This Tres Leches recipe has been sponsored by Hamilton Beach. Tres Leches Cake originated in Nicaragua and is a simple cake with incredible flavors. I use a traditional sponge cake recipe that calls for separately whipping yolks and whites. This process gives the cake a lift and a sponge-like texture that quickly absorbs the three milk/tres leches soak.
I had a little help whipping up this delicious Tres leches with Hamilton Beach Professional Hand Mixer that comes with an upgraded set of easy clean beaters. Having grown up using the traditional Hamilton Beach Hand Mixer, I can say with confidence that their Professional line really elevated my baking experience. This Hand Mixer has a slow start technology that prevents messy starts and the easy clean beaters attachment set is a real upgrade. They don’t clog the beaters during mixing and the batter practically slides off when you wash them. If you would like to upgrade your Kitchen essentials, you can purchase this Hand Mixer at your closest Target or visit this link.
TIPS FOR MAKING THE PERFECT SPONGE CAKE
- Don’t be hasty when folding the batter. The whole point of whipping the yolks and whites separately is to trap in air. This air will give the cake a lot of lift so we want to make sure that while folding in the dry ingredients, we take our time.
- I added baking powder to give the cake a little more lift; I personally think its needed but there are some recipes out there that only rely on natural lift from the eggs.
- Let the cake cool a bit before soaking it with the milk.
THREE MILK SOAK
- I added a little flavoring of my roots. CARDAMOM. Let me just say that the flavor really does pull through. Make sure you crush the cardamoms before adding them to the steamed evaporated milk. Skip this step if you don’t like cardamom. I won’t judge :p
- You don’t need the full can of milk to be honest but the quantity should be enough that your entire cake gets some lovin’. So if you want to save a few tablespoons of condensed milk or evaporated milk, that is A-Okay.
- I like to chill the cake a bit after pouring the tres leches (aka three milks) to allow the sponge cake to really absorb the liquid. I give it about half an hour before I top with the sweetened whipped cream.
- For a little chocolatey hint, dust the top with cocoa and cinnamon powder together.
- 4 large eggs separated
- 3/4 cup + 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 3/4 cup + 2 tbsp All-purpose Flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/8 tsp salt or a pinch
- 1/4 cup milk use a little more if needed
Three Milk Soak
- 1 14 oz can of sweet condensed milk
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 1 12 oz can of Evaporated milk
- 5 green cardamoms crushed
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 5 tbsp sugar
- ground cinnamon for dusting the top
- Preheat your oven to 350 F and butter a square 8-inch pan (if you like a thicker slice) or a 9x13 baking pan if you like the thickness in the pictures.
- Separate the yolks from the whites. In the yolks, add half of the sugar and whip it up with your mixer until its pale yellow, fluffy and has tripled in volume. Add vanilla extract and mix. The batter should fall in a ribbon.
- In another bowl, whip up the whites with the remaining sugar (add it all at once) until stiff peaks form. This will take some time.
- In a bowl, combine the flour with the baking powder and salt and sift half of it into the bowl with the egg yolks. Using a spatula, fold the flour into the egg yolks and add pour in milk slowly to help it combine. Once the flour has incorporated completely, fold in the egg whites very carefully so as not to deflate the batter. When folding, I scoop the batter and drop it in itself until all of the whites have been added and fully incorporated into the batter. Do not use a whisk.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 20 mins or until the top becomes golden brown and a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. My oven baked these super fast (about 12-15 mins) so just keep an eye out on your oven.
- Once baked, let the cake cool slightly and then poke it all over with a fork.
Three Milk Soak
- In a saucepan, pour the can of evaporated milk and let it steam. Once tiny bubbles begin to form around the edge of the pan, add crushed green cardamoms and let it steam for a few minutes. The flavor of the cardamom really pulls through in this cake! The cardamom is optional. If you don't want to use it, then skip this step and just add evaporated milk with the other milks.
- Strain the evaporated milk into a jug or mixing bowl and then pour the condensed milk and cream. Give the three milks a good whisk and then pour it very slowly on the cake making sure you cover the entire surface slowly. The liquid may look plenty but trust me the sponge cake (with all those tiny holes) will absorb all of it in half an hour. I like to cover the pan with a cling wrap and chill in the fridge for 30 mins to an hour.
- Finally, whip up the cream with sugar until stiff peaks form and cover the top of the cake with a thick layer. Dust the top with ground cinnamon using a sifter or sieve and serve with strawberries.