The Diary of a Displaced Housewife is now Life In Fuchsia…

'The Diary of the Displaced Housewife' is now 'Life in Fuschia'

Friday, May 14, 2010

R’s Best Ever Birthday Cake – Pastel de Tres Leches

When I saw the Milk BSI announcement on Sana's blog, I knew I had to send in this lovely cake! So I dug it out and reposted it just for this purpose. So Sanyukta… here's to you!

I made Pioneer Woman’s (Isn’t she the best!) Tres Leches Cake for my husband’s birthday last month and I have to say… this has to be one of the best things I’ve ever made. It tasted awesome and R loved it! I followed the recipe almost to a T, and it came out beautifully.

My first taste of the famed Latin dessert ‘Pastel de Tres Leches’ was at The Farmers Market in LA after our regular Sunday brunch. One day, as I was in Milk, I spied a Tres Leches cake on the counter staring me in the face. It clearly spoke to me and said, “Eat me”. Yes, I know I need help when I feel like food talks to me but that’s another story…

This almost reminds me of an Indian dessert called Rasamalai that’s also soaked in flavored milk.

The best part about this cake is how easy it is to make it.  So go ahead and try it, I guarantee a new favorite in your repertoire! So here’s the recipe and yes, it’s the same recipe as PW’s except for a few minor modifications.

PS: I know the pics aren't the greatest but please don't let that stop you from trying out the cake!

There it is! Waiting for the birthday man! 
Ok, so my icing skills aren't on display but I had 10 minutes to get it all done before R showed up! And yes, the candles are supposed to shaped like numbers... only I got confused and overshot my poor husband's age by a year! :P

Pastel de Tres Leches
What you need:

1 cup All-purpose Flour
1 ½ teaspoon Baking Powder
¼ teaspoons Salt
5 Eggs
1 cup Sugar, Divided
1 teaspoon Vanilla
cups Milk

Soaking Liquid: (These are the original measurements but I recommend doubling them)
1 can Evaporated Milk (Unsweetened condensed milk)
1 can Sweetened, Condensed Milk
¼ cup Heavy Cream

1 pint Heavy Cream, For Whipping
3 tablespoons Sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Getting down to business:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 13 inch pan. Keep aside.
Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl and keep aside. Separate eggs in another bowl.
Beat egg yolks with 3/4 cup of sugar on high speed until yolks are pale yellow. Stir in the milk and vanilla. Pour the egg yolk mixture over the flour mixture and stir very gently until just combined. Do not over mix the batter.
Beat the egg whites on high speed until soft peaks form. With the mixer on, pour in the remaining 1/4 cup sugar and beat until the egg whites are stiff but not dry.
Fold the egg white mixture into the batter very gently until just combined. Pour into the prepared pan. Ensure the surface is even.
Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let the cake remain in the pan for a few minutes. Then turn the cake out onto a rimmed platter and allow to it cool before icing.

Soaking Liquid:
Combine the condensed milk, evaporated milk, and heavy cream in a bowl. Reserve one cup of this liquid separately. When cake has cooled, pierce the surface with a fork several times. Slowly drizzle the soaking liquid evenly all over the cake (except for the one cup you’ve reserved separately).
Try to get as much around the edges of the cake as you can.
Allow the cake to absorb the milk mixture for at least an hour.

Pour in the heavy cream along with the sugar and vanilla until it forms whipped cream. Spread over the surface of the cake, using a flat spatula.
(I iced the cake using a pastry bag. If you do choose to ice your cake rather than spreading the icing on the cake, ensure you keep the whipped cream cool by placing the bowl on ice. )

I’ve seen this cake topped with everything from vanilla beans to nothing! I chose to dust on some cocoa powder very lightly as to keep the cake ‘masculine’ as possible! I do like PW’s idea of topping the cake with cherries… the contrast is very pretty.

To Serve:
Serve each piece of the cake with a little extra of the soaking liquid.

I doubled the recipe for the soaking liquid to have some extra on hand to pour around the cake when I serve it.  This turned out to be a good thing as the cake absorbed all the liquid I had poured on it earlier.

Modified from Pioneer Woman’s Tres Leches Cake.


  1. The cake really the best gift for ur hus birthday..sure it will be delicious cake because it has the best ingredient that's LOVE..
    Looks really delicious yarr..Our birthday wishes to ur hus..Enjoy

  2. That looks like a delicious cake. I am sure your hubby must have loved it. A very Happy Birthday to him.

  3. The cake looks so beautiful!
    Happy Birthday to your hubby!

  4. Wow, Beautiful. I am yet to try anything of Pioneer Woman's :)

  5. @ Prani- Thanks yaar! He really appreciated the cake :) Thanks for dropping by! Btw your shrimp biryani looks amazing!

    @ Biren - Hey Biren! I hope you get to try out the cake!

    @ Angie - Thanks Angie! I'll pass on your wishes to him! Thanks for stopping by :)

    @ Priya - Hey Priya! I hope this cake will be the first thing you try out from Pioneer Woman! :)

    Thank you all for the wishes! You made my husband's day!

  6. I love the way you arranged the candles in the shape of numbers, so cute! Sadly I have never had the chance to try this cake yet (clearly I am deprived), so I will have to give this a go!

  7. What a wonderful cake looks delicious.My 1st visit here.You have anice space do drop by simplyfood sometime.Following your blog.

  8. wow..bful cake...happy bday to ur happy..lovely pics..
    first time here...u have a lovely space...just started blogging..and love to add u in my list..
    ur comments/suggestions r highly appreciated..happy blogging...following u>>>>>>


  9. I've heard so much about this cake and yours looks wonderful! I am so tempted to try making this now!

  10. Hi Denise! You must try this cake out! There a lot of complicated recipes out there but this one really broke it down and made it so easy!

  11. I'm told men are a lot less concerned with age. Plus, this cake looks so awesome that I'm betting most women wouldn't even mind that you overshot the age by a year :)

  12. @ Lawyer Loves Lunch - Lol! I agree... age doesn't seem to be quite the tragedy for my husband the way I can make it out to be at times! This is a great cake, a nice alternative from the standard flan most of us are used to at Mexican restaurants.

  13. Glad to hear you made the PW's version! I have it saved on my computer! Thanks for the glowing recommendation. My mom made one for Easter, and it was a HIT! :)

  14. The Cake looks so beautiful :) Birthday wishes to yours.

    Thanks for your sweet comment :)

  15. Happy birthday to your husband. This cake looks great!

  16. Very beautiful cake. Bookmarked it. Thanks for sharing.

  17. that looks so delicious! i'll have to try it. i had tres leches cake with dulce de leche ice cream at a restaurant last week, it was so good!

  18. @ Linsday - Hey Lindsay with an A! Have you tried out any other recipes from PW? Thanks for dropping by!

    @ Rachana - Hi Rachana! It was all my pleasure! :)

    @ Rick - Thank you! My husband is so thrilled that he's the star of this show! :D

    @ Ammu - Hi there! I hope you get to try it out! Do let me know how it turns out!

    @ The twins - I heart anything with dulce de leche but the ice cream is the best! So caramelly and rich!

  19. beautiful cake! just gorgeous :) your husband is lucky :))

  20. What a fabulous cake! Gorgeous!

  21. Tres Leches is a cake that is hard to resist! Your version sounds great and next time I plan it I will use your recipe.

  22. your cake looks great!! I have been reading so much about Tres leches cake, you make we want to make one!

  23. Happy belated birthday to your husband!!!! I have never heard of this cake, but the recipe and your photos make me want to make it AND woof it down! Also, I like the way you arranged the candles...some might find it cheesy, but it is something I would totally do!

  24. This cake has been on my to do list for a year. I am going to get moving and make one. Yours looks wonderful. What a great birthday cake!

  25. @ Shree - Thank you! I keep telling my husband the same thing! :P

    @ 5 Star Foodie - Thanks for dropping by! :)

    @ Taste of Beirut - Thank you so much! Do let me know if you have any questions regarding the recipe! I would be glad to help :)

    @ Chef Dennis - Heya Chef! I hope you get to try out the cake.. how can anything with condensed milk not be good! :D

    @ Patty - Thank you for the wishes! I know it's super cheesy about the candles et al but I couldn't resist! Hehe!

    @ Kristen - Hey Kristen! Thanks for dropping in! :) I wish my pictures were better because it was truly a great cake that everyone really enjoyed! Hope you get to try it out!

  26. ooo wow.. this is a wonderful cake... also love the icing and candle patterns over the cake....
    m following u......