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The Best Tres Leches Cake Recipe

Inside: Tres Leches cake is an authentic Mexican dessert that is full of delicious flavor and perfect for Cinco de Mayo or other gatherings.

Best Tres Leches Cake Recipe

Tres Leches cake is an authentic Mexican dessert that is full of delicious flavor and perfect for any party or other gatherings.

September is a busy and exciting month for our family. Not only are the kids back in school, but we also have two birthdays to celebrate every year! My two oldest sons were both born in September, so they get pretty excited this time of year.

I enjoy talking to them about how they want to celebrate, and I always try to make it as special as possible for them. Part of that means making their favorite cake, which is tres leches cake.

“Tres leches” translates literally from Spanish to mean “three milks”, and that is because the cake is soaked in three different types of milk – sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, and regular milk.

This gives it a delicious, moist texture that is complemented by the amazing homemade whipped cream frosting. I will talk more about the process below.

Tres leches cake from above



Not only do I love this drink when we are celebrating birthdays, but it is also a great choice for sending to school for my kids’ lunches. They love it, and there are so many flavors so they don’t get bored with it.

How To Make Tres Leches Cake

If you are wondering how to make tres leches cake, now I am going to show you.

First, you need to make the basic sponge cake following the recipe below.

tres leches sponge

Next, you will want to poke some holes in the sponge with a fork, so that the tres leches mixture is absorbed into the cake.

tres leches poke holes

Finally, you will want to pour the tres leches mixture over the sponge, letting it absorb while under refrigeration for at least 3 hours.

Tres leches pouring leches

After you complete the base of the tres leches cake, you can decorate it however you want. In Mexico, it is common to frost with a homemade whipped cream, and then to top it with fruit. Other options are to add melted chocolate and even nuts.

tres leches decorated

I hope that you enjoy this recipe as much as my family does. It is great for any occasion, including Cinco de Mayo, Christmas, and Easter.

Let me know in the comments below how it turns out.

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Best Tres Leches Cake Recipe
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3.81 from 158 votes

Tres Leches Cake

Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Cooling Time3 hrs
Total Time4 hrs
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: bundt cake, food, mexican dessert, tres leches
Servings: 14 Slices
Calories: 413kcal


  • 12 Large Eggs
  • 1 1/2 Cups sugar
  • 2 1/2 Cups Flour divided into three equal parts.
  • 6 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract


  • 2 cups milk whole
  • 10 oz condensed milk
  • 8 oz evaporated milk
  • Whipped Cream
  • Strawberries


For Sponge Cake

  • Preheat oven to 350 F
  • Beat the eggs in a stand mixer at medium speed, slowly adding the sugar. Continue beating for about 10-15 minutes. When you are ready for the next step, this mixture will have a creamy texture, almost like whipped cream. 
  • Remove the bowl from the stand mixer, and slowly fold in the first part of the sifted flour and slow mix by hand with a whisk until the flour is incorporated. Repeat with the remaining two parts of the flour. 
  • Add the vanilla and oil and stir slowly with a spatula until completely incorporated. 
  • Add the batter to your cake pan of choice. This amount will fit into two 8 inch circle pans, or one 9 x 13. 
  • Bake for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. 
  • Remove from oven and let cool until completely cooled. 
  • Poke small holes along the surface of the sponge cake. 

For Tres Leches Mixture

  • Combine the sweetened condensed milk, the evaporated milk, and the whole milk and mix well. 
  • Pour the above mixture over the sponge cake, covering the entire cake. 
  • Leave cake in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours, and then decorate with homemade whipped cream, strawberries, or other fruit of your choosing. 


Serving: 1Slice | Calories: 413kcal | Carbohydrates: 56g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 163mg | Sodium: 117mg | Potassium: 302mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 38g | Vitamin A: 420IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 186mg | Iron: 1.9mg
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Thursday 12th of May 2022

Which kind of flour do you typically use? All-purpose or cake four?


Saturday 18th of December 2021

I would love to try this recipe but not sure what type of flour to use. I’ll try another recipe for now. Maybe you could update which type of flour to use?

Jan Abney

Thursday 24th of March 2022

@Sonia, unless a recipe calls for a specific flour, you always use All Purpose flour, which is regular flour. Hope this helps!


Thursday 11th of November 2021

It would have been nice if you posted your recipe for homemade whipped cream and linked it to this recipe.


Tuesday 19th of October 2021

Hi does this recipe need baking powder or baking soda


Sunday 14th of February 2021

Hola! I'm considering making this recipe but I'm not sure how much I should make. How many servings does this dessert have? I'm making this dish for about 13 people. I'm having almost all of mi primos over and I know we all love Tres Leches. Do you suggest doubling this recipe?

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