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Tropical Tres Leches Cake Recipe

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This Tropical Tres Leches Cake is a delicious spin on a traditional recipe.

tres leches cake on plate with kiwi and strawberries on top and sides


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Tres Leches Cake, also known as “Milk Cake”, is probably one of my all time favorite cakes. My hubby introduced me to this sweet delight while we were dating. We were at a Mexican restaurant and he ordered it for desert. I tried it out and…I wasn’t impressed. Years went by and I never even considered trying another tres leches cake until hubby really wanted me to make one. So I scoured the internet and came across a recipe and fell in love. This is the only way I will ever make Tres Leches and no one will ever talk me out of it.

I added kiwis and strawberry because I love those two fruits combined. Hubby thinks of the tropics when it comes to Kiwi…hence the name.

Here is a photo of all the things you shall need (The white unlabelled container is sugahhhh)

ingredients for tres leches cake on a table

Here are the recipe deets:

First, preheat oven to 350 degreed Fahrenheit. Prepare a 9×13 pan by spraying it with cooking spray until it is fully covered and set aside.

Add 1 cup flour, 1 -1/2 tsp baking powder, and 1/4 tsp salt in a large mixing bowl and set aside.

flour in a steel bowl

Separate 5 large eggs,

separated eggs in different bowls

Place egg yolks in a mixing bowl and add 3/4 cup sugar and beat until eggs are pale yellow and double in volume. Add 1/3 cup milk and 1 tsp vanilla and stir until combined.  Add to the flour mixture until combined.

Unless you are fancy and have more than one mixer bowl, rinse mixer bowl out and dry. Add egg whites to bowl and switch to the whisk paddle. Beat eggs on high until soft peaks form. Once that occurs, add 1/4 cup sugar into the mixer while it’s still mixing. Beat until egg whites are stiff.

I find it so fascinating how egg whites can turn into magic fluff like this. I am always tempted to eat it until I realize it’s raw egg…oops.

Next, add the egg whites to the flour/egg yolk mixture and gently stir until combined. Add to your 9×13 dish, spread evenly, and place in your preheated oven.

tres leches with frosting

Bake for about 35 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean. Turn cake into rimmed platter or one of those cake carrying plates that is rimmed.

baked tres leches being picked up by hand

I took this photo of the cake so you could see the thickness of the cake. Sometimes my cake is a bit fluffier, sometimes not so much. Either way it’s still delicious…ok, on to the next steps…we are almost done

Let cake cool completely. Once cake has cooled, poke it all over with a fork.

fork poking cake

Place 1 can of condensed milk, 1 can of evaporated milk, and 1/4 cup of a pint of heavy whipping cream in a cup. Stir to combine. Pour this milk mixture all over the cake slowly, making sure to get some on the edges of the cake as well. Don’t worry about it looking like a hot wet mess…this cake will drink the milk.

Place the rest of the whipping cream in the fridge to keep it cold. Wash mixing bowl and dry it. Place it in freezer if it can fit.

Leave the cake alone for 30 minutes while it drinks the milk. I went and took a shower while this happened and here’s what I came back to…

cake with holes in it

ok, we are almost done. Next, add the rest of that pint of very cold whipping cream in your mixing bowl (I hope you washed it out) along with 2-1/2 tsp sugar. I actually popped my mixing bowl in the freezer while my cake was baking so the cream could stay cold. I remember reading somewhere that this was the thing to do so it’s the only way I whip my cream. Whip that cream until it’s stiff and easy to spread. Spread over your cake until it’s all covered.

Next, chop enough strawberries to equal 1 cup and peel and chop 2 kiwis. Combine in a bowl with 1 tsp sugar.

strawberries and kiwi in bowl

Spread over cake. Serve and enjoy 🙂 Store this cake in the fridge…if there is any left…the longer the milk soaks in, the better.

sliced tres leches cake on white plate with fork next to it
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Tropical Tres Leches Cake

Author Tanya


  • For the Cake
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 5 whole eggs separated
  • 1 cup white granulated sugar divided
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 can evaporated milk 12 oz
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk 14 oz
  • 1/4 cup of a pint of whipping cream
  • For the Icing
  • Remainder of the pint of whipping cream
  • 2-1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • For the Tropical fruit topping
  • 1 cup chopped strawberries
  • 2 kiwis chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sugar


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 9×13 inch pan by spraying with cooking spray until fully coated. Set aside.
  • Combine all purpose flour, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
  • Place egg yolks in a mixing bowl with 3/4 cup white sugar. Beat until pale yellow and double in size. Add milk and vanilla and stir until incorporated. Add to the flour mixture and stir gently until combined. Set aside.
  • Beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Add 1/4 cup sugar and beat until stiff. Add to the flour/egg yolk mixture and stir until combined.
  • Place in 9×13 pan and bake for 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  • Place cake on rimmed platter or cake pan with rim and allow to cool completely. Pork cake with fork all over. Combine condensed milk, evaporated milk, and 1/4 cup of whipping cream. Place whipping cream back in fridge to keep cold. Slowly pour milk mixture over cake until all is poured out, taking care to ensure that the sides of cake are covered as well.
  • Leave cake alone for 30 minutes to allow milk to soak in.
  • Prepare the icing: Add the rest of the whipping cream and sugar to the mixing bowl and whip until stiff and spreadable. Spread over cake.
  • Make tropical fruit topping: Combine strawberries, kiwi, and sugar in a bowl. Add to top of cake. Enjoy 🙂
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Although attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Under no circumstances will be responsible for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information.

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*Note – if you leave this cake in the fridge overnight it will knock your socks off the next day. True story.

Adapted from The Pioneer Woman

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Recipe Rating

Rachelle @ Beer Girl Cooks

Friday 13th of May 2016

That is one delicious looking cake! I love the strawberry kiwi combo!


Friday 13th of May 2016

Thank you Rachelle! I am excited to experiment with other fruit combos too.

The Culinary Jumble

Friday 6th of May 2016

Oh yummy! :)


Thursday 5th of May 2016

Looks amazing! Tres leches is a family favorite!!!


Thursday 5th of May 2016

Thank you. It's a favorite of ours as well. It's always all gone by day 2.


Thursday 5th of May 2016

Looks amazing and simple. Definitely a nice change to a traditional tres leches!


Thursday 5th of May 2016

Thank you! Any reminder of the tropics is always a good thing :)


Thursday 5th of May 2016

I've never heard of this but it sounds and looks yummy (minus the berries :))! The cake all by itself before icing and toppings is so pretty, I could probably eat that part all by itself!


Thursday 5th of May 2016

Thanks! It's delicious with or without the berries but with that milk soaked in....omg so good