This is probably the second time I’ve made a Tres Leches Cake. The first Tres Leches cake I made was when I was still in my teens. After that, for some reason, I never made it again until last weekend. Such a shame, as this is one of the most delicious, moistest, one of the easiest and probably the milkiest cake you’ll ever have! Before, I had baked this in a rectangular pan, topped it with whipped frosting and sifted cinnamon. It had turned out awesome and delicious! One of my most successful cakes I had made back then, despite it’s plain appearance. Recently, I acquired a medium-sized bundt cake pan that looked like new from a thrift store. I was itching to use it, but I just couldn’t think of what cake should I make that would entice my family. And then my brother came to me and asked if I could bake a Tres Leches cake for him. He told me one of his co-workers made one for everybody and he totally loved it. Hence the idea of baking a Tres Leches in a bundt cake!
Sponge Cake (Recipe loosely adapted from Gretchen’s Bakery)
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups flour, sifted
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Brush the bundt pan with melted butter, brushing upwards. This helps the cake batter to rise higher much better.
For additional assurance that the cake won’t stick to the bundt cake pan, flour the pan as well. Make sure to go through all the curves of the bundt pan. You might have to sue your hands or the brush. Remove excess flour.
In a heatproof bowl, whisk together eggs and sugar. Place on top of a saucepan with simmering water, or a double boiler.
Continue whisking until sugar has dissolved and when touched, it no longer feels gritty.It shouldn’t feel too warm on the touch.
The goal here is not to cook the eggs, but merely to warm it and dissolve the sugar. Warming the eggs before thoroughly whisking it helps to increase the volume of the eggs, as opposed to not warming it. The other technique is to separate egg yolks from the whites. Whisk the yolks with sugar. Then whipped the egg whites separately in another bowl.
Once the sugar has dissolved, remove from the heat and using a handheld or stand mixer, whip the eggs in high until it reaches the ribbon stage (volume has multiplied, lighter in color (almost white) and fluffy), about 7 minutes or so.
See how it holds it ribbon shape when you lift a spoonful of batter? That’s the consistency you want.
Sift flour, baking powder, salt and vanilla extract. You want this to be light as much as possible.
Sift the dry ingredients once more, but this time, directly to the whipped eggs. The batter will thicken, but it will become lighter once the milk and butter mixture are added.
In a container, place 1/2 cup butter and 1 cup milk and warm it in the microwave until butter has melted. Mix.
Grab a spoonful of the batter, and stir into the butter and milk mixture. This is a tempering process so as to prevent any curdling or scrambling of the eggs when the warm butter mixture is poured into the batter.
Then, very slowly pour the milk mixture into the cake batter.
Gently fold until well incorporated.
Pour the batter into the greased bundt pan. Bake for about 45 minutes or so, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Let the baked cakes warm for a few minutes before placing them onto the plate.
In the meantime, it’s time to make the tres leches mixture.
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup condensed milk
- 2 cups evaporated milk
The ratio for these 3 milks can be changed depending upon your preference. If you want it much sweeter, you can increase the amount of condensed milk.
Stir all the above ingredients together.
Flip the cakes onto a plate, then using a toothpick or a barbeque skewer, poke holes all throughout the cake. The more holes, the better, so don’t hold back.
This is completely optional, but I poked holes both in top and bottom of the cakes, by flipping the cake over again. I just think that helps the cake to absorb more of the milk mixture.
Pour the milk mixture right onto the cakes. Just go for it. It is a sponge cake for a reason. It will absorb all the milk delicious goodness right before your eyes.
Not sure if it’s quite visible in the picture, but there are still some milk mixture that are not yet absorbed by the sponge cake. Let it rest for 30 minutes to an hour, and the remaining milk mixture will disappear and be one with the sponge cake. You can place the cake on the fridge while waiting for the milk to be absorbed.
If you have any milk mixture left, spoon it over the bundt cake. I set aside about 2-4 tablespoons of milk mixture and poured that right onto the center of the bundt cake. Instead of using a glaze, I think it looks much better with milk mixture as it also tells what type of cake it is. Not to mention, the cake is already sweet as it is from the milk mixture. Adding a glaze or even a frosting would be too much. If frosting is wanted, go for whipped cream frosting. It would complement with all the milk flavors of the cake, then topped it off with some sprinkle of cinnamon. Yum!
I like this cake as I find it foolproof in some ways. This is the type of cake that no matter how many days it’s been sitting in the fridge, it would still be moist and delicious. Not to mention that even if you overbaked it which resulted to being dry, the tres leches will solve that problem for you. While it might look plain when baked in a rectangular pan without frosting or adding any frills, it certainly looks good when baked in a bundt cake pan.