Rating: 4.7 stars
74 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 64
  • 4 star values: 4
  • 3 star values: 2
  • 2 star values: 2
  • 1 star values: 2

Tres leches cake is a cake soaked in a sweet milk syrup and topped with whipped cream. If you want to get really fancy, spoon some diced strawberries and syrup over the cake. It's really moist, delicious, and simple.

Recipe Summary test

prep:
20 mins
cook:
25 mins
additional:
3 hrs
total:
3 hrs 45 mins
Servings:
10
Yield:
1 10x15-inch cake
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Ingredients

10
Original recipe yields 10 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Generously grease a 10x15-inch baking pan with vegetable shortening.

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  • Combine yellow cake mix, eggs, water, vegetable oil, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract in a large mixing bowl. Beat with electric mixer until very smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Scrape batter into the prepared baking pan. Smooth the top of the batter, shake pan, and tap lightly on counter 2 or 3 times to eliminate air bubbles.

  • Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean, about 22 minutes. Let cake cool in the pan at least 30 minutes. Poke holes all over the cake with a bamboo skewer or the handle of a wooden spoon.

  • Combine evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, and half-and-half in a large bowl; slowly pour milk syrup all over the cake. Syrup will soak into cake. Wrap cake with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 3 hours (or preferably overnight).

  • Whip cream with sugar and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla in a large bowl with an electric mixer until cream is fluffy; spoon whipped cream over cake.

Cook's Note:

Feel free to use a 9x13-inch baking pan.

Nutrition Facts

564 calories; protein 10.7g; carbohydrates 62g; fat 31.1g; cholesterol 122.5mg; sodium 414.4mg. Full Nutrition
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Reviews (82)

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
03/15/2015
This is the easy way of making a tres leches cake...I grew up hating it but after having a random craving for it and trying this recipe, I am in love like never before! The only thing that I changed was using white cake mix and sprinkling cinnamon and a cherry on top. Can't wait to make it again for company! Read More
(32)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 2 stars
01/23/2017
This recipe is not a keeper as written. The flavor is good but its too dry, too sweet, very greasy, and the texture is about like Elmer's glue. The good news is that you can have a 4.5 star Tres Leches cake with a few simple changes. For the cake you'll need to use 5 eggs instead of 3 and adjust the water accordingly. Depending on the size of your eggs this means you'll use 1/3 to 1/2 cup of water instead of 1 cup. Using more eggs gives the cake a much better texture. For the syrup get rid of the 1 cup half and half and use 2 cups regular milk instead. This gives you more syrup that's not as sweet and greasy. Since this recipe uses a cake mix (with very delicate cake flour) there's probably no way to get the texture up to a 5-star rating. By adding more eggs its pretty good though. This modified recipe is quick and easy so it will have a place in my collection. Read More
(23)
74 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 64
  • 4 star values: 4
  • 3 star values: 2
  • 2 star values: 2
  • 1 star values: 2
Rating: 5 stars
03/14/2015
This is the easy way of making a tres leches cake...I grew up hating it but after having a random craving for it and trying this recipe, I am in love like never before! The only thing that I changed was using white cake mix and sprinkling cinnamon and a cherry on top. Can't wait to make it again for company! Read More
(32)
Rating: 2 stars
01/22/2017
This recipe is not a keeper as written. The flavor is good but its too dry, too sweet, very greasy, and the texture is about like Elmer's glue. The good news is that you can have a 4.5 star Tres Leches cake with a few simple changes. For the cake you'll need to use 5 eggs instead of 3 and adjust the water accordingly. Depending on the size of your eggs this means you'll use 1/3 to 1/2 cup of water instead of 1 cup. Using more eggs gives the cake a much better texture. For the syrup get rid of the 1 cup half and half and use 2 cups regular milk instead. This gives you more syrup that's not as sweet and greasy. Since this recipe uses a cake mix (with very delicate cake flour) there's probably no way to get the texture up to a 5-star rating. By adding more eggs its pretty good though. This modified recipe is quick and easy so it will have a place in my collection. Read More
(23)
Rating: 5 stars
01/31/2015
This recipe is perfect. I wouldn't change anything about it. I used the Betty Crocker Golden Vanilla Cake Mix and it turned out really good. The cake is delicious and so moist. Husband didn't want any kind of fruit on top so I just spread some homemade whipped cream on top and it is fabulous. The tres leches cake is now officially my favorite cake! Read More
(18)
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Rating: 5 stars
09/17/2014
I made this for my boyfriend's birthday. I added coconut extract on the milk syrup. It turned out delicious and so yummy. Thanks for the recipe. Read More
(16)
Rating: 5 stars
07/29/2016
Never liked Tres Leches cake before when I ordered it at a restaurant or bakery but this one is oh-so-special. It is a glorious site to watch all that creamy milk soak into the cake and it's an absolute must to let it sit overnight. I whipped fresh heavy cream to "frost" it and have garnished it with different toppings such as a sprinkle of cinnamon, fresh strawberries and blueberries, toasted coconut. The possibilities are endless. It is my go-to dessert when asked to bring something to a gathering. It's a sinful piece of heaven! Read More
(11)
Rating: 5 stars
04/15/2014
This was fabulous!!! Everyone loved it Read More
(8)
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Rating: 5 stars
07/07/2015
I got so many compliments on this cake. It would have been even better with "real" whipped cream but after the "tres leches" I couldn't bring myself to do more than whipped topping. I did use a white cake mix. I really questioned the amount of liquid I was pouring on the cake but after sitting overnight it had absorbed all of it. Yummy! Read More
(7)
Rating: 5 stars
01/06/2014
Just made this for the first time no complaints here. It was great. Thanks again for another great one Chef John and thanks to your mother as well! Read More
(7)
Rating: 5 stars
12/30/2016
Easiest best recipe for Tres Leches. Made it for my family and garnished with fresh raspberries. Of all the recipes on Christmas Day this one was the hit. My family loved it. Read More
(6)