Tres Leches Cake with Caramel Glaze

Tres Leches Cake with Caramel Glaze | Dreamery EventsIt’s Monday, let’s kick off the week on an extra sweet note, with some heavenly Tres Leches Cake. We’re getting closer to the middle of the month, Halloween and Thanksgiving are approaching, and we could use some happiness to take our mind off from how fast time is going by. So we have cake. And the most decanted cake there is, so get cozy, and let’s have a slice of tres leches cake…Tres Leches Cake with Caramel Glaze | Dreamery EventsThe first time I made tres leches cake, it was for a 70 person surprise birthday. Talk about just going for it, but it turned out to be a success. I received the loveliest compliments from family and friends, even the dessert hater of the bunch loved this cake so much he went back for there massive servings. Tres leches cake is a traditional cake from South America, the original country a debate, but universally it’s one of the sweetest.

It’s a light and airy sponge cake that is soaked with a sauce of three milks; evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk and heavy cream. I’d say it’s technically a four milks cake, because the batter has milk in it too. Often it’s baked in a sheet pan, but you can’t have a celebration without a decorated layer cake right? And I don’t even like cake that much and know that’s true. Tres Leches Cake with Caramel Glaze | Dreamery EventsOn its own, the cake is the lightest thing ever, it really is like air and definitely a cake I would enjoy, sans the milk mixture and whip cream. But this signature “tres leches” sauce soaks this delicate cake into cake that is beyond decadent and rich.

Sweetened condensed, is quite underrated. In southern countries, and even states, this stuff is pretty much a staple in desserts. I grew up eating this stuff, in Portuguese flan like pudding, heavenly rich chocolate brigadeiros, and my favorite, doce de leite. In high school, I had a Brazilian friend who would boil the entire can until the condensed milk cooked and caramelized inside, and all we have to do was open it and dunk our spoons. Now that I think of it, I’m not sure how I managed to eat more than one spoonful, it’s that rich and sweet, but darn is it delicious!Tres Leches Cake with Caramel Glaze | Dreamery EventsOnce soaked in the luscious milk sauce, the cake layers become extremely moist and slightly on the heavier side. I mean tres leches cake should be ultra moist! Because this cake is already pretty sweet on its own, there’s no need for thick frosting. Instead, light airy whipped cream is more of a compliment to the cake’s sweet flavors.

As a tip, the cakes absorb the liquid much better if they’re still warm, so prepare the milk soak right after the cakes come out of the oven.Tres Leches Cake with Caramel Glaze | Dreamery EventsI like simply frosted cakes but a pretty glaze never hurt. Since sweetened condensed milk cooks into caramel, a caramel flavored glaze is just what this cake needs. Yes, I know even more sweetness. The final touch, toasted coconut flakes. It adds great texture against swirls of fluffy whipped cream and sugary glaze.

Be sure the cream is whipped into perfect peaks. If it’s too soft the filling may start to squish between the layers and if it’s whipped too stiff, it will start to break down and separate.Tres Leches Cake with Caramel Glaze | Dreamery EventsIf you haven’t had tres leches cake, well it’s to die for. No like really, it’s so decadent and sweet, it could possibly kill if you eat the entire cake. I’ll be honest with you, this cake really is delicious, but personally I’m just not one for overly sweet and sugary desserts. I know and I’m a pastry chef. I like simple and subtle ingredients, but that doesn’t mean I won’t thoroughly enjoy each bite of this cake!Tres Leches Cake with Caramel Glaze | Dreamery EventsI know everyone will love this cake, and you should make it soon! What else are you going to do during a rainy weekend?

Tres Leches Cake with Caramel Glaze

Ingredients {Serves 12 – Makes one 9X13″ or two-layer 9″ Cake}

1 cup – All Purpose Flour

1 1/2 teaspoon – Baking Powder

1/4 teaspoon – Salt

5 large – Eggs

1 cup – Raw Cane Sugar

1 teaspoon – Pure Vanilla Extract

1/3 cup – Milk

Three Milk Sauce

1 can – Evaporated Milk

1 can – Sweetened Condensed Milk

1/4 cup – Heavy Cream

Whipped Cream Frosting

1 pint {2 cups} – Heavy Cream

3 tablespoons – Raw Sugar

1 teaspoon – Meringue Powder

1/4 cup – Toasted Coconut, optional

Recipe {Adapted form The Pioneer Woman}

Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Butter, or spray, a 9 x 13″ pan {or two 9″ round cake pans} until coated.

Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together in a large bowl. Separate eggs into two large bowls.

Beat the egg yolks with 3/4 cup sugar on high speed until pale yellow and thick. Stir in milk and vanilla. Pour egg yolk mixture over the flour mixture and fold gently until combined.

Beat the egg whites on high speed until soft peaks form. With the mixer on low, pour in remaining 1/4 cup sugar and beat until whites are stiff, but not dry.

Fold whipped egg whites into the batter very gently, until just combined. Pour into prepared pan {or spread evenly between pans} and even out surface.

Bake, rotating halfway, until a toothpick comes out clean {about 35 to 45 minutes} Place onto a wire rack to cool slightly.

In a large pitcher, whisk the condensed milk, evaporated milk, and heavy cream until well combined. Once the cake is slightly cool, pierce the surface with a fork several times. Slowly drizzle all but about 1 cup of the milk mixture, using more around the edges of the cake.

Allow the cake to absorb the three milk mixture for 30 minutes. In the meantime, make your whipped cream frosting. In the bowl of an electric mixer, whip the heavy cream, sugar and meringue powder until stiff, but not dry, peaks.

To assemble layer cake, place one of the layers onto a plate, or cake board. Spread about 1/2 cup of whipped cream onto cake, then top with other cake layer, flat side facing up. Finish by covering top and sides of cake with whipped cream. Drizzle room temperature caramel glaze over cake, beginning with edges, then the center, smoothing with spatula.  Refrigerate to set, then decorate top with whipped cream swirls and toasted coconut.

Caramel Glaze

Ingredients {Makes 1 cup}

1 cup – Brown Sugar

1/2 cup – Heavy Cream

4 tablespoons – Unsalted Butter

1 cup – Powdered Sugar

1/4 teaspoon – Pure Vanilla Extract


In a medium saucepan, combine brown sugar, cream and butter, stirring over low heat until butter is melted. Turn heat to medium and bring to a boil while continuing to stir. Once boiling, boil for 3 minutes then remove from heat and add in powdered sugar and vanilla. Stir until smooth then pour/drizzle over top of cake. Let glaze cool for 30 minutes to set.

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