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August Cake Craze: Tres Leches meets Dulce de Leche

30.August 2010

Not quite a year ago, my sister got married – you may have heard about that.  The guy she married is a really lovely person and we’re awfully happy to have him in the family, so when Jamie asked whether I might bake a cake for his birthday this year, I said a resounding yes!

Thinking about what to bake, I took a few things under consideration.  First of all, it’s suddenly 95 degrees again.  Secondly, he’s big into all things to do with Spain, Spanish Language, etc.  While it’s not really from Spain as such, I figured a Tres Leches cake might be just the ticket.

But I’m never one to just leave it at that, am I?  I had been meaning to make another batch of dulce de leche for a while and thought “Wait!  One of the three leches is meant to be sweetened condensed leche and isn’t that really all that dulce de leche is?  Why couldn’t I … oh yes.”  And so the Dulce de las Tres Leches Cake was born.  And then I threw in some rum.  Anyway, you can imagine how delicious it was.


The batter for the cake was one of those annoying “make a meringue and then carefully fold it in to the batter” affairs, but don’t let that deter you!  The batter was beautiful, fluffy, and almost foamy with a very pretty buttery color.

It’s a very spongy, tasty cake and serves as a VERY good vehicle for those tres leches.  It did shrink disconcertingly much for my taste (like, quickly enough that you could watch it happening), but still tasted great.  It was very soggy after soaking overnight, so if you don’t love the soggier versions of this cake, you may want to not use the whole volume of leches, but I personally think it  was delightful.  Eat it with a spoon if you must.

With no further ado:

Dulce de las Tres Leches Cake for Eric’s Birthday

The Cake

  • 1 c flour
  • 1-½ t baking powder
  • ¼ t salt
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 c sugar
  • 2 t vanilla
  • ⅓ c milk

The Leches

The Topping

  • 1 pint Heavy Cream, For Whipping
  • 3 Tablespoons Sugar


  • a can or two of ready-made whipped cream
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Butter or spray (Baker’s Delight!) a 9 x 3 inch spring form pan.
  2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
  3. Separate eggs.
  4. Beat egg yolks with 3/4 cup sugar on high speed until pale yellow and fluffy.
  5. Stir in milk and vanilla.
  6. Add dry ingredients stir until combined.
  7. Beat egg whites on high speed until soft peaks form. Pour in remaining 1/4 cup sugar and beat until egg whites are stiff but not dry.
  8. Fold egg whites into the batter until just combined. (Careful now!)  Pour into prepared pan and spread to even out the surface.
  9. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean (mine took exactly 37 minutes).  Cool cake in pan.
  10. Meanwhile, combine dulce de leche, evaporated milk, whole milk and rum.
  11. When cake is cool, line the outside of the pan with foil or plastic wrap.
  12. Pierce the surface of the cake with a fork or skewer several times.
  13. Slowly drizzle the milk mixture over the cake, being sure to cover all the edges.  Here’s where you can hold back if you like, but I used the whole mixture.
  14. Allow the cake to soak up the milk mixture overnight.  Top the cake with whipped cream just before serving.
7 Comments leave one →
  1. 31.August 2010 10:23

    Cake and Eric in a single post? Awesome. Happy birthday, Eric!

  2. Jamie permalink
    31.August 2010 13:14

    The cake was as delicious as it looked!

  3. 1.September 2010 18:24

    Oh my gosh – delicious! My husband is a massive caramel fan and so need to bookmark this recipe to try for him one day. What a great idea!

    • Darby O'Shea permalink*
      1.September 2010 23:27

      It’s really, really delicious. If you want to punch up the caramel flavor, I’d recommend putting in a little less rum. It did overwhelm the delicate caramelliness (is that a word?) of the dulce de leche. But oh, it was delicious.

  4. 11.September 2010 23:19

    Dang, why have I never made this? So much lost time…


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