Three-Milks Cake (Tres Leches Cake)

Serves     12 to 16


1 yellow cake box mix (preferably not pudding in the mix), prepared according to directions, baked in a 9×13 baking pan (make sure you have 3 eggs on hand for this)
1 can evaporated milk
1 can sweetened condensed milk
½ cup half and half (or whipping cream)
1 cup whipping cream for the frosting, lightly whipped
optional garnish: chocolate sauce, maraschino cherry, or other fruit


Let the yellow cake cool in the baking pan for 30 minutes. Poke all over with holes, using a fork, a toothpick or a skewer. Make sure that your poker goes all the way to the bottom of the pan. Pay particular attention to the corners and edges of the cake. You’ll want at least 300 holes poked in the cake so that it can absorb all the liquid.

Stir together the three milks in a large measuring cup with spout. This will make it easier to pour onto the cake. Gradually pour all but one cup of the milk on top of the cake, letting it soak in between additions. Discard the final cup of milk. I found that the cake was just too wet if all the liquid is used. It is best to refrigerate overnight.

To serve: You can frost the entire cake the next day with lightly whipped cream, then cut and serve. Or you can cut the cake into squares and plate individually. This method allows you to drizzle chocolate sauce onto each square, dollop with whipped cream, and garnish with a cherry.

And if you’d like to try making this cake from scratch here is a link to my favorite blog, Smitten Kitchen.

Deb Perlman, the author, researches everything thoroughly, and she has a witty writing style to boot.

Recipe and photo credit: Linda McElroy


Notes and Instructions

This cake is typically a homemade sponge cake with the milks poured on top of it. Since I know how busy we all are and sometimes just need an easy recipe to make, I’ve taken the liberty of using a yellow box cake mix for this recipe. No shame in this at all. In fact, I predict you won’t need to confess to anyone; all you need to say is that you made the cake!