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+ servings

Tres Leches Cake

This is the best tres leches cake you'll ever make! It's 100% homemade and features a sponge cake base and a sweetened whipped cream topping. 
Course Dessert
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword tres leches cake
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Chill Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 55 minutes
Servings 16 slices
Author Danielle


For the cake:

  • 5 large eggs , separated and at room temperature
  • 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar , divided
  • 2 teaspoons (10 ml) vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) whole milk
  • 1 cup (125 grams) all-purpose flour , spooned & leveled
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

For the filling:

  • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 (12 ounce) can evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) heavy whipping cream

For the whipped cream:

  • 2 cups (480 ml) cold heavy whipping cream
  • cup (40 grams) powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons (10 ml) pure vanilla extract

Toppings (optional):

  • Fresh strawberries
  • Ground cinnamon


For the cake:

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C).
  • In a large mixing bowl, beat the egg yolks, vanilla extract, and 3/4 cup (150 grams) of the granulated sugar with a mixer until light in color and double the volume (about 2 to 3 minutes)
  • Add the whole milk and continue to mix until fully combined.
  • In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, baking powder and salt.
  • Gently fold the dry ingredients into the egg yolk mixture, making sure to not over mix.
  • In a clean bowl, beat the egg whites to soft peaks. Gradually add the remaining 1/4 cup (50 grams) of sugar until stiff peaks form.
  • Fold 1/3 of the egg whites into the batter, then fold in the remaining egg whites until fully combined.
  • Pour the batter into an ungreased 9x13 baking pan (can grease the bottom of the pan, but avoid greasing the sides) and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
  • Allow to cool completely.

For the filling:

  • In a large mixing bowl whisk together the sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, and heavy whipping cream until fully combined. Remove 1/2 cup of the filling, cover it tightly, and refrigerate.
  • Using a fork or a skewer, poke holes all over the cake.
  • Slowly pour the remaining filling over the cake, if needed poke more holes in the cake and swirl the pan so that the filling seeps down into the cake.
  • Cover tightly and place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

For the whipped cream:

  • Before getting started, place your mixing bowl and beaters in the freezer for 5 to 10 minutes to chill. Once chilled, remove the bowl and beaters from the freezer.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or in a large mixing bowl using a handheld mixer, add the heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract. Start mixing on low speed. Once the mixture starts to increase in volume, increase the speed to medium-high until stiff peaks form.

To assemble:

  • Remove the cake from the refrigerator and spread the whipped cream over the cake.
  • Top with fresh strawberries or dust with cinnamon. Slice into pieces and serve with the reserved filling if desired.



Storage Instructions: Leftover cake may be covered tightly and stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Eggs: I recommend using room temperature eggs because they will whip up much better. To bring your eggs to room temperature quickly, place them in a bowl of warm water for 5 to 10 minutes.
Milk: I suggest using whole milk in the cake for a richer flavor, but 2%, 1%, skim, or almond milk will work.