Cinco De Mayo – Pastel de Tres Leches (Three Milk Cake)

Cinco De Mayo – Pastel de Tres Leches (Three Milk Cake)

To join in on the Cinco de Mayo celebrations, I’ve teamed up with some amazing bloggers to share some exciting Mexican recipes. I chose to make a Pastel de Tres Leches – translated it means ‘Three Milk Cake’.

Cinco de Mayo—or the fifth of May—commemorates the Mexican army’s 1862 victory at the Battle of Puebla. While it’s a relatively minor holiday in Mexico, the United States ‘Cinco de Mayo’ has evolved to become a celebration of Mexican culture and heritage.

Cinco de Mayo traditions include music performances, street festivals and parades throughout Mexico and the US.  

Pastel de Tres Leches - Miss Charlotte Cake

It’s a light, golden sponge cake which is essentially soaked in three types of milk. You’re left with a moist, (I love that word!) creamy cake that holds its shape. Because of the milk content it needs to be kept refrigerated, this is fine because the cake is incredibly delicious as a cold treat.

Pastel de Tres Leches - Miss Charlotte Cake

After speaking to a wonderful friend of mine named Jacqueline who is from Mexico, she recommended this cake as her first option when I asked about traditional Mexican cakes. I tried to do some research into which nation actually invented this cake but couldn’t seem to find any solid evidence.

Pastel de Tres Leches - Miss Charlotte Cake

There is speculation however, that the eggs are to be separated and whites are supposed to be whisked separately until they resemble soft peaks before you add them to the mixture. I just chucked the eggs straight in but I might try this method next time to see the outcome.

Pastel de Tres Leches (Three Milk Cake)

An extremely moist and popular cake in South America. Made using three types of milk – or 4 if you use a cream topping.

Not for someone who doesn’t like milk or is dairy free!

  • 1 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 5 free range eggs
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups full-fat milk
  • 1 can of sweetened condensed milk (395g can)
  • 1 can of evaporated milk (375ml can)
  • 3/4 cup of thickened cream


  1. Preheat your oven to 175 degrees Celsius – make sure the oven rack is placed in the middle
  2. Lightly grease a baking pan roughly 9×13
  3. Sift your flour, baking powder together and leave to one side for later
  4. Cream your softened butter, and cup sugar until light and creamy. Add eggs in one at a time blending well between each addition. Add vanilla
  5. Add the flour mixture 2 tablespoons at a time until combined – do not over-mix
  6. Pour mixture into your greased baking pan and smooth the top
  7. Put mixture in the oven for approximately 30 minutes
  8. Once cooked – remove from the oven and let stand for 10 minutes before transferring to a plate to cool down.


  1. Combine milk, evaporated milk and condensed milk together in a bowl. Pierce your cooled cake with a fork several times all over the top and carefully pour the milk mixture all over. Be sure to get the corners.


  1. Spread thickened cream over the top – however much you wish and enjoy!
Make sure you keep this cake refrigerated. It needs to be kept cold because of the milk content.
Tip: Break all eggs into a container before you start mixing, this will eliminate any risks of egg shell getting into your mixture.

Adapted from

 I really enjoyed this cake – one of my pet peeves is a dry cake so I fell head over heels in love with this recipe when I took my first bite. I really wanted to brighten up the cake for the sake of a good photo so I popped a glace cherry on top.

I also like the kitschy look it brings!

Pastel de Tres Leches - Miss Charlotte Cake

Happy Cinco de Mayo


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