What would I choose for my birthday cake? Tres Leches is my absolute favorite cake and perfect for a special summer day. Tres leches cake, or Pastel de Tres leches (Spanish, “Three milk cake”), is a sponge cake,—in some recipes, a butter cake—soaked in three kinds of milk: evaporated milk, condensed milk, and heavy cream. Its everything I could want in a cake. My favorite part of eating cake is the bites that are soaked in ice cream, and this cake is the perfectly moist cake. And to top it all off, the icing is a fresh whipped cream which I added limoncello liqueur to for a fresh light citrus finish. I first had this cake in Costa Rica during a wedding celebration and then found a good recipe from my friend Lucia. My mother in law, who lives in Brazil, also loves this cake. Apparently, we both made ourselves this cake for our birthdays this year- too bad we don’t live closer or we could have made it together. My birthday was really just an excuse to make this delicious cake. I hope you’ll try it!
Tres Leches with Limoncello Cream
*double the cake ingredients for a layered round cake
1-½ cups All-purpose flour
1 teaspoon Baking powder
½ cup Unsalted butter
2 cups White sugar (divided)
1-½ teaspoon Vanilla extract (divided)
1 cup Milk
½ of a 14-ounce can Sweetened condensed milk
½ of a 12-ounce can Evaporated milk
1/4 cup Liqueur, Limoncello, Frangelico, Brandy, or Chambord,
1-½ cups Heavy (whipping) cream
Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Grease and flour a 9×13-inch baking pa or 2 round cake pans for a layered cake. (For a round layered cake, double the ingredients from flour to eggs. ) Sift flour and baking powder together and set aside. Cream the butter and half of the sugar together until fluffy. Add the eggs and 1/2 teaspoon of the vanilla. Beat well. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, 2 tablespoons at a time, mixing well until blended. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 30 minutes.
When cake has finished baking, pierce it in 8 or 10 places with a fork and let it cool. Combine the whole milk, evaporated milk, condensed milk and pour over the top of the cooled cake. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.
Whipped Cream Topping: When ready to serve, combine the whipping cream and the remaining 1 teaspoon of vanilla and 1 cup of sugar, whipping until thick. Gently fold liquor into whipped cream and spread over top of cake. Top with fresh fruit.