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Tres Leches Cake from the Wall Street Journal


light and creamy, moist and a bit boozy, tastes of celebration and happy times

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  • For the whipped cream:
  • Butter, for greasing pan
  • 5 large eggs, yolks and whites separated
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons coffee liqueur such as Kahlua
  • 1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
  • 1 (14-ounce) can condensed milk
  • 1 (13.5-ounce) can coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons aged Puerto Rican rum, such as Don Q Gran Añejo
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 4 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Freshly grated nutmeg


Servings 12
Preparation time 20mins
Cooking time 120mins
Adapted from


Step 1

1. Butter bottom and sides of a 13-by-9-inch baking dish. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat egg whites on high until stiff peaks form, about 2 minutes. Reduce speed to medium and gradually beat in sugar. Then beat in yolks one at a time. Sift together flour and baking powder, and fold into wet ingredients. Mix in milk and coffee liqueur. Pour mixture into buttered baking dish.

3. Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted into center of cake emerges clean, about 30 minutes. Let cool 15 minutes. After cooling, use a toothpick or skewer to puncture cake’s surface at 2-inch intervals.

4. In a large bowl, whisk together all canned milks and rum until well combined. Carefully pour onto cooled cake. Cover cake pan with foil and refrigerate at least 2 hours.

5. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat together heavy cream, confectioner’s sugar and vanilla on high until stiff peaks form, 4-5 minutes. Spread whipped cream on top of chilled cake. Finish by sprinkling with ground cinnamon and freshly grated nutmeg. Serve immediately.

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