Tres Leches.

January 18, 2012

During one particular trip to Honduras many years ago, I arrived on a rainy day. Not to be deterred, I made a beeline for the cafe as my first order of business. I claimed a gigantic piece of tres leches for myself, and exited out the back door to eat my sweet confection in the house.

As I descended down the wet tile steps, attempting to shelter my precious dessert from the elements, I suddenly slid and in one cartoon-like swift motion slipped backwards as if I had stepped on a banana peel. Limbs went flailing and I achieved lift-off.

Also launched into the air was the poor piece of tres leches, which propelled off the plate, rolled up my leg, and went flying. When gravity completed its number, I slammed painfully back onto the stairs and winced in amazement as the tres leches came tumbling down, settling perfectly back on the plate still in my hand.

The black bruise on my butt that marked the remainder of the trip, though extremely painful, still did not ruin tres leches for me. This dessert is that good.

Over Christmas break, I apprenticed an informal class with my pastry chef aunt to learn the ways of her magical tres leches. The above photo documents my very first attempt (and a successful one at that, if I may say so myself) to create the dessert on my own.

Currently stuffing my face and rejoicing over the significant yield of the recipe because, let me tell you, tres leches for breakfast, lunch, and dinner is the life.



5 eggs (separate yolks and whites into two big bowls)

¼ cup sugar + 1/3 cup of sugar (separate_

1/6 cup (2 2/3 Tbs.) orange juice

1/6 cup (2 2/3 Tbs.) vegetable oil

1 tsp. vanilla

1 cup cake flour, sifted

1 ½ tsp. baking powder, sift with flour

½ tsp. cream of tartar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Add sugar to egg yolks. Beat until just mixed. Mix in orange juice and oil. Beat until just mixed. Add sifted flour and baking powder in two batches. Beat until just blended. Mix in vanilla.

Add 1/3 cup of sugar and cream of tartar to egg whites. Beat on high until semi-stiff (peaks should not bend). Add half egg white mixture to egg yolk batter in large bowl. Mix well. Add the rest of the egg whites and fold gently to retain volume. Pour into 9”x13” pan and smooth top. Bake for 17-20 minutes.

Leches: (12 servings)

4 cups of milk

½ can condensed milk

1 can evaporated milk

Whisk milks together and blend well. Poke cake with chopsticks (lots of holes; don’t forget edges). Pour milk mixture over cake evenly.

Meringue: (12 servings)

3 egg whites

¾ cup sugar

¾ cup water

½ tsp. vanilla (clara)

Boil sugar and water until mixture becomes the consistency of honey. (Best in an aluminum pot.) Whip egg whites. Once they start to become puffy, keep whipping on high and drizzle in sugar mixture. Add vanilla. Whip until light and fluffy. Frost cake. Refrigerate cake overnight before serving.


2 Responses to “Tres Leches.”

  1. trialsinfood Says:

    looks delicious and what a memorable first day in Honduras!

  2. […] since I had to make my grandmother’s very technical Tres Leches Cake twice in one day because the first attempt failed, I have been consuming an inordinate amount of […]

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