Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Pastel de Tres Leches ( Tres Leche Cake)


One of my friends on Facebook is Chef Mario Daniel Jarero. Chef Mario and I were chatting one day and he asked me what my favorite cake was. As I sat thinking about all the luscious cakes I've had and trying to pick just one, Mario very quickly replied that the best cake he's ever had was a Tres Leches Cake. I was still mulling the question over... he didn't even hesitate! Of course his choice peaked my interest because I've never made one.  To Read More, Click On The Recipe Title.
Off I went on a recipe search. I found out that is cake is thought to have originated in Nicaragua and has become a favorite of many Latin countries. I started this recipe from Epicurious by making a cinnamon flavored sponge cake in a 10 inch spring form pan. The cake is very light and airy , perfect for absorbing the 3 milks that are spooned over the top.

Other recipes called for baking the cake in a 13x9 inch baking pan. But I liked the idea of a nice tall cake, so I made it in a 10 inch spring form pan.


It baked up beautifully! In my recipe search, I found that other cakes required you to poke holes in the top of the cake so the milks would abosorb easily....not so with this recipe....


This cake bakes with a slight crusted dome on the top, when removed, either by cutting it off or as I did peeling it off ( I couldn't cut a straight line if my life depended on it!), it reveals a light cake with air holes perfect for absorbing the milks.

treas leches

After combining the 3 milks (evaporated, sweetened condensed, cream and vanilla), I spooned the milk syrup over the cake. I was fascinated at how the cake absorbed it all!

treas leche

That last little bit of milk on top soaked into the cake as well! I chilled the cake, then prepared my topping. This recipe called for a meringue topping, but I wanted whipped cream. I have a wonderful recipe that Carol sent me a few years ago called Chef's Secret Whipped Cream that I use whenever I need a whipped topping for a dessert. This recipe uses gelatin and keeps the whipped cream from weeping...even the next day. I use it for all my summer's like Cool Whip only homemade!


I piped the whipped cream on top, and sprinkled with cinnamon. Now to taste....the first bite gave me the cinnamon in a moist soft cake. It's not's not heavy. The milk becomes part of the cake and makes it so moist and light...yes, light!

Thank you Chef Mario...this is one heavenly cake!

Wanna print just the recipe, click here!

Pastel de Tres Leches

Sponge Cake
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
4 eggs, separated
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk

Rum Milk Syrup
1 can evaporated milk (12 oz.)
1 can sweetened condensed milk (14 oz.)
1 can heavy cream (use empty can from condensed milk - 1 1/4 cups)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons dark spiced rum (Meyers or Captain Morgan will do), optional ( I didn't use the rum)

For Sponge Cake:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour cake pan, and line with parchment paper. Sift flour with baking powder and cinnamon. Using a standing mixer with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites until frothy, then slowly add sugar to tighten whites to semi stiff peaks. Add yolks one at a time. Alternate adding the flour mixture and the milk.

Pour batter into pan and bake for about 40 minutes or until the middle springs back when touched and edges pull slightly away from pan. Cool thoroughly on a wire rack.

For Rum Milk Syrup:
In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. Whip thoroughly with a wire whisk and reserve. (If made in advance, refrigerate and stir before using.)

To Assemble:
Unmold cake while slightly warm, and slice off the hard top with a serrated knife. Place cake on serving platter and spoon rum syrup over cake a little at a time, until it is all absorbed, repeat until all the syrup is used. Ice the top of the cake. Refrigerate until cool.

Chef's Secret Whipped Cream
makes about 4 cups whipped cream

1 envelope Knox Unflavored Gelatin
1/4 cup cold water
2 cups heavy or whipping cream ( 1 pint)
1/2 cup confectioners sugar

Chill large mixing bowl about 15 minutes. Meanwhile in a small saucepan, sprinkle unflavored gelatin over cold water; let stand 1 minute. Stir over low heat until gelatin is completely dissolved, about 2 minutes. In chilled bowl, while beating cream on low speed, gradually add gelatin, then beat on medium speed until thickened about 5 minutes. Add sugar, then beat till soft peaks form, about 2 minutes.

Hint: If you plan on piping beat until stiff peaks form.

Variations: For a flavored whipped cream add your favorite extracts or liqueurs to taste and proceed as above.



Bob said...

Wow, all of that looks wicked good, but that Pastel de Tres Leches is devastating!

Ingrid_3Bs said...

WOW, it all looks amazing. My kids are huge fan of banana desserts so I know they've love those muffins. While we're not overly fond of chocolate that soup does look good especially with, yum, caramelized bananas and pound cake croutons. Did I save the best for last, mmmmaybe? Your tres leche looks wonderful. I tried Martha's cupcake recipe for it and was terribly disappointed. I'll be giving your recipe a try.

Ivy said...

I think I've gained a couple of kilos just reading the post :)
Everything sounds delicious and I agree that the Pastel de Tres Leches is wonderful.

Marie Rayner said...

Everything looks fantastic as usual Bunny, but that Pastel de Tres Leches is singing to my soul as well. It is a cake I have always wanted to try. Must do so soon I think! You have inspired me!

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

All of these desserts sound delicioius. Can you gain calories from sniffing the computer screen:D

the country cook said...

chocolate soup???? Oh man, that sounds divine.

♥peachkins♥ said...

Everything looks delicious!

grace said...

your posts are always chock-full of goodness, but this one is particularly outstanding. the muffins are grand and i love the thick layer of frosting on the cake, but come on--CHOCOLATE SOUP? with CINNAMON CROUTONS? divine.

Katy ~ said...

Oooooh, my talk about a sugar high. I am floating around my little room here, grins. All of these are amazing!!

Gloria Baker said...

Dear Bunny, all look amazing and delicious, Torta Tres Leches is delicious, send you hugsss, gloria

Monica H said...

I don't typically like babnan bread/muffins but I really like the combination with the peanut butter. It's one of my favorite milk shakes so I'm going to have to try these.

And I've had a few tres leches cakes in my day because my mom loves it and makes it often BUT I've never had it with a cinnamon sponge or rum in the milk mixture. I'm going to have to shar ethis recipe with her!

Anonymous said...

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ravenhaired said...

I'm usually just a lurker, but- I made the Pastel de Tres Leches yesterday, and I think it's jumped to the top of my list of favorite cakes as well. Absolutely amazing, and I recommend the rum in the milks and a bit in the topping. Thanks!

Patty said...

Oh wow this all looks fantastic, I'm going to have to go try out that dark chocolate soup right now!

Jessica - The Novice Chef said...

This all looks absolutely delicious!

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

I think I'll take that an an entire meal. Peanut butter banana chocolate muffins? Sign me up? (There isn't a better flavor combo out there!) Chocolate soup? Love it. I'm also a huge fan of tres leches cakes. I tend to make a more traditional recipe with a sheet pan and hole-poking, but your method created a more striking cake.

Debbie said...

I absolutely love that cake Bunny and plan on trying it sometime soon. Thanks for the tip about using gelatin in the whipping cream. I never heard of that but think it's great and will try that too!

Pam said...

This is mind boggling! So many great things and I love the name of the muffins, perfect!

Velva said...

I am forever staring at your blog post photos-awesome. I really like the monkey muffins and the idea that it is kid-friendly even more.

Jane said...

Holy moly--you ladies went all out with the incredible goodies this time. I don't know which is most tempting, they all look so darn good. But I think the chocolate soup with pound cake croutons sounds like something they'd serve you in heaven!

Kittie Howard said...

Just want to share that this Sunday I made your egg/ham recipe ... absolutely delicious. Next up: Orange Chicken and that walnut-brocolli salad. You've got one fantastic blog. Thank you!!

Jelli said...

This looks like a real winner of a cake, though not very traditional in the way of Tres Leches. If you're after traditional, I recommend the recipe from Recipe Girl, which I generally use. The addition of cinnamon is something I normally do, but when serving it to our Costa Rican friends, I can't stray too far from the home-cookin' 3 Leches they've grown up with or I get scowls. Congrats on your success!

Shelby said...

Oh my, that chocolate soup is calling my NAME! :)

Mary Bergfeld said...

Everything looks delicious. Your cake looks really wonderful, though any of these delights would quickly bring me to my knees and off my diet. Have a grand day. Blessings...Mary

Ivy said...

Hey Bunny! Everything looks do delicious! Happy Easter!

Anonymous said...

Well I could have SWORN that I posted a comment on here, but I guess not! I wanted to say thanks for the banana and peanut butter recipe :-) I very much remember banana and peanut butter sandwiches until I was about 17! I can't wait to try that recipe so that I can get my "fix"! Everything looks great!

Cyndy said...

Hi Jen!

Welcome. set a spell and look around. Hope you find something you like!

Lisa said...

That Dark Chocolate Soup looks amazing.... but I kept reading and am so impressed with your Tres Leches cake. I love your photos and explanation. I think I finally get it now. And the homemade cool-whip tip is one I will have to try. My aunt would have loved it!!

giz said...

The muffins - you know I'm going to be making them and soon and that the Tres Leches - out of control - love it. You always find such interesting things to showcase.

Kittie Howard said...

Me, again. Bunny, I printed recipes for the bourbon chicken and the brocolli/mango salad (but not served together). OMG, delicious!!! (Burp!) Thank you!

Maranda said...

The chocolate soup sounds amazing! This has inspired me to cook more. I love cooking and treating food as art, I should do more baking!

Barbara Bakes said...

So many yummy recipes in one post! I haven't heard of monkey muffins before, but it's a great idea!

giz said...

I couldn't resist - I made Carole's monkey muffins and they're everything you said they were and then some. They were gone before I could take pictures and now I just have to make them again....awwwww. Thank you Carole for this really great teenager approved recipe.

Ann said...

Perfect flavor trio of peanut butter, banana and chocolate. I used half sugar and half Splenda, and made 20 regular size muffins. This recipe is a keeper!

Vohn's Vittles said...

That sounds amazing! I have never heard of Tres Leche Cake before but I'm definitely going to give your recipe a try. Milk syrup infused with rum sounds heavenly!

Bunny said...

It does Vohn! You'll love this cake!