Tres leches cake is an icon in Mexican celebrations. It is a sweet sponge cake with such a light, creamy, and delicious taste.
What distinguishes this cake is it is soaked in a milk mixture, allowing the flavors to seep inside the dessert.
But while you might think that tres leches is soggy, it’s not. Its distinct texture and structure keep it from being too moist.
If you’re curious, you can always try out some good Mexican store tres leches cake. But you can also make it yourself!
1. Authentic Tres Leches Cake
Three milk cake (in English) have many varieties. But the best tres leches cake is always the real one, so let’s start with that.
Pastel de tres leches is a soft, vanilla sponge cake soaked in a milk mixture. The mixture has condensed milk, evaporated milk, and heavy cream.
You can add vanilla and alcohol (rum or brandy) to the milk mixture. This gives it a bit of a kick.
A delicious frosting of whipped cream, sugar, and vanilla covers the entire cake. It’s then topped with some fruits.
2. Cuban Tres Leches Cake
Tres leches cake isn’t just a Mexican thing. It’s a part of several Latin American and Caribbean cultures.
Thus, I’ve included a Cuban tres leches cake recipe. It’s like the first recipe, which is Mexican, but there are subtle differences.
For instance, although there are three kinds of milk, there’s no vanilla or alcohol added.
The icing has no whipping cream and an egg white mixture instead.
This dessert is a staple in every quinceañera or a girl’s 15th birthday. But you don’t need a birthday to try it, don’t you?
3. Layered Tres Leches Cake
Most tres leches are single-layer sheets. However, I’ve found a way to transform it into a gorgeous multi-layered dessert.
Like the other ones, this has a cake base, milk syrup, and frosting. The flour mixture contains ingredients like flour and baking powder.
The ingredients for the syrup and frosting are pretty standard. It has evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, and whipping cream.
Strawberries are also laid down in the center of the cake, along with some frosting. They form a great, sweet, and fresh-flavored filling.
4. Strawberry Tres Leches Cake
Many tres leches cakes have strawberries as a garnish. But for this recipe, the fruit’s flavor prevails the dessert.
This sweet, soft cake is excellent for the summer. It’s filled with fresh and creamy flavors from the strawberry milk.
You’ll need strawberries, sugar, whole milk, evaporated milk, and heavy cream. You will use those to soak the cake.
Fresh strawberries and whipped cream cover the entire cake top. It takes over two hours to make, but it’s worth it.
5. Chocolate Tres Leches Cake
Chocolate and milk are a classic combination. The flavors blend together nicely into a sweet and creamy dessert.
This recipe has a chocolate cake drenched in the standard tres leches mixture. This recipe uses evaporated milk, condensed milk, heavy cream, and vanilla flavoring.
There are three elements to this recipe: the cake batter, milk mixture, and whipped cream. You’ll use fine ingredients, so you’d have a high-quality dessert.
To serve, top the soaked cake with whipped cream and some chocolate shavings. You can add some cinnamon to the cream, too, for taste.
6. Lemon Tres Leches Cake
Look no further if you want tres leches with bright and refreshing flavors. I have here a recipe for a great lemon tres leches cake.
The lemon flavors are present in the cake batter as you add fresh zest and extract.
The taste is further elevated by the lemon extract in the whipped cream.
Although this is a simple and easy tres leches cake to make, it’s a delight to taste. It’s full of citrus flavors that cut into the creaminess.
7. Banana Tres Leches Cake
Here we have another fruity cake – a banana tres leches. What makes this one unique besides the flavors is the milk mixture.
This recipe calls for a mix of condensed milk, coconut milk, and whipping cream. The coconut flavor compliments the banana goodness in the cake batter.
You can garnish the entire cake with frosting, banana slices, and toasted coconut.
Because it’s Betty Crocker’s, ingredients are easy to find and pre-made. Procedures are straightforward, so you can have a slice in a few hours.
8. Peach Bourbon Tres Leches
The flavors in this cake feel like an elevated summer experience.
The freshness of peaches leaves your tongue with a sweet and cool feeling. Then, you’d get the spicy kick of the bourbon.
Amidst all those, you also get hints of cinnamon and vanilla. These subtly complement everything else.
The cake’s top is a bed of peaches and fluffy whipped cream topping. Overall, it’s a heavenly dessert.
But if you can’t get enough of the peach flavors, there’s room for modification. You can swap bourbon for peach schnapps to get all those fruit summer flavors.
9. Coffee Tres Leches Cake
This dessert is also known as Cafe Con Tres Leches Cake. Described as a union of Mexican tres leches with tiramisu, a coffee-based dessert.
The coffee exudes in both the milk mixture and the topping. You will use a strong brewed coffee for a bold taste profile for the mix.
Meanwhile, heavy cream topping includes a teaspoon of instant coffee granules. While that seems few, instant coffee has intense flavors.
Chocolate shavings and almonds top this gorgeous dessert.
10. Caramel Tres Leches
It seems like caramel is a favorite among Turks. They came up with their caramel tres leches cake, which they call “trileçe”.
A layer of buttery caramel tops the cake and whipped cream. This gives the dessert a sweet and gorgeous golden brown top.
So, when you build this cake, the bottom is a sponge layer doused with milk syrup. Then you slather a whipped cream topping before laying down the caramel.
You can make designs on the caramel top by drawing lines using whipped cream. It leaves a very striking effect.
11. Red Velvet Tres Leches Cake
Red velvet has always been an impressive dessert to anyone because of its fiery bright color.
Traditionally, it’s made with chocolate rich in anthocyanins, producing a red-colored cake.
However, this recipe goes for the more convenient food coloring. Thus, it’s easy to find one at a nearby store even if you don’t have it at home.
You will soak the red velvet cake in a tres leches mixture made with white chocolate. It then has a frosting of cream cheese, whipping cream, icing sugar, and (again) white chocolate.
12. Tres Leches Brownie Cake
Brownie? Great. Cake? Awesome. Brownie-and-cake-in-one? Heavenly.
This recipe combines three dessert favorites: brownie, cake, and tres leches. Thus, it’s really rich in flavor.
Instead of a sponge cake base, the bottom layer is a chocolate brownie. It is then soaked with a tres leches filling.
Finally, there is a whipped cream topping made of sugar, cream, and vanilla extract. You can sprinkle some tiny chocolate bits, too.
There’s little to fault with this dessert. It’s a very great concept that unites many of our favorites.
13. Tres Leches Bundt Cake
A bundt pan is a mold with a donut-like shape – there’s a hole in the middle, but unlike a donut, there are segments.
Thus, a cake made with a bundt pan has a distinct appearance. It’s almost regal to look at, especially with the right toppings.
This recipe has transformed the usual sheet cake tres leches into an elegant bundt cake. It’s also adorned with whipped cream frosting, some sliced strawberries, and flowers.
Simply put, this dessert is terrific to look at. It’s also pretty easy to make.
14. Tres Leches Custard Cake
This is another combination dish. It brings together tres leches, custard, meringue, and chiffon cake.
Custard is an egg yolk mixture. Meanwhile, meringue uses egg whites, cream of tartar, and sugar.
The meringue serves as the topping instead of the usual whipped cream. Besides that, you can also garnish the cake with chocolate shavings and strawberries.
This recipe is different because it uses only two kinds for the milk mix: evaporated milk and 2% milk. However, the custard also contains milk, so you’d still have three milk types.
15. Coconut Tres Leches Cake Trifle
If the word “trifle” reminds you of Rachel Green’s disastrous concoction, don’t worry. This won’t be like that.
As the author says, this one is “heaven in each bite.” Each layer is well-thought of, and every element complements the other.
The assembly is gorgeous, with white coconut cake on the base, followed by a coconut pastry cream. It’s all topped with whipped cream and toasted coconut garnish.
To be honest, this one takes quite a lot of time, effort, and ingredients. But this show-stopping cake is worth it.
16. Pina Colada Tres Leches Cake
Nothing screams more Caribbean and summer than this. It’s perfect for a Friday night when you need both a drink AND a cake.
The sponge cake base has dark rum, pineapple juice, cream of tartar, and crushed pineapple.
For the tres leches, you’d need the milk trio plus some vanilla extract and coconut rum.
The coconut rum whipped cream needs a lot of coconut: extract, rum, and chips. You combine them with cream, sugar, and vanilla extract.
You can garnish with pineapple wedges and maraschino cherries.
17. Biscoff Tres Leches Cake
I’m pretty sure you’ve heard of Biscoff. But if you haven’t, it’s a popular soft biscuit.
Over time, a spread based on the biscuit was born. You will use both the spread and the cookies.
Every element of this dessert contains Biscoff. There are either biscuits or spread in the cake batter.
You can use the spread in the milk mixture, but you can switch it for caramel or dulce de leche too.
Both the icing and topping have Biscoff in them too. The icing has spread while the toppings are caramel sauce and cookies.
17 Tasty Tres Leches Cake Recipes
These are some of the tastiest tres leches cake recipes you have to try!
Authentic Tres Leches Cake
Cuban Tres Leches Cake
Layered Tres Leches Cake
Strawberry Tres Leches Cake
Chocolate Tres Leches Cake
Lemon Tres Leches Cake
Banana Tres Leches Cake
Peach Bourbon Tres Leches Cake
Coffee Tres Leches Cake
Caramel Tres Leches Cake
Red Velvet Tres Leches Cake
Tres Leches Brownie Cake
Tres Leches Bundt Cake
Tres Leches Custard Cake
Coconut Tres Leches Cake Trifle
Pina Colada Tres Leches Cake
Biscoff Tres Leches Cake
- Select your favorite recipe.
- Organize all the required ingredients.
- Prep a tres leches cake in 30 minutes or less!