A friend of mine requested a tres leches cake that wasn't soggy but full of flavor that could be decorated. This is what I came up with. Fill cake with vanilla cream mousse filling and top with your favorite buttercream recipe. You can also make a 9x13-inch sheet cake and soak with the tres milks, cut into individual servings, and top with mousse rosettes.

Recipe Summary

prep:
30 mins
cook:
40 mins
additional:
4 hrs
total:
5 hrs 10 mins
Servings:
16
Yield:
1 9-inch filled layer cake
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Ingredients

16
Original recipe yields 16 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).

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  • Spray 2 9-inch round cake pans with cooking spray.

  • Mix white cake mix, flour, eggs, sugar, canola oil, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, baking powder, and milk in a large bowl until thoroughly combined. Pour batter into prepared cake pans.

  • Bake in preheated oven until the cakes are lightly browned and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean, 40 to 50 minutes. Let cakes cool about 10 minutes in pans before removing to finish cooling on racks.

  • Whisk evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, 6 tablespoons cream, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, and coconut extract in a bowl until smooth. Refrigerate the tres leches mixture.

  • Beat 2 cups cream with instant vanilla pudding mix in a separate mixing bowl with an electric mixer until soft peaks form, 3 to 5 minutes. Refrigerate mousse filling.

  • With a long serrated knife, lightly cut off a thin layer of each cake top to level the cake. Place cakes, leveled sides up, on pieces of waxed paper. Poke holes all over the cakes with a skewer. Slowly pour the tres leches mixture over the cakes, about 1/2 cup at a time, waiting until the mixture has soaked in before continuing to pour on more milk mixture. Wrap cake layers in plastic wrap; refrigerate until chilled, at least 4 hours.

  • Unwrap a cake layer and place onto a serving platter with leveled side up. Top the cake with mousse filling; gently place second cake layer over the filling with leveled side down. Refrigerate leftovers.

Cook's Note:

Partially freezing the cake layers makes it easier to assemble a layered tres leches cake.

Tip

Aluminum foil helps keep food moist, ensures it cooks evenly, keeps leftovers fresh, and makes clean-up easy.

Nutrition Facts

565 calories; protein 8.4g 17% DV; carbohydrates 65.3g 21% DV; fat 30.8g 47% DV; cholesterol 118.8mg 40% DV; sodium 413.4mg 17% DV. Full Nutrition

Reviews (18)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
05/13/2012
delicious reciepe......I made this for a MOTHERS DAY celebration......Everyone loved it!! Read More
(13)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
07/11/2015
It was ok. I didn't care too much for the taste of the cake. I think the texture of this cake recipe is really good for cake of filling. Also I didn't care for the vanilla pudding in the topping. Read More
22 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 18
  • 4 star values: 2
  • 3 star values: 2
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
05/13/2012
delicious reciepe......I made this for a MOTHERS DAY celebration......Everyone loved it!! Read More
(13)
Rating: 5 stars
08/31/2012
Huge hit at work! Will definitely do this one again! Read More
(11)
Rating: 5 stars
12/24/2012
Live overseas and needed to make a 12x18x1 sheet cake but could only find one box mix. I used steps 1-4 to make a bigger cake and it turned out perfectly delicious. Frosted and made a perfect birthday cake even without the tres leches! Will try the rest of the recipie next time I'm in the states and can get all the ingredients! Read More
(10)
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Rating: 5 stars
01/28/2013
My maid of honor and I spent a week baking up and freezing thirteen of these cakes. It turned out DELICIOUS and saved me over eight hundred dollars on wedding funds. All of the wedding cakes we sampled were somewhat dry and not nearly as tasty as they were pretty... This on the other hand, still gets me compliments when I run into friends. Thank you for the great recipe!!! Read More
(10)
Rating: 5 stars
03/29/2013
I'm making this cake again for the 10th time today. It is by far the best tres leches recipe that I have come across. I first made it when I was looking for a cake for my daughter's birthday. Having grown up on these I went in search for one. Needless to say the bakeries are charging an arm and a leg so I decided to try one myself. This recipe produces a cake that is perfect to decorate unlike traditional tres leches that are soggy and cant support layers or decorations. The filling is super simple to whip up and delicious. I've been covering it with a stabilized whipped cream frosting and then decorating. It has been a hit everytime. Read More
(6)
Rating: 5 stars
02/27/2014
Excellent cake! I followed to the "T" except for the filling/frosting. I made in a 9x13 pan. Did not need filling so used mousse for frosting. I found 2 cups whipping cream with 1 pkg instant pudding to be way too thick and did not provide an ample amount to frost 9x13 so used total of 4 cups whipping cream to 1 pkg instant French vanilla pudding. Got many compliments on the frosting not too sweet since cake is sweet enough as is. Also the ratio of whipping cream made for a more "milk" flavor frosting that complimented the cake beautifully! Everyone thought frosting with buttercream would be way too sweet for this cake. Read More
(5)
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Rating: 5 stars
04/15/2013
This was a huge hit at the baby shower I just threw. It solves the ultimate problem with tres leches cakes being too soggy to decorate. I used a little bit of almond extract in my buttercream frosting and it gave the cake a nice almond flavor twist. Read More
(3)
Rating: 5 stars
03/16/2014
Wow. I don't think I will make anything but this recipe for vanilla cake again. Didn't care for the pudding mixed with cream for filling It tasted to packaged/chemical for me. Will use a basic whipped cream for filling/frosting next time. Read More
(3)
Rating: 5 stars
01/20/2015
i made this cake for my secretary's birthday and it was a big hit at work! Adding extra ingredients to the cake mix does produce more batter and my layers baked over and dripped into the oven. I should have known better but went ahead with the directions as they were written. I used two 9 inch cake pans and would only fill them half full next time. I cut around the edges with a bread knife to remove the "muffin top" appearance and all was fine! I frosted mine with buttercream icing and that kept the mousse filling from oozing out. It was very helpful to freeze the layers a little for easier assembly. Bottom line is that this was a delicious cake! Read More
(3)
Rating: 3 stars
07/11/2015
It was ok. I didn't care too much for the taste of the cake. I think the texture of this cake recipe is really good for cake of filling. Also I didn't care for the vanilla pudding in the topping. Read More