I should preface this post by telling you that this is not at all an authentic tres leches cake. And technically it's a cuatro leches cake, but still, we're calling it a tres leches bundt cake. I have named it as such due to the milk soak mixture and how it is served. But don't let its inauthenticity discourage you from making it, because it is YUM. My tres leches cake is dense, rich, moist, and is so good.
What is Tres Leches Cake?
An authentic tres leches (or "three milks") cake is a traditional Latin American dessert. It is a sponge cake typically made with little or no fat (no oil or butter), and is soaked in a combination of milks - evaporated milk, whole milk, sweetened condensed and heavy cream. The cake acts as sponge to absorb the milk mixture. It's rich and sweet, spongy and light, moist but not soggy. It's delicious.
What is different about this tres leches bundt cake?
Instead of a light and airy sponge cake, I decided to use a bundt cake. Soaking this dense and fine crumbed bundt cake in a milk mixture allows the cake to absorb the milks, making it sweeter, richer and more moist and flavorful. Top this bundt with whipped cream and fresh strawberries, and it's like a strawberry shortcake cake.
How to make the cake
This is a pretty typical vanilla bundt cake batter. Butter and sugar are beaten until light and fluffy. Vanilla and eggs are added, followed by flour, baking powder and salt. The batter is thick and creamy. Make sure you adequately prepare you bundt cake pan, even if it is a non-stick pan. Spoon the batter into the bundt pan and use an offset spatula to even out the batter so that the cake bakes evenly.
Milk Soak Mixture
For my milk mixture, I used sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk. Just whisk the milks together and it's ready to go. This mixture will be poured over the warm cake and absorbed. Both the bottom and the top of the cake are pierced with a skewer and drizzled with the milks for optimal absorption and flavor. Chill the cake to allow it time to absorb the milks. Once chilled top the cake with whipped cream and fresh strawberries.
Before serving the cake, drizzle some of the remaining milk mixture that is on the plate over the slices. Don't skip this step. It's so, so good.
If you make my Tres Leches bundt cake, let me know! Drop a comment or tag me on Instagram. I love seeing your creations.
For more cake recipes, check out these posts:
Tres Leches Bundt Cake
The Bundt Cake:
- 1 cup (226g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 ⅔ cup (264g) granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup (227ml) whole milk, room temperature
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- 3 cups (360g) all purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 cup (226g) evaporated milk
- 1 can (397g) sweetened condensed milk
- 1 cup (227ml) heavy cream, cold
- 1-2 tablespoons confectioner's sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 lb fresh strawberries
- Preheat the oven to 350F and grease and flour the bundt cake pan. You can also use baking spray.
- In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk to combine and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the butter and sugar. Beat until light and fluffy, about 5-8 minutes, scraping the bowl occasionally.
- Add the vanilla extract. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping the bowl after each addition.
- With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients into the mixture in the three additions, alternating with the milk in two additions, beginning and ending with the flour. Mix until just combined.
- Scape the batter into the prepared baking pan. Bake for 40-55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with few crumbs.
- Cool the cake in the pan for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the soaking mixture.
- In a measuring cup, whisk together the sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk. If the mixture is too thick, add more evaporated milk.
- While the cake is still in the pan, pierce the cake all over with a thick skewer.
- Pour ⅓-1/2 cup of the milk mixture over the cake, a little bit at a time, allowing the cake to absorb the liquid before adding more. Let the cake stand for 15 minutes.
- Invert onto a cake plate (preferable with edges) and poke holes around the top of the cake. Drizzle with the remaining glaze. Cover and place in the fridge for a couple of hours or up to overnight.
- Before serving, make the whipped cream. Place the bowl of a stand mixer and the whip attachment into the freezer for 10 minutes.
- Pour the cream into the chilled bowl, and beat the cream, confectioner's sugar and vanilla on medium-high speed until medium peaks form, 3-5 minutes.
- Add the confectioner's sugar and beat until stiff peaks form, 30 seconds.
- Spoon the whipped cream onto the top of the cake. Place sliced fresh strawberries on top of the cake.
- Slice and serve. Drizzle any glaze sitting on the plate over the cake slices.