Central America/ Dessert/ Nicaragua/ Recipes

Nicaraguan Tres Leches Cake


This “Three Milks” cake is tender with a sweet and creamy frosting.

Tres Leches Cake from Nicaragua

Food historians all around have argued about the origin of Tres Leches Cake. Is it from Mexico or from Nicaragua?

Where ever this cake originally came from, Nicaragua has put it’s version on the map.

What is Tres Leches Cake?

Tres Leche Cake from Nicaragua

Quite literally, Tres Leches Cake means: Three Milk Cake. And this cake doesn’t disappoint: a soaking of evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, and milk make this cake delectable and surprisingly light.

There’s a few things that make a Tres Leches cake different from a normal butter cake:

  • The mixing of the batter
  • The soaking of the cake
  • The frosting

How To Make A Traditional Tres Leches Cake

Traditional tres Leche Cake

As you can see in the picture, a Tres Leches cake is very airy and light and the batter contains tons and tons of bubbles. And the best way to get this texture is actually with one ingredient: egg whites!

Whipping the egg whites with sugar until light and stiff gives this cake the rise it needs to soak up all of the milk.

The next thing that makes this Tres Leches cake special is a 3-milk mixture which is soaked into the cake. The best way to ensure all the mixture gets soaked in is pouring the mixture over a warm cake which has been poked with a toothpick. You can sorta see the place where a toothpick was added in the picture above.

Finally, the last thing that makes a Tres Leches cake spectacular is the frosting. Since the cake is pretty sweet in itself, traditionally cakes are decorated with freshly whipped cream.

Love this Latin American Favorite?

Try eating it with Mexican Aqua Fresca.

Latin American Tres Leche Cake

Tres Leches Cake
Nicaraguan Tres Leches Cake
Prep Time
25 mins
Cook Time
35 mins
Total Time
1 hr

This Nicaraguan Tres Leches Cake is a tender sponge cake topped with a flavorful milk soak.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Latin American
Servings: 10
Author: Lyndsay Burginger
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4 eggs separated
  • 1 cup sugar divided
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 (12) oz can evaporated milk
  • 1 (14) oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/4 cup milk
For Topping:
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 3 Tbsp powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  1. Preheat your oven to 350F and spray a 13x9-inch pan with cooking spray. Set aside.

  2. In a medium bowl mix together flour, baking powder, and salt. Add milk, egg yolks, and vanilla and stir. Set aside.

  3. In a large bowl whip together egg whites and sugar in an electric mixer until stiff, about 3-4 minutes. Fold into egg yolk mixture lightly. Pour batter into the prepared pan and smooth. Bake until a toothpick inserted comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Let cool. Poke the top of the cake with a toothpick or a fork.

  4. In a small bowl combine together evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, and milk. Pour over cake and chill one hour in fridge.

For The Topping
  1. In a large bowl of an electric mixer, beat heavy whipping cream, vanilla, and powdered sugar until stiff. Spread over cake. Serve.


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