Tres Leches or “three milks” cake is a light, yet rich sponge cake soaked in three kinds of milks – evaporated milk, condensed milk and heavy cream. These Tres Leches Cupcakes are topped with a dollop of whipped cream and fresh mango slice. They’re the perfect Spanish treat!
Last Friday I’m went to a Mexican themed potluck & bible study. Unfortunately, I’m wasn’t going to make it to the dinner portion of the evening, but I would be there for dessert! So I wanted my contribution to the potluck to be something that I could be there to enjoy as well. Doing a little research about Mexican desserts, I found a lot of churro and fried ice cream recipes, but not many cakes. Except one cake… the tres leches cake. This light and airy cake is soaked with a rich mixture of milks that make it so incredibly delicious.
After soaking the cupcakes with the milk sauce, I decided to keep it pretty traditional and top it with a light whipped cream frosting flavored with a bit of rum and sugar soaked mango slices for a little big of color and sweetness.
The first round I used the Pioneer Woman’s recipe that required separating the eggs, used a lot less flour and no butter. This round didn’t turn out very well. They baked very quickly… at 15 minutes they were already over baked and they had a very eggy taste. Which, I’m sure would have been covered up with the tres leches, but I wasn’t convinced that this light and airy cake could hold up to the milk I needed to pour over it.
So, I went in search of a recipe that called for butter and a bit more flour. I settled on the recipe from the Food Network. I don’t typically use recipes from FN, but this one seemed to be a bit more stable and I was now in a time crunch. Less than 5 hours to the potluck and I had no cupcakes. These cupcakes are not only beautiful, but the taste absolutely amazing. The creamy milk soaks right into the cake without making it soggy or overpowering in flavor. I am so glad I had the opportunity to make these cupcakes!
If you’re in the need for more Mexican themed desserts… you might want to check out my Mexican Hot Chocolate Cupcakes. They’re from my earlier days of blogging, so the pictures aren’t as pretty… but they cupcakes don’t disappoint! So if you’re in need of a not only delicious cake, but a treat for your next Mexican themed potluck… I’d definitely make these cupcakes!
You could easily convert these Tres Leches Cupcakes into a cake as well. Just bake in a 9×13 pan and after you remove it from the pan, drench it in the milk mixture and cover in whipped cream. When you cut the cake into squares, top each one with a slice of mango! Delish!
Tres Leches Cupcakes
- 2 1/2 cups cake flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 1/4 cup milk
- 6oz Evaporated Milk
- 3.5oz Sweetened Condensed Milk
- 3oz Heavy Cream
- 2 cups heavy cream
- up to 1/4 cup sugar (depending on how sweet you like your cream)
- 1 Tbsp rum (or any other flavoring)
- 1 ripe mango, sliced
Tres Leches Cupcakes
- Preheat oven to 350 F degrees and line cupcake pans with liners.
- In a bowl, sift together the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together until smooth.
- Add the eggs one at a time and beat well after each addition. Mix in the vanilla.
- With the mixer on low speed, add the flour and milk alternating, beginning and ending with the flour. Mix only until just combined.
- Remove the bowl and scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula and fold 5-6 times to make sure batter is smooth and no more lumps remain. DO NOT OVER MIX the batter.
- Fill liners 2/3 full with batter and bake for 18-20 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.
- Cool in pan for 3 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
Whipped Cream Topping
- In a clean bowl with the whisk attachment on your stand mixer, whip the heavy cream until frothy on high speed. Once frothy, add the sugar & rum slowly while still whipping.
- Continue whipping until stiff peaks have formed.
- Peel and thinly slice the mango until you have enough slices to top each cupcake. Only use the firmest, ripest part of the mango.
- Poke 10-12 holes into the cupcake making sure not to cut through the paper on the bottom.
- Pour 2-3 Tbsp of the tres leches over each cupcake slowly, allowing it to soak into the cake.
- Top each soaked cupcake with a dollop of whipped cream.
- Garnish with a light dusting of cinnamon and a mango slice.