Tres Leches Cake for #SundaySupper

Posted by on Jun 30, 2013 in #SundaySupper, Cakes, International dishes | 38 comments

Tres Leches Cake for #SundaySupper

It’s a glorious weekend for a barbecue – Summer is here! So this #SundaySupper is a BBQ Party theme, hosted by Jennie of The Messy Baker. Now, although cake is not traditional BBQ food, when it comes to a cookout, I’m in charge of dessert. I leave my friends to get in touch with their inner pyromaniac lighting and cooking on the barbie, and I sort the pud for when everyone craves that sweet kick at the end of the evening. It’s a system that seems to work, so this week, I’m offering a summery, South American Tres Leches Cake.

I first became acquainted with a pastel de tres leches whilst in South America, though, being coeliac, I couldn’t try it. I had almost forgotten about it (it’s not really a cake which is well-known here in the UK), but then I was searching for something to make for the Spanish club I run, to give my students a taste of South America, and it seemed like the perfect opportunity to make a Tres Leches Cake that I could try too!

Pastel de Tres Leches

It is a lovely, simple cake for outdoor entertaining, because it is so effortlessly light – it’s not a doorstop of a cake you have to eat on an empty stomach. Its milky sweetness is also very satisfying and has a kind of nostalgia to it – a taste of childhood.

Tres Leches means ‘three milks’, because the cake is soaked in a three-milk mixture once baked. It can look a bit kitsch when cut into squares and topped with a glace cherry, so I baked a round cake and topped with chocolate sprinkles for something a little different (ok, you may think chocolate sprinkles are still kitsch but I’m fine with that!)

Tres Leches Cake

Tres Leches Cake
Serves 6
A South American sweet delight.
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
45 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
45 min
For the cake
  1. 175g caster sugar
  2. 175g plain flour (I used a gluten-free blend)
  3. 1tsp baking powder (gluten-free, available in most supermarkets)
  4. 4 eggs
  5. 75ml milk
For the sauce
  1. 1 can (400ml) condensed milk
  2. 1/2 can (200ml) evaporated milk
  3. 200ml double cream
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C and grease and line a cake tin.
  2. Separate the eggs - put the whites into a large bowl and use an electric whisk to beat until thick and peaks form.
  3. Fold in the sugar gently and then fold in the egg yolks one at a time.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour (sieve first), baking powder and milk, then fold this into the egg mixture.
  5. Transfer to the tin and bake for about 40 mins, until risen and golden.
  6. Meanwhile, make the sauce by lightly whisking together half the condensed milk, half the double cream and all the evaporated milk.
  7. As soon as the cake is out of the oven, skewer all over and pour the sauce over so that it soaks into the cake. Leave to cool for 5 mins in the tin, then turn out onto a wire rack.
  8. Make the cream topping by whisking together the rest of the cream and the condensed milk until thickened.
  9. Once the cake is cool, spread this on top and decorate as desired.
Happy Baking Days
For enough BBQ recipes to keep you cooking al fresco all summer long, take a look at what the rest of the #SundaySupper team have been making:


Hot Off the Grill:

On the Side:

Sweet Tooth:

In the Cooler:

Don’t forget, you can join the BBQ discussion on Twitter throughout the day, where we’ll be tweeting and sharing the recipes. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm EST. To join in, just follow the #SundaySupper hashtag, and remember to include it in your tweets. You can also check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more delicious recipes and photos.


  1. Oh gosh this looks good, Katy!!! Love the sauce especially – so decadent and creamy. :-)
    Krista recently posted..A Sunrise Bushwalk and Tugboat DaysMy Profile

    • The sauce is just dreamy – I will certainly be making it again!

  2. Oh my! Your cake looks and sounds incredible! I can only imagine how wonderful it must taste!
    Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers recently posted..Lightened Up Fully Loaded Baked Potato Salad #SundaySupperMy Profile

  3. Tres Leches cake is one of my absolute faves. This is so pretty, I love it!
    Kim@Treats & Trinkets recently posted..Berries & Cream Pie- A #SundaySupper Summer BBQMy Profile

  4. There’s nothing wrong with kitsch! 😉 This cake looks delicious!!!
    Conni @FoodieArmyWife recently posted..Warm German Potato Salad for your Summer BBQ | #SundaySupperMy Profile

  5. I´ve yet to make a tres leches cake. I don´t know what´s taking me so long, since there are nothing but great reviews about it everywhere! It looks awesome, sprinkles included!
    Paula @ Vintage Kitchen Notes recently posted..Cherry Caipiroska – a vodka cocktail #sundaysupperMy Profile

    • And you live in Argentina?! You have to make this! Thanks :)

  6. I love, love, love tres leche cake!! Great dessert!! Yours looks so good!!

    • Thank you! I am glad to have discovered it at last!

  7. Nope, I love your addition of chocolate sprinkles! This is one of my daughter’s favorite cakes…I bet she’ll be asking for it for her birthday :)

  8. Hands down, my favorite cake! Yours looks amazing!
    Jen @JuanitasCocina recently posted..Bleu Cheese Burgers ~ Summer BBQ #SundaySupper!My Profile

    • Thank you! It has become one of my favourites!

  9. Love Tres Leches. I can’t wait to try your recipe. I’m pinning it!
    Shannon @VillageGirlBlog recently posted..Red, White and Blue Dessert Parfaits {for a BBQ #SundaySupper}My Profile

  10. Ooh this looks divine!Would love to try a bite right now :) Never had Tres Leches Cake before but it sounds wonderful!
    Soni recently posted..Fish Kebabs with Mint Chutney #SundaySupperMy Profile

    • Please try it! It’s a different but very tasty cake :)

  11. You’re so right – tres leches is the PERFECT cake for a bbq! So glad you were able to adapt it to be gluten free. Delish!
    Lori @ Foxes Love Lemons recently posted..curried pork sliders with peanut sauce and apple slaw #sundaysupperMy Profile

    • Me too! Seeing cakes and pastries and not being able to eat them is a killer sometimes, but I love adapting them at home!

  12. Yummm! Muchos gracias for this delectable, do-able recipe, Katy. (Love that you can substitute gluten-free flour, too.)

    P.s. How great that you run a Spanish club!

    • De nada! Running a Spanish club just helps to keep me connected to a language and culture I love :)

  13. Let’s throw tradition out the window. We’re making this cake our new tradition. It looks extremely tasty.
    Jennie @themessybakerblog recently posted..Spicy Baked Beans ~ Summer BBQ Party #SundaySupperMy Profile

  14. Nothing better than a good tres leche…one of the very best desserts I’ve ever tasted was a tequila tres leche at Rick Bayless’s Frontera Grill in Chicago. I still dream of it…may have to give tres leche a go at home!
    Wendy (The Weekend Gourmet) recently posted..#SundaySupper Summer BBQ Party…Featuring California Layered Pasta SaladMy Profile

    • Wow, tequila tres leche sounds amazing!

  15. Any day with Tres Leches Cake is a Happy Baking Day!
    Dorothy at ShockinglyDelicious recently posted..Blueberry Sorbet for a #SundaySupper Summer BBQMy Profile

    • My thinking exactly! :)

  16. What a beautiful cake! I’ve only had a tres leches once, but I’ve really been wanting to make one.

  17. Such a beautiful tres leches cake! It looks and sounds absolutely delicious.
    Family Foodie recently posted..Fun Drinks for Summer Get TogethersMy Profile

  18. I love tres leches cake. You’re exactly right–they do taste nostalgic. Like drinking a sweet glass of milk for an afternoon snack.

  19. I’ve only ever had tres leches once, but it was so good!
    Sarah Reid, RHNC (@jo_jo_ba) recently posted..Toast Topper #21: Watermelon JellyMy Profile

  20. Tres Leches Cake is a favorite… and I can’t wait to try this version!!! Lovely, recipe!

  21. Great dessert! Yours looks so good!
    Cindys Recipes and Writings recently posted..Salmon Caprese Salad #WeekdaySupperMy Profile

  22. This cake sounds so wonderful! And I have to say…I like the sprinkles!!! 😉 They make me feel nostalgic/like a kid!
    Katie recently posted..Julep Nail Color: TracyMy Profile

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