tres leches cake (1)

Tres Leches Cake: The history and the recipe

Produced by Kayla Brackett, Nailah Brown, Jamir Graves, and Kelly Stewart

Today we'll be teaching you how to make Tres Leches Cake!

This iconic light dessert is usually a sponge cake that is soaked in three different types of milk: evaporated milk, condensed milk, and heavy cream, resulting in a sweet and moist cake. Tres leches cake originated in Mexico and is popular throughout Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Cuba, Puerco Rico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, and many other Latin American countries.
In the 19th century, there was a recipe going across Mexico for a bread cake that was soaked in wine and topped with custard. This is thought to be inspired by Italian tiramisu or the English trifle. With the European influence in Mexico during the 19th century, it goes with little explanation why these soaked recipes became popular in the New World using European ingredients like custard, bread, and wine.

In the 1930s when the Nestle Company opened up plants in Mexico during World War II, a recipe for Tres Leches was printed on the outside of the evaporated milk, condensed milk, and cream cans. Nestle is held responsible for taking the Tres Leches Cake mainstream. All recipes in Mexico use a combination of evaporated, condensed, and cream in their recipe even today.

Let's get started!

In order to bake this cake, you will need
➢ 1 1/4 cups flour all-purpose, sifted
➢ 5 eggs separated
➢ 1 cup sugar
➢ 1 tsp vanilla
➢ 1 tsp baking powder
➢ 3/4 tsp Kosher salt
➢ 12 oz evaporated milk
➢ 14 oz sweetened condensed milk
➢ 1/4 cup whole milk
➢ 1 1/2 cups whipping cream
➢ 1 Tbsp powdered sugar


In order to prepare this cake, you need to...

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

2. Butter a 9"x11" glass pan, then lightly flour.

3. Separatetheeggsfrom the yolks and place them in different bowls.

4. In the bowl of a stand-up mixer place the yolks. Slowly add the sugar while beating on high. Continue to mix until the yolks are fluffy and ribbon stage. Then mix in the vanilla.

5. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl.

6. In another bowl beat the whites until they form soft peaks.

7. Slowly fold the whites into the yolk mixture using a spatula. Next, slowly sift the flour mixture into the yolk mixture and fold ingredients carefully. Try not to deflate the air whipped into the eggs.

8. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Place in the center rack, and bake for about 35-40* minutes or until the cake tester comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool completely before adding the milk mixture

While the cake is baking, put the sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, and whole milk into a large bowl, whisk lightly.
Then pour milk mixture all over the cake, and allow it to soak for about an hour before frosting.


In order to prepare the frosting:
Beat whipping cream with the powdered sugar until thick and forms stiff peaks. Spread the cake over a flat frosting spatula.
Be sure to check the tres leches cake with a cake tester after about 35 minutes to make sure it does not overcook.

After the cake is cooled, cut as desired serving size and enjoy!

Thank you so much for watching! Have a happy Hispanic Heritage month!


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