Thursday, May 5, 2011

Uno, Dos, Tres...Tres Leches Cake!!!

Feliz Cinco de Mayo! I'm not even really sure what Cinco de Mayo is about but I love Mexican food! And when I saw this recipe for a Tres Leches cake, I knew I had to celebrate!

Now I'm normally a peanut-butter-and-chocolate-kind-of-dessert girl but a while back Superking and I went to a Mexican restaurant called La Sandia.  Excellent food and excellent service. But thats for another post.  Anyway, when we were there I decided to venture out of my peanut-butter-chocolate box and try their Tres Leches cake that was highly recommended by our waiter.  Ok, its different, I'll give it a try. I fell in LOVE!  It was awesome! So creamy and sweet!

"Tres Leches" means "three milks" in Spanish.  Evaporated milk.  Sweetened condensed milk. And half-and-half.  Those are the three milks that give this cake its name. Most of the time when you have something at a restaurant thats that awesome and then you try to recreate it at home, it never turns out the same.  This however, did not disappoint! I was actually surprised at how good it turned out. Super delicious, creamy, milky, surprisingly light, and sweet but not too sweet with strawberries as the perfect compliment.

This recipe I found on another food blog called Caleigh's Kitchen who says she adapted the recipe from Alton Brown, a FoodNetwork Star.  There's not much difference between the two.  Either way, you'll get a lovely treat to celebrate any day!

*1 1/2 cups cake or all-purpose flour
*1 tsp baking powder
*1/2 tsp salt
*one stick unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
*1 1/8 cup sugar
*5 eggs
*1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

*1 (12oz) can evaporated milk
*1 (14oz) can sweetened condensed milk
*1 cup half-and-half
*1/2 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla beans

Whipped Topping:
*2 cups heavy whipping cream
*1 1/8 cup sugar
*1 tsp vanilla

Directions for the cake:
Preheat oven to 350F. Spray 9x13 cake pan and lightly sprinkle with flour.  In a mixing bowl, combine flour, salt, and baking powder and set aside.

Put your softened stick of butter in mixer and beat on medium-high until butter is fluffy.  Slow down speed to low and gradually add in sugar.  Be sure to scrape the sides of bowl.  Add the eggs, 1 at a time, and the vanilla.  Mix until combined.  Slowly add dry ingredients to the batter in 3 even batches and mix just until combined.  Pour batter into greased cake pan and spread evenly.  Bake for 20-25 minutes.

Remove cake from oven to a cooling rack for 30 minutes.  Poke holes in top of cake all over with a fork.  Allow cake to cool completely while preparing the glaze.

For the Glaze:
Whisk together the three milks and vanilla or vanilla beans.  Once combined, slowly pour glaze over cake. Refrigerate cake overnight.

can you believe I've never used real vanilla beans before this??

check out those vanilla bean flakes floating in the milky glaze!

now for the holes

lots of holes

now we watch the milk soak into the cake

For Topping:
Mix the heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla in your stand mixer with the whisk attachment.  Whip on a low speed until stiff peaks are formed. Bump the speed up to medium and whisk until thick.  At this point you can either spread it over the cake like frosting or put the topping in a bowl to refrigerate until ready to serve cake and add a small dollop on top of each serving piece.

this is what happens when you try to use half-and-half to make whipped becomes a frothy milky mess

THIS is what whipped cream is supposed to look like!

Yay! I'm learning!

ITS SO FLUFFY!! (Despicable Me movie reference)

OH! Theres a cake thief!

Technically you're supposed to let the cake refrigerate overnight to let all the milk soak in...

but I couldn't wait.

Happy Cinco de Mayo to me!!


  1. i will attest to this cake's nom'y-ness. the idea of a soggy cake is revolting, but a tres leches cake done right is "mooey buh-wayno"

  2. I love a good tres leches I really want a piece :)

  3. Thanks for checking out my blog! Yeah, the only difference between mine and Altons recipe is the Vanilla Beans! But I changed that part, so I couldn't put it was his full recipe! hope you enjoyed the twist! You might even get addicted to using vanilla beans! Check out the ground tahitian vanilla beans from Williams dont even have to work to get them!