Farmhouse Tres Leches Cake Recipe

Using three different dairy products, Imen McDonnell helps us create a decadent Tres Leche Cake.

From The Farmette Cookbook
August 2016

Yield: Makes one 8-inch 2-layer cake

The Farmette Cookbook (Roost Books, 2015) by Imen McDonnell is a compilation of tried-and-true recipes with an emphasis on local, fresh ingredients and traditional Irish kitchen skills. Enjoy this fantastic recipe for Farmhouse Tres Leches Cake.

You can purchase this book from the the Mother Earth Living store: The Farmette Cookbook.

This dense and creamy dairy cake is indeed made using milk in three different forms: whole, evaporated, and condensed. When I first developed this recipe, I wanted to try and use all three milks fresh from the farm, even the seemingly complicated evaporated and condensed milks, so I learned how to prepare each from scratch.

While it does take a fair bit of time, both evaporated and condensed milk are very simple to make, and the flavor is far superior to any canned version from the supermarket.

The preparation of this cake is very similar to that of angel food cake, except the recipe includes the egg yolks as well. It is important to sift the flour at least three times and keep all ingredients really airy throughout the mixing process. If you have children, this is fun to make with them as it involves poking holes in the cake with a toothpick, which kids have loads of fun doing.

I encouraged our little farmer, Geoffrey, to assist me in everything from manning the mixer to the pricking and, finally, pouring the tres leches over the cake. Let’s just say, he is very proud of “his milk cake.”

Farmhouse Tres Leches Cake Recipe



• Unsalted butter, for greasing the pans
• 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for coating the pans
• 1 tablespoon baking powder
• 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 6 large egg whites
• 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
• 3 large egg yolks
• 2-1/2  teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
• 1/2 cup whole milk
• 1 cup Evaporated Milk  
• 2 cups heavy cream
• 1 cup Sweetened Condensed Milk  
• 1 tablespoon dark rum



1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour the bottoms and sides of two 8-inch cake pans; set aside.

2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and cinnamon in a large bowl. In another bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form, 7 to 8 minutes. Gradually beat in the sugar. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, beating to blend between additions. Beat in 2 teaspoons of the vanilla. Add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the milk in two additions (you begin and end with the flour mixture). Pour the batter into the pans; smooth the top.

3. Bake for 25 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 325 degrees F, and continue baking until the cake is golden brown and the middle springs back when pressed, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the oven, and let the cake cool in the pans for 15 minutes. Invert onto a wire rack set inside a rimmed baking sheet.

4. Whisk together the remaining 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, Evaporated Milk, 1 cup of the heavy cream, Sweetened Condensed Milk, and rum in a medium bowl. Poke holes all over the top of the cake with a skewer. Slowly drizzle half of the sauce over the cake, letting the liquid soak in before adding more. Let sit for 10 minutes.

5. Invert a plate on top of each cake. Lift the rack and gently invert the cake onto the plate. Drizzle the remaining sauce, including any liquid collected in the baking sheet, over the cake. Whip the remainĀ­ing cream and frost the stacked cakes with it.

Try this other recipe from the The Farmette Cookbook: Irish Farmhouse Ricotta.

From The Farmette Cookbook, © 2016 by Imen McDonnell.  Reprinted by arrangement with Roost Books, an imprint of Shambhala Publications Inc., Boulder, CO. Buy this book from our store: The Farmette Cookbook.