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best tres leches cake

Best Tres Leches Cake

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5 from 3 reviews

  • Author: Rosana
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 12 slices


The Best Tres Leches Cake features a light sponge cake soaked in a mixture of three milks and topped with toasted meringue. Ultra moist, fluffy and delicious, this authentic Venezuelan dessert is to die for!


For the Cake:

  • 5 eggs, divided
  • 3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (125 grams) all-purpose flour, sifted 
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp kosher salt

For the Milk Mixture

  • 1 can (12 oz) evaporated milk
  • 1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 1/4 cup whole milk

For the Meringue Topping

  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar


Make the Cake Batter:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF (175ºC). Grease and flour a 9×13-inch cake pan.
  2. Separate the eggs gently cracking the egg and transfer the yolk back and forth between the shell halves until the white separates into a bowl.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the egg yolks, vanilla extract and granulated sugar until smooth and double in volume. 
  4. Fold in the flour, salt and baking powder into the egg yolk mixture. Do not over mix. 
  5. In a clean, dry bowl, whisk the egg whites on high speed, until stiff peaks form and the mixture is glossy. About 6-8 minutes.
  6. Fold the whipped egg whites into the cake batter until no streaks remain.
  7. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and spread it evenly. Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and the top is golden brown. 
  8. Once cooled, use a skewer or fork to poke holes all over the top of the cake.

Make the Milk Mixture:

  1. In a large bowl or jar, combine the evaporated, condensed and whole milks. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Soak the Cake:

  1. Pour the milk mixture, one cup at a time, until it begins to soak. Refrigerate, covered with foil, for at least 4 hours, but preferably overnight.

Make the Meringue Topping:

  1. In a bowl, combine the egg whites, sugar and cream of tartar until well mixed. Place the bowl over a small saucepan with simmering water and cook, stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves and reaches 160ºF.
  2. Beat the eggs whites with a hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, until stiff peaks form and meringue becomes glossy.
  3. Spread the meringue evenly over the soaked Tres Leches Cake.
  4. Use a kitchen torch to lightly brown the meringue.
  5. Slice and serve.


  • Make Ahead Instructions: you can prepare the Tres Leches Cake a day or two in advance. I suggest adding the meringue topping just before serving.
  • Storage: store Tres Leches Cake in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 3 days.
  • Freezing Instructions: the sponge cake can be frozen for up to 3 months tightly wrapped in plastic wrap. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before adding the three milks.
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Cuisine: Hispanic