Tres leches cake recipe and a challenge: let’s make cake and eat it! :)

Cake challenges, Special everyday cakes and treats

Would you like to make a delicious tres leches (three milks) cake with a friendly group of people experimenting with this dessert?  Let’s do this tres leches cake challenge in the spirit of having fun and supporting each other!  It could give us a little push to make this delightful dessert whether it’s the first time or a new version!  If you’d like to take up the challenge you have one month from mid-April to mid-May to make this deliciously moist sponge soaked in three kinds of milk, so popular in Mexico and many Latin American countries.

There are four recipes to choose from, including the long-awaited Mexican recipe from Chef Ruben Boldo and a healthier ‘light’ coconut milk version, but feel free to follow any other recipe that inspires you or invent one.  All versions of the cake are welcomed!  And to tempt you here’s the chef’s lovely tres leches:  moist, light, spongy and delicious, weaving its magic and responsible for sparking the whole idea of this challenge!

Chef Ruben Boldo's tres leches cake

Chef Ruben Boldo’s tres leches cake


Open to everyone!  Bakers, non-bakers, writers, artists, photographers, gardeners, bloggers, non-bloggers and supervised children!!!  It’s probably just a few of us having a nice cosy friendly gathering to make cake and chat about it.  If you’d like a ‘bigger’ party please feel free to spread the news and invite your friends, via your blog, facebook, twitter, etc.  Any assistance with social networking is appreciated because I’m terrible at it!! 🙂


Make the cake any time between mid-April (Thurs 16th) to mid-May (Mon 11th/Thurs 14th)

  • Bloggers:  you can publish a post recounting your tres leches cake adventure with photos of your cake and recipe details on May 14th (you have till a few days later).  On that day I’ll publish the Tres leches cake challenge linky party post where you can add your link and we can celebrate together – visiting each others’ sites and cakes, leaving sweet comments and having cake conversations. 🙂 OR you can send stuff directly to me like the non-bloggers (see below).
  • Non-bloggers:  please send me your cake stories, photos and recipe details at before May 11th (the earlier the better), giving me a few days to add them directly to the post.  Could you send a photo in small version but also large? (sometimes I can’t enlarge them from zip as technology is not my best friend – more about the ‘blue button crisis’ later!).  And on May 14th you can come to the celebration linky party to see other people’s cakes! 🙂 (see above).


  1. Chef Ruben Boldo’s Mexican tres leches cake (see recipe below).  A classic but fairly light spongy version that has a lovely flavour, with a recipe passed down from a Mexican grandmother.  The eggs aren’t separated but you can adapt the recipe and separate if you prefer.  Recipe in cups, also converted into grammes.Tres leches cake
  2. Prachi’s Mango coconut tres leches cake at her blog, Divine Spice Box.  A delicious tropical lighter version with coconut milk.  Eggs are separated and whites beaten till stiff.  Recipe in cups.
  3. Lolita’s Pastel de 3 leches on her blog, Lolita la pastelera.  A classic traybake version with an Italian meringue topping.  It’s in Spanish but with a video showing all the steps very clearly (eg. for beating the egg whites till stiff, and adding the sugar then egg yolks).  Recipe in grammes.
  4. My Strawberry tres leches cake on lili’s cakes.  An adaptation of Chef Ruben Boldo’s cake but with slightly different quantities, separated eggs and a quark/maple syrup topping.  Recipe in grammes and cups.DSCF7743
  5. Any other recipe or adaptation you like!  Some have a little butter in them!


You’re welcome to ask questions, make suggestions and share your experiences before mid-May in the comments section below or on my facebook page under the challenge article.

English is a useful common language but if you find it difficult to communicate or post a recipe in English then Spanish, French and Italian would be okay with me and some other blogger friends!  (Sorry if yours is another language).  The photos will be in universal language! 🙂

And now for a recipe!

MEXICAN TRES LECHES CAKE by Chef Ruben Boldo (Mexcla restaurant, Barcelona)


Butter and flour your cake tin.  Quantities are for a 18 to 20cm diametre cake tin.  Double the quantities to make the chef’s cake in a 34cm diametre tin for 16 portions.

Preheat the oven to 190°C (static, non-convection oven) or 170°C (fan-assisted oven) – bake 25 to 35 minutes.

Ingredients (grammes in italics)


Sponge (note:  the chef’s recipe works but I’m unsure how his batter was so light and fluffy without beaten egg whites – perhaps his stand mixer whisks the eggs and sugar to a genoise-like fluffy ribbon stage.  The second time I made the cake I incorporated the ‘separated eggs’ method and it was lighter.  You can view the technique in recipe no.3’s video)

  • 3 medium to large eggs
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated or caster sugar – it’s quite a lot of sugar, so I reduced this to 180g
  • 1 cup (140g) plain (all-purpose) flour 
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder (half a sachet)
  • pinch of ground cinammon
  • half tsp pure vanilla essence
  • small pinch of ground nutmeg

Soaking milk

  • three quarters cup (165ml) full-fat milk
  • three quarters cup (165ml) condensed milk
  • three quarters cup (165ml) evaporated milk
  • one tablespoon brandy (optional)
  • about a teaspoon pure vanilla essence (to taste)
  • a pinch of cinammon

For serving

Ground cinammon for the reserved soaking milk


  1. Whisk the flour, baking powder, cinammon and nutmeg together in a big bowl.
  2. Get another big bowl and sift from one bowl to the other until you’ve sifted the flour mixture three times!  This is how the chef’s grandmother always did it and so does the chef now!
  3. Whisk the eggs and sugar till pale and fluffy.  Add the vanilla and whisk.
  4. Fold the flour mixture delicately into the eggs and sugar with a rubber spatula or spoon with a hole.  And figure of eight motions.DSCF7453
  5. When just combined, pour delicately into the prepared cake tin and use the back of a spoon to gently level the batter.
  6. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes till the cake is golden brown and a skewer inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.  The cake should also spring back a little if you press gently on the top with your finger.
  7. Let the cake cool a little for 10 minutes.  Keep it in the tin.

Adding the soaking milk

  1. Whisk together the three kinds of milk in a bowl, then the brandy, vanilla and cinammon.
  2. Make holes all over the cake at fairly regular intervals and put your tin on a deep plate or tray.
  3. Slowly pour or spoon three quarters of milk mixture evenly over the cake.
  4. Reserve one quarter in a cup and put in the fridge for later use

Note:  according to the chef the milk will come out from under your removable bottom mould into the plate/tray.  My milk didn’t for the first two cakes.  So I unmoulded the cake and returned it to the plate.  A little milk came out.  Use whichever technique makes sense to you.  If the milk does leak out, just pour it back over the cake – the chef repeats the pouring process three times (the third cake I made was softer so the milk seeped out and I used the chef’s technique).DSCF7643 Storing and eating your tres leches cake!

Store the cake in the fridge covered or in tupperware if possible and keep for at least 4 hours before eating.  It’s best if kept overnight and eaten the next day (or up to three days later), when it’s moist and delicious.  Pour a little saved milk around each portion to serve (the chef adds a little cinammon to this liquid).

Anyway, I hope you’ll make a lovely version of this delicious tres leches cake.  If you’re worried about all the milk then maybe try the lighter coconut milk version.  I wonder if a ‘healthier’ version with almond milk, coconut milk and oatmilk would work, with maple syrup and greek yoghurt to thicken it!  Though ‘small slices’ are considered diet friendly!  This cake is worth it and keeps in the fridge for days!  I’ll just get another piece to check! 🙂

The chef’s tres leches cake made by me!

Oh, yeah (munch, munch) still delicious.  So if you’d like to take up the tres leches cake challenge then ‘hurray!!!’ and I look forward to hearing from you.  Shall we vote for our favourite cakes when we’ve finished or just do it for fun?  Leave a comment below to say you’re interested and maybe which version you’re thinking of making or links to any interesting information or recipes you find.   If you’re not doing the challenge you’re also very welcome to leave a comment and any ideas!

So I wish you a lovely end of the week and weekend sweet reader!  Happy baking, eating and challenging yourself to do little things that make you feel really good!  Till next time  🙂

P.S.  Thank you so much Chef Ruben Boldo!! 🙂

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Baking on Sundays with my French mum was a lovely part of my childhood. Later I experimented with baking books or internet recipes and did the pâtisserie course at Le Cordon Bleu Paris. Still trying out new recipes and inventing cakes with influences from all around the world, including some healthier ones. Yes, love cakes!!! Hope you'll love them too and have fun baking. :)

29 thoughts on “Tres leches cake recipe and a challenge: let’s make cake and eat it! :)”

  1. Pingback: Strawberry tres leches cake recipe with a healthy topping! | lili's cakes

    • That’s great news Sridevi!! So happy you’ll be here baking too! Can’t wait to see your lovely cake!! 🙂


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