Tres Leches Cake is the perfect indulgence for any festive occasion; a sponge cake soaked in three kinds of sweetened milk and topped with whipped cream, it is a dairy lover’s dream come true!
It is funny the way photographing food has changed my perception of winter and light. It used to feel like the long nights and cold weather lasted for months. But now that I mark light by whether or not I have enough to photograph my dinner I am much more aware of the approaching spring. Already I have enough light to begin taking decent photos again (mind you I am also behind so it might take me a week or 2 to catch up to those photos).
This is very exciting.
Anyway, about this cake. This is the long awaited John’s birthday cake. Now this cake was a Very Big Deal. Why? Because I don’t particularly like Tres Leches Cake, so I know John did not think I would ever make it. And John? He loves it. Like loves it more than any other dessert I can think of except maybe mousse. And for what’s it worth, the kids agree with John. This was a huge hit. (If you are wondering why it is not my thing, it is just a little sweet for me, and I do not particularly care for the texture of milk soaked cake. No biggie, just not for me.)
I made this now, because it was John’s big birthday surprise (as far as food went). But this cake would be really good in the summer, cold from the fridge. And fresh berries would cut some of that sweetness too. I would also like to try it with a coffee flavor. Heck I may be talking myself into trying to make it again, only in the summer! Goodness knows my family would like me to. They went crazy night after night for this (it is a 9X13 cake, so it took us a few days to eat).
I am going to link you to Pati’s Mexican Table for the recipe, as that was the recipe I used and she explains the cake really well. My only change was to add a few teaspoons of Kahlua to the soaking milks and 2 tablespoons of Kahlua to the cake batter (I added it with the vanilla). I did all this, unsurprisingly, in an effort to make the cake a little less sweet vanilla for me. I also added, for the same reason, salt: 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt to the cake batter, and 1 t coarse sea salt to the soaking milk mixture.
For the whipped cream topping I used Snowville Creamery heavy whipping cream. I have mentioned them in the past as being my top choice for whipped cream. You certainly do not need to search them out, but I have found that a higher butterfat, less processed cream will hold its topping better with just a little corn starch from the powdered sugar used to sweeten it. Plus it just tastes better! You do have to watch carefully when whipping to make sure it does not turn into butter though!
Susan | LunaCafe says
I’ve never made Tres Leches Cake. I do like it though and am inspired by your photos to give it a go.
I’m one of those people for whom nothing is TOO sweet, so as you can imagine, I love tres leches cake! Though I’ve never made it. I do like your suggestions for curbing the sweetness just a bit, though…a little mix of sweet and salty is always welcome!
pam (Sidewalk Shoes) says
I know! Like you I am hyper aware of the little bit of extra daylight we are seeing each day!
I’ve never tried one, but the idea behind a Tres Leches cake has always appealed to me. I love how there’s additional light–but I’ve been fixing pizzas for lunch on the weekends just to get a good photo. No complaints from the family (who also get their Friday Night Pizzas as well!)
Kimberly Ann @ Bake Love Give says
Oh I just love love love tres leeches cake! Your photos want to make me dive right in. And thanks for the giggle about judging your days by your photography lighting. Glad it’s not just me. 🙂
Laura @MotherWouldKnow says
At first I thought I was in your camp (about thinking tres leches cake is too sweet) but then I remember the tres leches donut at DonutPlant in NYC and how I love that confection. So maybe tres leches cake wouldn’t be so bad:) Pati Jinich is a goddess too, so if she created the recipe, I’m going to try it.
Chris @ Celebrations At Home says
I love the addition of Kahlua. I can’t wait to make this for a potluck gathering.
Joanie @ ZagLeft says
I think Tres Leches cakes are one of my favorites. We can find them a lot here in Houston but I’ve never made one before. You’ve inspired me. Bookmarking your recipe.
I die for tres leches, I love it so much!
Brandon @ Kitchen Konfidence says
This cake is my JAM! We’ve got some great Mexican bakeries here in San Diego, so I’ve never actually made this on my own. Need to give it a try!
Michelle @ A Dish of Daily Life says
Your cake looks and sounds amazing! I wish I had a slice right now! I definitely need to give this a try.