Tres Leches Cake Recipe

This Tres Leches Cake recipe makes a delicious authentic Mexican dessert. Make this simple milk cake for any occasion – it’s easy!

The post Tres Leches Cake Recipe appeared first on Brown Eyed Baker.

This Tres Leches Cake recipe makes a delicious authentic Mexican dessert. Make this simple milk cake for any occasion – it’s easy!

A piece of tres leches cake on a plate with a fork.

The Spanish word, Tres leches literally translates to “three milks”, which is exactly what is in the ingredients of this light sponge cake. In Mexico, it is a popular dessert to serve at any celebration.

It’s a beautiful vanilla cake, soaked in a sweet blend of milks, with a topping of luscious fresh whipped cream. This cake is quite possibly the best poke cake on the planet.

A pan of tres leches cake with three pieces removed and on plates.

Ingredients for authentic tres leches cake

For the most authentic flavor, use the ingredients below, without substitutions except where noted:

For the cake:

  • Cake flour — This flour is lighter than all-purpose. It has less protein, so it makes for a fluffy and wonderfully tender cake.
  • Sugar
  • Butter — Use unsalted butter for the best results.
  • Eggs
  • Baking powder
  • Salt
  • Vanilla extract — Use the best quality extract possible; Mexican vanilla is even better.

For the milk glaze:

  • Evaporated milk — This is essentially concentrated milk.
  • Condensed milk — This milk is reduced and then sugar is added. It has a thick, syrupy consistency
  • Half and half – For those not familiar, this is a dairy product in the U.S. that falls between whole milk and heavy cream. If you cannot get it where you leave, substitute half whole milk and half heavy cream.

For the whipped cream topping:

  • Heavy cream — Be sure to use unsweetened heavy whipping cream
  • Sugar — Granulated sugar!
  • Vanilla extract – Again, best quality possible.

Ingredients for tres leches cake prepped and labeled on a counter.

How to make the tres leches cake recipe

This is a pretty simple vanilla sponge cake recipe. You’ll use a creaming method to bring everything together.

Step by step photos of making tres leches cake batter.

Step by step photos of the final mixing of tres leches cake batter and pouring into pan.

  1. Preheat your oven and grease a 9×13-inch cake pan.
  2. Whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder in a medium-sized bowl.
  3. Beat the butter using an electric mixer on medium speed, until it’s light and fluffy. To make the job easier, be sure to soften the butter first.
  4. Reduce the speed and add the sugar, eggs (one at a time), and vanilla extract.
  5. Add the flour mixture into the mixer in three batches. Be careful not to over mix the batter; it will cause the cake to be dry.
  6. Pour the batter into your cake pan and spread it into an even layer.
  7. Bake the cake. Wait a few minutes after you remove it from the oven, then transfer the cake to a cooling rack for 30 minutes.

After it’s cool, you’ll use a wooden skewer or fork to poke holes all over the top of the cake.

Poking holes and pouring milk glaze over tres leches cake.

Preparing and adding the milk glaze:

  1. Whisk together the evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, and half and half in a four-cup measuring cup.
  2. Pour the milk glaze evenly over the fully-cooled cake, being sure to fill all the holes you poked into it.
  3. Chill the cake in the refrigerator for at least four hours.

Spreading whipped cream over the top of tres leches cake.

Making the whipped cream frosting:

When you realize how easy it is to make the best whipped cream you’ll ever taste, you’ll never want to buy it again.

  1. Whip the cream, sugar, and vanilla extract in the bowl of an electric mixer on low speed.
  2. Beat the mixture on low until you reach soft peaks.
  3. Increase the speed to medium until the mixture is luscious and thick.
  4. Spread the whipped cream over the cake and refrigerate until serving time.

Pan of tres leches cake with strawberries around the border.

A Few Tips!

  • Cake Flour – Cake flour contains less protein than all-purpose flour and will create a fluffier, more tender cake. Substituting all-purpose flour will affect the texture of the cake. If you do not have cake flour or can’t get it, make this substitution: whisk together ¾ cup sifted all-purpose flour + 2 tablespoons cornstarch for each cup of cake flour.
  • Half & Half – This is a dairy product sold in the U.S. If you cannot get it where you live, substitute equal amounts whole milk and heavy cream.
  • Thin Cake – You’ll notice when the cake comes out of the oven that it is not exceptionally high, but don’t worry! Once it absorbs all of that liquid, it will plump up beautifully.
  • Poking Holes – Try not to hit the bottom of the pan when you poke your holes, which will keep the most liquid in the cake. Some will naturally seep out as it soaks, but by not penetrating the bottom of the cake, you keep the most liquid possible inside the cake.
  • Pour Slowly! – When pouring the milk mixture over the poked holes of the cake, go as slowly as possible. If you rush the process, the cake won’t be able to absorb everything. Even if it takes you 10 to 15 minutes, take it slowly. Drizzle a little bit evenly over the surface, let it sink in, then do a bit more. It is well worth the patience!
  • Serving Suggestions – You can serve the cake as is, chilled of course. In Mexico, an authentic tres leches cake recipe isn’t as sweet as this one, so in Mexico, they serve it with slices of fresh fruit on top; most often, slices of strawberries, peaches, mangos, and pineapple. Toasted coconut and pecans are also popular toppings.
  • Storage: The cake can be stored in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 4 days.
  • Make-Ahead – This is a fabulous make-ahead recipe because it needs to chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours after you pour over the milk mixture, and overnight is even better! For the best flavor and texture, I recommend serving it the second day, but leftovers will keep in the refrigerator for another couple of days.
  • Freezing Instructions – You can freeze the plain cake after it has baked, but not the soaked, assembled cake (it would be too mushy). To freeze the cake, cool completely, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and foil and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then proceed with the recipe to poke holes, pour the milk mixture, and top with whipped cream.

Close up photo of cut tres leches cake in pan.

If you make this recipe and love it, I would so appreciate it if you would take a moment to leave a rating below. Thank you so much!

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Tres Leches Cake Recipe

This Tres Leches Cake recipe makes a delicious authentic Mexican dessert. Make this simple milk cake for any occasion - it's easy!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 20 minutes
resting time 4 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 5 hours 50 minutes
Servings 12 servings
Calories 589kcal
Author Michelle

Ingredients

For the Cake:

  • cups cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • teaspoons vanilla extract

For the Three-Milk Glaze:

  • 12 ounce can evaporated milk
  • 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup half-and-half

For the Whipped Cream:

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  • Make the Cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9x13-inch baking pan; set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the cake flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.
  • Beat the butter with an electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy, about 1 minute. Decrease the speed to low and with the mixer still running, gradually add the sugar over 1 minute. Stop to scrape down the sides of the bowl, if necessary. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, and mix to thoroughly combine. Add the vanilla extract and mix to combine. Add the flour mixture to the batter in 3 batches and mix just until combined. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and spread into an even layer. (This will appear to be a very small amount of batter.)
  • Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the cake is lightly golden and reaches an internal temperature of 200 degrees F. Remove the cake to a cooling rack and allow to cool for 30 minutes. Poke the top of the cake all over with a skewer or fork. Allow the cake to cool completely and then prepare the glaze.
  • Make the Three-Milk Glaze: In a 4-cup measuring cup, whisk together the evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk and the half-and-half. Once combined, slowly pour the glaze evenly over the cake. Refrigerate the cake for at least four hours, or overnight.
  • Make the Whipped Cream: Using an electric mixer, whisk together the heavy cream, sugar and vanilla on low speed until stiff peaks form. Increase to medium speed and whip until thick. Spread the topping over the cake and allow to chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Leftover cake should be covered and refrigerated for up to 1 day.

Video

Notes

  • Cake Flour - Cake flour contains less protein than all-purpose flour and will create a fluffier, more tender cake. Substituting all-purpose flour will affect the texture of the cake. If you do not have cake flour or can't get it, make this substitution: whisk together ¾ cup sifted all-purpose flour + 2 tablespoons cornstarch for each cup of cake flour.
  • Half & Half - This is a dairy product sold in the U.S. If you cannot get it where you live, substitute equal amounts whole milk and heavy cream.
  • Thin Cake - You'll notice when the cake comes out of the oven that it is not exceptionally high, but don't worry! Once it absorbs all of that liquid, it will plump up beautifully.
  • Poking Holes - Try not to hit the bottom of the pan when you poke your holes, which will keep the most liquid in the cake. Some will naturally seep out as it soaks, but by not penetrating the bottom of the cake, you keep the most liquid possible inside the cake.
  • Pour Slowly! - When pouring the milk mixture over the poked holes of the cake, go as slowly as possible. If you rush the process, the cake won't be able to absorb everything. Even if it takes you 10 to 15 minutes, take it slowly. Drizzle a little bit evenly over the surface, let it sink in, then do a bit more. It is well worth the patience!
  • Serving Suggestions - You can serve the cake as is, chilled of course. In Mexico, an authentic tres leches cake recipe isn’t as sweet as this one, so in Mexico, they serve it with slices of fresh fruit on top; most often, slices of strawberries, peaches, mangos, and pineapple. Toasted coconut and pecans are also popular toppings.
  • Storage: The cake can be stored in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 4 days.
  • Make-Ahead - This is a fabulous make-ahead recipe because it needs to chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours after you pour over the milk mixture, and overnight is even better! For the best flavor and texture, I recommend serving it the second day, but leftovers will keep in the refrigerator for another couple of days.
  • Freezing Instructions - You can freeze the plain cake after it has baked, but not the soaked, assembled cake (it would be too mushy). To freeze the cake, cool completely, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and foil and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then proceed with the recipe to poke holes, pour the milk mixture, and top with whipped cream.
Nutritional values are based on one serving

Nutrition

Calories: 589kcal | Carbohydrates: 67g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 19g | Cholesterol: 169mg | Sodium: 220mg | Potassium: 339mg | Sugar: 54g | Vitamin A: 1145IU | Vitamin C: 1.8mg | Calcium: 244mg | Iron: 0.6mg

Recipe from Alton Brown

[photos by Dee of One Sarcastic Baker]

The post Tres Leches Cake Recipe appeared first on Brown Eyed Baker.

The Most Perfect Mashed Potatoes

Perfect Mashed Potatoes! A super simple technique makes all the difference – get wonderfully creamy mashed potatoes each and every time.

The post The Most Perfect Mashed Potatoes appeared first on Brown Eyed Baker.

Say hello to the future star of every single holiday dinner for the rest of your life. A combination of the right potatoes and a super simple technique makes all of the difference here – get wonderfully creamy mashed potatoes each and every time (plus countless requests for the recipe each time you make them!).

Mashed potatoes in a serving bowl with a wooden spoon.

Close your eyes and picture the spread on the table just before Thanksgiving dinner. What do you see?

Probably a huge turkey right in the middle, then an embarrassment of riches when it comes to side dishes covering the rest of the table with little room for water glasses if your family is anything like mine.

Now, for the most important question: What are you MOST excited to eat?!

I typically gloss over the turkey, accepting a small piece of dark meat, and load up on all of those side dishes, but the one that gets me starry-eyed every time is the mashed potatoes.

I’m an unapologetic carb-lover, so perfect mashed potatoes were my life goal for the longest time. It took some time to nail down the technique for truly magnificent potatoes, but once I uncovered it, I’ve never made mashed potatoes another way! These are incredibly easy and require only a few ingredients, meaning there is absolutely no reason for leaving them off of your Thanksgiving menu.

Side by side photos of a pot of cubed potatoes before and after boiling.

Keys to Mashed Potato Bliss

Mashed potatoes are pretty darn basic, right? Boil the potatoes, mash or beat in some liquid, season them, and voila! Potatoes! Except… sometimes they’re not very good, right? Sometimes they turn out gummy or dry or bland and gosh, isn’t that the worst?! Here’s how to make the best-ever mashed potatoes:

  • Use Yukon Gold potatoes. The end. Yukon Gold potatoes don’t have as much starch as russet potatoes, soak up that butter and cream extremely well, and result in a super creamy end product.
  • Add warm butter and cream. In the past, I’ve stirred in softened butter and milk from the fridge, or some variation thereof. Instead, here we are warming the butter and cream on the stove and mashing them into the potatoes, a little at a time. Adding them warm allows them to more easily absorb into the potatoes, making for much smoother and creamier mashed potatoes.
  • Season more than you think you should! Seriously, is there anything worse than bland mashed potatoes? You may think that the amount of salt and pepper in this recipe is a lot, but I promise you that the potatoes taste AMAZING and this is not an area you want to skimp!

Butter and half-and-half in a saucepan before and after melting.

Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes

A few years ago, as a new mom of two, I grew tired of trying to time my potatoes with the turkey being done and carved, so I started making them early in the day and keeping them in the slow cooker on warm. It worked like a charm!

Now I make them in the morning before anyone gets here and they’re piping hot when we sit down to eat.

How-To: Simply make the potatoes as directed, then splash a little heavy cream into the bottom of a 4 to 6-quart slow cooker and transfer the finished mashed potatoes into the slow cooker. Drizzle a little heavy cream on top, cover, and set to warm. Stir every 30 minutes or so and add a splash more cream if the potatoes seem dry at any point. Serve when ready!

Mashing potatoes in a pot with the half-and-half and butter mixture.

My family clamors for these mashed potatoes each and every Thanksgiving, so depending on how many people we’re having, I make either a triple or quadruple batch to ensure there is enough for everyone to eat at dinner and then pack up with their leftovers.

I love that these are super creamy but still retain a good bit of texture and some chunkiness – the best of both worlds when it comes to mashed potatoes. I hope you’ll give this version a try and treat your family and friends to mashed potato nirvana this year.

A close-up photo of mashed potatoes swirled in a bowl with a wooden spoon.

Watch How to Make The Best Mashed Potatoes:

The Most Perfect Mashed Potatoes

A super simple technique makes all the difference – get wonderfully creamy mashed potatoes each and every time.

  • 2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes (peeled and cut into large chunks)
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup half-and-half
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  1. Put the potatoes in a large pot and cover with cold water.
  2. Bring to a boil and cook until the potatoes are very tender.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the butter and half-and-half in a small saucepan over low heat.
  4. Drain the potatoes and return to the pot. Mash up the potatoes a little with a potato masher. Add the melted butter mixture a little at a time and use the potato masher to combine. Once it has all been added, use a wooden spoon or spatula to give it a few stirs to combine completely. Stir in the salt and pepper and stir to combine. Serve immediately.
  • Half and half is a common dairy product sold in the U.S. If it’s not available where you live, you can substitute half whole milk and half heavy cream.
  • You can keep these mashed potatoes warm in a slow cooker if making for a holiday dinner. Splash some cream on the bottom of the slow cooker, add the mashed potatoes, and then a splash of heavy cream on top. Keep the slow cooker on warm and stir occasionally. If the potatoes seem dry at any point, then just stir in some additional cream.
  • These are very well seasoned (there’s nothing worse than bland mashed potatoes!); if you’re watching your salt intake, you may want to cut back on the salt to start and then add more to taste.

Nutritional values are based on one serving

This recipe was originally published on November 22, 2011. Updated in November 2019 with new photos, a video, and extra recipe tips.

[photos by Ari of Well Seasoned]

The post The Most Perfect Mashed Potatoes appeared first on Brown Eyed Baker.