Pastel de Tres Leches – Three Milks Cake


This cake is delicious!

I love anything that has sweetened condensed milk in it (rum balls, fudge, easy lemon posset etc).

There are many variations of this  traditional South American cake around on the net. Essentially it is a cake soaked in a mixture of fresh milk, evaporated milk, and sweetened condensed milk.  This is a sponge cake, however the same soaking method can be used with a butter cake. There are also Chocolate and Caramel Tres Lches Cakes around.

It’s not well known in Australia, but with all South American cuisines becoming very fashionable and popular, this will soon change. I had  many questions and compliments for this dessert when I served it at a party, I think because it’s something that most people here have not tried.

I was worried when I cooked the sponge it seemed dry and very ‘eggy’. and I was still worried when I tasted the three milk mixture…

But  the soaking overnight and the layer of cream made magic happen. The cake was lusciously moist but not soggy, with a lovely sweet milky vanilla flavor, and not overly sweet.

The recipe is re blogged from

This recipe worked really well, but is does make a rather large cake. The only changes I made was using a vanilla bean, rather than essence, no essence in the milk mixture, using 3/4 of a can of the evaporated milk (the cans in Australia are bigger than 12oz)  and leaving the cake to soak for 24 hours.

The cake will soak up all the liquid milk mixture if left long enough, and although not soggy it will be difficult to move to a different plate or platter, so turn it out and soak on the platter you are going to serve on.


For the cake
9 eggs, separated
1 cup sugar
half a vanilla bean,
2 cups plain flour

For the sauce
1 can sweetened condensed milk
3 /4 can evaporated milk
1 cup milk

Whipped cream to cover cake
2 cups  whipping cream
1/4 cup pure icing sugar

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Butter a 9 x 13 inch pan (about 22cm by 33cm), lining the bottom with a piece of baking paper cut to fit the pan.
  2. Pour the egg whites into the bowl of  mixer and beat on medium-high speed for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the whites hold soft peaks. Slowly stir in the sugar and continue beating until they hold hard or more stiff peaks. Turn off the mixer and with a spatula, move the egg white mixture onto a large mixing bowl.
  3. Rinse the bowl of the mixer and its whisk. Pour the egg yokes into the bowl of the mixer and beat on medium-high speed for about 5 to 6 minutes, or until the egg yolks become creamy, puffy and their color has toned down to an almost cream color rather than a loud yellow. Stir in the vanilla seeds and continue beating for another minute. Turn off the mixer
  4. Gently fold the egg yolk mixture onto the egg white mixture and with a spatula, combine them into a homogeneous single batter. Try not to lose much volume from the mixture. When combined, fold in the flour, scraping the bowl with the spatula so that all the flour is well mixed.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and place into the oven for 22 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. It can be a bit moist, but not wet. The top of the cake should be tanned and feel fluffy if you touch it. Remove it from the oven and let it cool.
  6. Once it cools down, turn it onto a platter. Remove the baking paper and cover the top with an upside down platter and invert again. The platter should be large enough to hold the cake and the vanilla sauce you are about to prepare. Using a fork, or two, poke wholes all over the cake so that it will better absorb the vanilla sauce.
  7. In a mixing bowl, combine the sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk and milk. Pour the  sauce over the cake. Leave cake for at least a couple of hours in the refrigerator to soak up the milks.
  8. When ready to serve, combine cream and icing sugar in the electric mixer bowl, beat  on medium to high speed until the cream hold stiff peaks, cover cake or decoratively pipe if desired ( my niece decorated mine with sugar pearls and edible glitter)


Egg whites with stiff peaks

Eggs yokes pale and creamy

Eggs yokes pale and creamy

Eggs and flour combined

Eggs and flour combined



One thought on “Pastel de Tres Leches – Three Milks Cake

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s