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Fact: The Greatest Cake Is A Tres Leches Cake


Everyone loves cake, that’s just a fact. Why do you go to a wedding? To celebrate the joining of two people in holy matrimony? Hell no, you go for the cake and free booze. Your nephew’s birthday? Love or cake? Love of cake! The only problem with cake is that sometimes it can be really dry. The Nicaraguans came up with a solution: drowning the cake in a rich milky mixture of deliciousness. A tres leches cake lies somewhere on the dessert spectrum between a cake and a custard. This author’s groom’s cake was a big tres leches cake, or as my wife calls it “That damn soggy cake you people like.” Indeed.

Tres Leches

1 Box of cake mix. You can make it from scratch, but honestly the cake is just a vehicle for the syrup.

For the syrup:

12 oz Sweetened condensed milk

12 oz Evaporated milk

12 oz Heavy cream

1 Tablespoon of rum (optional, but awesome)

Meringue:

3/4 Cup of heavy cream

1 Teaspoon of vanilla extract

1 Tablespoon of sugar

Fresh fruit (optional, but recommended) Strawberries, mango, oranges, pineapple, cherries are all good.

Make the cake. We could walk you through making a cake from scratch, but if you are as lazy as we are a Duncan Hines cake will do just fine. Traditionally, it is a plain white cake, although a chocolate tres leches cake is a thing of beauty. Once the cake is done, let it cool to room temperature. Then you mix the three milk syrup together. You will be tempted to drink it, but you must resist that urge. Exercise some willpower! Poke some holes in the top of the cake with a toothpick so that it soaks up the liquid. Slowly pour the syrup over the cake so it gets nice and wet, and stick it in the fridge. Next, put the heavy cream, the vanilla, and the sugar in a bowl and use an electric mixer to mix it until it gets thick enough that when you lift the beaters out of it they leave little peaks. If you keep beating it will turn into sweet butter, which is awesome for putting on bread, but not for tres leches. What you’ll get is a light whipped cream-like meringue for the top of your cake. Pull it out of the fridge and put the topping on. If you are feeling particularly festive, you can cut some pieces of strawberry, mango, pineapple, cherries, or oranges and put them on top of the cake. If you don’t think it’s delicious, then you are just plain wrong.

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