Tres Leches Cake


Tres Leches Cake

Pastel de Tres Leches or Three Milk’s Cake, is one of the most, if not the most popular and sold cake throughout Mexico. It is also amongst the most requested recipes I have been asked for after Pickled Jalapeños and Piggie cookies. So dear readers, I am sorry it has taken this long but here it goes! I promise to get to the other requests, which I love getting on your emails, as soon as possible.

Tres Leches is a sweet, practically wet, homey cake. Its base is a vanilla sponge cake, completely soaked in a sauce traditionally made with three kinds of milk: sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk and regular milk. Some versions substitute regular milk with heavy cream. The cake will sometimes have a topping like fresh whipped cream, which I seriously consider of utmost necessity. Sometimes the topping turns out to be meringue or even chocolate ganache.

Growing up in Mexico City, there was a bakery called La Gran Via, which sold such delicious Tres Leches that even though it was far from home, we used to drive many Sundays to get one. These days La Gran Via has become a large chain store of bakeries… it has been years since I have eaten one of  their cakes. This recipe, is as close as I get to my nostalgic memories.

To make the sponge cake as fluffy as can be, start by beating the egg whites until they hold soft peaks. Add the sugar and keep on beating until they hold stiff peaks.

Separately beat the egg yolks until thick, creamy and very pale in color and add some vanilla.

I really feel the need to take a photo of the vanilla and show it to you. It’s Mexican vanilla from Papantla, the place where vanilla originated. Vanilla grown and harvested in Papantla, really blows me away. And just look how pretty the bottle is…

Vanilla Bottle-thumb-510x342-531

Then pour the egg yolks (look at how thick and pale the egg yolks are after beating them for 4 to 5 minutes, that’s what you want) with that hint of vanilla, onto the egg white mixture.

Yolks into Whites-thumb-510x342-535
Pour it all on top…

Gently, with a spatula, in evolving motions, combine the yellow with the white, being careful not to lose much of the volume and fluffiness already achieved.

Once well combined, add the flour and incorporate it in evolving motions.

Pour that batter onto the prepared pan, buttered and lined with parchment paper.

It is a simple cake batter: just egg whites, sugar, egg yolks, vanilla and flour. But it turns out fluffy, homey and spongy because of the way these ingredients are used.

Into the oven for about 25 minutes, until the cake has a nice tanned crust, it is spongy to the touch and a toothpick comes out clean.

After you get the cake out of the oven, invert it onto a plate and poke all over with a fork, or two forks. You want to help the cake find ways to absorb the sauce you are about to make.

There goes the condensed milk and the evaporated milk into the regular milk, and a bit more vanilla.

Some modern versions of the cake add other kinds of flavors into the sauce, like chocolate, cajeta (Mexican goat’s milk version of dulce de leche) or Rompope (Mexican eggnog). If you like a hint of alcohol in your desserts, go ahead and pour in some Rum or Kahlua.

Pour all the sauce on top…

Though not all versions of the cake have whipped cream on top I think it is of the most absolute necessity. Life or death. NEED it. Spoon it. Spread it.

The cake tastes much better when it has had a chance to soak in all of that sauce and when it is cold. So it is a good idea to cover it and refrigerate it for at least an hour.

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It is simple to eat, simple to see, simple to make. It is a simply unfussy and tasty dessert that is somewhat neutral, so it can take many variations. Of course you can add some fruit on top or in between, fresh strawberries work really nice here, its your choice.

The fluffy yet completely wet cake holds its shape as it gives in to the flavor of the sauce. The whipped cream, as you can see, just needs, needs, needs to go on top. It makes such a nice contrast with the wetness and sweetness of the cake. After you try it, let me know what you think. Whipped cream on top?

Tres Leches Cake
Print Recipe
10 to 12 pieces Pastel de Tres Leches
  • For the cake:
  • 9 eggs separated
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • For the sauce:
  • 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 12-ounce can evaporated milk
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • For the topping:
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
To Prepare
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9 x 13 inch pan, lining the bottom with a piece of parchment paper cut to fit the pan.
  • Pour the egg whites into the bowl of your mixer and beat on medium-high speed for 4 to 5 minutes, or until they hold soft peaks. Slowly stir in the sugar and continue beating until they hold hard or more stiff peaks. Turn off the mixer and with a spatula, move the egg white mixture onto a large mixing bowl.
  • Rinse the bowl of the mixer and its whisk. Now pour the egg yolks into the bowl of the mixer and beat on medium-high speed for about 5 to 6 minutes, or until the egg yolks become creamy, puffy and their color has toned down to an almost cream color rather than a loud yellow. Stir in the vanilla and continue beating for another minute. Turn off the mixer.
  • Pour the egg yolk mixture onto the egg white mixture and with a spatula, in evolving motions, combine them into a homogeneous single batter. Do so gently trying not to lose much volume from the mixture. When fully combined, fold in the flour, scraping the bowl with the spatula so that all the flour is well mixed.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and place into the oven for 22 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. It can be a bit moist, but not wet. The top of the cake should be tanned and feel fluffy if you touch it. Remove it from the oven and let it cool.
  • Once it cools down, turn it onto a platter. Remove the parchment paper and cover the top with an upside down platter and invert again. The platter should be large enough to hold the cake and the vanilla sauce you are about to prepare. Using a fork, or two, poke wholes all over the cake so that it will better absorb the vanilla sauce.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine the sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, milk, and vanilla extract. Pour the vanilla sauce over the cake.
  • In the bowl of your mixer, whip up the heavy cream with the confectioners’ sugar on medium-high speed until the mixture holds up stiff peaks, about 1 to 2 minutes. Spread the whipped cream all over the already wet cake. Then yum, eat it all up.
  • For the cake:
  • 9 eggs separated
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • For the sauce:
  • 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 12-ounce can evaporated milk
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • For the topping:
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
To Prepare
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9 x 13 inch pan, lining the bottom with a piece of parchment paper cut to fit the pan.
  • Pour the egg whites into the bowl of your mixer and beat on medium-high speed for 4 to 5 minutes, or until they hold soft peaks. Slowly stir in the sugar and continue beating until they hold hard or more stiff peaks. Turn off the mixer and with a spatula, move the egg white mixture onto a large mixing bowl.
  • Rinse the bowl of the mixer and its whisk. Now pour the egg yolks into the bowl of the mixer and beat on medium-high speed for about 5 to 6 minutes, or until the egg yolks become creamy, puffy and their color has toned down to an almost cream color rather than a loud yellow. Stir in the vanilla and continue beating for another minute. Turn off the mixer.
  • Pour the egg yolk mixture onto the egg white mixture and with a spatula, in evolving motions, combine them into a homogeneous single batter. Do so gently trying not to lose much volume from the mixture. When fully combined, fold in the flour, scraping the bowl with the spatula so that all the flour is well mixed.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and place into the oven for 22 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. It can be a bit moist, but not wet. The top of the cake should be tanned and feel fluffy if you touch it. Remove it from the oven and let it cool.
  • Once it cools down, turn it onto a platter. Remove the parchment paper and cover the top with an upside down platter and invert again. The platter should be large enough to hold the cake and the vanilla sauce you are about to prepare. Using a fork, or two, poke wholes all over the cake so that it will better absorb the vanilla sauce.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine the sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, milk, and vanilla extract. Pour the vanilla sauce over the cake.
  • In the bowl of your mixer, whip up the heavy cream with the confectioners’ sugar on medium-high speed until the mixture holds up stiff peaks, about 1 to 2 minutes. Spread the whipped cream all over the already wet cake. Then yum, eat it all up.

  • OMG – that looks amazing! I hope you will make it for me one day :-). I am not much of a baker but i LOVE to eat cakes!

    • Pati Jinich

      Just let me know when your birthday is Monica, you will have one delivered at your door!!

      • Que tal PAti estoy viendo que comias este pastel de la gran via wow yo tengo unas ganas de un verdadero pastel de tres leches pero no lo encuentro como alla, vivo en phoenix desde hace 6 anos pero mi ingles no es muy bueno como le puedo hacer para ver las instrucciones en espanol por que se ve delicioso y la verdad me urge hacer uno gracias que tengas un lindo dia y esta muy bien tu pagina voy a seguir viendo tus recetas que tengas un lindo dia !!!

      • Kenia Ramos

        I just made this cake and I believe I followed the directions very well, but it tastes overwhelmingly like eggs. It even smelled like eggs when I took it out of the oven. Has this ever happened to you? and if so what did you do to fix it? Thanks!

        • Pati

          hm… has not happened to me Kenia…

        • Maggie Cardenas

          Hello Kenia, I’m from MExico and I have been making 3 leches cakes for 32 years, you can say it is my specialty. People always ask me to make it for them. My receptive calls for 6 eggs not 9 an always comes out perfect. I also some times make my own variation like “piña colada” I add half cup of coconut to the batter and coconut extract instead of vanilla. I add a little rum to the 3 leches mixture, crush pinneaple on top of the cake and then the cream. Delicious !

          • Pati

            Hola Maggie, Thank you for sharing. Your “piña colada” version sounds delicious. I will have to try it sometime!!

          • Marie

            I was interested in how you make your Tres Leches Cake….sounds delicious.

          • Christine Brydges

            Hola Maggie,
            I read your response to Kenia Ramos dated last year regarding the 6 eggs verses 9 eggs in the recipe. Ican imagine how wonderful your Tres Leches cake would taste with the pina colada. Can you share your recipe with me? I really would like to make your version.

            Thank you so much.

          • Bea Oliver

            Can you share your Pineapple Tres Leche recipe with me please. It sounds like a wonderful recipe.

          • Pati

            Hola Bea, I’ll try to post it soon!

      • diane

        I made this cake followed instruction to a tee.. cake came out dense n dry it didn’t seem to absorb although there was no sauce in pan.. maybe I should have doubled the sauce? It did taste good not real sweet though…I’m not sure what I did wrong, but I will try it again

        • Pati

          Hola Diane, Thank you for trying my tres leches cake! Try poking more holes all over the cake with a toothpick next time, for the sauce to soak in.

        • palma

          Hi Diane,

          I made lots of holes with the fork and then I poured the sauce slowly on top. I let it sit for a while and only when the liquid looked absorbed I put the cream on top. Then I left it overnight on the fridge. It was moist, not drenched and Oh yes, delicious.

          Pati – would love to have the pineapple variation

  • Mary Deininger

    Aha! My birthday is coming up in March! Can I have one too?!
    It looks amazing. I am wondering if I wanted to make a 2 layer version with strawberries in the middle, would I soak the layers separately first, then fill, stack and cover with whipped cream? Would I be able to lift a soaked layer to stack it or would it fall apart?
    I was a pretty good decorator of traditional US celebration cakes, but haven’t done one in ages since nowadays our celebration cakes are always tres leches and I don’t know how to make one!
    What’s your advice?
    Mary D

    • Pati Jinich

      Hi Mary,
      You are making me laugh! Yes you can have one too! Do you live in the DC area? Just tell me your birthday…
      A two layer version with strawberries in the middle is amazing. I have tried it myself. Just make the two layers separately, unmold, top one with the sliced strawberries and some whipped cream, add the second layer, then pour a double amount of the sauce, let it all soak for about 10 minutes and then top with whipped cream. You can then decorate with more strawberries on top. You know what? Just talking about it made me feel like making it myself!
      Let me know how you like it!

  • Domenica

    Patricia the photos themselves look good enough to eat. I’ve never made a tres leches cake. Now I have a recipe. Thanks for sharing it.

    • Pati Jinich

      Many thanks Domenica!! It is very, very easy to make. It is my pleasure to share!

  • I use this same recipe…it is pretty incredible and very authentic!

  • Hola Pati!
    You did it again! I’m drooling all over my keyboard!!!!!!
    Que delicia! Muero por el pastel de tres leches y se me antojo horrores!
    Me encanto tu receta, a ver si me animo y lo hagao para el proximo shabat!
    Los extranamos!

    • Pati Jinich

      Gracias Gabitas!! Animate, tus hijos se lo van a devorar!! Muchos besos, Pati

  • Ya quiero que sea mañana!! voy a soñar con este pastel!! mmmmm, mi boca esta mas empapada que ni el pastel en las fotos! Se me hace agua la boca, perdon! Se ve una delicia.
    Patti, me encanta como escribes tus recetas, le pones esa pasion que hasta cuentas de tus memorias! Gracias por compartirlas!

    • Pati Jinich

      Hola Melinda,
      Que bueno que te gusta!! Espero que te quede rico y que te lo comas todo de un sentón!

      • me gustaria k por fabor me mandes la reseta en espanol

        • Pati Jinich

          Hola Mayela,
          Más adelante voy a tratar de poner las recetas en ambos idiomas… Saludos!

          • Estefania

            Hola Pati, yo también buscaba la receta en español. Yo soy de venezuela pero hablo 4 idiomas. Me gustaría ponerme en contacto con usted para ver si le podría ayudar a poner las recetas en español! Sería tan divertido, y como siempre, gracias por compartir sus recetas!!!

            Beso y saludo desde Venezuela

  • Olivia

    Hi – I found a recipe for this decedent cake a couple years ago and I get asked to make it all the time, too. Hands down my favorite. I’ll eat it for breakfast!
    One thing I do with the sauce is heat the sweetened condensed milk until it darkens a bit and gets a slight caramel taste. Off heat, I mix the other milks and vanilla with it and pour.
    …and definitely whipped cream on top. -Olivia

    • Pati Jinich

      Hi Olivia,
      Oh my! That step of darkening the condensed milk sounds like such a wonderful idea!! Will try it next time I make it…

  • MMMMMMMMMmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. I want it NOW!
    Where do you get that pretty Mexican vanilla? Does it change the flavor?

    • Pati Jinich

      Hey Denyse!!
      Yes it is MMMMmmmmmm!! That Mexican vanilla is just out of this world. The aroma when you open that little bottle just blows you away. And flavor is intense and rich. I have a couple extra bottles here… But I am pretty sure you can get it online…

  • Cake was fantastic! And easy. Kids loved watching the mixer beat everything. Husband and I both had doubts that the cake would absorb all the milk (“Are you sure you bought the right size cans?”), but it did. Only thing I didn’t do was wash the mixer bowl between beating the whites and the yolks. If I had beaten the yolks first I would have washed the bowl to keep the fat in the yolks from making it hard to beat the whites, but since the whites came first I don’t think it mattered. Thoughts? We ate it with strawberries. I will absolutely make it again.

    • Pati Jinich

      Hey Kim,
      So happy!! As for rinsing the mixer bowl, as you say, it matters more if you do yolks first, because then the whites can’t gain as much volume as they could. And I love it with strawberries too. So much so, that sometimes I layer them on top…

  • We love Tres Leches cake in my family. It was the cake at my parent’s 50th anniversary party this past summer and also the wedding cake at one of my siblings’ weddings. Delicious! I can’t wait to try your recipe, Pati. 🙂

    • Pati Jinich

      Ooohhh!! Teri, perfect for Anniversaries and Weddings!! I am just picturing one over the other, over the other, Tres Leches cake layers, with in between layers of strawberries!

  • La foto de las claras batidas está divina. Da ganas de comérselas tal cuales o hacer un buen merengue en el horno! Se ve genial la receta, Pati. Te felicito.

    • Pati Jinich

      Gracias! It was hard to get my husband’s camera to work so close to the mixer! But, hey, took the shot! You are so right… reminds me, I have to post about merengues (!)

  • Oh my goodness! When we lived in Memphis, I had a friend there give me the recipe for her “Coconut Cake” recipe. It consisted of making a butter cake, poking holes in it, pouring 1-2 cans of sweetened condensed milk over it, spreading sweetened whipped cream over the top, and then sprinkling coconut on top of that. I had NO idea that what I have beem making all these years is basically tres leches cake!!! I cannot wait to try an authentic recipe. Yummalicious. You’re the best!

    • Pati Jinich

      Oh….. Fujimama, that spin with coconut sprinkled on top and maybe even some coconut milk mixed in with the milk sauce sounds like a perfect spin for a Coconut Tres Leches. Will have to give that a try!

  • Definitely, definitely have to have the whipped cream. This is my favorite dessert by far, I cannot wait to try this recipe!! And my trick for a grown-up version is to add a shot of rum (Meyer’s works well) to the milk mixture … delicious!

    • Pati Jinich

      Hi Gladys,
      I can’t have it with the whipped cream either… And shot of rum sounds just fabulous!

  • liz

    hola esta pastel esta delicioso!!!yo tambien lo eh echo pero de otra manera diferente tambien esta igual de rico///definitiva mente con crema y fresas mas rico eso que ni que

    • Pati Jinich

      A mi tambien me gusta con crema y fresas…

    • Adriana

      Hola Liz, Eso es exactamente lo
      que le falta al pastel de 3 leches , crema y fresas !!!!!!! Por favor
      Dime como lo hago, es el contraste perfecto !!!
      me puedes mandar la receta , he probado tantos
      Pasteles de 3 leches , creo que este sería, inigualable !!!!!!!!
      Gracias !!

  • Thanks for the recipe. I just made it for the first time today and it was lovely!

  • Omg, this cake looks delicious! my friend told me about tres leche cakes so i decided to look them up. is there a way that i could get one of these yummy deserts for my birthday?

    • Pati Jinich

      Hi Sherry, You are funny! Do you live in the DC area???

  • Hi Pati,
    I was wondering how far in advance this recipe for tres leches can be made? I’d like to make it for my sisters birthday, but can it sit in the fridge for a day or two?

    • Pati Jinich

      Hi Tianna,
      Yes, of course, not only can you make it 1 or 2 days beforehand, but it will taste even better!

  • Maria

    Thank you so much for this great recipe.. been looking all over the place for it. thanks! cant wait to try it.

    • Pati Jinich

      My pleasure!

  • Todavia no he hecho el tres leches, pero se ve increiblemente delicioso.Se me hace la boca agua!

  • Why Do You Need To Line The Bottom With Parchment Paper?
    But Other Than That Its Excellent (:

    • Pati Jinich

      Hi Angela,
      It just makes it much easier to unmold. But if you find that you don’t need it, skip it! Many thanks for your comment ; )

  • Liz

    Hi this recipe sounds delicious!! I will be making a 1/2 sheet cake this weekend for a bday party, do u have any idea what the measurements would be for this size cake? should I just double ur recipe?? Would greatly appreciate ur feedback I’ve never made a tres leches cake and I’m so excited to try your recipe! =)

    • Pati Jinich

      Hi Liz,
      Yes! Precisely! Just double up the recipe. I hope you love it as much as I do!

  • Bill Groth

    Hi Pati,
    I think your recipes are great! For our granddaughter’s first birthday next month, our daughter-in-law has asked us to help her bake a pastel de tres leches (I’ve already purchased the Gaya vanilla extract). I know that you believe only a frosting of whipped cream will do; however, the party will be held outdoors in San Diego and the cake is likely to get warm. Any suggestions or should we make a different frosting? Thanks, A Loving Grandpa

    • Pati Jinich

      Hi Bill, Loving Grandpa ; )
      If you make the cake ahead of time, and place it in the refrigerator overnight, whipped cream and all, it should last beautifully for an outdoor party!
      If you want to skip the whipped cream altogether, but really there is no reason to, you can just cover the cake with thin fruit slices. And maybe drizzle with some chocolate syrup too!

  • I am goiong to try this cake tonight!! With the coconut, sounds amazing! I am making fajita’s for my family, and this sounds likt the perfect compliment!!

  • Hola Pati, gracias por esta deliciosa receta de tres leches. Mi suegra hace un pastel muy parecido pero nunca ha querido compartir con nadie la receta. Ya lo hice y la verdad que quedo muy bueno, y se parece al que hace mi suegra. Asi que el sabor de este pastel esta bastante competitivo con el que ella hace. Ahora toda mi familia puede disfrutar de este delicioso pastel cuando quieran, y no solo en dias festivos. Saludos y seguire haciendo tus recetas, gracias.

  • its seems delicious. can’t wait to make it. and especially eat it.

  • Carol Bryant

    Yum! Looks great! Thank you for sharing

  • patricia d.

    es el mejor que he hecho con tu receta que es especifacil , no como otras recetas que no le igualan a las tuyas, felicidades y gracias por compartir.

    • Pati Jinich

      Con mucho gusto : )

  • This recipe really looks good and easy. I will definitely try it this week. What size pan can you use with this recipe?

  • Hola pati,
    Se me hizo agua la boca!!! Lo voi a hacer pero una pregunta la vainilla tiene ke ser de esa porke yo tengo pero la regular ke venden en la tienda. ….. esspero encontraarla porke le kiero hacer una aa mi hermano en su kumple ke es ahora en marzo… yo vivo en san diego y me gustaria saber donde komprarla

    • Pati Jinich

      Hola Karolina, Puedes usar cualquier extracto de vainilla que encuentres, no tiene que ser esa marca. Pero fijate que sea extracto de vainilla de verdad y no saborizantes…

  • hola, soy de México, y se acostumbra rellenar el pastel con una crema pastelera, hecha con yemas, azúcar, vainilla, leche y maizena que se coce al fuego para espesar y ya fría se rellena el pastel que se va mojando poco a poco.

  • I can not find the gaya vanilla extract that is affordable.
    Everywhere i look,it claims 10 dollars,but by the time you add shipping it is over 20 dollars for a little bottle.
    I just want to make this cake for the father of my child which so happens to be from Mexico.
    I want to impress him.
    Of course,someone can understand.
    I want to make this cake for him by next week.
    I am searching on internet.
    What else is okay to use besides this certain brand?
    I see a lot of “Mexican Vanilla Extract” claims,but i don’t know if they are true.
    It really is about price.
    I want to pay around 15 dollars with shipping and all.
    Please help.
    Fiona Saavedra

    • Pati Jinich

      Hi Fiona,
      You can feel free to use any vanilla extract that you find at your local grocery store! If you find Mexican, great. I love the Gaya, but there are many more out there. So try to use one that is the Vanilla extract and not the imitation, or vanilla flavoring. Very best, Pati

  • Do I put the fruit in the middle before adding the tres leches or after?

    • Pati Jinich

      You could do it either way…

  • I am wanting to make a chocolate pastel de tres leches is it possiable to make the cake, syrup, and frosting chocolate and how would you do that?

  • wow u have left me with out words.I been looking for the real mexican tres leches.I love that i found u in ch 6, April 23,11 @1:30 pm.This is my cooking channel.Love cooking all kinds of resetas.I miss real autetica mexican comida and resetas.Thanks so much for sharing ur delisiosas gona try all of them.This is just from 1 time i seen ur show.:)i got 10 resetas to get cracking,so exited to try them out.:):):):).

  • me encanto tu reseta,pero no se si la tienes en espanol y me la puedas mandar.gracias


    • Pati Jinich

      Hola Silvia,
      I recommend using all purpose flour with this recipes, but you can try using the cake flour too. It’s great to hear that you are enjoying the show!

  • UMMM, se mira rico el pastel…..he estado buscando un receta que sea facil to do…..and this is it….y tambien my cumple años es 8/12 y vivo en IL
    my question is, can we mix the whites in one bowl and then use another bowl to mix the yolks? or does it have to be in one to transfer to another bowl to mix the other part of eggs?

  • Hola unas preguntitas, No son muchos huebos para el pastel?…y si queda esponjadito, oh compresado?..Gracias?….

  • Jimena

    Otra pregunta, como vivo en Alemania no encontré heavy cream… con qué la puedo sustituir? Aquí sólo hay creme fraiche, crema normal para batir (30% grasa) o un requesón de 40 o 50% grasa. También hay Philadelphia, claro, pero quisiera tu opinión. Gracias

    • Pati Jinich

      Hola Jimena,
      La puedes substituir, para esta receta, con crema normal para batir. Provecho!

  • Jimena

    Gracias por tu respuesta Pati. Tengo otra pregunta rapida. 9 huevos se me hicieron muchos, ya que el pastel quedó un poco seco en algunas partes. Lo puedo hacer con menos huevos para que la salsa alcance a cubrirlo todo o de plano hago el doble de salsa?? Gracias otra vez!

  • This recipe looks delicious but i’m wondering if the recipe stays the same if i want to make cupcakes or what would you recommend. Also i prefer my tres leches with less milk mixture therefore not as moist is that okay with this recipe?

    • Pati Jinich

      Hola Brenda, You should definitely try this recipe with cupcakes! The recipe will stay the same except the cupcakes require less baking time. Also, you can add as much or as little milk as you’d like! Let me know how it goes!


  • Hi Pati! I made this cake for my husband’s birthday, and I did it in 2 layers with whipped cream and strawberries in the middle and covered in more whipped cream. It was delicious, but the edges of the cake didn’t get very moist with the milk. Any tips on making sure the whole cake gets wet, especially if you are going to be unmolding it and decorating outside of the pan? Also, I would like to make this again but on a smaller scale. Would this recipe fit into 2 round cake pans, or would I need to adjust and make more or less batter? What do you suggest for a cooking time? Thanks so much! Can’t wait to try more of your recipes 🙂

    • Pati Jinich

      Hola Sarah, I’m so happy you decided to make this for your husband’s birthday. Thinking of all the whipped cream and strawberries is making me hungry! If you’d like to make the cake more wet, you can try adding additional sauce. Also, if you decide to use 2 round cake pans, I would double the recipe; however, it should be around the same cooking time. Enjoy!

  • Excelente receta,he hecho otras,pero definitivamente esta se ve mucho mejor,muy bien explicada,sin duda la hare este weekend,ahi les contare como quedo..! Gracias!

  • Hola Pati,
    OMG….esta receta esta deliciosa….siempre compraba los pasteles de tres leches en una panaderia que los hacia de maravilla. Me mude y no avia encontrado algun lugar que los hiciera igual hasta que me anime hacerlo con tu super receta…Y me sabe igual a mi pastel favorito…ME ENCANTA…love it…gotta have it!!! estoy haciendo ahora uno para un evento especial de la familia…aversi les gusta…no creo que hasta los dedos se van a chupar!!!

    • Pati Jinich

      Hola Janie,
      Me da mucho gusto que te guste la receta! A mi me encanta con fresas o a veces le cambio la leche evaporada por leche de coco… Ojala que se chupen todos los dedos!!!

      • Julia

        Patti, además de la leche de coco, le añado.una lata de crema de coco (Coco López) que la consigues en los supermercados, le da un sabor realmente a coco !

        • Pati

          Que rico!!!

  • Que delicioso se ve esta version de Tres Leches! Yo he hecho una version q lleva baking powder, esta receta no lo necesita?

  • Hi Pati, do you use regular full fat milk as the ‘milk’ you have listed or heavy cream? I only ask because I’ve seen several other recipes that call for the heavy cream as part of the sauce instead of regular milk. Thanks so much! I’m planning on making this treat tonight.

    • Pati Jinich

      Hi Adrianna, I use regular cow’s milk, which for me is always whole milk . But always feel free to make things your own, so maybe try substituting with 2%.

  • Hi pati!! I just want to say thank you so much for this recepie!!! Im 19 years old and have two years living with my husband and he’s been bugging me about making him a cake of tres leches and once i did it with your recepie, he fell in love with it!!! We say its by far one of the best pastel de tres leches we ever tried.. Again thank you so much, your my hero!

  • Thanks for posting this recipe. My mom specifically requested this cake for her birthday, I had a recipe I had gotten long ago but lost in when my computer crashed and thus went on a cyber hunt for a new one. This one looks the best of them all. The cake part looks much better than the one I had (this one is much sponge-ier). I’ll be making it today and adding sliced peaches instead of strawberry. Again, Thanks for sharing =)

    • Pati Jinich

      Hola Monica, I hope you all enjoyed the cake! Many birthday wishes to your mom 🙂

  • Hi Pati,
    I am so so happy I found your blog. My mother in law requested a tres leches cake for her birthday and that is the only cake I have never made.
    I am going to make your recipe in layer cake form and I received some advice to bake in a 9 inch springform pan, poke holes in the cake, drizzle the tres leches and then cut in half, add a layer of fruit and whipped cream, put the second layer on and then frost in whipped cream.
    Do you think that will work? I am so nervous about making this cake. I am the baker of the family and bake everything and i just feel this cake could either be too dry cause i am going to be too scared to add all the liquid or it will be too wet and she specifically said she does not like soggy tres leches. Can you tell I am stressing?? LOL! Oh man. 🙂
    Thanks again for your recipe. I will making it tonight.

  • Well I made the cake and it came out good, but I was scared to put all the tres leches mixture and it showed. I am def. making this again hopefully this weekend and will follow all your instructions this time..LOL! Thanks Pati 🙂

    • Pati Jinich

      Hola Vanessa, You can put as much of the tres leches mixture to your liking. Let me know how it goes! 🙂

  • This cake came out INCREDIBLE!!! i loved it so much. so did the rest of my family. I am totally doing this recipe again. Love it! I am glad i found this recipe. thank you 🙂

    • Pati Jinich

      My pleasure Zenayda!!

  • Hi Pati,
    I just make the tres leche last night and put it in the fridge. It seems to have turned hard. Any suggestions?

    • Pati Jinich

      Hola Gina! What I can recommend is to make sure the cake is cool and to poke lots of holes in the cake before pouring the leches on top. 🙂

  • Hi Pati 🙂 I am baking it right now. I never have this cake before so i don’t know how to compare it with other tres leches cake. I add some lime zest in the batter and thinking to add coconut cream with the sauce and add some peppermint essence in whipped cream topping. I will bring it to work tomorrow and let my mexicana friend to try 🙂
    Thank you for this recipe 🙂
    By the way, i was quite sceptical about the batter because there is no liquid in it.

  • Excellente! It’s different but it was very good. My mexicana friend love it 🙂 She said better than the cake in Mexico 🙂
    The other friend from mexico and her mom who are visiting love your recipe. The caucasian friend wanted it for her wedding cake if she will marry again!
    The added coconut in the mixture is a plus.
    I put 3/4 cup of sugar in the batter instead of 1 cup.
    Thank you again for this recipe. I will try your polvorones next time 🙂

  • Hello Pati! I had an urgent question. Do you think Rice flour would go good with this recipe? I cannot use any type of all-purpose flour, my father cannot eat any gluten so any recommendations? thanks a lot! I love your show your charisma makes every show that special!

    • Pati Jinich

      Hola Dulce, Yes, you can substitute with rice flour. Hope you enjoy!

  • I tried this recipe and it came out DELICIOUS!!!!! Gracias Pati por la receta me salio super delicioso

  • Pati this cake is amazing!
    I searched all over the Internet for
    An authenic tres leches cake
    And yours was my choice !
    I was amazed at how the cake can absorb
    So much sauce and not become soggy!
    I was nervous about not using baking powder
    So at the last minute I threw in a half tsp
    To alleviate my anxiety . I also bought and
    Used cake flour before I saw your recommendation
    To use all purpose flour. The cake was awesome!
    I am making the cake
    Again today and this time I will use all purpose flour
    And no baking powder, As to follow the directions
    Can u tell me why you recommend all purpose
    Flour? Does it make the cake spongier?
    Thanks for this delicious recipe, It will become
    One of my staple desserts from now on , no
    Need to use any other tres leche recipes
    As this one is perfect and so versatile!!!

    • Pati Jinich

      Thank you for your question Sandi! I use all-purpose flour in most of my cakes. I just like the way it makes the cakes turn out, it is easy to use, and it is always handy.

  • Ana

    Mmmmm se ve delicioso! Pregunta: Si quiero hacer un pastel pequeno (solo para devorarmelo yo) divido los ingredientes a la mitad?? Y como dividiria 9 huevos? Crees que saldria bien si lo divido?

    • Pati Jinich

      Hola Ana, Preparalo todo! Lo bueno de este pastel es que dura muchos días en el refrigerador y hasta se va poniendo mas rico.

  • Hi Pati! Your recipes are amazing!
    Just want to know how much of the evaporated milk and condensed milk I should use? How many ounces of each?

  • ale

    porque el pastel se me baja sube bien y cuando lo saco del horno se me baja

  • I LOVE love LOVE this Tres Leches Cake Recipe, This is the BEST recipe!!
    I’m a happy baker!

    • Pati Jinich

      Thank you so much Ellie! I am so happy you love the recipe! 🙂

  • Hi pati. I really want to make this cake for my baby’s baptism, but have a couple questions. The cake batter doesn’t seem to have butter, oil, or milk. Is that correct? There isn’t any liquid in the cake?

    • Pati Jinich

      Hola Tiffany, Not in the cake, but there is liquid in the sauce! 🙂

  • Thanks, muchas gracias por tu receta,delicioso .

    • Pati Jinich

      Gracias Cristina!

  • I made this cake with my daughter we Loved it! My mom said it was delicious and light. Thanks for the recipe

  • hola pati me gusta mucho tu programa pero ahora casi no lo veao porque ahora mirandolo todo se me antoja tengo cinco meses de embarasada y no mas mirando esto se me ase agua la boca me alivio asta julio 11 2012 en adelante asie k me perdere tu programa tantito pero regresare a miralo mucho saludo pati y ojala me digas como haser resetas con pollo me gusta mucho el pollo a mi. muchas gracias pati y que tengas mucho exito mas. Adriana Hinojosa

    • Pati Jinich

      Muchas gracias Adriana! 🙂

  • I made this for Easter, today, and everyone loved it! It was really easy to make (aside from separating the eggs,which I am horrible at). The only Issue I have with this recipe is the liquid amounts. I was pretty generous with the liquids and the cake still had dry spots. I would suggest 1 1/2-ing to doubling the recipes liquids. I added some caramel stuff to the sauce and it was great. Also, adding a bit of cinnamon to the whipped cream added a great depth of flavor.
    I am adding this to my recipe box.

    • Pati Jinich

      Hola Drew, I am so glad everyone loved the tres leches! The cake is a dry cake, so to prevent the dry spots make sure you poke all over it with a fork and store in the refrigerator. Your additions sound wonderful, and I love to hear how people take the recipes and make them their own. 🙂

  • hola paty:
    estoy haciendo por primera vez ese pastel espero que me quede como se ven la foto solo que me gustaria saber como se hace el dulce o caramelo que llevan las fresas encima del pastel,es de color rojo claro y es transparente la verdad nose como se llama espero que me puedas ayudar gracias.

  • Hi Pati,
    I am wanting to make this recipe with strawberries or peaches inside, but I am not sure how to do it. The cake is so moist that I am afraid to put one on top of the other after I put the fruit inside. How do you do it? I read you could put the fruit before adding the milk, but does is get moist in the bottom part if there is cream and fruits?

  • Hi Pati,
    This turned out to be such a beautiful and delicious cake! I made the two layer round cake with sliced strawberries in the middle. Instead of removing the cake from the pans, poking w/ holes, and pouring the sauce on top, I decided to try something different. I cooled the cakes for 10 minutes, removed from the pans until completely cool, returned the cakes to the pans and poked with holes. I then spooned the sauce on top of each cake, covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated overnight. The next morning I made my whipped cream and assembled the cake (to remove the cakes from the pans I put them into a pan of shallow warm water for a minute or two and they popped right out). Wow!!! Yummy and very pretty too!

    • Pati Jinich

      Great idea Bridgett! Sounds beautiful!

      • Susi

        Oh my goodness, thank you so much for the recipe Pati. ALso, thanks to Bridgett B’s comment on keeping it in the pans overnight in the fridge. I have not made the cake yet and was wondering logistically how I would make the cake VERY moist, which is how I like it, while still layering it and placing fruit and whipped cream in the middle and on top. You have solved the problem for me. Thanks :).

        • Pati

          Thank you, Susi!!

  • Pati mil gracias por esta receta!! estoy con un antojo enorme del pastel que me hacia mi tia para mi cumple (que es el viernes), asi que ahora por lo menos podre compartir mi pastel con mis hijas, para que aprendan un poco de nuestras bellas tradiciones, gracias!!!

  • Thank you for the recipe, Pati. Sometimes I like to put cajeta in the milk. I also like to decorate the cake with shaved chocolate. I lived in Col. Parque San Andres, Delegacion Coyoacan for many years and we used to buy them with different toppings, including fruit, shaved chocolate, coconut, chopped nuts. I also think that if you have a nut grinder that grinds the nuts finely, that could probably be folded in as well.
    I agree that your recipe is authentic. A lot of recipes for this cake on the internet do not separate the yolks and whites. Yours is wonderful. Thanks for sharing with us!!

  • Pati! Muchas gracias por tu receta, nos fascino a toda
    Mi familia!!! Las fotos me sirvieron mucho porque
    Soy muy visual en cuanto aprender algo nuevo!
    Y las fotos están muy claras y relucientes.
    Me encanta la comida Mexicana, mi comida natal.
    Soy de Tijuana B.C. Méx. Y disfruto mucho cocinar
    Las increíbles recetas de mi mamá! Pero también
    Disfruto aprender cosas nuevas y a mis Papas les encanta
    Cuando les cocino. Así que me encantaría seguir visitando
    Tu blog! Y comprar tu libro!
    Muchos saludos desde San Francisco, Ca.!
    Vanessa Gtz.

  • Pati- This cake is phenomenal! I first made this cake for my boyfriend, and he loved it- it beat out his favorite local mexican bakery! 🙂 I’ve since made it two other times, and it’s been a hit! Thank you! 🙂

  • I will try this for a dinner party Saturday. Was going to make a buttermilk meyer lemon cake, but then I had this cake at a party a week ago and decided to change my whole menu to a Mexican theme just so I could make this cake. I can’t quit thinking about it. However, I remember the cake being more of a shortbread cake, than a sponge cake. Is this because of the milk soaking. Also, will I be okay to make the cake two days ahead, and just frost with the whipping creme the day of? Thank you so much!

    • Pati Jinich

      Hola Rhonda, Yes, the cake is a sponge cake. And yes, you will be okay making it 2 days in advance and then frosting the whipped cream the day of. I believe it is actually better to do that because it allows the milk to soak into the cake :)!

  • I am a newlywed living in the east coast far away from our family. When my husband requested a Pastel de Tres Leches for his birthday I was a little hesitant because I am not the best cook in the world. But the recipe was easy to follow and the pictures were great. For the first time making pastel de tres leches, it was a success. The recipe serves 10-12 but we both ate the whole thing.
    From a very happy home, thank you for this traditional and wonderful recipe.

    • Pati Jinich

      Hola Eunice, I am so so glad you and your husband loved the recipe!

  • Hola estuve buscando varias recetas pero esta me convencio x q habla de la pasteleria La Gran Via y cuando yo era chica my mama solia comprar los pasteles hay y estaban muy buenos .Ahora vivo en Los Angeles California y estudie decoracion de pasteles, pero ahora necesito tener diferentes recetas de pasteles me acaban de pedir uno y lo quieren de tre leches voy hacer esta receta y se q les va a gustar mucho ……..en mexico tambien vendian un pastel q era envinado quisiera esa receta no se si usted me la puede proporcionar el pastel era muy humectado por licor suave se lo voy agradecer GRACIAS.

    • Pati Jinich

      Hola Maria! Gracias por tu mensaje. Voy a tratar de poner una receta del pastel o parecido, al que mencionas pronto. Ojala que les guste el Tres Leches y mucha suerte.

  • D

    I tried this cake today and I must have gone wrong somewhere because the edges of the cake turned out very dry and the overall taste was quite bland. Perhaps some advice and/or more detail on the ingredients (as in brands of milk and can sizes) would be helpful.

  • Brandi

    I love tres leches cake. This recipe is delicious! One thing I have done to “cheat” is that when I’m pressed for time, I use a white cake mix out of the box and then do the ‘sauce’ and whipped cream the same. It is still yummy, and it’s easy for someone who isn’t an expert baker. LOL! I like to use crushed pineapple between the layers with pineapple slices on top. The tartness of the pineapple goes well with the sweetness of the cake and tres leches ‘sauce’. 🙂

  • I have used this recipe once before and it turned out fabulously
    The only problem was that I didn’t know how just how much cake I was making and it was A LOT.
    I want to make it again for a smaller crowd, does anyone have any advice for smaller size recipe conversion? I usually just follow recipes straight on so I am not sure about changing the proportions and all of that.

    • Pati Jinich

      Hola Janice, I would recommend just making the whole cake 🙂

  • hello pati, i love your show. i’m trying this recipe for the first time and i couldnt get my egg yolks to be as creamy and fluffy as yours. its in the oven right now. i hope it comes out good. do you have any suggestions with the egg yolks? i beat them for 7-8 minutes and they didn’t ever cream. do they need to be extra cold or at room temperature? 🙁 thanks for any help

    • Pati Jinich

      Hola Jude, I recommend to make sure the egg yolks are at room temperature. If you have anymore questions, just let me know!

  • Dios mio este pastel es un maravilla… I have tryed 3 different recipes which I tryed and were horrible and then I found yours pati and it wow me so much it’s so delicious its just like the one @ the bakery I love it and family does too. My dad and husband always ask when are you making it but all I can say for this recipes yum..yum DELICIOUS!!!!!

    • Pati Jinich

      Hola Jessica, I am so happy you and your family love the Tres Leches recipe so much!

  • Can I use regular whip cream?
    The one you would use for strawberries?

  • Hola Pati!
    I insisted that I make my own birthday cake for a work party because I really, really wanted to make this Tres Leches Cake recipe and I didn’t want a box cake with hydrogenated oil frosting! 🙂 It turned out AMAZING! I followed everything in your recipe, but used about 1/2 cup of sugar because I knew the sweetened condensed milk would give it enough sweetness. To top it off I put fresh strawberries and peaches on the whipped cream! Thank you so much for the recipe, I can’t wait to make it again. My next culinary adventure is to make your Tamarind Apricot Chicken and Enchiladas Verdes! So glad I saw your show, you have so many awesome recipes I want to try!
    Hasta Luego!

    • Pati Jinich

      Hola Ginny, I love hearing that you have enjoyed the recipes. Idea of peaches on top of Tres Leches sounds amazing: I’ve never tried it, will do!

  • I made this cake for a mexican independence day party and It was so good! Thank you for sharing this recipe. Gracias por compartir la receta salio muy rico el pastel y me recordo a Mexico.

    • Pati Jinich

      Gracias, Susana! Happy Independence Day.

  • Amy

    Hi, that recipe looks easy, but how much milk should I put in haft sheet cake.

  • I just discovered your show this week and watched the episode featuring this recipe. Thank you for explaining the difference between sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk! I love Tres Leches and now I am proud to have a wonderful recipe of my very own thanks to you! God bless you, Pati! I am a HUGE fan now!

    • Pati Jinich

      Hola Terri, You are so kind! I hope you enjoy the tres leches cake — and thank you for watching.

  • Patti,
    I love tres leches and have tried several different recipes, but I wanted to make something special for my brother’s rehearsal dinner (he loves tres leches, too) so I tried your recipe. It was great, really great, but the dead center of the cake was drier than the rest of the cake. Do you think it could have been that my pan wasn’t exactly even or that I didn’t poke holes evenly?

    • Pati Jinich

      Thank you for trying my recipe, Kara! I think the density of the cake is different depending on the pan. Don’t be afraid to go crazy with poking holes in the cake and really letting the milk soak in.

  • Hi. My name its erika & I just wanted to say thank you soooooooo. Much for this recipe. I tried this recipe for the first time a year ago & since then I don’t buy 3 leeches cake any more!!! I’m always making this for any special celebration. The only thing the I change its the when it comes to the sauce I double the ingredients & I let it soak for at least 8 hours before putting the icing & it comes out perfect. I love when my cake its super moist & flavor full. I like to see the milk dripping out of the cake everyone love it so much. Great recipe & thanks for sharing!!!! 🙂

  • Recently, I’ve been hunting for the perfect Tres Leches recipe for an important dinner party. I found your recipe here and two other’s online that seemed really popular. I made all three in one day. That evening i went to a birthday party and had everyone taste test and the next day (today) I drove around and got some more opinions (namely from my mother who is am amazing cook specializing in Cuban food) And I’m happy to report that your recipe took the cake (sorry couldn’t help it!) Thanks for sharing it! I will definitely be using your recipe!

  • Pati,
    I watched your show when you prepared this cake, and I couldn’t wait to try your recipe.
    My egg whites got nice and firm, but collapsed after I added the sugar! I whipped and whipped, and couldn’t get them to firm up! They just liquified! I had to add 4 more egg whites (beaten separately to very firm) and add them into the mix, and this made a very small difference. What did I do wrong? I was thinking next time I will add the sugar to the yolks. This way the whites can be beaten very stiff.
    The cake came out good, despite the extra eggs. My family enjoyed it and wants me to make it again. Thanks for this great recipe!

  • Dear Chef Pati,
    I tried your tres leches recipe for a birthday dinner party I put together for a friend of mine, and it was a hit! I tried my best to do the recipe justice, and had my same birthday friend… who bakes awesomely , supervise to make sure I beat those eggs into a perfect cake. I must say your step by step pictorial of the look of the cake was easy and great to follow! I had great time making the cake and I did amaze myself that I could actually make this tasty Mexican treat, I even added Amareto to the milk sauce. Man delish!!! My guest ate easily two to three slices of the cake. I even impressed my papis! Thanks for sharing this amazing recipe! I LOVED IT! ( I even love your show on That comes on PBS, I try to catch it for new recipes on Saturdays!) 😉

    • Pati Jinich

      Hola Elda, It sounds like your tres leches cake was disappearing fast at your dinner party! Amareto? That sounds lovely!! Thank you so much for taking time to write me.

  • Hi Pati, I made the Tres leches cake for Thanksgiving and everyone loved it (I put coconut on top) Thanks for an awesome recipe!

    • Pati Jinich

      Hola Shana, What a nice surprise to have Tres Leches Cake for Thanksgiving! Thank you for using my recipe — I’m glad everyone enjoyed it!!

  • Hi Pati, After searching for what seemed like hundreds of recipes for Tres Leches, I finally settled on yours. I was a little worried about the egg yolks because they never turned a light cream color, just a notch up from pale yellow. It came out wonderful so I must have done something right! I have to admit I never saw your show before finding your website, but last night I was flipping through channels and saw you make chipoltle mashed potatoes. So you can guess what’s on the menu tonight! Thanks for sharing your awesome recipes!

    • Pati Jinich

      Thank you so much, Lisa!! I’m so honored you chose my Tres Leches Cake recipe. I’m glad you found the show!

  • What Pati,
    What a delicious recipe. I think I am going to try making Tres Leches this weekend! Keep sharing your wonderful recipes, I am sharing them with family and friends!

    Gracias Maria 🙂

    • Pati Jinich

      Gracias, Maria! I hope everyone enjoys the cake. Thank you for writing me!!

  • Thanks so much for publishing this recipe! I will be bringing this to friends who are hosting a traditional tamale dinner on Christmas eve. My friend, who is from Mexico, talked about how much he loves, and misses the Tres Leches Cake from his childhood. I have been looking for an authentic version, and looks like I found it….many thanks!

  • Today I am making this cake with gluten free flour. It looks so lucious that I am just loving the creaminess. I am celiac and cannot have gluten flour but can work with recipies to get a good likeness of your original. Thank you for the wonderful Mexican show! I always thought everyone in Mexico were poor, What was I thinking. It has a great history. Loving your show!!! Susan

  • I just want to thank you. I watched your tv show on the Create tv show, and I was amazed at how simple “El pastel de tres leche” is to make. I tried it myself and it came out delicious. I will continue checking out more of your recipes.
    Thank you

  • Meyling

    Hi Pati,
    I will be trying this recipe over the weekend. I will let you know how I did.
    Thank You, -__-

    • Pati Jinich

      Hola Meyling, I can’t wait to hear how the cake turns out! Let me know if you have any questions.

  • Dustin

    Great recipe. I make a coconut version with coconut cream pudding in the batter, along with coconut milk and cream of coconut (instead of sweetened condensed milk) with a cup of whole milk. Even put a teaspoon of coconut extract in the cream to make coconut whipped cream. Tres Leche is the best cake ever. Total party favorite and crowd pleaser.

    • Pati

      Hmm, Dustin! You are making my mouth water!!

  • Hi Pati,

    I tried making a tres leche. I need a suggestion. For the bread it came out a little too hard, even after adding all the milks. Also, what can I add between the cake to make a whole cake. (I made two to make it bigger)

    Thank You,

  • Demetrio

    Hola, Patti.

    Mi hermana me hizo uno de estos pasteles para mi cumpleaños el año pasado. ¡Dios mío! Estuvo bien.

    Yo estaba tratando de conseguir la receta de ella, pero las hermanas pueden ser tan pequeños dolores. (Por supuesto, me encanta mi hermana.)

    Pero Dios los bendiga por compartir la receta con nosotros.

    Espero poder hacerlo yo mismo.

    Dos preguntas. Fruta puede ser añadido a la mezcla? ¿O va a hacer que la pastel para mal ajustados?


    • Pati

      Hola Demetrio! Yo te recomiendo que le pongas fruta ya que este el pastel listo. Es decir, no a las leches, si no encima del pastel, o lo partes en medo a la mitad en dos pisos y antes de mojarlo con las leches, le pones las rebanadas de fruta. Pruebalo!

  • emma

    patti hi!! I came across your show last week for the first time ever and you made the chipotle mashed poatoes.I don’t eat potatoes or starchy foods much but thats a recipe im going to here is the question about the tres leche.I only use almond flour in my can I substitute flour for almond flour?….

    • Pati

      Hi Emma, Sure, you can substitute almond flour for AP to make the tres leches cake — amount is the same. Thank you for watching the show!

  • Rebecca


    This looks delicious and I can’t wait to try it. Do you think it would work if I used two round pans instead of a 9X13? Do you think I’d need to adjust the baking time at all?


    • Pati

      Hi Rebecca, I would bake it for the same amount of time, then test with a wooden toothpick. When the toothpick comes out clean (it can be a little moist, not wet though) it’s done!

  • Mayra

    Hola, Patti!

    Quedo riquisimo el pastel, pero tuve un problemita. El pan no salio nada esponjosito como el de tu foto 🙁 asi que el volumen del pastel era la mitad de lo de la foto. Muchas gracias por la receta!!

    • Pati


  • Andrea

    Hi pati!!
    After looking for authentic recipes for pastel tres leches I stumbled onto yours and wow it was so easy to follow. It came out delicious! Thank you so much!!

    • Pati

      So glad to hear, Andrea!

  • Vanessa

    Hi Pati,

    Thank you for the recipe! I made the cake this past week and it turned out good although I don’t think I beat the eggs enough. Still, I got many compliments on it. Oh, and it definitely needs the whipped topping! Great addition. Do you happen to know how long the cake will keep?

    Thank you!

    • Pati

      It will keep FOREVER!! (ok, at least a week in the refrigerator)

  • Socorro

    Voy a tratar tu receta y quiero usar crema chantilly para adornarlo, por supuesto aqui no la hay, tienes la receta para hacerla, no me gusta el que venden aqui en los supermercados (nada como el sabor de Mexico)

    • Pati

      Socorro, Sólo compra heavy whipping cream y bate una taza con 2 o 3 cucharadas de azúcar glass que aquí se llama Confectioner´s Sugar, batelo hasta que quede a punto de turrón y listo!

  • Luz

    i’ve made this recipe many times and i love it!!! I used some mexican vanilla and it was awesome but now i ran out and i can’t seem to find it anywhere….where can you find the one in the picture? I feel like depending on the vanilla u use is the taste u get and i do not like the vanilla extracts i get at the grocery please

  • Marta

    This was the first Tres Leches cake I have ever made and it came out great!! I suggest poking extra holes around the edges of the cake and taking extra time to pour the milk in that area, otherwise the milk stays in the center of the cake.

    The cake was delicious. I topped it with the whipped cream icing and strawberries. My whole office was happy, and most importantly, my boss as it was our 20th anniversary! 🙂

    • Pati

      Marta, Thank you for making my tres leches recipe for your office!! I’m so happy everyone like it. Great share on poking the extra holes around the edges…

  • Sofía

    Hola Pati. Muchas gracias por tu deliciosa receta. Aún no trató de hacer el pastel pero lo intentare este miércoles. Sin embargo tengo una pregunta, crees que se pueda usar harina integral y un poco de harina de amaranto? Yo he hecho galletas con estas harinas juntas y salen deliciosas y muy esponjadas. Espero puedas ayudarme con mi pregunta.

    • Pati

      Hola Sofía, seguro que puedes usar harina integral y me encanta la idea de combinarlo con harina de amaranto! Espero que me compartas tus resultados!

  • saray

    Hola paty muchas gracias por compartir la receta. Me pase horas buscando la que para mi fuera la mejor y valla ke no me equivoque. La primera vez ke lo hice me quedo demasiado seco asi ke para la segunda vez ke lo hice se me ocurrio ke para ke kedara completamente lleno de leche como le gusta a mi esposo fue inyectarle la leche con un inyector para carne y me quedo bastante bien. Ah lo hice de cajeta y lo rellene con fresas, para decorarlo use whipping cream,cajeta,queso crema y un chorrito de vainilla. A todos les encanto y no quedo para nada empalagoso. Gracias.

    • Pati

      Que rico!

  • Janet Crosley

    Could this recipe for the Tres Leches Cake be altered for a gluten free cake?
    I really enjoy your tips during your food preparations, too. Are your tips included in the cook book ( I know there are many )?!

    • Pati

      Hola Janet, Try making it with rice flour to go gluten free!! Also, I do include many, many tips in the cookbook as “Mexican Cooks Tips.”

  • Lorena

    Pati, are you still in the DC area? I just got your book WHICH I COULDN’T stop reading!
    I would love for you to sign it and meet you.
    Are you presenting any time soon?

    • Pati

      Hola Lorena, Thank you so much for getting my cookbook!! I am still in the DC area. I have some classes coming up at the Mexican Cultural Institute which you can find more information about here: I’ll also be presenting and signing books at the Gaithersburg Book Festival in May: I hope you can make it to one of these events! 🙂

  • Karina

    Hola Pati! Voy a intentar preparar este delicioso pastel de tres leches, del cual tengo antojo desde hace unos dias. Solo tengo una pregunta: necesita polvo para hornear? Tome algunas clases de cocina cuando vivia en Mexico y todas las recetas de pastel necesitaban polvo para hornear y veo que el tuyo no.

    • Pati

      Karina: prueba la receta, No lleva polvo de hornear es un pastel bastante duro para que aguante todas las leches!

  • gricel

    Finally, the recipe I’ve been searching for. I was channel surfing one day and there you were bringing this recipe to life. I couldn’t believe my luck! Brought back memories of my time living in Guatemala and someone bringing Pastel de Tres Leches for a birthday and my begging for the recipe but her resistance to give up. Loved the cake then and absolutely love it now. I’ve already made it and it was a hit! Thank you!

    • Pati

      Oh!! Good!!! Thank you so much. I’m so happy you happened to see me making the cake.

  • Hi Pati, I love watching your show, I’ve picked up so many of your recipes , there wonderful. Everytime I make one of your recipes I get wonderful compliments. now i’m going to try your tres leche cake, thank you so much for your wonderful recipes

    • Pati

      Thanks for your message Abby!

  • Samantha

    Mine is in the oven now! First time not using a white cake mix. I was kind of nervous because I am not much into baking but the last time I made it with a white cake mix and my husband is from Mexico and didn’t seemed to like it made with the boxed cake mix. Hopefully I can make this one better and not mess it up! haha!

    • Pati

      Can’t wait to hear how it turns out!

  • Ana

    Muy, muy rico salio el pastel! A mi esposo le encanto, muchisimas gracias Pati!

    P.S. Tus bebes estan hermosos! Y encantador el mas chiquito 🙂

  • Erin

    Hello Pati! This is my all time favorite cake and your recipe seems to be the least “cakey” that I have found! Do you think that this would work ok in the form of cupcakes? I have a cupcake request for trel leches for a quinceanera.


    • Pati

      Absolutely Erin! However, you need to bake it less time the smaller the portions are. So take off like 5 to 6 minutes and test with a toothpick… Be sure the smaller cakes are completely cooled before you pour the Three Milks Sauce on them. Great idea!

  • Dottie

    Sounds so good want to make it but was thinking of making in two 8 in square pans, using one for right now and was wondering if I could freeze the other one up to the point of putting the three milks on it and not putting the whip cream until ready to take out of the freezer?

    • Pati

      You can surely try, Dottie! Just cover well in the freezer or it will freeze dry.

  • Jessica

    I love this cake!!!! It’s always being requested by my parents and husband I tried other recipes before but nothing would taste like the one from this one particular bakery I used to buy until I tried this I hit the jack pot. I couldn’t believe how yummy….and moist it is and so happy to have found a recipe to always keep so from now on I don’t buy them anymore I always make it. Only one thing I love to add a little dark rum just a teaspoon to the sauce and a teaspoon of vanilla extract to the whipped cream but this is a guarantee everyone will be talking about. : ) thank you pati for your great baking as cooking!

    • Pati

      Hi Jessica, I’m so happy to hear you are making this cake for your family! Your personal touches with the rum and vanilla extract in the whipped cream sound delicious. Thank you for sharing!!

  • Daniela

    Hi Pati! Let me tell you that this recipes is simply the BEST ever….ever it never fails to get requests from friends and family. It’s so delicious and it’s never dry but I do add the rum as you suggests but very little because of my children and I seen someone’s comment that the edges of the cake were hard well I sometimes have that happen to So I like to use a bread knife and cut all the edges around the entire cake and including the top but I poke it with the fork first. I also add media crema by nestle to the sauce I don’t even know where I got that idea but its just as great with or without but thank you pati for al your good recipes.

    • Pati

      Daniela, Thank you so much for sharing your tips here so everyone can see them — they are great!! I’m happy you are making this cake for your friends and family! All of my very best to you.

  • mayra

    hey pati thanks for the recipe i was seeing it on create tv. As you know today is Mexican mothers day so i am trying to make this for my grandma and mom. i will add walnuts coconuts slakes and a little chocolate syrupy over it hope my mom and grandma like it.

    • Pati

      Hola Mayra, I hope your mom and grandma like it too. Your additions sound delicious! Thank you for making my recipe!!

      • Mayra

        Omg it was so good they all loved it I had enough for more people they all loved it their already asking for more. Thank you

        • Pati

          Ohh! Thank you for letting me know!

  • Vanessa

    Hi Pati,
    I am going to make this tomorrow (Tuesday) for a birthday that is on Thursday. Does the cake taste better as it sits? I figured I would let the tres leches soak in all tomorrow night and Wednesday, decorate it wednesday night and give it to her on Thursday. What do you think? Also, I plan on leaving it in the pan since I have to bring it to work. Is that okay too? Thank you 🙂 I love your website!

    • Pati

      Hola Vanessa – Yes, the cake does taste better the longer the tres leches soaks in while in the refrigerator. I think your plan sounds great! You can keep it in the same pan, too. I hope your friend enjoys the cake!!

      • Vanessa

        Thank you so much for the quick response 🙂

  • Niccole

    Hola Pati! My husbands birthday is this weekend and I was wanting to make this cake for him but I don’t have a stand mixer. I was wondering if its completely necessary or can I just use a wisk and work my arm out a little. Haha please let me know! Gracias!

    • Pati

      Haha! Niccole, yes you can work your arma little, it may take a while, do you have a hand mixer? Works just as well!

  • Silvia

    I am definitely going to try this recipe. I hope my five kids will enjoy it. It looks so delicious !

    PS. I just recently started following you on Instagram. 🙂

    • Pati

      Gracias Silvia!!! (I love Instagram…)

  • Louise

    Thank you all for your recipes and comments. I recently tasted a tres leches cake from one of the local Mexican restaurants. The tres leches cake they serve is more like the consistency of flan or a custard. The recipes I have seen online are a flour cake saturated with a variety of milks. Is there any recipe that yields the consistency of a custard?

    • Pati

      There sure is Louise, not this kind of recipe tough, will try to add soon.

  • Ana

    Hello Pati! I want to do the cake for my sister’s shower but the location is an hour away. I was thinking of making the cake in a cake pan that has a lid to transport without making a mess on the way there. But I wondered if you’ve ever added the milk to the cooled cake(in the cake pan) and then inverted to a platter after. I don’t want to make a mess on the way there but I don’t want to present a messy inverted cake either. As the saying goes, I want my cake and I want to eat it too!

    PS.–> There was a question about the whipped cream “bleeding/melting” if it wasn’t kept in the fridge. The whipped cream can be stabilized with gelatin or piping gel to where it won’t bleed if it’s kept out. Adding the confectioners sugar definitely helps but for a little more measure the piping gel works well. (1 pint of heavy whipping cream for 4 tablespoons of piping gel.)

  • Hola¡ EStoy preparando el cumple de mi hija y definitivo que intentaré hacer este delicioso pastel.
    Tengo una duda sobre los ingredientes, ya que vivo en suiza y no estoy segura de que es whipping cream?? en español qué es? la doble crema? la crema normal? y cuando habla del confetionary´s suggar, se refiere al azúcar glas o qué tip de azúcar?
    Muchas gracias por la receta. EStoy deseando que mis invitados prueben u petadacito de México.
    Saludos desde Ginebra,

    • Pati

      Hola Miriam,
      Confectioner’s sugar es azúcar glass. Heavy whipping cream es crema normal, no la crema agria.


  • Jeanette

    Hola Pati, fijate que hice el pastel, que porcierto muy delicioso, Felicidades, pero tengo un problema, cuando lo saco esta muy bien pero al ratito se comienza a bajar, lo he intentado vez tras vez y es el mismo resultado, cual seria tu consejo. Gracias

    • Pati

      Hola Jeanette, No importa que se baje! Luego lo vas a cubrir de leche, no tiene que estar esponjoso, si no se deshacería debajo de la salsa de leches…

  • Patti, watched your show for the first time .. Enjoyed it and loved all your recipes !

    • Pati

      Thank you!

  • #Laura

    pati how long can a pastel de tres leche stay in the fridge without it going bad and dry?

    • Pati

      Hola Laura, About 5 days!

  • Jazzmine Velazquez

    Hi Pati,
    I just came across your website and I am so happy to have found a site where there are authentic Mexican dishes! One question though, I only have 9 inch round pans can I use those instead?

    • Pati

      Hola Jazzmine, I’m so happy you found my site! Thank you for writing to me!! Yes, the 9 inch round pan will work fine.

  • Pati I would like to take the time to thank you for this fabulous recipe!
    I had made tres leches cake with Not much success, However my hubby Noel’s
    FAV cake is Tres Leches !So for his Birthday I knew i wanted to make him proud , after extensive
    Research and a million recipes . I KNEW YOUR RECIPE WAS THE ONE
    AGAIN ,LOVE Denisse Garcia

    • Pati

      Hola Denisse, Thank you so much for writing to me! I’m so happy you found my recipe, and even more happy that your husband enjoyed it for his birthday!!

  • Deb H

    Thank you do much for sharing the recipe….
    can’t wait to try it!!!

    • Pati

      My pleasure!

  • Vero

    Hi pati ive been looking for a tres leches cake and i came across your and it looks great i cant wait to try it, but i had a question might seem a little dumb but i need to know, does the parchment paper go ant the very bottom and then butter on top or butter on the bottom and the parchment paper on top of the butter?

    • Pati

      Hola Vero, That’s a great question! I always butter the pan and the sides of the pan, and then put the parchment on top. I hope you try the cake…

  • Karina

    Hi Pati,
    I have a friend that is having a birthday and has specifically asked for a tres leche cake. I was wondering, are you able to stack the tres leche cake or is it too soft and moist? I was aiming to do three tiers. I was going to do a dry run with baking the cake first but didn’t want to make the same quanity as the acutal day as my hips couldn’t handle the volume of cake.


    • Pati

      Hi Karina, Yes you can do a triple decker!

  • penni

    Hi Pati, I was wondering if changing the amount of eggs in the recipe from 9-6 is going to make a difference in texture? I tried this cake for the first time about a month ago at a place called Cafe` Rio and fell in love with it. I have been looking for a recipe that comes close to theirs, this is my opportunity to make yours and see the difference in taste and texture. Thanks!

    • Pati

      Hola Penni, I recommend using all 9 eggs for the best results, however you are welcome to try it with only 6…

  • Amelia

    Mil gracias por esta receta, Pati! Your instructions were so easy-to-follow and the final product is a perfect, classic tres leches. The photos helped me be sure I was getting consistencies right. I left the cake in the pan for the sake of easy storage and transportation and, also, decorated it with maraschino cherries, like I’ve seen in Mexico and Central America. I am sure it will be a hit tonight at dinner!

    • Pati

      Gracias, Amelia!!

  • lsofig

    Hola! Hice el pastel y toda mi familia lo amó, definitivamente lo haré otra vez. Gracias, gran receta!

    • Pati


  • saray

    Pati. Me Encanta tu receta de pastel de tres leches no Falta en ningun cumpleanos ya hasta me la se de memoria. Pero please, please,please dime por favor Como lo puedo hacer de chocolate.te agradeceria mucho que me ayudaras con eso.

    • Pati

      Lo único que tienes que hacer, es preparar la salsa de Leches con chocolate. Escoge el chocolate syrup que más te guste, como si hicieras leche con chocolate: a tu gusto! O derrite un poco de chocolate a baño maría y mezcla con las leches…

  • Grace

    Why is there no milk in the cake, I have checked other recipes and they put milk in it. I would like to try this one but I am afraid it might not turn out right. Also others recipes have 5 or 6 egg yolks yours have 9 egg yolks. Why so many egg yolks?

    • Pati

      Hola Grace: Give it a try! The milks go in the sauce in mine… I think you will like it!

  • Grace

    I tried it and its in the oven. Will let you know how it turns out.

    • Pati


  • Grace

    Well I must admit this is a very good cake. Althought I think I over baked it a bit. After 25 minutes it was not done. I baked it additional 15 minutes. I also made 1 1/2 of the sauce. I am glad I tried your recipe. Will be baking this again for Christmas.

    • Pati

      Hola Grace, Thank you so much for trying my tres leches recipe! I hope everyone enjoys it for Christmas. All the best to you…

  • John

    Pati, this might sound like a stupid question but what does it mean to whip the egg yolks until hold soft peaks/stiff peaks? I thank you in advance for your recipe and your reply. Merry Christmas.

    • Pati

      Hi John!
      You must be referring to the egg whites: soft peaks, is when the beaten egg whites look like waves, they can hold a shape for a few seconds, but do not look stiff. Stiff peaks is when they can hold a shape for a minute or more, when they look almost like merengues. As if you held a wave and froze it… Si?

  • Margy

    I am going to Mexico soon for a week of medical Spanish and general Spanish immersion (San Miguel de Allende, very beginner Spanish), and would love to stock up on vanilla while I am there. Do you have any brands that you would recommend, and where to buy It? I know that you have to be careful, because supposedly some “Mexican vanilla” is actually coumarin, which can be toxic.

    • Pati

      I really like GAYA, but I know there are many other new brands of real Mexican Vanilla. Read the label carefully…

  • lucy

    This looks delicious & you seem really skilled at cooking. I just moved to the central coast in ca from L.a & im used to ordering a tres leches cake but no one seems to sell them here 🙁 my bday is tomorrow & I was searching tres leches in my area & your pg popped up , ive never been good at cooking but maybe my mom can try this yummy recipe. Thank you for sharing 🙂

    • Pati

      My pleasure!

  • Aracely

    Hi Pati
    I saw you on the chew so I started yo watch your show! Amazing! I made your tres leches cake today and it was amazing! I can’t wait to make another of ur recipes.

    • Pati

      Yey Aracely, gracias for watching my show!

  • Margy

    Pati, muchas gracias por esta receta. ¡Es muy rico! Still working on my Spanish! I made this cake for the first birthday of a Mexican friend’s baby. I doubled the recipe to make a larger cake. I used 1 1/2 times the milk recipe as she wanted it a little wetter. Frosted and decorated with whipped cream stabilized with gelatin. The whole cake disappeared in five minutes, and people raved about it. Said it was the best they had tasted outside of Mexico.

    • Pati

      Yum, so glad!

  • janeth

    Best tres leches ever…. thank you so much for sharing your delicious recipe:)

    • Pati

      Thank you for trying it! So happy to hear that…

  • Marie

    Hello Pati,

    My question is the following: Do you have a Gluten-free recipe for flour tortillas…..not corn tortillas?


  • yiselle

    Please please please make a chocoloate cake version of this! Would you just only do a 1 1/2cup flour and add a 1/2 cup cocoa powder?

    • Pati

      What I do when I want to make it chocolate, is make the tres leches sauce chocolaty!

  • Darling Miss.Patti~My Hunny made the Tres Leches Cake & It was Wonderfull! Hunny is a Great Chef & I Compliment Him frequently. Best Cake We Ever Have Had is Truth! Merci,Grazi,Gracias,Thank You!

    • Pati


  • misty

    Hi, I just have a question, if I wanted to make this cake with a box mix would it still work or would it not taste right? Thank you

    • Pati

      Give it a try!

  • evelyn

    hi I was wondering why the bread came out like hard, like it need more room to breath lol was it too much eggs??? pls help

    • Pati

      It comes out hard, so that you can poke it all over and soak it with the Tres Leches sauce. It is a sturdy cake, so that it won’t come undone after being immersed in the sauce…

  • Madison

    I have a question. Can you leave this in the fridge over night after pouring the sauce on top?

    • Pati

      Yes you can!

  • Hi Pati –
    I love tres leches cake and your recipe looks wonderful. I wanted to let you know that we included your recipe in our post with a list of Cinco de Mayo ideas.

    • Pati

      Thank you! Great to hear and I will log on.

  • Kisha

    Hi. I love your cake. But I have I question. Is it ok if I put whip cream topping on it and then put the cake in the fridge? My child has to take it to school and wants to top it at home. Please answer ASAP

    • Pati

      Yes! That is what is actually best for the cake…

  • Arika

    I recently had this at Taqueria el Poblano (both at the Harrison Center and Columbia Pike in Arlington, VA) over Cinco de Mayo and fell in love and found your recipe to make it at home! I added a layer of fudge before the whipped cream and it was so delicious! Thanks for the recipe!

    • Pati

      Oh, layer of fudge sounds ultra deliciously decadent…

  • Emily Hardman

    In this recipe it shows in the ingrediants list that you need a tabespoon of vanilla for the cake batter, but in the directions it shows nowhere for you to add the vanilla. wherte am i supposed to add the vanilla to?

    • Pati

      Hi Emily, You stir the vanilla into the egg yolks after beating them.

  • Margaret

    Hi Pati, thank you so much for this great recipe. My family and I really enjoyed it. I think that it is really good with chocolate syrup and strawberries over the top. Thanks again.

  • Yvette Zuniga

    I have made this 3 times and I, personally don’t like Tres Leches cake but my husband and kids do. So take it from them, this recipe is a success. The first time I made it we didn’t let it sit long enough but I heard it was good. Then, my daughter requested me to make again to take to school because they had to take an authentic mexican dessert – came out awesome and at that time I made one for home also which had time to sit longer and it was GONE!!!! YOU ROCK!

    • Pati


  • I love Tres Leches and have been searching for the perfect recipe to make for a dinner party I am having in a couple of weeks. This looks incredible! Can you make the night before, or is it best to serve it the same day you make it?

    • Pati

      Hi Stephanie, it is even better when made ahead of time. Enjoy!

  • Tracy

    I would like to make tres leches cupcakes for a dessert table. How full should I fill the cupcake liners, how long should I cook them and how many cupcakes should this recipe make? I know you say whipped topping is a must, but do you have any other suggestions since the cupcakes will probably be outside in late August?

    • Pati

      Hola Tracy, Sounds fantastic! I would fill the cupcake liners 3/4 of the way full and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. It should make 10 to 12 cupcakes. I love the whipped topping, but if you’re concerned about the temperature, you could try a plain buttercream or any other basic frosting you think would hold up.

  • Sara

    Hello again Pati,
    I looove pastel de tres lechesbut it’s always way too mushy. Until I tried this one! But is there any way I can make this into a double/triple layer (I know triple is pushing it) chocolate tres leelches cake?

  • Pati thank you so much for your recipe! I am a home baker and I’m quite confident in my abilities. But when my husband’s boss who is from Mexico asked me to make a tres leches baby shower cake I got so nervous! I followed your recipe, darkened the sweeten milk as someone suggested and soaked the cakes a little less because it was a stacked cake. They loved it so much! Also, because you cannot really decorate with simple whipped cream, and they wanted a decorative cake, I found a recipe for sturdy whipped cream frosting and it worked beautifully. I decorated the outside with frosting petals and made a fondant baby to go on top! Thank you so much! FYI… here’s the link for the sturdy whipped cream frosting!

    • Pati

      Hola Kelli, So happy everyone enjoyed the tres leches cake at the baby shower! It sounds like it was fabulous!! Thank you for sharing the frosting…

  • Danielle

    Hi Patti,
    This cake looks wonderful! I’m wondering if you think it could easily become a large sheet cake? I am making a huge sheet cake for a wedding and would love to try this cake!
    Also, do you think you could freeze the cake before adding the milks? I’d like to make the cake this weekend and the wedding is next weekend. We’re making a 4 tier red velvet cake too, so theres a lot to do!

    • Pati

      Yes! I think it can be a large sheet cake. Yes, I think you can freeze as well, but I don’t think there is a need. You can make and cover, soak in the milks and refrigerate until ready to use, when you can add the whipped cream…

  • Alaina

    Can you make it a day ahead??

    • Pati

      It is better if you make it ahead…

  • Lalopez

    This is a great recipe, but you didn’t include baking powder in the ingredients. Baking powder must be included to give the cake a light spongy consistency. Without the baking powder the cake can become far too dense.

    • Pati

      Thank you, Lalopez. I use the egg whites to give the cake volume in my recipe.

  • bibi

    OMG!!! I Just made this because my boyfriend kept bugging me to make a Tres Leches cake but it was so simple and easy to make! The middle didn’t as perfectly as yours but he still loved it anyway, thanks for this awesome recipe!

    • Pati

      Good to hear!

  • Deepti

    This cake was my first shot at baking. I have been making this version of cake from past 2 years. My husband and all my friends absolutely love it. I have also tried my own variations and it has come out good.

    Thanks a lot for the wonderful recipe Pati. You are amazing!

    • Pati

      Thanks, Deepti!!! So happy to hear.

  • Melissa

    I’ve made this a couple of times and LOVE IT as is! So does everyone I have served it too. I am making two tomorrow for a big, Mexican New Years Eve party and will replace the vanilla in the sauce in one with 1/4 c of Khalua and place chocolate shavings on top, and the other I’ll replace the vanilla with 1/4 c of Gran Marnier and place fruit on top – keeping the whipped cream of course, because: WHIPPED CREAM = YUM

    • Pati

      Sound fabulous! Hope everyone enjoys!!

  • Linda Katz Verdugo

    I made this cake yesterday! Gorgeous recipe…did not disappoint! My husband and kids said it was the best Tres Leche cake they have ever had. Thank you so much! Wish I could show you a picture!
    Happy New Year!

  • marce

    Hi patty I made this cake but it came out really dry I fallowed every step in you’re recipe.

    • Pati

      Hola Marce, So sorry to hear this. Did you poke holes all over and pour on all the three milks mix?

  • Laurice

    Hi Pati, I came across your website when I was looking for an authentic tres leches recipe. I must say I was so excited to have seen your blog and recipe; I’m actually going to try and bake one tonight for the first time. Couple of questions for you (hopefully I get your response in time): On your instructions, you mentioned to preheat the oven for 360 degrees. Is that a typo and you meant 350 or it’s really 360 degrees? Also, you mentioned the use of parchment paper. I don’t have that but instead I have wax paper. Is that the same? Thanks!

    • Pati

      So happy you found my site, Laurice! Thank you for your note!! You’re right, should say 350 degrees. And, yes, wax paper is fine.

  • shelley

    thank you for the cake recipe. everything seemed to be going well until i added the flour…the very fluffy batter lost its fluff, and became more like peanut butter consistency, so i stopped adding the flour. i added some milk because the batter was so unlike your photo. i baked it and it was dense like a pancake. i am currently soaking the dense baked batter in the liquids overnight in the frig…hope it is still edible even though not at all spongy. do you believe the dense cake will be able to recover with the help of the soaking overnight? i know i will soon find out, but wondered if you have experienced the same density issue?

    • Pati

      Hola Shelley, It helps to add the flour little by little (about 1/4 cup at a time) and fold in very gently.

  • Elena

    Hola Pati,

    Did you know you can buy the Gaya vanilla extract online? The bottle is not the same as the one in your picture, but perhaps that’s because it’s marketed to an American audience. Hopefully it’s the same one. I just ordered a 4 oz. bottle to try it!

    This is the link:

    • Pati

      Thanks for the info!

  • pamela

    Hello Pati! I tasted tres leches for the 1st time two years ago when i went to meet my boyfriend’s family in Texas. It’s his favorite cake and we found a few in bakeries here in maryland but nothing would even come close. I found your recipe last month and made it for him for valentine’s day, he loved it! Said it was one of the best he’s ever had! He brags about it all the time to his friends so i wanted to say thank you so much for sharing your recipe!

    • Pati

      Lovely to hear, Pamela! Thank you for making my recipe!!

  • Cecilia

    I used this recipe to make my first tres leches cake, and it was definitely a success! I enjoyed the simplicity of the batter, and my cake had a very spongy, porous texture that absorbed the “sauce” nicely. My biggest complaint is I found myself wanting more vanilla flavor in the cake and/or sauce. I added more vanilla that recommended, even used a whole vanilla bean in my cake, but still couldn’t find that sweet, vanilla flavor I’d grown to love when I had tres leches in Puerto Rico or Mexico.

    Oh, and I am team Whipped Cream all the way!

    • Pati

      Hola Cecilia, Thank you for trying my recipe & I’m happy to hear it was a success! For more vanilla flavor, feel free to add extra vanilla to the three-milks sauce and some to the whipped cream topping next time. Make it your own. 🙂

  • Patricia

    I am attempting to make my first tres leches cake and your recipe sounds easy and delicious to try. I was wondering how i can make it into a coconut tres leches cake with a caramel frosting, since those are my favorite. Can you give me some advise on how to make the proper changes.

    • Pati

      I would substitute the evaporated milk for coconut milk, and add a layer of caramel in between two sheets of cakes, make it double!

  • Graziella

    Hi! I need to make a gluten free cake, and this sounds amazing…any opinion or experience making this with gluten free flour?

    • Pati

      Go for it!

  • Cindy

    Hola Pati!
    I love the show and great recipes and once I saw this one I just had to make it. I made it for the first time for Easter but was kinda disappointed when all if the sauce wasn’t absorbed. Even though it was still very good and it was gone the very next day I wanted to try again to see if I did anything wrong. The second time around I made sure to cover top and bottom with holes everywhere and slowly added the sauce and instantly noticed a difference. It absorbed the sauce so rapidly and all of it this time and it tasted even better and looked so athuntic. Thank you so much will be making this cake at least once a year!

    • Pati


  • palma

    Made for 5 de Mayo party, it was amazing. Will have to make it many more times. It was gone in no time. Thank you for the recipe

    • Pati

      Thank you for making it! So happy you enjoyed it!!

  • Lou

    What size eggs did you use?

    • Pati

      Large when available, Lou.

  • Diane

    Pls stop the emails to …thanks…can’t find how to unsubcribe

  • Maria

    I would like to make this cake for about 40 people. Can you send me the recipe? Thank you, I need by 5/18/15

  • Lindsay Mandolyn

    Hi Pati! My name is Lindsay and I have a school project I have to do for World History. We are supposed to choose a recipe from online and Google it. I decided to use your recipe because it seems simple and appealing for someone my age. The recipe seems easy enough to follow, but I am having trouble on finding out how to conserve it until school. I need to have this figured out by next week though for when my project is due! So if you could write me back at anytime convenient that would be great. By the way, I love your recipes and your cooking show! Thanks! -Lindsay

    • Pati

      Hola Lindsay, Thank you for picking my recipe to share with your classmates! You can make the cake and pour on the tres leches sauce up to 3 days ahead and keep it covered in the refrigerator. You can make the whipped cream topping separately, maybe the night before, and keep refrigerated in a tightly sealed container. To take it to school, I would keep it on the platter, wrap it tightly all around with plastic wrap to secure it, and cover with foil. You can take the whipped cream topping separately and spread on right before serving. Good luck with your project!

      • Lindsay Mandolyn

        Gracias Pati! I will remember this for next week!

  • Hola Pati!!! Acabo de terminar esta receta y mi esposo esta encantado , es la receta que siempre estaba buscando, muchas Gracias por compartirla con todos ,pero tengo una pregunta, tengo una muy numerosa familia y tu receta apenas alcanza para la cuarta parte de familia, dame sugerencias porfavor para hacer doble o triple cantidad pero sin batir tantas veces porfavor, soy una mujer muy ocupada ,pero los fines de semana hago de comer para la familia e iglesia , y somos como 40 personas, muchas gracias por su atencion, de Verdad Felicidades, su receta es la mejor 🙂

    • Pati

      Uy! Que bueno que les gustó. Pues Maria, te recomiendo que los hagas en tandas de 2! Y puedes usar los moldes que son el doble de grande o hornear de dos en dos a la vez…

  • Faye

    OMG! This look delicious!!! I can’t bake apparently after several fails! I stumbled upon your page after a major tres leches craving. Just looking at your pics is making me drool!! lol Great job Pati, I’m truly inspired. Yum!

  • CK

    Hi Pati,

    I was really excited to try your recipe. But I was disappointed with the result, not sure what I did wrong. I poked lots of holes all over the cake, and let it soak in the milk mixture overnight. But when I cut the cake, I discovered that the mixture hadn’t even penetrated most of the cake. It turned out just like a dry sponge cake with whipped cream on top. Do you have any suggestions for me? Thanks!

    • Pati

      Hi! I suggest you bake it 5 minutes less, that should do it. And make sure you are poking holes all throughout the cake and all the way to the bottom of the cake…

  • Thank you! Great to hear and I will log on.

  • Laura

    Thank you so much for this recipe! I am having problems viewing the pictures though on many different computers. Any idea what went wrong here?

    • Pati

      Hola Laura, The pictures should be all be there now. We were doing some work on the site!!

  • Toni

    I would not recommend this recipe unfortunately! It is simply too dense and not like any Tres Leches Cake I have ever had, and I’ve had many. Definitely save yourself some time and ingredients and look for another recipe elsewhere! Your could should be much more airy and delicious, not so compact and rough like this turned out to be.

    • Pati

      So sorry to hear you weren’t a fan of my recipe! It’s the traditional method.

    • ingrid

      Wow Toni, you are kind of beating a dead horse, don’t you think? You made your point that you didn’t like this recipe with the first critical post so I think the next (at least) 2 are kind of gratuitous–makes it feel like you have an axe to grind with Pati. Out of all of the reviews that I read there were only 2 others that were less than glowing. I think it is great to post if you have had less than stellar results but multiple critical reviews on one recipe seems super zealous and unnecessary to me (unless you had to be rushed to the hospital as a result of ingesting this cake)

  • Laura

    Hola Pati! Thank you for fixing the pictures. I made this cake for mi Mexicano so he could feel closer to home for a little bit and he and his uncle loved it! They told me it was very authentic. One thing he said was it maybe had a bit too much vanilla (it had to be something haha). He also suggested canned peaches in the middle layer with the whipped cream of course! Thanks again for your help.

    • Pati

      Hey, Laura! Canned peaches are a GREAT suggestion.

  • Patricia

    Hola Pati! I was asked to make a cake for a co-workers birthday so I decided to make your tres leches recipe, which I have never made before, since another co-worker, a Latina, was bringing menudo. I was a little concerned about the amount of eggs it had since a couple of reviews complained about it going flat and tasting eggy. I gave it a go anyway and I must say it was a HUGE success! I was told that is was authentic, had the perfect density and the right amount of tres leches. I brought in some chocolate syrup for the chocolate lovers that may have wanted to drizzle some on top. Thanks for the wonderful recipe and I will definitely be making this again. BTW it was very simple to make!

    • Pati

      So happy to hear!

  • Toni

    Thank you. “Authentic” is in the eye (or tastebuds) of the beholder! 🙂 I’m Mexican and don’t find it “authentic” at all. But if others enjoy it somehow, that’s great!

  • Nicole

    Hi pati, I tried to make this cake for my birthday this week and I ended up making the cake too thin 🙁 any tips? Or can I just order this from you? Please help !

    • Pati

      I don’t cater… but maybe your baking pan was too big?? Make it a double decker next time 🙂

  • Patricia

    Sorry Toni but I didn’t reply to you. I sent this comment to Pati to let her and others know how DELICIOUSLY AUTHENTIC this recipe was!

  • Toni

    Hi Patricia, No problem. I normally don’t post to boards such as this, but this recipe was such a disaster for me, and a total waste of a lot of eggs and other ingredients I felt strongly about leaving a comment to let others know to use caution and perhaps look elsewhere for a preferable recipe. I’ve lived in Texas, California, and Mexico and never eaten any Tres Leches that was as dense or tasteless as this. Ya never know with baking how things will work for you, but this was a major baking disappointment and ruined the “dessert” portion of the meal that day. Glad I found something preferable elsewhere. I just don’t believe in it’s “authenticity” given the wide range of Mexican food I’ve enjoyed and prepared in life, but happy for you if you found a way to enjoy it! 🙂

  • Hi Pati,
    My husband is from Mexico and tres leches is his favorite cake. I always thought since it was so delicious, it must be so difficult to make. You always give me confidence to try new things, to bring a little taste of home to my husband. Thank you!!

    • Pati

      I’m so happy you and your husband like the recipe! Thank you for trying it!

  • Dixie

    This is the best cake I have ever had. The second time I made the cake I added pecans pieces, crushed pineapple and maraschino cherries on top of whipped topping. Thanks Pati for an awesome recipe. This doesn’t last long in my house.

    • Pati

      That’s such a great idea!! I need to try that! =) Thank you for trying the recipe and for the suggestion!

  • Mia

    Thank you! Im from Mexico living in London and the only way to satisfy the craving for
    Tres Leches Cake is by making it with this recipe, we love it! A make for friends too for their birthdays as they love it too! Is there any way to make this in a smaller size? Would I have to half the ingredients for the sponge?

    • Pati

      Yes, you can just reduce the ingredients evenly! =)

  • How exactly would you make the Tres Leches chocolate? Do you have a recipe for that you would be willing to share? A co-worker asked me to make this for our company Christmas party, but he wants chocolate sauce. I have made this original recipe for him before and he LOVED it. Guess I did it right since he wants it again! Thank you!!

  • Thank you for the marbles recipe. I look forward to one with a chocolate sauce with the vanilla cake. I will be trying 1/3c unsweetened cocoa powder added to my tres leches to pour on the cake.

  • Laura S

    Thank you for this recipe! Absolutely delicious!
    I lived in Mexico for 9 years. Pastel de tres leches is one of the many things my husband and I have missed from his homeland in the year and a half since we moved our young family back to my homeland. I’ve wanted to try baking one since the first time I tasted it – thank you for making it sound and look easy! I will most definitely be making this again!

    • Pati

      YAY!! I am thrilled, Laura!

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  • Andrea

    Hello! I have tried to make a tres leches cake before and it came out okay, I think I am going to try your recipe next though! Is there a specific brand of sweetened condensed milk that you would suggest? One of the problems with the one I made before was that it just tasted way too sweet and I used the Eagle Brand. Would Nestle Carnation or La Lechera be better?

    • Pati

      Hey Andrea, I go for La Lechera, give it a go. But you may also want to tweak and add more of the 2 other milks, evaporated and whole milk, which are less sweet!

  • Stephanie M

    Made the cake for the first time and completely nailed it! Followed the directions exactly and I couldn’t have been happier with the results! It was dense but moist, not too sweet and the whipped cream on top is pure perfection! I can’t wait to make this again!

    • Yay, Stephanie!!

  • Maggie

    Hola Pati! I made this cake over the weekend with great success. I followed your recipe to the tee, split the batter and made two 9 in. cake pans. The cake had the perfect amount of sweetness and density. My husband who is a huge fan of yours and Juju can’t stop raving about how good it was and my sister requested I make her one for her birthday later this month. Thank you for posting a wonderful and “authentic” Mexican recipe!

    • Maggie, I am THRILLED it was a hit!

  • Dan

    Thank you so much for this recipe! I saw someone make a Tres Leches Cake on Masterchef Canada and it got me curious. I made it last weekend for my husband and mother-in-law. They both loved it! It’s so comforting. My husband is actually crazy about it! I’ll definitely make it again. Here are some photos! I decorated it with sliced pears.

    • I LOVE IT!!! Thanks for sharing!!

  • Cheryl

    Thank-you, Pati! I made this cake earlier today following your recipe exactly as written and it is soooo delicious! I was a bit concerned that there was too much sauce on the platter around the cake but as it sits in the fridge, the cake is slowly soaking it all up. I just went back for a second piece (lol) and there is only a little of the sauce visible around the cake. My husband is going to love this when he gets home tomorrow…if there’s any left!

    • YUM!!!! Your pics look great! I hope hubby likes it too =)

  • Cheryl

    Thank-you, Pati! This cake was absolutely delicious! I followed your directions exactly and was sooo pleased with how it turned out. I was a little concerned that there was too much sauce pooling around the caked but it was absorbed over the course of the evening in the fridge. I had never tasted Tres Leches cake before but I’ll definitely be making this again! Here are a few pictures…

  • Kristen Holcomb

    I make a tres leches cake almost every year for my husband’s birthday. Tres leches is his favorite, and this recipe is the best by far. Thanks so much for sharing this with us so we can enjoy, too! This year I’m going to try a double layer with whipped cream and strawberries in the middle layer (and whipped cream on top, of course)!

    • Omg. DOUBLE LAYER. Let me know how it turns out, Kristen!