Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Tres Leches Cake...Almost

Once upon a time (about 3 years ago) in a land far, far away (New York) my brother in law, The History Teacher, decided he would come visit us.

Now, knowing that I married into an Hispanic family, and knowing the good things (fajitas and margaritas) and the bad things (menudo) that come with this culture, I decided to try to surprise him by making a Tres Leches Cake. I've never been a fan of the cake myself, but I knew he loved it. I had just watched Alton Brown make one on the Food Network channel and I thought I would try out his recipe. Let me tell you, the whole thing ended in utter disappointment. The cake wasn't spongy and the milk did NOT absorb. I was sad and so was he.

Fast forward several years later and I find myself living in Texas again. I have become a bit more experienced with baking and cooking and I discover The Pioneer Woman website. I decide that I need to make her Tres Leches Cake recipe. I mean, how can I go wrong right?? She has picture instructions!!! Well, we all know how well I do with instructions.

Either way, I forged ahead. Determined to conquer the Tres Leches Cake (and the wet cake in general) and I'm pleased to say that it wasn't a COMPLETE failure. Granted, it wasn't the best, but it wasn't a complete failure either. The milk didn't completely soak into the sides and the whipped topping was a bit droopy (and I didn't add the cherries because YUCK!) but I did it...almost.

The Hubble, who is also a big fan of Tres Leches Cake, said the parts that were Tres Leches were actually quite tasty. I don't know if I will try wet cakes again. I think they hate me. And that's the end.

Tres Leches Cake
From The Pioneer Woman

  • 1 cup All-purpose Flour
  • 1-½ teaspoon Baking Powder
  • ¼ teaspoons Salt
  • 5 whole Eggs
  • 1 cup Sugar, Divided
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • ⅓ cups Milk
  • 1 can Evaporated Milk
  • 1 can Sweetened, Condensed Milk
  • ¼ cups Heavy Cream
  • _____
  • 1 pint Heavy Cream, For Whipping
  • 3 Tablespoons Sugar
Preparation Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13 inch pan liberally until coated.
  2. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Separate eggs.
  3. Beat egg yolks with 3/4 cup sugar on high speed until yolks are pale yellow. Stir in milk and vanilla. Pour egg yolk mixture over the flour mixture and stir very gently until combined.
  4. Beat egg whites on high speed until soft peaks form. With the mixer on, pour in remaining 1/4 cup sugar and beat until egg whites are stiff but not dry.
  5. Fold egg white mixture into the batter very gently until just combined. Pour into prepared pan and spread to even out the surface.
  6. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Turn cake out onto a rimmed platter and allow to cool.
  7. Combine condensed milk, evaporated milk, and heavy cream in a small pitcher. When cake is cool, pierce the surface with a fork several times. Slowly drizzle all but about 1 cup of the milk mixture—try to get as much around the edges of the cake as you can.
  8. Allow the cake to absorb the milk mixture for 30 minutes. To ice the cake, whip 1 pint heavy cream with 3 tablespoons of sugar until thick and spreadable.
  9. Spread over the surface of the cake. Decorate cake with whole or chopped maraschino cherries. Cut into squares and serve.


  1. Your cake looks good! You are almost there!

  2. Good for you, you kept trying! I say that you should try again. Practice makes perfect.

  3. I've never tried tres leches cake before, so I have no point of reference, but that cake looks delicious. It looks so moist and wonderful. Of course all the dairy in it terrifies my intestinal tract, but it looks so worth it.

    I would love to link to any and all magazine recipes you want to send me! They look delicious. Just shoot me an email with which ones you want and I'll put them up.

  4. Bummer! I had issues with that cake, too. I used Martha's recipe. I have a love hate relationship with her. Where do you think you went wrong? I'm gonna try again. Perhaps I'll progess as you did with yours which by the way looks pretty good to me.


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