Cinco de Mayo is coming up next week and if you’re hosting a fiesta, we’ve got just the dessert to serve your guests. Traditional tres leche cake is simple, decadent and easy to make ahead of time, so it’s perfect for a busy host. The longer it sits soaking up the delicious three milks (evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, and half-and-half), the better. Top it with freshly whipped cream, some toasted coconut and fresh strawberries and serve to adoring crowds.
Tres Leches Cake
adapted from Marcela Valladolid
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
4 eggs, separated
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup milk
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
2 cups heavy cream, divided
3 tablespoons Grand Marnier
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup toasted coconut (for garnish)
fresh strawberries (for garnish)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray and flour a square baking pan, then line with parchment paper with plenty of overlap.
Stir the flour and baking powder together in a medium bowl, then set aside. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the egg whites until light and frothy. Gradually add the sugar and beat to stiff peaks, mixing all the while. Next beat in the yolks one at a time until each one has been incorporated into the batter. Add the flour mixture and the milk in portions, alternating back and forth a few times until complete.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake about 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow the cake to cool for about 10 minutes, then transfer to a serving dish with at least a 1-inch lip. Use bamboo skewers or chopsticks to pierce the the cake all over, all the way through. In a medium bowl, whisk the sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk and 1 cup of the heavy cream together with the Grand Marnier. Pour the milk mixture evenly over the entire cake while still warm, then cover and refrigerate overnight or at least four hours.
Before serving, whip the remaining heavy cream with a pinch of powdered sugar until thick. Spread the whipped cream on top of the cake, then sprinkle with toasted coconut and serve with fresh strawberries.