Tres Leches Cake with Rum-Fruit Topping

Like a genoise, this cake gets its spongy texture from eggs that are whisked until thick and voluminous.

  • Servings: 10

Source: Martha Stewart Living, June 2009


For the Cake

  • 4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for baking dish
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 7 large eggs, separated
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk

For the Rum-Fruit Topping

  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons dark rum
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 cups sliced or diced fresh fruit, such as mangoes and strawberries
  • Whipped cream, for serving


  1. Make the cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-by-13-inch glass or ceramic baking dish.

  2. Heat butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, swirling occasionally, until butter browns, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in vanilla.

  3. Whisk egg whites, baking soda, and salt with a mixer on medium-high speed until soft peaks form, 2 to 3 minutes. Add yolks, and whisk until combined. Reduce speed to medium. Add sugar in a slow, steady stream, and mix until combined. Using a rubber spatula, quickly and gently fold butter mixture into egg mixture.

  4. Combine flour and cinnamon in a small bowl. Sift 1/3 cup flour-cinnamon mixture over egg mixture, and gently fold to combine. Working quickly, sift remaining flour-cinnamon mixture over egg mixture in 2 additions, and gently fold to combine. Pour batter into prepared dish, and bake until golden and a tester inserted into center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes.

  5. Meanwhile, whisk together the 3 milks in a medium bowl. Pour over cake as soon as it comes out of the oven. Transfer cake in dish to a wire rack to cool completely. Cover, and refrigerate overnight.

  6. Make the rum-fruit topping: Bring rum, sugar, and water to a boil in a small saucepan, and cook until sugar dissolves, 1 to 2 minutes. Let cool for 30 minutes. Toss syrup with fruit. Serve cake with rum-fruit mixture and whipped cream.

Cook's Notes

To keep the airy batter from deflating, work gently but quickly as you fold in the browned butter and dry ingredients.


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