Inside-Out Cherry Vanilla Tres Leches Ice Cream Cake


The temperature's rising, summer's approaching, and with it, a chance to be creative and explore a variety of sweet flavor trends that are just plain cool. I make my classic tres leches cake for my family about 4 times a year, and it will always be a personal favorite. But I wanted to mix it up a little with this one, and wow! I think I may have discovered a new classic.

Classic tres leches cake, or Three Milk Cake, is made by infusing a cake sponge with three different types of milk. We make it often for birthdays, and I'll admit, I ate a lot of it in college while sipping coffee with my friends at sidewalk cafes.

Cherry Vanilla-3 leches ice cream cake by

Thank you to the National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association (NFRA) for making this post possible. All comments, opinions and my love for exploring new cultures, tastes, and flavor combinations are my own!

This recipe, my extreme variation of the Latin food classic, spreads a lovely layer of cherry-vanilla ice cream in the middle and all around the top and sides, too. Then, I add gorgeous frozen berries of all kinds to the center layer, both tart and sweet for balance, which just screams summer satisfaction. How perfect and delicious for a party!

Tres leches cherry-vanilla ice cream cake by


RELATED POST: Marbled Tres Leches Cake

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. First, I love how those beautiful cherries from the Breyers® Cherry Vanilla ice cream peek out and pop that rich, burgundy-cherry marbling everywhere. Next, the frozen fruit in the center keeps things light and refreshing. And I just love how the cake crumb becomes infused and saturated with milk. The dense, frozen cake crumb almost has a slight nutty character, which makes it even more delightful. I could go on, but let's just say, it's easy, fun, delicious, and oh so cool for the summer.

RELATED POST: Tres Leches Latte

Cherry Vanilla-3 leches ice cream cake inside view by

Inside-Out Cherry Vanilla Tres Leches Ice Cream Cake

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Total time (including 8 hours refrigeration + 6 hours in the freezer): 15 hours and 25 minutes.


For cake

  • 4 oz  + 1 tablespoon unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cup of flour, sifted three times
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1/4 cup of milk
  • 1 can (14 oz) condensed milk
  • 1 can (12 oz) evaporated milk
  • 1 cup half and half

For filling and frosting

Breyers ice cream and Dole berries

You will also need

  • 2-8 inches round baking pans
  • 1-9 inches round springform pan
  • Parchment paper
  • Wax paper
  • Plastic wrap

Preheat the oven to 350 F (170 C) degrees

Butter the two 8-inches round baking pans, then line sides and bottom with parchment paper. Set aside.

Beat butter and sugar until soft. Add eggs one by one, until incorporated. Add one-half of the dry ingredients into the batter, mix again. Add the 1/4 cup fresh milk and the rest of the dry ingredients and mix until smooth. Just until integrated. Be careful not to over mix.

Divide the batter between the two lined baking pans.

Bake for 20 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the middle comes out clean. Let it rest for five minutes. Pierce surface all around with a fork or toothpick. Blend condensed milk, evaporated milk and half & half. Pour 1 cup of the milk mixture on one cake slowly until absorbed. Repeat with the other cake. Put the rest of the milk mixture in the fridge.* You will notice the cake will absorb milk mixture slowly so I recommend using two different cups and alternating back and forth.  Let it rest until cool and refrigerate for at least 8 hours.

Tres leches cake (Pastel 3 leches) by

After the 8 hours. Butter springform pan (this helps the paper stick to the form of the pan) and line bottom and sides with wax paper. Spread a 1/2-inch layer of Breyers® Cherry Vanilla ice cream in the bottom. Take one of the cakes and with a fast move, turn it over on top of ice cream, remove the parchment paper that should be stuck to the bottom of the cake. Make sure the cake is centered. Spread a 1/4-inch layer of ice cream on top of the cake, then add one layer of Dole® frozen berries. Cover with the second cake. Then fill the space between cake and sides of pan with more ice cream.

Cherry Vanilla-3 leches ice cream cake filling by

Cover the top with a layer of wax paper, then cover the whole pan with 1 to 2 layers of plastic wrap. Put in the freezer for at least 4 hours.

For serving, remove the plastic wrap and top layer of wax paper. Put the springform pan upside down on a platter, unlock the sides of the pan. With the help of a plastic spatula separate cake from the bottom of the pan. Remove wax paper covering the cake.

Smooth ice cream, garnish with cherries and serve immediately.

Cherry Vanilla-3 leches ice cream cake (slice) by


You may freeze the other half of the milk mixture and bake a traditional tres leches cake another time. Check out my recipe here.

This post was originally published on May 20, 2015 and updated on May 30, 2018.


Silvia Martinez
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