Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Tres Leches Cake

On our way back from Peru last month, we had a 14 hour lay over in Mexico City. After we visited the lovely Chapultepec Castle, we walked downtown searching for a good authentic Mexican meal. While the BF was thinking about burritos and tacos, I was dreaming about dulce de leche, tres leches, flan and other types of creamy, milky desserts. So after lunch, I was on the hunt for a cute, authentic bakery that would satisfy all my creamy milky cravings. So we searched, and searched, and although we did find some cute bakeries, we could not find these authentic desserts that I had been dreaming about. We did find brownies, cookies, cheesecake, and apple pie. But nothing that seemed downright Mexican. Naturally, I had to satisfy my craving, so one of the first things I baked was this tres leches cake.

The original recipe is from Martha Stewart. Of course traditional tres leches is chocolate-free, but I find it hard to make a dessert that doesn't have chocolate (I'm trying to change, really), so I added some chocolate chips to the batter. To compensate, I also reduced the sugar.

There are literally millions of recipes for tres leches, and I chose this one because the cake part was a sponge cake as opposed to a yellow cake. I remember reading that sponge cakes are better for absorbing liquids. And I say the more creamy, milky, the better! I also cut the cake into hearts since I was feeling girly.

Chocolate Chip Tres Leches Cake (adapted from Martha Stewart)
  • Unsalted butter, room temperature, for baking dish
  • 6 large eggs, separated
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 can(12 ounces) evaporated milk
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. In a mixing bowl, beat egg yolks and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy. In another bowl, beat egg whites to soft peaks. Using a rubber spatula, fold whites into yolks until almost combined. Gently fold in flour first, then chocolate chips (do not overmix).
  2. Spread batter in prepared dish. Bake until golden and pulling away from sides of dish, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool cake for at least 20 minutes. Once cool, use a fork to poke several holes all over the cake.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the three milks; pour evenly over cake. Cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate at least 1 hour and up to 1 day.
  4. To serve, prepare topping: In a mixing bowl, whip heavy cream with sugar to soft peaks. Chill cake and cut into squares; serve topped with whipped cream.


  1. These are the cutest indeed. And they look very moist and milky and mmm...

  2. The directions are inadequate ;-) How many holes am I supposed to poke in the cake, and how do I know that I'm done? I liked the "kill cake until dead" much better :)
    But seriously, I love this cake, and so does The One. I've made it several times since you first showed me how to do it, and it's sooo good, every time. One of my favorite moments when making the cake is when the can of condensed sweetened milk needs to be cleaned. Yum!

  3. Oh these look simply delicious! And a little chocolate is ALWAYS a good thing! :)

  4. 1: Picture is amazing, I am drooling right now
    2: Yay for the recipe requiring a can of condensed milk
    3: We should hang out outside of GVH one of these days! We live so close... :)