Passionfruit Tres Leches Cake

March 19, 2018
4 Ratings
Photo by Julia Gartland
  • Makes one 9x13 cake
Author Notes

This tweak on a classic tres leches adds passionfruit juice to the soaking liquid to create a super delicious punch of fruit flavor that I am totally obsessed with. —Erin Jeanne McDowell

Test Kitchen Notes

For more on how to make, and vary, tres leches cake, see the full article. —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • Cake
  • 12 tablespoons (170 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups (297 g) granulated sugar
  • 7 large (397 g) eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons (7 g) vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups (271 g) all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons (6 g) baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon (3 g) fine sea salt
  • Soaking:
  • 3/4 cup (185 g) passionfruit juice (I used Goya brand)
  • 1/2 cup (112 g) whole milk
  • one (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • one (12 ounce) can evaporated milk
  • lightly sweetened whipped cream, as needed for finishing
  • passionfruit pulp, as needed for finishing
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9x13 pan with nonstick spray.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 4-5 minutes.
  3. Add the eggs one at a time and mix well to combine. Add the vanilla and mix to incorporate.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt to combine. Add the mixture to the mixer and mix just until incorporated. Scrape well to ensure the batter is evenly combined.
  5. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 38-40 minutes. Let cool completely.
  6. Poke the cake all over with a wooden skewer. Pour the passionfruit juice evenly over the whole cake. In a large container, preferably one with a pour spout, whisk the milk, sweetened condensed milk, and evaporated milk to combine.
  7. Gently pour the mixture all over the cake, letting it soak in through the holes. Most of this will happen quickly, but if some liquid pools up anywhere on the surface of the cake, just spoon it back over the cake until the mixture is absorbed (let it sit for about 30 minutes).
  8. Finish the cake with the whipped cream and the fresh passionfruit pulp. Serve immediately, or refrigerate for up to 5 hours before serving.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Lawyerjen
  • Erin Jeanne McDowell
    Erin Jeanne McDowell
  • Yodelmama
  • TB
I always have three kinds of hot sauce in my purse. I have a soft spot for making people their favorite dessert, especially if it's wrapped in a pastry crust. My newest cookbook, Savory Baking, came out in Fall of 2022 - is full of recipes to translate a love of baking into recipes for breakfast, dinner, and everything in between!

11 Reviews

Yodelmama July 17, 2023
DELICIOUS! And easy! I did not think the cake would absorb all the milk but it did. I used a combination of passion fruit juice (with added sugar) that I found at the store with unsweetened juice I had from our passionfruit vine. Spectacular.
TB March 5, 2022
This was really tasty, but the soaker didn’t work for me. My passion fruit juice must have been more acidic than the recipe intended- once I added it to the milk mixture it thickened into a posset like custard. It was delicious scooped alongside the cake, but was too thick to moisten the cake. Next time I’d soak with the milk mixture, and then the passion fruit juice, to ensure that it is absorbed.
TB March 5, 2022
🤦‍♀️ Realizing now that is a step in the recipe. Nvm.
GardenandtheBaker September 21, 2021
Block. Not blood.
GardenandtheBaker September 21, 2021
I brought this cake to work yesterday and I have to say, the recipe seriously needs a warning label.

I was AMBUSHED. Three people pretty much ate the whole cake. The remaining three slices were scooped up by the superintendent following a scuffle which resulted in a few bruises, name calling, and some broken bits of furniture scattered around the job trailer.

I feel like I came out the loser. I should have charged $100 a slice. I know I would have gotten it.

Thanks, Erin, for another winner (making my butter blood or puff pastry right now, your recipe of course!)
GardenandtheBaker September 19, 2021
Making this right now to serve tonight. I trust anything Erin creates!!!
Lawyerjen April 3, 2018
Goya sells both a frozen passion fruit puree/pulp (which is only passion fruit and quite tangy) and a passion fruit cocktail beverage (a mixture of passion fruit concentrate, water and sugar). My guess is that the recipe calls for the second, but some clarification would be very helpful.
Erin J. April 4, 2018
Great point! I used the juice! If you thinned out the purée with a little water, that would work nicely too!
Lawyerjen April 4, 2018
Thank you!!!
Heidi S. March 28, 2018
If this cake sits overnight is it still okay the next day?
Momo March 31, 2018
I am from Costa Ricaanx this dessert is a classic. My mom used to make this dessert all the times he night before serving and it always came out delicious. I hope this helps.