Tres Leches Cake
Updated: Jun 10
Ultra moist and decadent. The best cake you'll ever have
Growing up my mom would make this amazing tres leches cake. She has always had a knack for creating the most amazing food and this was no different. I don't know if anyone ever taught her how to make it, I'd assume the answer is no, as she was cooking and baking for her whole family by the time she was 8 years old. After immigrating to the states at a young age, both her parents were trying to make ends meet and working hard to contribute to society. My mom became the homemaker, the babysitter. Essentially she became the little mommy. It's funny how sometimes we can be pushed into roles, and how those roles can define and/or refine us. I'd say my mom is very refined. She thrives in the kitchen and always has these brilliant ideas flowing from her wooden spoon as she whips up a feast for her family and friends.
This cake holds a lot of great memories and while I hate to mess with a classic, I just wanted to put my own personal touch on it, hence the strawberry buttercream and a few other tweaks.
"Baking comes from the heart. It is your greatest experiences coming to life." - Anonymous
Do you have family recipes that just bring back all the nostalgic feelings? I'm guessing you do. Food does that to you. There are certain dishes we ALL agree that have to be eaten at Christmas or Thanksgiving. Likewise, I have a few of mom's classics that when I make them I just feel like a little kid all over again, sitting at my family's dining table and all is right in the world, even for just a moment. Let me know what food brings back your best memories in the comments. And lets get to this recipe, shall we?
Tres Leches Cup Cakes:
1 box cake mix
3/4 c butter milk
2/3 c sour cream
1/3 c veg. oil
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 almond extract
Milk Soak Mixture:
1 c heavy cream
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 can evaporated milk or cocoanut milk
Strawberry Butter Cream:
6 TBSP room temp butter
1 c powdered sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1 TBPS strawberry preserves
1 TBSP heavy cream
For the cake:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Add cake mix to a large bowl. Make a well in the center and add in the eggs. In a separate bowl or large liquid measuring cup add all other wet ingredients and mix well. Stir into the cake mix, making sure not to over stir. Scoop batter out into a lined muffin tin filling to about 3/4th the way. I did 6 large cupcakes and 3 traditional size. the 6 large cup cakes bake for 20 minutes and the smaller ones for 15 or until tops are lightly brown and center is baked through.
allow cup cakes to cool completely. While they cool, make the milk soak by simply stirring together all three ingredients in a bowl till well combined. After cupcakes are cooled, poke holes all over the top using a metal or wooden skewer. take one cupcake at a time and dredge with milk soak. I did this by placing cupcake over the bowl of milk and ladling about 1/4 c of milk soak. You want these to be really moist. The cake will soak up most of the milk. So even if it looks messy don't worry, it should be.
Let cakes sit for a second while you make the butter cream
In a small bowl, cream the butter till smooth, add in powdered sugar 1/4 c at a time till the full cup is added. Then mix in 1 TBSP preserves, heavy cream and salt. Mix again till combined. Spoon into a piping bag or simply frost the tops of your cup cakes. dollop with a little more preserve and some strawberry slices and enjoy.
This cake is meant to be really wet. That is what makes a tres leches cake so delicious.