After you bake this cake a first time, I have no doubt that you will keep find excuses to bake it on every other occasion that calls for cake. Yeah, it is that goood! I chose this very special cake for a person who holds a very special place in my life – my mum, who celebrates her birthday today, Friday 24th.

A Tres Leches cake is a sponge cake soaked in a mixture of three kinds of milk: evaporated milk, condensed milk and heavy cream. The airy texture of the Tres Leches allows it to absorb the milk mixture without turning soggy. Instead, it gets transformed into the most deliciously moist cake served with a dollop of freshly whipped cream and any of the fruits that happen to be in season.

The origins of the cake are not well established though it seems that the Tres Leches is most likely to have been created somewhere in Latin America. I however know exactly where I picked this recipe from; the one posted by Ree on The Pioneer Woman Cooks was so nicely explained with such gorgeous step-by-step pics that I had to look no further. And I’m pretty sure that like me, you’d be mad at yourself for not coming across this beauty earlier!

TRES LECHES CAKE

Ingredients:

1 cup all purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp table salt

5 whole eggs, separated

1 cup sugar, divided

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/3 cup milk

1 cup evaporated milk

1 cup sweetened condensed milk

1/4 cup heavy cream

1 cup whipping cream

Maraschino cherries

Freshly shredded coconut

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Separate eggs.

  • Beat egg yolks with 3/4 cup sugar on high speed until yolks are pale yellow. Stir in milk and vanilla.

  • Pour egg yolk mixture over the flour mixture and stir very gently until combined. Set aside.

  • Beat egg whites on high speed until soft peaks form. Pour in remaining 1/4 cup sugar and beat until stiff but not dry.

  • Fold in egg whites into batter very gently with a spoon until just combined. Pour into a 9 x 9 inch pan and spread evenly.

  • Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Turn cake out onto a rimmed platter and allow to cool.

  • Combine condensed milk, evaporated milk, and heavy cream in a small pitcher. When cake is cool, pierce the surface with a fork.

  • Slowly drizzle all but about 1 cup of the milk mixture trying to get as much around the edges of the cake as you can.

  • Leave the cake to absorb the milk mixture for 30 minutes. Decorate cake with whipped cream, coconut and cherries.

Happy Birthday Mama!

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