Monday, August 10, 2009


The theme of the evening was Mexico, and our contribution was a Pastel de Tres Leches - a Three-Milk Cake.

Pastel de Tres Leches
Pastel de Tres Leches: Three Milk Cake.

It’s not at all complicated, being a simple sponge cake soaked in a mixture that includes whole milk, evaporated milk, and sweetened condensed milk. The result is moist. Really moist. Downright sopping wet, actually. But obscenely tasty.

If you want to make a cake the Milky Way, here’s all you do:

Pastel de Tres Leches


8 large eggs
1½ cups granulated sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 cup whole or 2% milk
1 can (12 oz.) evaporated milk
1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
¼ cup Kahlùa
2 tsp vanilla
½ cup confectioner’s sugar
1½ cups heavy cream
Maraschino cherries


Butter a 9 x 13" cake pan and preheat your oven to 325°F.

In a bowl, whisk together the flour and the baking powder; set aside.

In the large bowl of an electric mixer, using the wire whisk attachment, beat the eggs and granulated sugar at high speed for 5-6 minutes until thick and light yellow. Turn the speed down to medium and gradually add the flour-baking powder mixture, beating until fully incorporated. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

In a blender, combine the whole milk (or 2% if you’re using that), the evaporated milk, and the sweetened condensed milk with the Kahlùa and 1 tsp of the vanilla. Blend, then pour slowly over the top of the hot cake as soon as it comes out of the oven. Let cool for 15 minutes, then refrigerate at least three hours or overnight.

When you’re ready to serve the cake, make the whipped cream topping: In a chilled bowl with chilled beaters, beat the heavy cream, confectioner’s sugar, and the remaining 1 tsp vanilla until soft peaks form. Spread the whipped cream evenly over the top of the cake; garnish with maraschino cherries. Makes 12 generous portions. Be sure to keep the cake refrigerated.

Technically speaking, this is a four-milk cake... if you count the cream. And there are some versions out there that incorporate dulce de leche or cajeta (milk caramel), so you can even have a five- or six-milk cake if you’re desperate enough. Other versions use a meringue topping... but that probably won’t help you if you’re lactose-intolerant.

If SpongeBob Squarepants were a spongecake, he’d definitely want one of these for a girlfriend.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Alisson, you are SO right: this is obscenely delicious! Last wee a Mexican friend of mine made it for my birthday. I used to buy it at supermarkets when I lived in Fort Lauderdale. It seems lots of South American countries make this cake regularly. I actually thought--when I lived in Florida--that it was a Cuban delicacy, for obvious reasons... The addition of Kahlua makes me want to go to the kitchen and bake it right now! Thanks for sharing.