Monday, May 24, 2010

Tres Leches

It took me 4 years, but I finally got around to making a Tres Leches cake for my husband's birthday. I used the recipe from Cafe Latte on Grand Ave in St Paul, which I'll include here. It was simple to make, and excellent! There are so many variations on this cake that I might be tempted to try a few out before settling. This one is absolutely worth trying though. The key difference seems to be coconut milk and rum in some recipes. This one doesn't include either. I was surprised it only made one 8" cake round, but by the time you soak and frost it, it's substantial enough for at least 8 people. My sister thought 12, but that would be small, civilized-sized servings. Not how I eat a good cake. There is plenty of frosting per this recipe--enough actually for 2 cakes. The kids put the raspberries on. Usually the berries are put on circling the top outer edge of the cake for a tidier look. This comment left my 2-and 4-year-olds unphased as they worked their decorating magic.

And no, my husband didn't turn 4. It was the only candle we had left in the house. 4 years until 40?

Tres Leches, Linda Quinn, owner of Cafe Latte 
1/4 c canola or safflower oil
3/4 c granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 t vanilla extract
1 c flour
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
1/2 c buttermilk

1/2 can (14 oz can) sweetened condensed milk
1 c half-and-half
1/4 t vanilla

4 c heavy whipping cream
1/2 c powdered sugar
1/2 t vanilla

oil and flour one 8-inch round pan. Preheat over to 350. Combine oil,
sugar, eggs, vanilla in a large bowl. Sift together flour, baking soda and
 powder, salt. Add oil to mixture. Scrape bowl. Add buttermilk, scrape
bowl, combine. Pour into prepared pan, bake for 20-25 min until tester
 comes out clean.

When cake is cool, slice in half. Arrange cut sides up. Combine soaking
liquid ingredients, whisk, pour over cake layers using all the liquid.

To frost, whip cream until very stiff. Place one layer on a cake plate,
 top with 1/3 of the whipped cream. Smooth. Place second layer on whipped
cream, top with 1/3 cream. Smooth. Frost sides with remaining 1/3 cream.
Garnish with fresh raspberries.


  1. Is this right that there are only 2 milks used here, not three? Just wanted to make sure. I am so exicited to find this version and try it. I love Cafe Latte!

    1. It looks like 4 milks to me! Is that cuatro leches?

    2. Ha!! Maybe a good argument to have while eating it...

  2. The recipe is accurate. Depends on how you count the milks. There is buttermilk in the cake, and whipping cream in the frosting, plus the 2 milks in the soaking liquid. I make this at least 3 times a year -- it turns out very reliably. Let me know how it works for you! And don't fear layering the frosting on thick. That's how they do it at Latte. SO good.

  3. thank you for this. I'm a former Minnesotian living in CA, and among other things, Tres leche cake from caffe latte is something I truly miss.

  4. Glad you found this, former Minnesotan. Maybe you can share the love out west with this cake. I haven't made it since's time.

  5. Found you mean 1/2 of the 14 oz can? Can’t find 4 oz anywhere

    1. Oh! Yes. 1/2 a 14 oz can. Thanks for that catch, after all these years making it from this recipe, I've never noticed my typo. Enjoy!