Tres leches cake is a Mexican dessert comprised of a light and fluffy cake soaked in a sweet milk mixture. I’ll be honest with you—growing up, I hated it. For every birthday all my siblings begged my mom to buy it, and while I liked the actual cake, the frosting just ruined it for me. This is because, like most Mexican cakes, tres leches is covered in what I can only describe as bland whipped cream. They say that the mildness of the frosting balances out the sweetness of the cake, but I found an alternative that even my whipped cream loving siblings approve of: tres leches cake topped with dulce de leche. So if you—like me—were never a tres leches fan, try this recipe and become a convert forever.

Tres Leches Cake With Dulce de Leche

  • Prep Time:30 minutes
  • Cook Time:30 minutes
  • Total Time:1 hour
  • Servings:8-10
  • Medium


  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 5 egg whites
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 12 oz evaporated milk
  • 14 teaspoon condensed milk
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 can or bottle sweetened condensed milk
  • Step 1

    Preheat the oven to 350º F and prepare a 10 inch cake pan with nonstick spray or butter.

  • Step 2

    Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.

    Photo by Alejandra Fernandez
  • Step 3

    Beat egg yolks with ¾ cup of sugar in an electric mixer on high speed (or by hand if you want to build up those muscles) until the mixture is pale yellow and thick, then add vanilla and 1/3 cup of whole milk. 

    Photo by Alejandra Fernandez
  • Step 4

    Fold the egg and sugar mixture into the flour mixture until just combined.

    Photo by Alejandra Fernandez
  • Step 5

    Beat egg whites in electric mix on high speed or by hand until soft peaks form. Then pour in the remaining ¼ cup of sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.

    Photo by Alejandra Fernandez
  • Step 6

    Very gently fold the egg white mixture into the rest of the batter until just combined.

    Photo by Alejandra Fernandez
  • Step 7

    Pour into prepared cake pan and spread to even out the surface. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool.

    Photo by Alejandra Fernandez
  • Step 8

    Combine 1-4 cup of milk, condensed milk, and evaporated milk in a bowl. When the cake is completely cool, puncture all over the surface with a fork.

    Photo by Alejandra Fernandez
  • Step 9

    Slowly drizzle the mixture all over the cake. Refrigerate and allow the cake to absorb the milk for at least 30 minutes (the longer it sits to absorb the milk, the better it will taste).

    #SpoonTip: Make sure your cake is on a dish with raised edges so milk doesn’t spill all over your nice clean kitchen.

    Photo by Alejandra Fernandez
  • Step 10

    Spread dulce de leche all over the surface of the cake and serve.

    Photo by Alejandra Fernandez