Chocolate Tres Leches

April 21, 2021
5 Ratings
Photo by Ty Mecham
  • Makes one (10 by 3- inch) round cake
Author Notes

Reprinted with permission from "Simple Cake" by Odette Williams, copyright ©2019. Photographs by Nicole Franzen. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Penguin Random House, Inc. —Food52

What You'll Need
  • Chocolate tres leches
  • 1 3/4 cups (225g) all- purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (45g) unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (300g) granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (240ml) whole milk
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) grapeseed oil or any mild-flavored oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (240ml) boiling water
  • 1 (12-ounce, 355ml) can evaporated milk
  • 1 (14-ounce, 395ml) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup (240ml) heavy cream
  • Scraped seeds of 1 vanilla bean (optional)
  • Condensed milk whipped cream
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk (borrowed from the same can as the tres leches)
  • Shaved semisweet chocolate, for garnish
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 10 by 3-inch round pan with butter, line the bottom and sides of the pan with parchment paper, and grease the paper. (I’ll let you just grease, line the bottom of the pan, and lightly flour the sides if you’re feeling lazy.)
  2. Place a large sifter or a sieve in a large mixing bowl. Add the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and sift.
  3. Add the sugar and whisk until combined.
  4. In another large bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla together.
  5. Gradually add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk until there are no lumps and the batter is smooth.
  6. Carefully pour in the boiling water and stir until combined. (Watch the little ones with the hot water!)
  7. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake in the center of the oven for approximately 50 minutes or until a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, and the cake bounces back when lightly pressed.
  8. Remove from the oven and let the cake stand for 10 minutes.
  9. Reserve 3 tablespoons condensed milk in an airtight container in the fridge for later. In a large bowl, combine the evaporated milk, the rest of the condensed milk, and heavy cream. Add the vanilla bean seeds and whisk together.
  10. While the cake is still in the pan, use a skewer to poke holes in the top of the cake. Spoon the milk mixture over the top of the cake, giving it time to gradually soak into the cake. Cover the cake with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or for at least 5 to 6 hours.
  11. Make the condensed milk whipped cream: Pour the cream into a cold large metal bowl. Add the 3 tablespoons condensed milk. Using a balloon whisk, begin to whisk the cream until it has doubled in volume, has smooth soft peeks, and is light and fluffy.
  12. Top the cooled cake with the condensed milk whipped cream. Sprinkle shaved semisweet chocolate on top.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Keith Yager
    Keith Yager
  • Gibson2011
  • Tina
  • takeanonion

6 Reviews

Keith Y. July 16, 2020
This was my first time attempting a Tres Leches - seems like there was too much cream and evaporated milk, even for a milk cake. And I would have preferred a bit more chocolate flavor (and I used Ghiradelli dark chocolate). Probably won't be making this one again. It was fun to make though!
Tina October 17, 2019
I made this for my roommate's birthday and she loved it. Although I would have liked it to have a darker chocolate flavor, it still turned out awesome. I actually baked this in a 9in springform pan only for aesthetic reasons. Surprisingly, the milk mixture didn't leak through the springform pan - I put it the cake+springform pan on a plate just in case it did. However I did pour the mixture several ladles-full at a time onto the cake, making sure most of it was absorbed before adding more. And yes, the cake did absorb the entire concoction of tres leches!
Gibson2011 May 31, 2019
10x3? This seems like an unusual size. Any variation ideas?
Jonathan May 31, 2019
10 inches diameter and 3 inches tall, I assume. Not uncommon for cheesecakes and the like. A 9x9 square pan might work, though I'm not sure how tall it would need to be.
takeanonion May 30, 2019
That whipped cream topping...
takeanonion May 30, 2019
When a friend who loves chocolate asked me to make a tres leche cake I saw this recipe and KNEW I’d hit the serendipity jackpot. Subbed hot strong coffee for the boiling water.
Oh man, adults just pigged out.