Tres Leches – three milk cake


We all have dreams. Big, small and medium-sized ones.

And sometimes you just open your eyes in the middle of the night and see all of them come true.

In my case, that night my husband was there with a lens that costs more than my camera, a friend with the standing mixer I have been dreaming on forever and another friend with that bread baking book you have been reverently worshiping for a really long time.

And their families and kids were there…and there was a cake with candles lit and everyone was singing “Happy Birthday”.

So you see….you just need to turn a year older for a lot of your dreams to come true!!


To be very honest, it took me a minute to understand that they were singing to me…because instinctively, I tried waking up my son to wish him a happy birthday! Nobody caught me at that though, luckily :D.

It came out as an absolute surprise to me because celebrations of this kind was left behind over a decade back, when the bachelorhood days were over.

At that point of time, midnight cake cutting was part of our lives. Even now when I look back, I remember the fun we used to have. We used to think and plan so much about the gifts and the cake and the surprise and everything.

Oddly enough, I don’t remember any of the gifts I got for my birthdays then. Or the ones I gave to my friends on theirs. But I do remember that we made sure that the day was a very special one.

This year, one of my room mates was travelling from Boston to NJ. But she planned her trip as close as to my birthday as possible. She took me out for lunch where we took pictures and sent out to the rest of the group to make them jealous :D. They are all green right now, I tell you! (And I am going to pretend that they didn’t ask me why I was filling the whole frame :D)


Anyway, what I am trying to say is.. 10 or 15 years down the line, expensive and thoughtful as it is, I may not remember the gifts I got this year.

But I will never forget that it was an extremely cold and windy night. I will never forget that they had kids, some as young as 18 months of age. I will never forget that some of them stay over an hour’s drive from us.

And I will never forget that it was the middle of the week where in we all had to get back to the daily grind of going to work and school the very next day after staying up way past midnight.

And yet our friends came… just to wish me, just to make my day special. I will never forget that.

It’s easy to forget our blessings in the rush of everyday life. But I truly feel blessed. Indeed I do!

‘Happy birthday to me!’


Recipe source: The pioneer woman


  • 1 cup flour
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • one pinch salt
  • 1 cup sugar, divided
  • 5 eggs, separated
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup milk

Soaking syrup:

  • 1 can Evaporated Milk
  • 1 can Sweetened, Condensed Milk
  • 1/4 cup Heavy Cream


  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup sugar


  1. Preheat the oven to 350F/180C. Grease two 9″ pans or a 9X13″ rectangle pan.
  2. Separate the eggs.
  3. Whisk the dry ingredients – flour, baking powder and salt – in a bowl and keep aside.
  4. Using a hand mixer, beat the egg yolks and half of the sugar until it turns pale. Add the milk and vanilla extract. Beat until its incorporated.
  5. Add this egg-yolk mix into the dry ingredients and gently combine with a spatula until you don’t see any streaks of flour.
  6. In a clean grease free bowl (and with a clean grease free whisk), beat the egg whites until they are bubbly.
  7. Add the rest of the sugar and continue beating until soft peaks form.
  8. Fold this mix into the flour batter and gently mix using a spatula until its all combined.
  9. Pour into the prepared pans and bake for 35- 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out free of crumbs.
  10. Once the cake is done, let it cool and the flip it over to a plate. I poured the syrup onto the pan itself, so didn’t take the cake out of the pan.

To prepare the soaking syrup:

  1. In a bowl, mix the three kinds of milk – a can of condensed milk, evaporated milk and heavy.
  2. The taste is essentially diluted condensed milk’s, so if you don’t have evaporated milk, replace it with cream/whole milk.
  3. Pour this syrup gently onto the cake, ensuring that the sides are covered as well. Let the cake absorb the syrup. I divided this between two 9″ cakes.
  4. Decorate the cake with whipped cream and the top with cut fruits. I didn’t have any, so opted for chocolate pieces and sprinkles.

Note: You will have syrup coming out of the cake pieces. That’s how this cake is supposed to be.


This post is part of Blogging marathon. The whole of this month we will be posting baked goodies as part of this group blogging. You can check out the link  below for more details.


26 thoughts on “Tres Leches – three milk cake

  1. Wow Rajani I remember how much I enjoyed reading your intros. I missed it. Don’t you dare go underground now…
    This cake I have been wanting to mak efor ages but evaporated milk always beats me . Love the cake but.


  2. Lovely post Rajani — belated birthday wishes to you.
    Tres Leche cake is one of my favorite, but don’t get to make it often because of my dairy-phobic husband :-(


  3. Belated b’day wishes Rajani..The post had such sweet memories!So nostalgic!! And its really nice to be woken in the middle of the night and be presented with such lovely gifts! As Vaishali mentioned, the cake did take a backseat after reading your lovely post…


  4. wow ! a warm fuzzy feeling overcomes us in those moments.. wishing you many more dreams and many more such surprises :-))

    as for the cake, my husband would give an arm, a leg and anything for me to bake him that.. although he knows the (half) truth !! decadent !


  5. A very happy birthday!!!! and wonderful gifts I say that too at the right time!!!! beautiful cake. Expecting more such recipes now that you have a standing mixer and book full of baking recipes.


  6. Ahh, sweet!! Memories and moments are what life is made of!! Lovely and blessed you are to have friends like that !!! Cake looks absolutely stunning and love your cute stand mixer!! Beautiful and gorgeous red!!!


  7. I know it must have been so so wonderful to see your friends at the midnight hour! I know two of those gifts are being put to good use. Open that book now! Btw I’ve never tasted a tres leche cake before and your pictures look amazing. But must say that your son in the birthday bag was my favourite of the lot!


  8. Aww! Such a sweet story. It is truly the thought that counts and stays with us for a long time. Belated happy birthday to you.


  9. A verY very Happy belated birthday Rajani…and it sure feels great when you have such thoughtful friends, who have a good mind to choose a perfect gift along with wishing a real sweet lady. Btw you birthday talk overpowered the cake, I was so engrossed reading, I didn’t pay much attention to the cake:)) though it is captured very well and yes you deserve those wishes and gifts!


  10. That was very nice of your friends to come so far to just surprise you on a weekday. Birthday wishes to you and am drooling over the cake. This is one of my favorite cakes but can never get myself to make it at home considering the calories that go into it. That does not stop me from eating it out though.


  11. Tres Leches is in my to-do list for quite sometime..Your post and the beautiful pic kindles me to try for this BM itself. See, thats the good thing of having just a handful of posts ready! I can try some of friends’ bakes too. Happy birthday Rajani.


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