This is an amazing super-light traditional cake, soaked in a sweet milk mixture, topped with a vanilla bean whipped cream and cinnamon - cocoa dusting on top.
For a special twist to the traditional Tres Leches, we place a brownie disk on
bottom and also top it off with a Hungry Monkey Triple Chocolate Heart!
- Prep Time: 1hour
- Cook Time: 25 - 35 minutes mins
- Total Time: 2 hours hrs.
- Servings: 12 squares if kept in the 13” x 9” x 2” pan; or 10, 8 oz. Mason Jars
- 9x13 metal baking dish
- Mason jars (8 oz or 4 oz, depending on the size you wish to serve individually)
- Stand or hand mixer
- 2” round cookie cutter
- Small 1/4” or ½” heart cookie cutter
- Rubber spatula
- Glass bowls
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 5 large eggs, separated
- 1 cup granulated sugar (divided -- ¾ cup & ¼ cup)
- 1/3 cup whole milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
- 12-ounce can of evaporated milk
- 14-ounce can of sweetened condensed milk
- 1/4 cup whole milk
4 cups heavy whipping cream
6 Tablespoons powdered sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
- ground cinnamon & cocoa, mixed, then “dusted” on top with a strainer.
- Red and white nonpareil sprinkles – to press into brownie heart on top (OPTIONAL)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a medium bowl combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
Separate the eggs into two mixing bowls.
Add ¾ cup sugar to the bowl with the egg yolks and mix on high speed until yolks are pale yellow. Add ⅓ cup milk and vanilla and stir to combine. Pour the egg yolk mixture over the flour mixture and stir gently just until combined (don't over-mix).
Use electric beaters to beat the egg whites on high speed. As the begin to whip into stiff peaks, gradually mix in the remaining ¼ cup of sugar. Fold the stiffly beaten egg whites into the batter gently, scraping the bottom and sides of the
bowl, until combined.
Pour batter into an un-greased pan. This may seem counter-intuitive but do not grease the pan. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow the
cake to cool completely. Using a fork poke holes in the circles so they can absorb the milk mixture.
Once cooled, use a round cookie cutter in the diameter of the Mason jar, approximately 2” and cut out approximately 20 circles next to
each other in the cake. (Save scraps to use for an extra Tres Leche with leftover whipped cream and milk mixture.)
While the cake is baking, combine the evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, and whole milk in a small bowl.
Next, whip the cold cream, adding the powdered sugar and vanilla bean paste. Fill a pastry bag with the whipping cream, or you can use a Ziplock bag and cut a corner, or simply spoon the whipped cream mixture to layer.
Take a Hungry Monkey slightly frozen brownie and slice down the middle, making two thinner brownies. Make 10 disks plus also small hearts for topping the Mason jars. Using the cookie cutter, cut out ten 2” circles out of the brownies (and also tiny hearts for the top at the end. Place the 2” brownie circle in each of the Mason jars. Pour enough of the milk mixture to just barely cover the top of the brownie. Pipe or spoon the whipped cream mixture on top. Place a cake circle on top of that. Pour a little more of the milk mixture over the cake, barely covering it (it will soak up the liquid overnight). Pipe or spoon whipped cream mixture. Repeat, ending with the whipped cream on top. Sift a little bit of cinnamon & cocoa mixture on top of the cake, then top with a mini brownie heart on top just before serving. Close the jar to set overnight, or at least for several hours. You may wish to wait to add the last whipped cream layer until just
before serving. Then, dust with the cocoa-cinnamon on top, and the brownie heart (or you can slice a strawberry and it resembles a heart if sliced from top to bottom)!
If you wish to forgo making the individual Tres Leches, you can simply use the 9 x 13” pan and, once the cake has cooled, use a fork to poke holes all over the top of the cake, then pour the three-milk mixture on top, then layer with whipped
cream, dust with cinnamon, then top with many hungry monkey brownie hearts on top for edible decoration!
Refrigerate the cake for at least 2 hours or overnight, to allow it to soak up the milk.
You can also serve with fresh sliced strawberries! Fresh sliced strawberries will cut through the richness.
Store Tres Leches Cake in the refrigerator, covered, for 1 - 3 days in an airtight container.
Make-Ahead Instructions: You can make Tres leches cake 1-2 days in advance. I love to make this cake the night before so that the cake has a lot of
time to soak up the milk mixture.