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Chef La La's Tres Leches Cake


This recipe for mouthwatering tres leches cake is courtesy of chef Laura Diaz Brown (Chef La La).

  • Servings: 16

Source: The Martha Stewart Show, Episode 3089c


  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened, plus more for pan
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 cups cake flour, (not self-rising)
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup 1 percent milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 7 ounces fat-free sweetened condensed milk
  • 6 ounces fat-free evaporated milk
  • 12 ounces light whipped topping
  • Fresh fruit such as kiwi, tangerine, and pineapple, for serving (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking dish and set aside.

  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. With the mixer running, add eggs, one at a time, beating well to incorporate after each addition. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. With the mixer on low, add flour mixture to mixer, alternating with milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture and beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Pour into prepared baking dish.

  3. Bake until cake is firm to the touch, 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes.

  4. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine condensed and evaporated milks. Poke holes all over the warm cake using a wooden skewer or toothpick. Slowly pour milk mixture evenly into holes. Let cake cool and allow it to absorb liquid, 10 to 15 minutes. Cover and refrigerate cake 1 hour.

  5. Remove cake from refrigerator and spread whipped topping over top of cake. Serve with fresh fruit if desired. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Reviews Add a comment

  • MS10738766
    7 JUL, 2009
    WHIPPED TOPPING??? cake is too good too not make real whipped cream
  • chachi69
    21 AUG, 2008
    Based on NatalieInTX's comments I DOUBLED the milk mixture and the cake was...not dry, but not soaked as this cake should be. The recipe makes a delicious cake but you've got to up the tres leches quantity. This recipe is unusual in that the third milk is IN the cake and not poured over it.
  • NatalieInTX
    20 JUL, 2008
    For a Tres Leches cake this IS on the dry side - Here in TX slices are served swimming in extra leche. This did make a very moist cake but I still poured more sweetend condensed milk on each slice before serving to make it like I'm used to. AND I added cinnamon to the batter and the whipped cream (I don't use the pre-made stuff) to make it more 'correct'.
  • kattywompus
    5 JUL, 2008
    This was incredible. So dense, so moist, so easy. Served it at a dinner party and had to email everyone the recipe the next day. Whoever commented that it was extremely dry did not make it correctly. It is a family favorite now.
  • lou2786
    12 MAY, 2008
    Gorgeous! A very moist, rich sponge cake. Made it for my fiances birthday last week and it became a quick favourite for him and his family! Will definitely make again.
  • robinlem
    5 MAY, 2008
    Very disappointed with this recipe. It was extremely dry! Definitely not the moist, creamy tres leches cake I've had before.
  • curlyhairday
    3 MAY, 2008
    Delicious! Made another Tres Leches recipe with disastrous results for the cake. This was easy and came together beautifully. I added one can of (well-stirred) unsweetened coconut milk to the milk mixture (had to do two 'pourings' to soak the cake). To answer one of the above questions: leave in the fridge until you're ready to serve. Thanks!
  • WECR84U
    31 MAR, 2008
    This was one of the best tasting cakes i have ever made. Thank you Chef LaLa :)
  • kelly004
    19 MAR, 2008
    I was making this cake for my son's birthday and my version of the recipe did not include the eggs. I counted how many Chef Lala added from the video ! Now I see that there is another recipe with 4 eggs listed ! Nice cake. I left the cake in the fridge till it was time to serve. Good Luck !
  • PrimmyCrafty
    14 MAR, 2008
    I'm making this for my son's birthday. Should I leave it in the refrigerator until it's time to serve, or should I take it out after the hour?