This weekend my husband celebrated his birthday and I baked him a tres leches (three milks) cake which is one of his all-time favorites. I’ve tried several recipes and I’ve found this recipe most closely resembles an authentic Tres Leche Cake you’d enjoy for dessert in many Cuban restaurants in Miami (our home town). Even though Tres Leche is traditionally a Nicaraguan desert, many Cubans and other Hispanic or Latin American cuisines have adopted this delicious dessert and you can too!
While I was preparing this cake, I wasn’t thinking about sharing the recipe here on my blog, so I have no photos of the prepping stages to share with you, as it was only after I received a few requests via an Instagram post about the cake I decided to share this recipe. I think the recipe is pretty easy to follow, it just has lots of steps. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out. This is a delicious cake, but it does require some patience to prepare.
I rarely bake. I think the last time I baked anything besides chocolate chip cookies (using pre-made dough) was in June for Ellena’s baptism. I do enjoy baking but really only bake when it’s meant for someone I love. Since he’s my absolute favorite person I was happy to make this for him.
2 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 large eggs, separated
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup whole milk
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 and 1/4 cups whole milk
1 can evaporated milk
3 tablespoons light rum
4 egg whites
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 cup water
1 cup light corn syrup
1 and 1/2 cups sugar
For the cake:
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Grease and lightly flour a 9 x 13 baking dish and set aside.
Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together.
Separate the egg yolks from the whites into a medium-sized bowl. Then beat the whites until very foamy and frothy and aside.
In a large mixing bowl, cream the sugar, egg yolks, and vanilla extract with an electric mixer.
Continue mixing and slowly add the milk to the egg yolk mixture. Next add the flour mixture to the egg yolk mixture a little bit at a time, until the flour is incorporated and the batter is smooth. Finally, use a spatula to fold in the beaten egg whites until they are mixed.
Pour batter into your baking dish.
Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
Allow cake to cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes.
For the milk syrup:
Whisk the sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, whole milk, and rum in a mixing bowl, until well blended. Pour syrup over the cake a little at a time, until it soaks through. This is a cake that demands patience! Pour the milk syrup slowly and let it soak in. Use your fork to help it along a bit, piercing here and there through the syrup until it soaks in. Keep doing this until most of the milk syrup is absorbed. Don’t worry if there is still a pool of syrup around the bottom of the cake, it will gradually soak in. Cover the now syrup-drenched cake in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least three hours before frosting.