Friday, August 20, 2010

TCS: Tres Leches Cake

I really really wanted to like this cake due to my love of sweetened condensed milk. If I have to be honest, I'm known to dip a spoon into a can of sweetened condensed milk and eat a spoonful (and enjoy a potent sugar rush afterward).

That's why I was disappointed that it wasn't all that for me. I followed the instructions to the letter (which is unusual for me) except for quartering the recipe. I even added a little extra drizzle of sweetened condensed milk. Maybe it was just a question of having too high expectations for the recipe what with my SCM issues. But it was just okay for me. I don't think I would make it again at least not from Southern Cakes recipe but I would be interested in how it turns out using another recipe.

To console myself and get over how the cake turned out, I added whipped cream and a drizzle of chocolate syrup to ease my pain which helped a little :) 

Please check out the other bakers over at The Cake Slice to see how their recipe turned out.

Tres Leches Cake
Recipe from Southern Cakes by Nancie McDermott

3 cups all purpose flour
1 tbsp plus 1 tsp baking powder
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 cup milk

Three Milk Sauce
1½ cups milk
½ cup sweetened condensed milk
One 12ounce can evaporated milk
1 tbsp grated lime zest

Sweetened whipped cream for garnish (optional)
Fresh fruit, such as kiwi or berries for garnish (optional)

Cake Method
Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease and flour a 13 by 9inch pan. In a medium bowl, combine the flour and baking powder and stir with a fork to mix well.
In a large bowl, combine the butter and sugar and beat with a mixer at high speed to mix well. Add the eggs one by one, beating well each time and stopping to scrape down the bowl now and then until the mixture is light, fluffy and smooth.
Add one third of the flour mixture and then half the milk, beating at low speed each time just until the flour or milk disappears into the batter. Add another third of the flour, the remaining milk and then remaining flour in the same way.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 35 – 40 minutes, until the cake is golden brown, springs back when touched lightly in the centre and begins to pull away from the sides of the pan.
While the cake bakes, make the sauce. (You want the cakes to still be warm when you add the sauce)

Three Milk Sauce
Combine the milk, sweetened condensed milk, and evaporated milk a medium saucepan. Heat gently over medium heat, stirring often until the mixture forms a smooth, steaming hot sauce. Do not let it come to the boil. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before using.

To Finish
Cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Sprinkle the lime zest over the cake. Punch holes with a toothpick in the top of the cake, about 1 inch apart.
Slowly pour the warm milk sauce over the warm cake, in stages, stopping to let the cake absorb the sauce before adding more. You may not need it all. You can add more later if needed.
Let the cake stand for 1 hour. Cover and refrigerate, allowing the cake to come to room temperature before you serve it. Cut into squares and serve right from the pan. Garnish with sweetened whipped cream and fresh fruit if desired.


  1. I love how you decorated it - looks divine. Shame it didn't live up to expectations taste wise.

  2. "SMC issues" --haha! there are better versions of this cake out there, although with the chocolate and cream, yours looks pretty good!

  3. Sadly I don't think adding an extra drizzle on top of the cake would help it. There are definitely better recipes out there- don'tgive up on tres leches cake!

  4. You did a fantastic job with the presentation! This isn't everyone's cup of tea, though. I am a Tres Leches fan, though, and this is making me drool right now.