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Pastel de Tres Leches

How to Make Pastel de Tres Leches

Pastel de Tres Leches, which translates to “Three Milk Cake,” is a popular Latin American dessert known for its rich and moist texture. The cake is made by soaking a sponge or butter cake with three different types of milk: evaporated milk, condensed milk, and heavy cream or whole milk (hence the name “three milks”).

After baking a sponge cake, holes are poked or the cake is pierced with a fork, allowing it to absorb the milk mixture. The three milks, often sweetened, are then poured over the cake, allowing it to soak and infuse with the creamy liquid. The result is a moist, decadent, and sweet dessert with a distinctive milky flavor.

Pastel de Tres Leches is typically served chilled and can be topped with whipped cream, fresh fruit, or a dusting of cinnamon. It’s a beloved dessert in many Latin American countries, each region often having its variations in preparation and presentation.

Why Make this Recipe?

  • Versatile: Great for birthdays, holidays, or Tuesdays.
  • Easy to Make: Nothing too complicated!
  • Crowd-Pleaser: Everyone loves it, we bet!

What Does Pastel de Tres Leches Taste Like?

Imagine a cake that has absorbed a trio of milks. It’s sweet, moist, and has a milky aroma that tickles the senses.

Taste Profile:

  • Creaminess: High
  • Sweetness: Moderate
  • Richness: Medium

What is in Pastel de Tres Leches?

  • Cake Base
  • Condensed Milk
  • Evaporated Milk
  • Regular Milk

Equipment Required for this Recipe

  • Baking Pan
  • Mixer
  • Large Bowl
  • Measuring cups


  • 1 Vanilla Cake Mix
  • 1 can Condensed Milk
  • 1 can Evaporated Milk
  • 1 cup Whole Milk
  • Whipped Cream (for topping)


  1. Bake vanilla cake as per mix instructions.
  2. Once cooled, poke holes all over the cake.
  3. Mix the three milks together.
  4. Pour the milk mix over the cake.
  5. Refrigerate for 2 hours.
  6. Top with whipped cream before serving.

How to Serve Pastel de Tres Leches

Serve chilled. Cut into squares or rectangles. Dollop with whipped cream or fresh fruit.

Serving Suggestions:

  • Fresh berries
  • Shredded coconut
  • Sliced almonds

What to Serve Pastel de Tres Leches With

  • Coffee or Tea
  • Ice Cream
  • Fruit Punch

My Recommendations and Tips

  • The milk mixture should be evenly poured to soak the cake.
  • More holes in the cake mean better soaking.
  • Try a twist with flavored milks!

Pastel de Tres Leches Storage Ideas

  • Refrigerator: Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Potential Ingredients Substitutes

Condensed MilkSweetened Coconut Milk
Evaporated MilkHalf-and-Half
Whole MilkAlmond Milk

Nutritional Information

  • Calories: Approx 300 per serving
  • Sugar: 40g
  • Fat: 10g

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is it supposed to be really moist?
    • Yes, that’s the signature characteristic!
  • Can I add fruit flavors?
    • Absolutely, get creative with it.


Pastel de Tres Leches is more than just a cake. It’s an experience of soaking up love and flavors. It captures the spirit of celebrations, the simplicity of home baking, and the joy of sharing something incredibly delicious. Go ahead, make it and let the cake do the talking! 🍰