A tres leches cake also known as pan tres leches ("three milks bread"), is a sponge cake or butter cake soaked in 3 kinds of milk: condensed milk, milk with higher fat 3.5% and heavy cream on a milk base. That's how it got its name - tres leches cake meaning 3 milks cake. It's a very very popular cake here, simple, yet tasty, it melts in your mouth.


Sponge cake:
  • 6 eggs
  • 300 g sugar (10.5 oz)
  • 1 sachet vanilla sugar (1 tbs vanilla extract)
  • 300 g flour (10.5 oz)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 300 g ready caramel - applied in the end (10.5 oz)
Milk dressing:
  • 1 liter of milk or 4 cups (3.5% fat)
  • 750 ml whipping cream (unwhipped heavy cream) (3 cups)
  • 250 ml of condensed (coffee) milk (10% fat) (1 cup)
  1. Beat egg whites with sugar until firm add egg yolks one at a time and continue to mix to unite mixture.
  2. Add the flour together with baking powder and mix with a large spoon or whisk.
  3. Pour the mixture in a pan coated with butter and flour (35x20x6).
  4. Place to bake in preheated oven at 200 C (390 F) for the first 10 minutes, then reduce temperature to 180 C (356 F) and bake for 20 minutes.
  5. Allow to cool (but not too much, it should be lukewarm). Make holes using a toothpick all over the sponge cake.
  6. In a meanwhile mix all types of milk with a spoon. All should be previously left at room temperature.
  7. Flip lukewarm cake on a towel and put half of the mixed milk in the baking tray. Then put the inverted cake in the pan and pour over the remaining milk.
  8. Leave to soak milk around 2 hours. Then cut in cubes, cover with foil and put in the refrigerator for several hours to cool well.
  9. Top with liquid caramel.
If you want to prepare homemade caramel, there you go.

  • 200 g sugar (a little less than 1 cup)
  • 200 ml heavy cream
  • 20 g butter (1 tbs)
  • a pinch of salt
  1. Heat sugar and water on a medium heat until sugar is completely melted and caramelized. It's very important not to add the other ingredients until sugar becomes reddish glassy and lump-free.
  2. Remove from heat and add butter. Stir, return to heat and add previously warmed cream and a pinch of salt. Mix well and leave to simmer on medium heat for about 5 minutes.
  3. Density and color of the caramel will depend on the length of cooking and the cooking temperature. If you cook it longer, you'll get denser and darker caramel.