The Best Tres Leches Cake


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The BEST Tres Leches Cake  — This easy authentic three milk cake melts in your mouth and requires just 15 minutes of hands-on prep!!  This is a recipe your family will love! Perfect for Cinco de Mayo!!

Two slices of homemade tres leches cake on white plates

What is Tres Leches Cake? 

Whenever I’m in Mexico, in addition to lots of guacamole, salsa, black beans, and margaritas, tres leches cake is a must. I wanted to make one in advance of Cinco de Mayo because it’s one of my all-time favorite cakes.

This Mexican cake is every bit as good as the tres leches cakes I’ve had in Mexico — in fact, it’s the best ever!

It’s an absolute dessert highlight of my year and I highly recommend it.

Tres leches cake gets its name because after making a soft, tender cake (which ironically has no butter or oil, but you won’t miss them), you poke holes in the cake before pouring over a mixture of three milks — sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, and heavy cream.

I like to think of it as the original poke cake. It’s ridiculously moist, beautifully sweet, and perfectly tender. It just melts in your mouth.

A slice of tres leches cake on a white dessert plate.

Ingredients for Tres Leches Cake

This authentic tres leches cake recipe has three main components: the sponge cake itself, the three types of milk that are poured over it, and the creamy whipped topping that’s spread on last.

To make this easy tres leches cake recipe, you’ll need: 

  • Eggs
  • Granulated sugar
  • Whole milk
  • Vanilla extract
  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking powder
  • Salt
  • Sweetened condensed milk
  • Evaporated milk
  • Heavy whipping cream 
  • Cinnamon
  • Confectioners’ sugar

A slice of tres leches sponge cake, with a bite missing.

How to Make Tres Leches Cake

This three milk cake is so easy to make! You can use a hand mixer or a good old wooden spoon. 

The cake itself is similar to your average cake recipe; the one major difference is that there’s no oil or butter in the batter. Instead, you have to whip egg whites until soft peaks form and then gently fold them into the batter. 

This tres leches cake needs to bake for around 32 to 35 minutes. You’ll know when it’s ready to be taken out of the oven when the center is set but springs back when you gently press a finger into it. 

Once the cake is out of the oven, make the tres leches mixture. Just combine the three milks in a bowl and whisk thoroughly to combine. 

Then, poke lots of holes into the cake with a fork and pour the milk mixture over top. Let the cake cool completely to room temperature for a few hours before making the whipped cream topping and spreading it onto the cake. 

I like the finish my tres leches cake with a sprinkle of cinnamon, but that’s totally optional! 

Tip: I also have a recipe for tres leches cupcakes that I think you’ll love! 

The Best Tres Leches Cake - Soft, tender, and soaked with three milks! It just melts in your mouth and it's the BEST tres leches cake ever!! You need to try this AMAZING cake!!

Can I Make This Recipe Dairy-Free? 

Possibly, but the texture and flavor of this three milk cake would definitely change.

You could maybe use full-fat canned coconut milk and make your own coconut whipped cream for topping the cake, but I’ve only ever made this authentic tres leches cake as written so I can’t say for certain. 

Can I Make This Gluten-Free?

Possibly, but again since I have only made the cake as written, I can’t speak to the results using gluten-free flour. If you try, I would only suggest using a cup-for-cup style replacement of all-purpose flour. No almond flour for this one.

The BEST Tres Leches Cake — This easy tres leches cake melts in your mouth and requires just 15 minutes of hands-on prep!!  This is an authentic three milk cake your family will love! Perfect for Cinco de Mayo!!

How to Store Tres Leches Cake

This authentic tres leches cake should be stored in the fridge, covered. It will last for up to four days, but note that the whipped cream topping will deflate over time.

The bottom of the cake itself will become extremely moist as the milk has time to soak into it more. Leftovers are delicious, though! 

Can I Prep Tres Leches Cake in Advance? 

Yes! If serving to a crowd, you’re welcome to make this cake the day before and keep it in the fridge overnight. The topping won’t deflate too much in just one day. 

The BEST Tres Leches Cake — This easy tres leches cake melts in your mouth and requires just 15 minutes of hands-on prep!!  This is an authentic three milk cake your family will love! Perfect for Cinco de Mayo!!

How to Serve Tres Leches Cake 

I like to dust the three milk cake with ground cinnamon and enjoy as is. However, you can also serve sliced strawberries or other fresh berries on the side! 

Tips for the Best Tres Leches Cake

Line your pan: To make clean-up a breeze, line your baking pan with foil before pouring in the cake batter. Tres leches cake is quite a “wet” cake since it’s a poke cake, and the foil makes serving the cake and cleaning up afterwards so much easier. 

Whipped cream vs Cool Whip: While it’s not traditional, if you’re making this cake for a party or event and it’ll be sitting out for hours at room temp or in warm (outdoor) conditions, you may want to consider using whipped topping (Cool Whip) rather than real whipped cream for the topping. Real whipped cream is more prone to deflating and melting than whipped topping.

Make-ahead tip: If you’re making this cake in advance, I recommend waiting until the last minute to add the whipped cream topping. Again, you want the topping to be super fluffy when you serve this cake! 

Pin This Recipe

Yield: 20

The Best Tres Leches Cake

The Best Tres Leches Cake

Tres leches cake gets its name because after making a soft, tender cake you poke holes in it before pouring over a mixture of three milks – sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, and heavy cream. The cake is ridiculously moist, beautifully sweet, perfectly tender, and melts in your mouth.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Cooling Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 50 minutes



  • 5 large eggs, separated
  • 1 cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Tres Leches Mixture

  • one 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • one 12-ounce can evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

Whipped Cream Topping

  • 2 cups (1 pint) heavy whipping cream
  • cinnamon, optional for garnishing
  • 3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar



  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 9×13-inch pan with aluminum foil, spray with floured cooking spray or grease and flour the pan; set aside.
  2. To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or a large bowl and handheld electric mixer) add the 5 egg yolks, 3/4 cup granulated sugar, and beat on medium-high speed until pale yellow and doubled in volume, about 4 minutes. Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  3. Add 1/3 cup whole milk, vanilla, flour, baking powder, salt, and beat on low speed until combined, don’t overmix; set aside.
  4. To a medium bowl, add the egg whites and beat with a handheld electric mixer on high speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining 1/4 cup sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form but egg whites are not dry.
  5. Gently fold egg whites into the cake batter.
  6. Turn batter out into prepared pan, smoothing the top lightly with a spatula. Bake for about 32 to 35 minutes (I baked 33 minutes) or until cake is set in the center, springy to the touch, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs, but no batter.
  7. Allow cake to cool in pan on a wire rack. While cake cools, make the tres leches mixture.

Tres Leches Mixture 

  1. To a medium bowl, add the 3 milks and whisk to combine.
  2. Using a fork, poke holes all over the top of the cake. I stuck the cake with the fork about 100 times. Slowly pour the tres leches mixture over the top of the cake letting it soak in as you go. Try to pour as much over the cake as possible, without neglecting the edges. All of the milk mixture for my cake soaked in, but if yours is pooling excessively and you have any leftover, the milk mixture is wonderful served in a small ramekin alongside the cake.
  3. Allow cake to cool at room temp for a 1 to 2 hours before covering and refrigerating until chilled, at least 2 hours, or overnight. Tip – If making the cake in advance of an event, don’t add the whipped cream topping until the day of.

Whipped Cream Topping 

  1. To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or a large bowl and handheld electric mixer) add the heavy cream and beat on high speed until thickened and spreadable.
  2. Add the confectioners’ sugar and beat to combine.
  3. Evenly spread the whipped cream over cake and optionally garnish with a sprinkling of cinnamon and serve any extra tres leches mixture on the side. Serve immediately.


  • Cake will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 4 days, noting the whipped cream will lose volume as time passes and the bottom of the cake will become increasingly moist.
  • Recipe adapted from The Pioneer Woman

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 229Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 72mgSodium: 139mgCarbohydrates: 33gFiber: 0gSugar: 28gProtein: 6g

Even More Easy Cake Recipes: 

Caramel Cream Poke Cake — Poke cakes are always supremely moist and this one reminds me of a cheater’s version of Tres Leches Cake because it’s sweet and creamy.

Sweet Cream Vanilla Coffee Cake – You’ll never guess what special ingredient keeps this fast and easy cake so soft and moist!

Sweet Cream Vanilla Coffee Cake - You'll never guess what special ingredient keeps this fast & easy cake so soft and moist!

Vanilla Cake with Vanilla Bean Browned Butter Glaze – You won’t miss chocolate at all after trying this cake! The glaze is just heavenly!

Vanilla Cake with Vanilla Bean Browned Butter Glaze - You won't miss chocolate at all after trying this cake! The glaze is just heavenly!!!

Easy Yellow Cake with Buttercream Frosting – If you’ve never made a scratch cake, try this one!! Fast, easy, foolproof, one bowl, and tastes so good! It’s a keeper!

Easy Yellow Cake with Buttercream Frosting - If you've never made a scratch cake, try this one!! Fast, easy, foolproof, one bowl, and tastes so good! It's a keeper!!

Easy Homemade Funfetti Cake – Move over, store-bought cake mix!! This easy cake only takes minutes to make and tastes wayyyy better!!

Easy Homemade Funfetti Cake - Move over storebought cake mix!! This easy cake only takes minutes to make and tastes wayyyy better!!

Lemon Buttermilk Cake with Lemon Glaze – An easy little cake with big lemon flavor! Soft, fluffy, and foolproof if you like puckering up!

Lemon Buttermilk Cake with Lemon Glaze - An easy little cake with big lemon flavor!! Soft, fluffy, and foolproof if you like puckering up!!

The Best Pineapple Upside-Down Cake – So soft, moist and really is The Best! A cheery, happy cake that’s sure to put a smile on anyone’s face!

The Best Pineapple Upside-Down Cake - So soft, moist & really is The Best! A cheery, happy cake that's sure to put a smile on anyone's face!

Caramelized Banana Upside-Down Cake – Have ripe bananas? This cake has their name all over it! Dripping with rich, buttery, caramel sauce!

CCaramelized Banana Upside-Down Cake - Have ripe bananas? This cake has their name all over it! Dripping with rich, buttery, caramel sauce!

Pineapple Poke Cake with Pineapple Glaze — Fast, easy, one-bowl, no mixer, from-scratch cake that’s easier than a mix! The glaze soaks into every inch and you’ll be in juicy pineapple heaven!

Pineapple Poke Cake with Pineapple Glaze - Fast, easy, one-bowl, no mixer, from-scratch cake that's easier than a mix! The glaze soaks into every inch and you'll be in juicy pineapple HEAVEN!!

Recipe originally posted in 2015 and reposted April 29, 2020 and April 30, 2021 with updated text.

About the Author

Welcome to AverieCooks! Here you’ll find fast and easy recipes that taste amazing and are geared for real life. Nothing fussy or complicated, just awesome tasting dishes everyone loves!

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Please note: I have only made the recipe as written, and cannot give advice or predict what will happen if you change something. If you have a question regarding changing, altering, or making substitutions to the recipe, please check out the FAQ page for more info.

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  1. Hello, I would like to bake this in 2 12″ round pans for a wedding cake with ittalian butter cream icing. How many recipes would I need to make for the different sized pans? I am going to make 2 12″ tres lchea 2 9″ strawberry i think and top 1 5″ tres leche again. Any tips on degerming how much batter needed for each pan size? Wedding is a week away!

    1. I strongly suggest just simply making the recipe once as written, see how it goes, eyeball your pans next to the 9×13 pan, see what you think you need to do – if you need to 3x, 4x, etc. the recipe.

      Also I am not sure Italian buttercream is a great choice for this cake. It’s a soft, moist cake, not sure it will really stand up to a heavy-ish frosting with all that butter. It’s meant to be a lighter topping like Cool Whip or real whipped cream. For a wedding, I would do Cool Whip as it won’t melt, deflate, etc.

      Best wishes to the newlyweds!

    1. The cake is actually quite thick. I recommend baking it exactly as directed in a 9 x 13″ pan. It definitely comes up to the top of the pan and I don’t recommend smaller for that exact reason.

  2. Made it for my husband’s birthday.  He’s typically not a sweets kind of guy but boy did he love it!  His family loved it too! 

    Rating: 5
    1. Thanks for the 5 star review and I am glad your husband loved it and that it was a great birthday treat for him!

  3. I’ve made this tres leches cake and it was absolutely amazing Just  wondering  can we make this with chocolate cake 

    Rating: 5
    1. Glad it was amazing! There are versions of chocolate tres leches out there. I am not sure how you’d exactly adapt this to become that but I’m sure with trial and error it can be done.

  4. haven’t yet made a recipe but this is a great site. Very well arranged and clearly written recipes. Planning to make the Tres Leces for my grandsons’ birthday.

  5. I bake this for everyone when there’s an occasion and they really all say it’s the “best tres leches cake” ever. My family prefers it to be not so sweet so I usually add an extra 1/4 cup of cream to the milk mixture, since they love it to be oozing milk as well. Thank you for making this!

    Rating: 5
    1. Thanks for the 5 star review and glad this has been deemed the best tres leches cake ever by your friends and family! And ooohhh I am allll about the oozing milk and the extra 1/4 c of cream sounds perfect!

  6. Love this recipe!! It’s out family go to for birthday cakes! I make it in a round pan and seem to always have problems with it dropping down in the centre after it’s baked. Is that because im trying to make it too thick?

    Rating: 5
    1. Thanks for the 5 star review and glad you love it!

      Yes to your second question, this is 100% a cake that needs to be baked in a 9×13 otherwise it is underbaked in the center and will fall upon cooling.

      1. Today I actually made it in two shallower round pans and stacked them and it turned out great!

  7. Thank you. This is a great recipe! It’s not too sweet at all and the texture is perfect. My oven cooks things faster so it only took about 25 minutes. It came out delicious – friends and fam loved it – and it was fun to make! :)

    Rating: 5
    1. Thanks for the 5 star review and glad this was fun to make and that everyone loved it too!

  8. Hi there,
    Just a very general question, 1 cup seems like a lot of sugar but that’s just me. Have you had anyone comment it was too sweet?

    1. It’s a 9×13 inch cake. Check cakes of similar size, this is not a lot of sugar for the size of the cake. No it’s not too sweet and tastes like traditional tres leches cake tastes, if you like tres leches cake in general, you’ll love this recipe.

  9. Made this last night and it was excellent. We have a cuban restaurant we go to here and we love their tres leches. This recipe was equally as good. So glad to know I can make it at home now. Thank you!

    Rating: 5
  10. Hi Avery,
    So I noticed in one of your comments there was no need to use buttercream and fondant, however I’m making for a wedding and planned to make a hurrah with cream cheese and cover in fondant. Are you telling me this cake can not hold the buttercream and fondant?

    1. Tres leches is a super super soft cake and really is not the cake I’d recommend adding buttercream and fondant to, as written. I am sure you can play around with it to get it to firm up to support what you want to do, but as written it’s cake soaked with the sweet milk mixture and is just too tender.

  11. Can the tres leches cake be frozen prior to frosting? If so at what point before or after the milks have been added?

  12. Hello, I made the cake today and it came out pretty okay. The only change I made was adding 4 eggs instead of 5. Although it wasnt bad, but still it was eggy. Any suggestions to get over with the eggy taste? Thanks in advance!

    Rating: 4
    1. I have never had that issue with it so I can’t say for sure. Maybe you used XL or jumbo eggs rather than Large; or maybe your eggs are just really strong tasting and you might try a different brand.

      1. Hello, I tried it again today with 3 eggs + 1 yolk. And 3/4 cups sugar instead of 1 cup n it was THE best cake I’ve made so far. Made a mango tree leches for my Father-in-law n he absolutely loved it. Thank you 😊

        Rating: 5
      2. Thanks for the 5 star review and glad it was the best cake you’ve ever made! I bet the mango version was spectacular!

  13. I’m currently in the process letting the cake cool but I’m so excited about this! It smells so yummy. I wanted to add for whoever is reading these reviews to really pay attention to your cake. Mine was done baking at 20 minutes. It totally depends on the quality of your oven, where it’s placed, and sea level! For example Im around 105  ft above sea level.  Thank you Averie!

    Rating: 5
    1. Thanks for the 5 star review and glad this smells great! But yes, good advice, always watch your item and pay more attention to what’s in front of you in the oven than approximate baking times given. My tres leches have never been done quite that fast but as you said, sea level, ingredients, oven quality, etc. Hope you enjoy it!

  14. I made the Tres Leches cake but added fruit instead of the cinnamon, for Mother’s Day everyone loved it . My mother said it is the best she has ever had and this is her favorite cake. Thank you so much for shattering your recipe…..

    Rating: 5
    1. Thanks for the five star review and glad it was a Mother’s Day hit and that your mom said it was her favorite cake!

    1. Given the nature of what a super moist cake this is, and how the milk seeps into it, you’d have to be very particular when making the cupcakes and adding the milk mixture. For ease and simplicity, I never would personally. But it could be done if you are very patient and a competent baker.

  15. I’ve made this cake 3 times now and each time its come out beautifully. Its my boyfriend’s favorite cake, I made it for his Birthday, for Valentines day and today he learned how to make it with me! (His first time baking or doing anything in the kitchen) I usually leave it in the fridge overnight before frosting it so that it can soak up the milks but we were impatient today and ate it after 3 hours, and it was still so delicious! Thank you for the recipe, really easy to follow!

    Rating: 5
    1. Glad you love this cake and thanks for the five star review! How nice of you to help give your boyfriend a baking lessons as well.

  16. I am planning on making this cake today. I have looked at several recipes and most call for butter in the cake mixture. I see this one does not call for ant butter. Is this a mistake or is this correct?

  17. I made this for my sisters bday yesterday and came put really well Many thanks for the recipe.I took one cup more flour and adjusted the other ingredients

    Rating: 5
  18. I have just made this… looks good so far! Do you take the cake out of the tin before you spread the whipped cream on top? Or spread it on while it’s in the tin?

  19. I made this cake and it’s insane. There is a Mexican bakery in my town that makes insane tres leches cake. This is my absolute favorite blog for cakes. I make the orange olive oil cake will the time and it’s such a crowd pleaser. So I went straight to Avery for the recipe. The only thing I did different was setting fresh strawberry slices between the cake and whipped cream. Got the idea from the bakery here. They pack their full of all kinds of fresh fruit. I’m a total strawberry fanatic all year round. Make this cake! a very is the master!!!!!! 🍰🍰🍰🍰

    Rating: 5
    1. Thanks for the 5 star review and glad you love this cake and my site for cake recipes! Thank you so much for all the praise! I have a Mexican bakery I go to sometimes and they put canned peach slices on theirs. Sounds a little…meh…but it’s actually really good if you like peaches and can’t get fresh ones in the winter.

    1. No I would do it all at once, and then just put it in the fridge. Tres leches ‘ages’ very well. Don’t worry about it being in the fridge for a day or two before service.

  20. Made this cake for a Hispanic-American Heritage Month/September birthdays party at work and it was a huge hit! Got tons of complements. The cake holds a gorgeous texture with the three milks soak. I topped mine with a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice, sliced peaches, and slices strawberries.

    Rating: 5
  21. Thank you for this recipe! It is truly the best. It will be my go to going forward. My husband said omg after every bite lol. Def a keeper!

    Rating: 5
  22. Hi I have been asked to make a Tres Leche birthday theme cake. I have never made a Tres leche cake before and I am not sure it the cake is firm enough to cover it with buttercream frosting and fondant. Is it firm enough or am I just a worry wart?

    1. Tres leches doesn’t have buttercream. If the person has requested a tres leches cake, then they would likely know that. I wouldn’t add buttercream, fondant, etc. That is not what this cake is all about. And likely will not support it. I would make this cake as is, stick some candles in it, sing happy birthday, and enjoy this cake for what is is – AMAZING!

  23. Thanks again for another household hit! My family really enjoyed this, and I didn’t change a thing.

    Rating: 5
    1. Thanks for the 5 star review and glad tis is a household hit and that you didn’t need to change a thing!

  24. I used the cake and milk soak recipe for my Pineapple Filled Tres Leches cake and I have to say it made an exceptional cake! Everyone raved about it. I have made a lot of cakes and this is the simplest and best tres leches cake recipe! Thanks for sharing.

    Rating: 5
    1. Thanks for the 5 star review and glad this was the best and simplest tres leche cake you’ve ever made! I love the pineapple twist!

  25. I’m excited to make this for a Mexican themed dinner I’m having. I am confused about the aluminum foil and am not a fan of baking on that. Is it necessary or can I just grease and flour the actual pan? Thanks!

    1. You can do it your way if you want it’s just with all the liquids the foil saves me mess and fuss but whatever you prefer.

  26. I just wanted the basic cake part :::: I have my own Leche recipe (I simmer milk with a cinnamon stick and 1 clove for 25 min, in lieu of the condensed milk, then mix in the sweet condensed milk and a bit of whipping cream ) ::::: and I LOVE how it turned out ! Perfect texture for absorbing the Leche . Beating the egg whites seperate was key . Thank you! The only thing I’ll change is less sugar next time . Thanks for your post and I can’t wait to try some of your other ones .

  27. Baked this on May 5, 2019. I used turbinado sugar in the cake batter and in the meringue, instead of standard white sugar. Also, I weighed out the sugar and flour, rather than measuring. I let the cake soak in the fridge until May 7, then made the whipped topping and put it out on our snack table at work. Instant hit! Everybody loves it!!! I suspect making in the style of an angel food cake with the French meringue folded in makes all the difference. The cake absorbed all of the tres leches mix and none pooled on the bottom. This recipe rocks, Averie. Thanks so much for sharing it.

    Rating: 5
      1. I’m reading the tres leches recipe and do you leave it in the baking pan. It states to line aluminum foil with floured cooking spray, but no where is it noted to remove cake from pan. I read the directions over and over. Please advise.
        No where does it say when to remove cake from pan. Only to leave in pan to cool.
        Fran C.

  28. This was delicious! I successfully halved the recipe, using an 8″ square pan and 2 extra large eggs. My aunt, who loves tres leches cake, said it was even better than her favorite restaurant’s. Thank you!

    1. I am so glad to hear you loved it and that your aunt said it was better than her favorite restaurant’s!

  29. Hi I used your cake recipe yesterday and got the most amazing results! Thank you! This is going to be my go to sponge recipe from now on. I did not poke holes and also used coconut milk, regular milk and condensed milk.

    Rating: 5
    1. Thanks for the 5 star review and glad this is going to be our go to sponge cake recipe!

  30. Hi! I’m looking forward to making this for cinco de mayo! I need to make it the day before, does it keep well in the fridge with the milks on, or would you soak it (and then frost) right before serving? Wasn’t sure if it would be difficult to cut into pieces if it soaked overnight…

  31. I had been planning to make just such a cake for the upcoming holiday so it’s fun that you have posted your version. I, too, have never made it before. First, I referenced the Pioneer Woman’s original recipe that you worked from and noticed that she only lists a quarter cup of heavy cream for making the tres leches mixture, and then calls for topping the cake with just a portion of that with one cup left unused. I wonder what kind of difference these two changes have on the finished cake? Did you make the original first and felt the cake needed a “heartier” milk topping as well as more of it?

    1. Yes definitely needed more liquid than her recipe called for in my opinion; this should be a very ‘juicy’ cake and that’s why I upped the ratios for sure.

  32. We’re missionaries to Mexico and Nicaragua, have made this cake many times. In my cookbook I’ve included a recipe very similar but my GO TO is to use a cake mix instead, then adding the 3 milks. I also don’t poke holes (as I learned in h.s.) but just pour over cake. Soaks right in.

    1. Glad that you’ve made this cake many times. I agree that boxes mixes can be handy and this one for me is similar to tres leches but with some caramel added I agree, that if the cake is soft enough you probably technically don’t need to poke holes but I do it because I always have and it’s insurance it will for sure soak in.

  33. I was looking for the recipe for a cake that we used to buy from the Mexican store in the city. Still haven’t found it but I tried this one tonight and WOW! Easy and delicioso! I sided it with my favorite strong cup of coffee using the left over heavy cream. Perfect pairing. Definitely my familias new favorite. Gracias.

    Rating: 5
  34. Hi Averie! I’ve been comparing yours and The Pioneer Woman’s recipe ahead of baking it myself. Does the foil lining help with removing the cake and putting it in a serving platter? Do you think parchment paper would work? Just wondering for presentation!

    1. I personally prefer foil to parchment paper because I feel like I can get it to seal and stick on the pan tighter than I can with parchment, but you can use whatever you prefer and yes I definitely recommend using something to help with the sticking and transferring onto a serving platter.

  35. This looks amazing! Do you think this would work as a muffin/ramekin recipe? If so, what (if any) tweaks would you suggest? As always, thanks for sharing such deliciousness! :)

    1. This cake really is intended to be made as a large cake rather than as muffins. I would make it as written for best results.

  36. Averie.

    I baked this yummy cake for a friend’s birthday. It was a HUGE hit.

    I’ve made several of your recipes and they are always so delicious

    Thankyou so much for your wonderful blog


    1. Thanks for trying the recipe and I’m glad you loved it! Thanks for the nice compliments!

  37. Hi Averie,

    DV here again…i must tell you this cake is a big big big hit in my family…everyone just simply loves it….
    I had two doubts
    The recipe states 5 large eggs if we have to use medium eggs do we use 6 eggs.

    And if on the carton it says Egg size medium-large,then do i stick to 5 or 6 eggs

    Please advise need to bake it again

    Thanks in advance for your help


    1. If your eggs are smaller than a what is called a ‘large egg’ then you may need to use an additional egg but since I’ve only made the recipe with large eggs, I can’t say for sure. Glad you love the cake.

  38. Thank you for the recipe! Tres Leches cake is my mom’s favorite. I made your recipe for her birthday last year and again today for Mothers Day. Followed the directions exactly and they came out perfect each time. She loves hers with fresh thinly sliced strawberries on top!

    1. Thanks for trying the recipe and I’m glad it came out great for you! Glad your mom loves this cake and so nice of you to make it for her!

  39. Hi averie,
    Second time success. ..god this cake is yummy in my tummy..?
    Can we half this cake and prepare a smaller cake ?
    Thanks in advance for your reply

    1. I think that you could probably halve the recipe and bake in a 8×8 or 9×9 pan. Haven’t tried it personally though. Glad you love this cake!

  40. hi averie,,,i baked this cake and it was yummy,,,absolutely fantastic .i baked it for husband’s birthday(he does not really like sweet stuff…weird right:)) and he loved it !!!!in fact my entire family and friends loved it.the party was a hit thanks to your fab recipe…i have to bake it again for a friends birthday in two weeks…..i sprinkled it with cinnamon powder ,wow,,
    thanks once again.

    1. Thanks for trying the recipe and I’m glad it came out great for you! I am glad that it was a hit for his birthday with all your guests!

  41. Hello Avie, I have a little tip for the next time you make it, to avoid the cake “suck” the 3 milk, let it cool, for about 1hr, then poke it, the cake will absorb it and let some of it remain on the bottom, also, you can add 2 tbs of dark rum to them, so it will bring an amazing scent and taste. I am from a latin country so this is a very traditional cake in here.

  42. I’ve tried making tres leches before and it turned into a soggy mess of a puddle! Used your recipe this time around – came out beautifully. Everyone at the dinner I brought it to gave me lots of complements. This recipe was extremely easy to make and nearly fool proof. Thanks Averie!

  43. i made this recipe over the 4th of july weekend and it was a huge hit with my whole family.  thank you so much for sharing!

    1. Thanks for trying the recipe and I’m glad it came out great for you! Glad it was a big hit with your family!

  44. WOW. I tasted this in a Mexican restaurant, and was somewhat underwhelmed. HOwever, faced with ha glut of eggs, I searched for recipes which use lots and came across your recipe. THe result is truly  delightful. SUch lovely sweet milky flavours but still light and refreshing. One to  print and repeat, having converted some of your measurements into UK terminology: still use the cups measures as it makes it much faster.

    THANK YOU for sharing this. MAy now have to visit South American to see if their versions are as good as yours.

    1. Thanks for trying the recipe and I’m glad it came out great for you! And what a compliment that your dad had 3 pieces!

  45. Because this is the Pioneer Woman’s recipe, there is a great step-by-step video of  Ree Drummond making it on the Food Network’s website. You can see exactly what your mixes should look like as you go. I have made it many, many times and it always comes out perfect! I love this cake!

    1. I tweaked it slightly but yes it’s pretty close to her recipe and having step shot is always nice…bless her heart that she has the patience to do all of those, mid-mixing, pouring, etc.! So glad you’ve made this cake before and that you love it as much as I do!

  46. This cake shrunk ALOT in the pan when I made it, any suggestions to combat this next time?

    1. Possibly overbaked? I know that when it was in the oven my cake was pretty puffy and upon cooling, it did shrink, as all cakes do. But it was a bit more dramatic because I think of the beaten egg whites in the batter which causes it to rise really well in a hot oven and then the cool air will cause natural deflation. I wouldn’t worry about it too terribly much and would try baking slightly less next time.

  47. Jorge looooooves Tres Leches Cake.  He got a recipe from one of his cousins who is a baker in Chiapas.  We’ve got that on the must-make list.  Adding this as well!

    1. Well if you make it, LMK how it compares to the cousin’s recipe direct from Chiapas!

  48. This cake looks incredible! All of your cake recipes are always inspiring…your photographs are amazing btw!

  49. My family loves tres leches cake. I have a friend who recently discovered she is allergic to dairy. I was wondering if you think this would work using variations of coconut milk instead. She loves tres leches cake, but it doesn’t agree with her.

    1. I think that it could work with coconut milks. I would definitely use full-fat, canned coconut milk for sure. Don’t rely just on the refrigerated kind that comes in a carton because solely using that I think could be a little thin. You’d also have to make coconut whipped cream (google if you don’t know how). The taste, overall, of the cake will change with all that coconut milk, but if your friend is okay with that, I think it’s do-able. LMK if you try and how it goes!

  50. Hi Averie……these cake recipes look soooooo good, I cannot wait to try then, especially  ( tries leche cake )…… THanks a lot !!!!!!

  51. I always order Tres Leches cake when I go to a Mexican restaurant. It tastes perfect with espresso! I am very intrigued to try your recipe, Averie! Pinned, Yummed and Stumbled! :-)

  52. Oh yes, I need this in my life. I’ve only had this cake once – with you – so I definitely need to make it!

    1. Girl. One of the best cakes I have EVER made. I hoarded this one for my own personal stash. Loooooved it. And it was definitely better than the cake we shared! Night and day if I do say so :)

  53. Your tres leches looks phenomenal! The hubby and I are trying to figure out where to take a little vacay and you’re inspiring me to suggest somewhere south of the border! :)

    1. I love Mexico and being that I’m in San Diego, everything is a relatively short flight :) Have fun!

  54. Your photos from Cabo are stunning! And this cake – omg! I’d love a slice right now! 

  55. I’ve seen this before but didn’t realize it was really a poke cake…and I’ve been to Mexico a few times but don’t know how (or why) I could have passed it up! The lightly sweetened whipped cream on top sounds heavenly.

    1. It’s seriously one of the best cakes of all time! I love tres leches and not that I don’t need to go to Mexico anymore, but now I don’t have to go JUST for cake :)