour the tres leches into a separate container and cover tightly. Refrigerate both the cakes and the tres leches for at least 4 hours or up to 2 days. Spoon tres leches over the cakes as needed to keep them moist.

STEP 13: Make the whipped cream. With an electric mixer, beat or whisk the cream, sugar, and vanilla. on low speed until slightly thickened, 1 to 2 minutes. Gradually increase the speed to medium-high and continue to whip until the cream holds medium-stiff peaks, 3-4 minutes longer. Do not overwhip!

STEP 14: When ready to serve, let the cakes stand at room temperature for about 10 minutes. Put the cakes in individual bowls or plates and spoon tres leches over the top so it pools at the bottom. Add a dollop of whip cream and savor each sweet bite!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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