Tres Leches Cake

If you like sweetened condensed milk then you’ll enjoy taking a bite into a Tres Leches Cake.  It’s simple, easy and perhaps the moistest cake you’ll ever have with a unique flavor you cannot find in most nonhispanic bakeries and restaurants.

Tres Leches Cake | URBAN BAKES

Please tell me you’ve tried a tres leches cake?  I beg you, please tell me because if you haven’t I highly suggest you do.  If you can’t find it in a grocery store, bakery or at your favorite restaurant (which I’d be very surprised if you did) then you can easily make this one.  Better yet, you may be in luck if your bodega happens to sell small cakes.  If you and your neighbors use the term “bodega” then you’re probably in the right neighborhood and already know how great this cake already is [*wink*]!

Every time I’ve thought of what my next cake will be, I reminisce of the day when I first had this one and I kept telling myself like a constant battle in my brain, “not yet, not yet- just wait a little longer.”  I remember the first time I tried it, LOVED IT and have been dreaming about it ever since and that was back in November!  I absolutely looove this cake and what better time to show you than now with Cinco de Mayo coming up!

Tres Leches Cake | URBAN BAKES

I know it looks simple and nowhere near as complex as my Sweet & Salty Boozy Irish Truffle Cake but don’t let its bland appearance fool you in flavor.  Sometimes the simplest things in life can surprise you the most.  Since you can pretty much guess how the Irish Truffle Cake may taste, if you’ve never had tres leches, it may be a little more difficult to understand its flavor but I’ll do my best.

Taking it back a notch with a little schooling (HA!) tres leches is Spanish for “three milks.”  I get the feeling you probably already knew that.  But does it sound weird, for a cake?  Well, this cake is literally soaked in three different milks which may possibly be ranked as the moistest cake in the world, at least in my book.  If you look closely where the bottom of the slice meets the plate, you’ll see it looks somewhat “wet.”  This is from the 3 milks plus the added rum.  (I was a bit of a neat-freak when taking these photos constantly dabbing the edges with a napkin to soak up the liquid but you can see it more clearly in the Chocolate Coconut Malibu Rum Cake photo below this post)

Tres Leches Cake | URBAN BAKES

The three milks used are sweetened condensed milk, regular milk (fat-free is okay), and heavy cream.  The majority of the flavor comes from the sweetened condensed milk.  I like to think of the other added milks as a way of “watering down” the sweetness which does an excellent job!  Add a bit of rum and there you have it, a cake with one of the most unique and satisfying flavor.  Now try that for your Cinco de Mayo party.  Everyone will love you for it!

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Tres Leches Cake | URBAN BAKES

Tres Leches Cake

  • Author: URBAN BAKES
  • Total Time: 4 hours
  • Yield: 9x13 sheet cake 1x
  • Diet: Vegetarian


If you like sweetened condensed milk then you’ll enjoy taking a bite into a Tres Leches Cake.  It’s simple, easy and perhaps the moistest cake you’ll ever have with a unique flavor you cannot find in most nonhispanic bakeries and restaurants.


Units Scale


  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs


  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 3/4 cup fat-free milk
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons rum extract


  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons rum extract
  • 24 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon (optional)


  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. In a 9×13 inch baking pan, grease and flour bottom and sides; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, beat all cake ingredients together until just combined. Pour evenly into prepared pan.
  3. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Allow to cool for 5 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile in a medium bowl, whish together all filling ingredients; set aside.
  5. Once cake has slightly cooled but still hot to the touch, pierce the top using a long-tined fork approximately every half-inch apart. See bottom of this post for a visual.
  6. Pour the 3 milks-mixture (tres leches) evenly onto the cake. Loosely cover and refrigerate up to 3 hours or until majority of the tres leches has been absorbed.
  7. In a large chilled bowl, beat topping ingredients until stiff peaks form.
  8. Once cake is ready, spread whipped cream over cake and lightly sprinkle with cinnamon. ENJOY!


  • Allow cake to cool about 15 minutes before pouring the tres leches onto the cake to prevent curdling of the milks.
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Category: Cake
  • Cuisine: Latin

Keywords: tres leches cake, sheet cake, three milks, 9×13 cakes, latin cake, mexican cake, tres leches

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17 thoughts on “Tres Leches Cake”

  1. OMG!!! Love, love, love this cake! I made it and my family enjoy it do much. Only thing that I will change the next time is instead of 3 tablespoons of rum extract in the topping, I’ll only use 1 1/2.

  2. I can remember tasting once a tres leches cake and was phenomenal, I wish there was a way to make a vegan Tres Leche cake, this recipe makes me feel the nostalgia

  3. I have definitely had tres leches cake before and now I can make it at home?!?! I think I might add regular rum to the topping…lol! Thanks for sharing.

  4. A Brazilian co-worker once brought in tres leches cake and I’ve been looking for a good recipe ever since. Found it – Thanks!

  5. For the topping? Only do 1 T of rum extract. It was way over kill. Also thinly slicing strawberries with sugar, and putting them on top. Perfecto

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