Tres leches tray bake

Tres leches tray bake

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  • 6
  • Easy
  • 35 minutes
  • 1 hour

Tres leches is a cake of Mexican origin that gets its name from the three kinds of milk used to soak the light sponge, turning it into a pudding-like cake. Traditionally it’s served with a little whipped cream and berries, but this one is getting the chocolate treatment. Feel free to prep the sponge ahead.


  • 1 T canola oil, for greasing
  • 4 free-range eggs, separated
  • a pinch salt
  • 200 g caster sugar
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 200 g flour
  • 1 t baking powder
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 x 410 g can evaporated milk
  • 1 cup condensed milk
  • 4 T Woolworths double-thick cream
  • 2 T icing sugar
  • a pinch ground cinnamon
  • For the caramel ganache:
  • 100 g Woolworths caramel chocolate drops
  • 1⁄3 cup cream
  • For the fudgy chocolate icing:
  • 100 g dark chocolate
  • 1⁄3 cup condensed milk
  • For the white chocolate buttercream icing:
  • 200 g butter, softened
  • 200 g icing sugar
  • 100 g white chocolate, melted

Cooking Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Lightly grease a 20 cm square cake tin and line the base and sides with baking paper.

2. Place the egg whites and salt in a large bowl. Beat with an electric hand mixer until foamy, about 3 minutes. Add 150 g sugar, a spoonful at a time while beating, until thick and glossy.

3. In a separate bowl, mix the egg yolks, remaining sugar and vanilla for 2–3 minutes, or until pale and thick. Add the flour, baking powder and milk to the egg yolks, and fold together using a spatula.

4. Add a large spoonful of the egg white to the cake mixture, beat lightly to loosen the mixture, then gently fold through the remaining egg whites using a large metal spoon or rubber spatula until you have a smooth batter.

5. Pour the mixture into the tin and bake for 40–45 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. Mix the evaporated milk, condensed milk and cream.

6. Allow the cake to cool for 10 minutes in the tin, it should naturally come away around the sides. Poke a few holes into the cake using a skewer, then pour over half the milk mixture. After about 5 minutes, most of it should have soaked into the cake. Leave for a further 5 minutes, then transfer to a plate and pour over the remaining milk until it starts to leak out a little. Allow to cool. To serve, ice with one of, or a selection of, the toppings.

7. To make the caramel ganache, melt the caramel chocolate drops in a double-boiler, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and stir in the cream until a silky ganache forms. Cover in clingwrap until ready to use.

8. To make the fudgy chocolate icing, melt the chocolate in a double-boiler. Remove from the heat and stir in the condensed milk until a fudgy, smooth consistency is achieved. Cover until ready to use. 9 To make the white chocolate buttercream, beat all the ingredients using an electric beater until a smooth, light icing develops.

Find more chocolate recipes here. 

Photographs: Myburgh Du Plessis
Production: Khanya Mzongwana
Food assistant: Emma Nkunzana

Khanya Mzongwana Recipe by: Khanya Mzongwana
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If you're anything like our deputy food editor Khanya Mzongwana, you're obsessed with uniqueness and food with feeling. Cook her family-tested favourites, midweek winners and her mouth-wateringly fresh takes on plant-based eating.

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    Lois Carol Wessels
    April 8, 2022

    It would be wonderful if you provided a PRINT link as I invariably file all my recipes.

    1. Annzra Denita
      April 11, 2022

      Hi Lois, if you are working on a computer, there are simple shortcuts you can use to print the recipes. If you are on a PC, you simply have to press the “Ctrl” and “P” buttons simultaneously to open the print window. If you’re on an Apple device, you can press the “Command” and “P” buttons to print. I hope this helps. Best, Annzra Denita – Online Editor.

  • default
    Lois Carol Wessels
    April 8, 2022

    Thanks for the recipe – the ideal Easter treat!