Tres Leches Cake can be stacked. You treat it as if it were any other layered, filled and iced cake.  There is very little fat in this recipe. The crumb is open and meant to absorb liquid. This is the finest formula you will find for Tres Leches Cake. I flavor the soaking milk with dulce de leche which is made by blending about 1/2 cup of Dulce de Leche with evaporated milk either in a blender or with an immersion stick blender. This cake likes to be soaked with the milk about 5-10 minutes out of the oven as the warm cake will really soak up that liquid quite well.

You will need to preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare 3 9″ cake pans by spraying the bottom of the cake pans and lining them with rounds of parchment.

Sift and set aside:
4 cups of All Purpose Flour
1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder


12 whole eggs ( the whites will go into the bowl of a heavy duty 5 quart mixer)


4 cups granulated sugar


1 cup whole milk

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract


In the bowl of a heavy duty 5 quart mixer, whip the egg whites to a soft peak.   Slowly and gradually start adding the sugar in a thin stream.  If you add the sugar too quickly, the egg whites might collapse from the weight of the sugar so it is best to add sugar very gradually.  This egg white/sugar mixture should become quite stiff and shiny and hold a peak when the whip attachment is turned upside down.  It will take at least 15 minutes to whip the whites with the added sugar so it is best to use a stand mixer.

Add the 12 egg yolks a couple at a time making sure they are well mixed into the whites.

Alternate the addition of the all purpose flour/baking powder with the milk by starting with the flour and folding it into the whites. Then adding half of the milk, followed by a third more flour and folding those in well but not completely.  Add the other half of the milk and fold that in then add the last of the flour.  Fold all thoroughly and if need be use a whisk to allow the batter to fall through eliminating the lumps of flour if any.  Scrape the bowl well with a rubber spatula.

Pour into the prepared cake pans and bake at least 25 minutes.  Remove from the oven when golden brown.  Cool for about 5 – 10 minutes, poke holes in the cake with a bamboo skewer or other similar instrument and then brush the soaking milk over each cake in an equal amount.  Cool and then remove from the cake pans.  Chill the cakes thoroughly before filling them.

Soaking Milk:

1 can evaporated milk

1/2 cup dulce de leche

Blend well and soak cake layers with a brush or use a squeeze bottle if you prefer.

Best filled with Dulce de Leche flavored Bavarian Cream, Bavarian Cream or French Vanilla Cream.  If you are stacking the Tres Leches Cake as for a wedding cake, the French Vanilla Cream has to be stabilized with gelatin and stabilized with gelatin especially if you are adding sliced strawberries in the filling or any fresh fruit for that matter.

Works of Heart

May 27, 2012

Stirring a nice batch of dulce de leche

Here I am stirring a nice batch of dulce de leche

Dulce de Leche is not difficult to make.  I learned that if you combine milk and cream with sugar for the reduction, you get a much more spreadable caramel.

Dulce de Leche is a just that..a caramel that is made by reducing cream and milk with sugar.  Other caramels, those invented by Antoine Careme in the 19th century are made by cooking sugar and adding cream or a combination of milk and cream to them.  Try dulce de leche for a delightful change of pace.  I will post the rustic cake recipe that I use in making an untraditional Tres Leches Cake.

What you will need to make Dulce de Leche

2 cups whole milk

2 cups heavy cream

9 ounces granulated sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Whisk the cream, mil and sugar together in a shallow saucepan and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat and allow to cook at a slow simmer for about 1 1/2 hours…it will turn into a lovely brown caramel.  When the bubbles slow and are large, the dulce de leche is done.  Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract.  Pour into a clean container and allow to cool to room temperature.  Make sure the container has a tight fitting lid.  Refrigerate.  The shelf life for dulce de leche is about two weeks.  It won’t last that long.

This filling is good spread thinly on cake layers as you build your cake.  A filling that is equally good flavored with dulce de leche is the Bavarian Cream or the French Vanilla Cream.  If you are using a French Vanilla Cream as a filling for wedding cake, please remember to stabilize it with gelatin.  (see recipe)