Layered Three Milk Cake Recipe

This layered three milk cake, also known as Tres Leches Cake, is a favorite in Mexico and beyond. It features a couple of light sponges soaked in a creamy mix of evaporated milk, condensed milk and half & half. Learn how to make it using my recipe, the easiest ever!

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Tres Leches Cake

Served “naked” with fruit, or with a light topping like whipped cream with fruit, my family makes it for all kinds of special occasions from birthdays to baptisms to backyard gatherings. Just thinking about it makes my mouth water.

Its versatility allows for a variety of different flavors and fruit combinations. My recipe today is the classic vanilla tres leches cake.

Fluffy Sponge

A fluffy sponge is what you need to soak up all that sweet milk deliciousness. After making it what seems like hundreds of times, I’ve discovered that if I mix the eggs and sugar to the right consistency (fluffy, of course) my sponge comes out airy and light.

My recipe doesn’t require you to separate yolks and whites (which is another way to get a fluffy sponge), so we can skip an extra step.

One Layer or More?

Do I need more than one layer? That is the question. The first tres leches cake I made was one big sponge. But later, I realized that the two-layer cake looks prettier and was easier to serve. However, three milk cake can be served either way. Here are 3 options to choose from using my recipe:

  1. Bake just one sponge (remember using half the ingredients) and use just half of the milk mixture (saving the other half for another time). Frost it with whipped cream and fruit (I like it with strawberries or peaches). The result is a yummy and sweet cake you will be able to unmould and serve easily.
  2. Bake just one sponge and use all the milk mixture. The result will be a very rich, wet and sweet cake. I recommend that you bake the sponge in a serving dish (bake proof of course!), the reason is this cake is very heavy and it will be almost impossible to unmould. Serve with fruit.
  3. Make the recipe as it is (see below) and bake two sponges. Soak both sponges with half the milk mixture each. Fill it with whipped cream and fruit. Then, you’ll have a two-layer cake, sweet and yummy. Serve with more whipped cream and fruit on top.

RELATED POST: Milk Gelatin

Rebanada de pastel de tres leches

Three Milk Cake Baking Tips

I’ve found if I add the milk mixture to the hot (or warm) sponge, the milk mixture will get absorbed faster and easier.

Make sure to frost, or fill in (in the case of a two-layer cake) your cake when it is completely cooled down.

I like to serve it either “naked” with fruit, or with whipped cream and fruit. If you like the latter I would recommend the use of whipped cream that is not too sweet, the cake is rich and sweet so it won’t need a lot more sugar. Even better, make your own at home, here is my easy whipped cream recipe.

Finally, but no less important, I recommend you leave it in the fridge for one day, so it’s cold and moist when you serve it.

If you make your own layered three milk cake, be sure to snap a photo and share it with us on social media using the #mamalatinatipsrecipes hashtag. I’d love to see it and have a chance to share it as well.

RELATED POST: Inside Out Cherry Vanilla Tres Leches Cake

Layered Three Milk Cake

Ingredients

For the Sponges

  • 6 eggs
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 3 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1/2 cup fresh milk
  • Butter or oil for preparing the baking pan
  • Fruit (strawberries or peaches) or edible flowers and extra whipping cream for decoration.  Check out my Whipped Cream Recipe,

For the Three Milk Mixture

  • 1 can (14 oz) condensed milk
  • 1 can (12 oz) evaporated milk
  • 1/2 pint half & half

You will also need

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Process

Preheat the oven to 350 F (170 C) degrees.

Oil round pans with butter or oil. Cover pan with parchment paper and oil again. This will make the unmold easier.

Beat the eggs and sugar in a medium bowl until fluffy (approx. 4-5 min), stir in vanilla and beat well until smooth.

Sift flour and baking powder three times. Add one-third of the dry ingredients to the batter, mix well. Pour in the fresh milk and incorporate the rest of the flour mix.

Pour batter into prepared pans and bake for 25 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the middle comes out cleanly. Let it rest for five minutes.

Blend condensed milk, evaporated milk and half & half. Remove sponges from pan and pierce surface all around with a fork or toothpick. Pour half of the milk mixture over one the warm cake slowly until absorbed, repeat with the second one. Let it rest until cool.

Pouring milk over tres leches cake

Place one sponge in a serving dish, add a layer of whipped cream and fruit of your choice. Place the second sponge on top. Refrigerate for a day.

tres leches cake with peaches and whipped cream

Frost cake with whipping cream and garnish with fruit or edible flowers before serving. Enjoy!

RELATED POST: Mexican Cheesecake

Tres leches cake

Print the Layered Three Milk Cake Recipe

Tres Leches Cake
5 from 15 votes

Layered Three Milk Cake

Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time44 mins
Total Time49 mins
Servings: 16 slices
Calories: 351kcal

Ingredients

  • 6 eggs
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 3 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1/2 cup fresh milk
  • 1 can 14 oz condensed milk
  • 1 can 12 oz evaporated milk
  • 1/2 pint half & half
  • Fruit strawberries or peaches or flowers and extra whipping cream for decoration.  
  • 4 cups whipped cream Check out my Whipping Cream Recipe,

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (170 C)
  • Oil round pans with butter or oil. Cover pan with parchment paper and oil again. This will make the unmold easier.
  • Beat the eggs and sugar in a medium bowl until fluffy (aprox. 4-5 min), stir in vanilla and beat well until smooth. Sift flour and baking powder three times. Add one third of the dry ingredients into the batter, mix well. Pour in the fresh milk and incorporate the rest of the flour mix.
  • Pour batter into prepared pans and bake for 25 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the middle comes out cleanly. Let it rest for five minutes.
  • Blend condensed milk, evaporated milk and half & half. Remove sponges from pan and pierce surface all around with a fork or toothpick. Pour half of the milk mixture over one the warm cake slowly until absorbed, repeat with the second one. Let it rest until cool.
  • Place one sponge in a serving dish, add a layer of whipped cream and fruit of your choice. Place the second sponge on top. Refrigerate for a day.
  • Frost cake with whipping cream and garnish with fruit or edible flowers before serving. Enjoy!

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Layered Three Milk Cake
Amount Per Serving
Calories 351 Calories from Fat 99
% Daily Value*
Fat 11g17%
Saturated Fat 6g38%
Cholesterol 94mg31%
Sodium 90mg4%
Potassium 325mg9%
Carbohydrates 56g19%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 42g47%
Protein 8g16%
Vitamin A 376IU8%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 211mg21%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Desserts
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: layered three milk cake,, layered tres leches cake
Author: Silvia

Notes

I highly recommend to make the cake one day before you plan serving it. It will be cold, moist and yummy. 
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www.mamalatinatips.com

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Kate
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Kate

Tres Leches is up there in my favorite cakes list. This layered tres leches cake is not only yummy, but beautiful!

Enriqueta E Lemoine
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Enriqueta E Lemoine

I need to try this layer idea, cause mine is simple! BTW your pics are amazing Silvia!

Vicky
Guest
Vicky

Ay! Qué deliciosa se ve está torta de tres leches! Se ve esponjosa y suave!!! Qué delicia!!

Rory Lassanske
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Rory Lassanske

Tres leches cake is my all time favorite! Love this recipe with whipping cream and apricot!

Yaimar Pérez
Guest
Yaimar Pérez

This is a incredible recipe! Love the three milk cake! 🤤

Ana
Guest
Ana

No sabes cómo me gusta el pastel tres leches. Me recuerda tanto a mi niñez en México. Claro que me he llevado varias desilusiones probándolo en Estados Unidos. Así es que como este three milk cake se ve buenísimo tengo que hacerlo

DAQUI
Guest
DAQUI

Muchas ganas de probar la receta. Me encantan así tan bien explicadas y las fotos preciosas

Enriqueta E Lemoine
Guest
Enriqueta E Lemoine

Silvia, paso de nuevo por aqui a decirte que TIENES qu eponer el video en YT! He dicho!

Vanessa
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Vanessa

OMG! You added layers to my favorite cake! I want it now.

Vanessa
Guest
Vanessa

OMG! You added layers to my favorite cake! I want it now. Love it!

Rach
Guest
Rach

I’ve never heard of three milk cake but it sure looks delicious! The peaches on top just make it. Yum!

Chelsea Messina
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Chelsea Messina

every time I read your posts I get hungry. the pictures alone make my mouth water. I cant wait to try this one.

Tara Pittman
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Tara Pittman

This cake sounds amazing. I need to make it this weekend.

Amber Myers
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Amber Myers

This looks so good! I don’t think I’ve ever had a cake like this. I’m sure I’ll love it.

Heidi
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Heidi

That cake looks amazing. I love the fresh fruit on top. I lived in China for a while, and I remember that is how they topped their cakes, too. (At least where I lived)

Cristina Petrini
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Cristina Petrini

It really looks like the cake made for me, considering my passion for milk!

Ceci Rey
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Ceci Rey

What a great recipe. My girls would love this…and would be excited to help make it too! Thanks for sharing!

Natalie
Guest
Natalie

This cake looks so moist! This just made me crave some cake so bad! Love a good cake.

Mommy Sigrid
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Mommy Sigrid

We love milk cakes. We call that tres leches cake around here. But yours has so much more color. Lovet! And I know the kids will, too. 🙂 But I dunno if I have the power to make it. 😀

Cindy Ingalls
Guest
Cindy Ingalls

This cake looks so delicious. I can see why it is a favorite in Mexican culture.

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