Tres Leches Cake

with vanilla bean & rum

I hope that you all had a lovely weekend just like I did. Summer is almost over, so be sure that you’re making the most of them! Friday night, we went to see our friend Morgan do stand-up in the East Village before heading to his brother’s apartment for a birthday celebration where bottles were popped, as they say. These may have been $13 bottles of fake champagne, but does that really even matter? No, no it does not. Plus, Morgan’s brother and his girlfriend have an awesome karaoke setup in their place, and nothing beats free karaoke. Saturday we got an early start, ordered in some omelets and coffee, then got to work prepping for a barbecue we were having at our friend’s place nearby who have an awesome roof deck. But I will get more into that later this week.

Tres Leches Cake

Kramer and I being adorable or obnoxious, depending on your point of view.
Let’s just say I made a lot of food. What a surprise. The barbecue was a big success and I know that because I was extremely aware of said success when I woke up the next morning. Kramer had to get out of the house to study for his final (which is today; good luck!) so I stayed in my pajamas doing this and that around the house until around 6 when I met up with Kramer and Morgan for dinner at Miller’s Tavern. I had a really delicious plate of farro with fennel powder, carrot purée and roasted vegetables that I am still thinking about. We bid farewell to Morgan then headed to the movies to see Elysium. I absolutely loved it. It had the perfect combination of sci-fi, crazy weaponry and ridiculous hacking scenes. I love when a character looks at a computer screen and just bashes their fingers on the keyboard as if I am supposed to believe that they’re hacking the planet. It never disappoints. Anyway, A+ for movie. We stayed up a little later than I had intended, but when we got home we couldn’t sleep without watching Breaking Bad. I know that I’m not the only one.

Tres Leches Cake

So apparently it is National Rum Month. I can get behind that, although I generally don’t pick rum based drinks. I am more of a bourbon girl. I still wanted to celebrate a little bit, though, and I did have half a bottle of rum in my liquor cabinet, so here we are with these rum soaked tres leches cakes. Tres leches means three milks. In this case, the milks are sweetened condensed milk (obviously the best milk out there), evaporated milk and whole milk. When the cake is still hot, you pour these (and a little rum) all over the cake and let it cool while it soaks up all of that goodness. I brought these to the barbecue and people seemed to adore them, which you have to love with such a simple recipe. You can even make this cake ahead of time, freeze it and take it with you, which is exactly what I did to rave reviews. I think this is a great dessert of end-of-summer parties, so make a double batch because I promise it will all immediately disappear.

Tres Leches CakeDinner from the other night, rainy New York, my beautifully plated meal at Miller’s Tavern, farmer’s market tomatoes, Kramer and I with a stormtrooper and and outside of our apartment.

Tres Leches CakeAlright, so – beat together your batter.

Tres Leches CakeThen pour it in the pan, bake, soak and cut out (if you want to).

Tres Leches CakeThen make your whipped cream, top and enjoy.

Tres Leches Cake

Tres Leches Cake
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 15-20
Tres leches cake soaked in a sweetened milk and rum combo for everyone's favorite Mexican dessert.
For the Tres Leches Cake:
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 5 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, scraped
  • 2 tablespoons light rum
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3 tablespoons light rum
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Whipped Cream:
  • 2 cups cold heavy cream
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light rum
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and line a 9x13-inch cake pan with parchment and/or butter it well. I personally like to use parchment for easily removing the cake later on, but it's up to you (just don't use foil).
  2. Melt your butter and set it aside to cool. Beat together your eggs and brown sugar until well combined (at least for 3 minutes), then add in the scraped vanilla bean and rum. Mix well, then add in the butter and beat until fully combined, at least another 3 minutes. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt and add to the batter. Pour the batter into your cake pan and bake for 25-30 minutes, until just set and barely golden.
  3. While the cake bakes, mix together your evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, whole milk, rum and vanilla. When the cake is finished baking, remove from the oven and use a chopstick (or something similar) to poke holes all over the cake. Pour the milk mixture over the cake while it is still warm so that it will absorb the liquid. Allow the cake to cool completely before topping with the whipped cream.
  4. To make the whipped cream, simply combine all of your ingredients and beat on medium-high for 4-5 minutes, until stiff peaks form. Taste and add more vanilla or rum as needed. You can spread the whipped cream directly onto the cake, or use a circular cutter to cut out individual cakes and top that way. The cake itself will freeze nicely for up to three months, at which point it can be thawed out and topped with the whipped cream.


13 Responses

  1. Tres Leches is my all time favorite cake! LOVE this! And the mini version is the best.

  2. maria says:

    cake looks great but what is that yummy looking soup/stew two pics above the storm trooper?

    • Sydney says:

      Ha! Thanks – it was just an after-work dinner I made one night. Summer corn and chickpea shakshuka with fried eggs.

  3. Aww cute! just like your photo shots. It is refreshing that not all couples have to be serious all the time.

  4. I love tres leches cake. Because cake is usually best with a big glass of milk, and it just seems like a time saver. But more importantly, it looks delicious.

  5. Tieghan says:

    Why is mini always so much better? These are so cute and I am always down with anything coconut!

  6. […] shared my Rum Soaked Tres Leches cakes with you earlier this week and now I present this Triple Berry Slab Pie as the other dessert […]

  7. Lynna says:

    You and Kramer look adorable! :) & I love how you cut the cake into smaller circles, it makes everything so cute.

  8. […] ever entered my cake-hole. I worship follow a blog called Crepes of Wrath, and found her recipe for Tres Leches Cake. The cake itself has a little cinnamon in it, which really put it over the top for me, not to […]

  9. Chelsi says:

    Do you think it would be possible to make this cake into two 9 inch rounds and stack them? How do you think that would fare?

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