Between the shrimp enchiladas last week, tres leches cake this week, and some tacos I’m planning for next week, I am clearly on a Mexican food streak. There must be something in the air because my kids are consuming tortillas and quesadillas like they’re going out of style. So, as you can imagine, there were absolutely no complaints when my kids found out I was making tres leches. We have been making this recipe for years and it is one of our favorites. My husband had actually gotten out the ingredients last weekend with plans to make this for dessert but never found the time. Since I have been wanting to post this recipe for awhile and I am always looking for ways to be Favorite Parent of the Week, I decided now was a good time.
Tres leches is basically a sponge cake that is soaked with a sweet milk mixture. It gets its name for the three types of milk used – evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, and cream. This particular recipe goes one step further by also using cajeta, a caramelized goat’s milk spread, to add another layer of flavor. Adding caramel to anything is never a bad thing.
This frosting also goes beyond other recipes by adding sour cream. That little bit of tang balances the sweetness of the rest of the cake nicely.
I am so winning the Favorite Parent award this week.
- 6 eggs, separated
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon table salt
- 1½ cups granulated sugar
- 1½ cups water
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 3 tablespoons cajeta (goat’s milk caramel spread)
- 1 (5 ounce) can evaporated milk
- 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
- 2 cups whipping cream
- ½ cup corn syrup
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup sour cream
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon Frangelico (hazelnut liqueur), optional
- Heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 9x13 inch baking dish. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites for about 30 seconds, then gradually add the sugar. Increase speed to medium-high and continue beating until stiff peaks form, 4-5 minutes. Add egg yolks 1 at at time, beating well after each addition. Add flour mixture, water, and almond extract. Mix on slow speed until evenly blended.
- Pour batter into prepared pan and bake 30 to 40 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the cake comes out clean. Cool cake while making the milk mixture.
- In a medium saucepan, whisk together all the ingredients for the milk mixture. Heat mixture to boiling over medium-high, whisking constantly. Let mixture cool slightly. Reserve ½ cup of milk mixture for serving. Once cake is lukewarm to the touch, pierce cake all over with a fork. Pour remaining milk mixture over cake, 1 cup at a time. Allow the milk mixture to absorb into the cake between additions. Gently tilt the pan as necessary to evenly distribute the milk mixture.
- Cover the cake and refrigerate overnight.
- Beat cream with granulated sugar until stiff peaks form. Add sour cream, powdered sugar, vanilla and Frangelico, if using. Beat until evenly mixed. Spread frosting over cooled cake.
- Keep cake refrigerated until ready to serve. Cut cake into squares. Spoon some of the reserved milk mixture onto serving plates and top with a piece of cake.
Dulce de leche can be substituted for the cajeta.
Recipe adapted from Sausalito’s restaurant via the Houston Chronicle.