Cinco de Mayo is soon to arrive. It’s time to celebrate with some Margaritas and Coronas (with lime of course), and to have some good fun and good eats. But most of all, it’s time to enjoy the best Tres Leches Cake among the recipes that I’ve put together for you here. And even when it’s not Cinco de Mayo, this cake is simply divine!

My students from Latin America introduced me to this beloved that is ever so popular in their culture. They surprised my class with a huge cake to share with everyone. It was a crazy, HUGE hit alright!

Food in class is always awesome! High fives from everyone! We were all begging for more! But, sadly, there was only one cake to go around!

What is Tres Leches Cake?

Known as “Pastel de Tres Leches”, it literally means an ultra-light, extremely moist sponge cake that results from three types of sweet milk soaked throughout. The spongy texture of the cake allows it to easily soak up the three milks that flavor the cake . . . almost 4 cups of milk. That’s a LOT of milk!

Traditionally, it is Cream + Sweetened Condensed Milk + Evaporated Milk that make the ‘tres leches’ (three milk) mixture. And as crazy as it sounds for a cake . . . there is no butter or oil added! It’s simply heaven in a cake!

There are so many recipes for Tres Leches Cake, including the recipe that my family adores. But if you’re like me, you like a little variety in your life. These recipes will keep your taste buds and tummy happy for a LONG time! You can’t go wrong with any of these recipes.

CLASSIC Tres Leches Cakes

Tres Leches Cake from La Bella Vita Cucina

photo: Tastes Better From Scratch

Tres Leches Cake from Tastes Better From Scratch

photo: Mexico In My Kitchen

Tres Leches from Mexico In My Kitchen

photo: The Recipe Critic

Tres Leches Cake from The Recipe Critic

CHOCOLATE Tres Leches Cakes

Chocolate and Espresso Tres Leches from La Bella Vita Cucina

photo: Lalita’s Recipes

Chocolate Tres Leches from Lalita’s Recipes

STRAWBERRY Tres Leches Cake

photo: Mind Over Batter

Strawberry Tres Leches from Mind Over Batter

photo: Rhubarb and Cod

Strawberry Tres Leches from Rhubarb and Cod

CARAMEL Tres Leches Cake

photo: Brown Eyed Baker

Caramel Tres Leches from Brown Eyed Baker

LEMON Tres Leches Cake

photo: Y Delicacies

Tres Leches with Lemon Curd from Y Delicacies

ORANGE Tres Leches Cakes

photo: Erica’s Sweet Tooth

Orange Layered Tres Leches from Erica’s Sweet Tooth

Photo: Frontier Coop

Blood Orange Tres Leches Cupcakes from Frontier Coop

LIME Tres Leches Cake

photo: Now, Forager

Coconut Lime Tres Leches from Now, Forager

Tres Leches Cake

Tres Leches Cake

One of the most popular and beloved desserts from Latin America and Mexico, this cake is ultra-moist, sweet, with a delicate texture.  Plan ahead for when you want to serve it because it needs to be refrigerated for 4 hours to overnight.  Perfect for when the weather is warm because it is served cold!  Enjoy!




  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1-1/2 cups (1-1/2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 6 jumbo eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 2-1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1  12-14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1  12-14 oz. can evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1-1/2 cups whipping cream
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F degrees.
  2. Grease and flour a 13 X 9 inch cake pan.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt.
  4. Stir with a fork to mix well.
  5. In a large bowl, combine the butter and sugar and beat with a mixer on high to mix well.
  6. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each egg is added.
  7. Beat mixture until light, fluffy, and smooth.
  8. Add one third of the flour mixture, then half of the milk and beat on low.
  9. Repeat a second time, and then add the remaining flour and beat until all of the flour and milk are blended completely.
  10. Pour batter into prepared pan.
  11. Bake for 40 minutes, until golden brown.
  12. While cake is baking, combine the heavy cream, sweetened condenesed milk and evaporated mil in a large bowl.
  13. Add the sugar and vanilla extract to the milks and stir well.
  14. When the cake is completely baked, insert a fork into the top of the cake all over and make holes so that the milk sauce absorbs everywhere.
  15. SLOWLY pour the milk sauce over the cake, taking breaks so that the sauce can absorb slowly before adding more in stages.
  16. Let the cake stand for 1 hour.
  17. Cover, refrigerate for a minimum of four (4) hours or overnight.
  18. Just before serving, blend the whipping cream, sugar and vanilla extract for the whipped topping.
  19. Spread on cooled cake.
  20. Garnish with your favorite fruits!

TIPS on Making Tres Leches

  • Plan ahead since the cake needs to soak for 4 hours or (even better) overnight in the refrigerator, giving enough time for the cake to soak up the milk mixture. Cover it with plastic wrap.
  • You can prepare this cake a day ahead. It’s a great cake to make ahead for a party!
  • It’s best to use cake flour instead of all purpose flour because it creates a more tender cake texture. This also helps the milk soak through better.
  • After the cake bakes, it’s better to poke holes all over the cake so that the milks are absorbed more thoroughly. This is fun for the kids to do! For this, you can use skewers, chopsticks (my favorite), straws, or forks.
  • Before serving, top the cake with a thick layer of sweetened whipped cream. There’s a lot of sugar in the whipped cream that results in a super sweet topping. This cake is a sugar lover’s dream cake!
  • Garnish with anything that you like. My family loves strawberries and raspberries so that’s what I prefer to use. Mint leaves, cinnamon, drizzled chocolate or caramel sauce are just a few ideas.
  • After serving, cover the cake again with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 4 days. However, it’s best to enjoy this cake within 2 days.