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Friday 20 June 2014

Let Her Eat Cake: Tres Leches Cake

I will admit, I was sceptical when I first heard about Tres Leches cake. 'Why would I pour three types of milk and cream over my freshly baked cake?' I thought. Then I made it, and wondered no more. I know it sounds absurdly rich, but it really isn't. It's moist and sweet and perfect served slightly chilled on a hot day, which explains why it's popular in South America.

It's been given a bit of a British twist here with the addition of strawberries, in honour of all those folk running around after balls out there, so it's sort of a tres-leches-victoria-sponge-cake.

Tres Leches Cake (makes enough for lots of hungry sports watchers)
Preparation time: 25 minutes (plus 20 minutes chilling time)
Baking time: 35-40 minutes

You will need:

For the cake:
  • 4 free-range eggs, separated
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 200g self-raising flour
  • 100ml milk
  • 1 vanilla pod, seeds scraped out or 1 tsp of vanilla essence
For the sauce:
  • 200ml evaporated milk
  • 400ml sweetened condensed milk
  • 200ml double cream
  • 2 tbsp rum
For the topping:
  • punnet of strawberries (optional) sliced
  • 200ml double cream
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence / 1 vanilla pod
Make it!
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 C / 350 F / Gas Mark 4. Grease and line the bottom of a deep, square cake tin. (I used a 23cm x 9cm one, but you could use two smaller ones if you don't want to cut your cake in half: they will take less time to bake, so keep an eye out and adjust accordingly). 
  2. Place the egg whites in a clean bowl and use an electric whisk to beat them until tripled in size and peaks form. 
  3. Gently fold in the caster sugar, then the egg yolks, one at a time. 
  4. Add the flour, milk and vanilla and carefully fold in until just combined and no streaks of flour remain. 
  5. Tip into the prepared tin and bake for around 35-45 minutes, until risen and set and a skewer inserted comes out clean. 
  6. Whilst the cake is baking, make the sauce by putting the evaporated milk, condensed milk, cream and rum in a jug and stir together.
  7. Leave the cake to cool for a minute or two (no more) then carefully slice it in half horizontally using a sharp, serrated knife. 
  8. Place the bottom half on the plate you intend to serve the cake on, and pour over 1/4 of the sauce. 
  9. Scatter the slices of strawberries over the bottom half. 
  10. Sandwich the second half of the cake on top, carefully poke holes all across the surface with a fork, then pour on 1/2 the remaining sauce. 
  11. Cover and place in the fridge for 20-30 minutes to chill. 
  12. Whip together the double cream and vanilla until stiff and spreadable. 
  13. Remove the cake from the fridge and pour over the remaining sauce (you might have a little too much left, just, err, eat this with a spoon, or something). 
  14. Frost the top of your cake with the cream, spreading right to the edges, the top with extra strawberries to decorate. 
  15. It's best served straight away: use a cake slice because that bottom layer will be, oooh so soft...


  1. Why WOULDN'T you want to pour condensed milk over your cake, Laura?

  2. I love anything with condensed milk in it, used to make toffee out of this when I was a kid, yummy x


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