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Pastel de Tres Leches (Three Milks Cake)

Pastel de Tres Leches

Pastel de Tres Leches is my husbands favorite dessert. Ever since he introduced it to me, I love it too!

It is very different from any other cake I have ever tried. It is a delicious sponge cake that is very popular throughout Latin America.

The name in English translates to three milks cake. After baking, the cake is soaked in three different types of milk, hence the name.

Although you might think it looks difficult to make, it really isn’t. It is actually really simple.

pastel de tres leches with sliced strawberries on top on a blue plate

I can’t wait to show you how to make this cake. I think a lot of people are intimidated at the idea of making it. But I promise you it is so simple.

I used to always buy this cake at my local panaderia before I knew how to make it. But that can get expensive. Making it yourself is a lot cheaper.

How to Make Pastel de Tres Leches:

First mix together the flour, salt, baking powder, and nutmeg.

flour, salt, baking powder, and nutmeg in a red bowl

Next beat the eggs. While beating slowly add the sugar and vanilla and continue beating until well incorporated.

eggs, sugar and vanilla mixture

Then add the flour mixture about 1/2 cup at a time to the egg mixture. Mix with a spatula until it is well incorporated.

adding flour mixture into the egg mixture

Pour the mixture into a greased baking dish and bake at 350 until fork comes out clean.

cake mixture in baking dish

After baking let cool and then poke holes all over the cake with a fork.

holes all over pastel de tres leches

Now for the fun part! This is where the three milks mixture is poured on top of the cake. The cake will absorb it. You will notice that the cake rises once the milk is absorbed.

cake absorbing the milk

Now the cake is ready to be topped with the whipped cream.

cake with whipped cream

Chill the cake for a few hours in the fridge before serving. You can serve as is or you can add fruit.

Pastel de Tres Leches (Three Milks Cake)

This is literally one of the most delicious cakes ever! What I really like about it is the fact that it isn’t overly sweet like a lot of cakes. It has just the right amount of sweetness to it.

pastel de tres leches on a blue plate

The whipped topping and fruit add a cool and refreshing taste. We prefer strawberries but you can add any fruit topping that you desire. Peaches and kiwis are great options!

You should definitely try it for Valentine’s Day or Cinco de Mayo! If you make it, let me know what you think of it in the comments below!

pastel de tres leches on a blue plate
5 from 2 votes

Pastel de Tres Leches

Pastel de tres leches is a popular latin american cake. It's a unique cake made with three different types of milk!

Course Dessert
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword pastel de tres leches, three milks cake
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 734 kcal
Author Carissa


For the cake:

  • 2 cups of flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • 8 eggs
  • 1 cup of white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla

For the milk mixture:

  • 12 oz can of evaporated milk
  • 14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 2/3 cup of milk

For the whipped cream:

  • 1 3/4 cup of heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup of powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon


  1. In a mixing bowl combine flour, salt, baking powder, and nutmeg. Mix well.
  2. In another bowl beat eggs with a mixer.
  3. While continuing to beat eggs slowly add cup of sugar and vanilla
  4. Continue beating until egg and sugar mixture is well incorporated
  5. Add the flour mixture about 1/2 cup at a time to the egg mixture. Mix with a spatula until it is well incorporated.
  6. Heat oven to 350 and pour the cake mixture into a greased 9x13 pan
  7. Bake for about 30 minutes or until a fork comes out clean
  8. When cake has cooled, poke holes all over cake with a fork
  9. In a bowl combine all three types of milk and stir until well blended
  10. Pour the milk mixture over the cake
  11. In a bowl add heavy whipping cream, vanilla, and cinnamon
  12. With a mixer beat the cream mixture while slowly adding the powdered sugar until it is whipped about 2 min.
  13. Spread whipped cream on cake and store in the refrigerator
  14. Best when served cold ( The fruit in the photo is optional)

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

After soaking the cake in the three milks, it will rise and expand. So don't worry if you think it looks a little flat coming out of the oven.

Nutrition Facts
Pastel de Tres Leches
Amount Per Serving
Calories 734 Calories from Fat 288
% Daily Value*
Fat 32g49%
Saturated Fat 19g119%
Cholesterol 269mg90%
Sodium 359mg16%
Potassium 563mg16%
Carbohydrates 92g31%
Sugar 66g73%
Protein 18g36%
Vitamin A 1320IU26%
Vitamin C 2.4mg3%
Calcium 397mg40%
Iron 2.4mg13%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Check out some other delicious desserts from some of my favorite blogs!

Recipe Rating

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Friday 2nd of August 2019

First time making it and jt turned out great! Thanks riss


Saturday 3rd of August 2019

I'm glad you liked it!!

Rajas con Crema y Queso Recipe - Thrift and Spice

Friday 15th of June 2018

[…] other day when I made pastel de tres leches I had some heavy cream left over. I hate letting ingredients go to waste so I started thinking […]

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