Happy Cinco de Mayo!

I'm kicking off the Cinco de Mayo celebration a day early by sharing a delicious Tres Leches cake recipe! I wanted to make sure and share this today in case anyone gets inspired to make one of these cakes for their friends and family as a part of tomorrow's festivities. 

To be honest, I had heard of Cinco de Mayo, but didn't really know much about the holiday. I've seen so many bloggers lately sharing Mexican recipes and fiesta ideas that I decided to learn a little more about the history and significance of the holiday. I think (like apparently a lot of people) I confused it with Mexican Independence Day. Here's a brief article from the History Channel all about the history of the holiday, both in Mexico and here in the United States. 

Cinco de Mayo gave me a great reason to try out a new Pioneer Woman recipe. I am a huge fan of Pioneer Woman, every recipe I've tried has been amazing (you may recall I recently made a version of her fruit pizzas). I love watching her show, her easy demeanor makes it feel like you are in the kitchen with a longtime friend. I recently watched the Investment Reunion Dinner episode and was drooling over a delicious looking Tres Leches cake. The combination of a spongy cake with a decadent drizzle of whipping cream, evaporated milk, and sweetened condensed milk all soaked up in the cake left me wanting to try this recipe as soon as possible! 

I decided to follow her recipe, but bake them as mini cakes instead of one sheet cake. The batter made 24 small cakes using cupcake pans. The cakes are so light and airy, this small size is the perfect treat that will satisfy your sweet tooth without leaving you feeling stuffed. If you'd like to see the original recipe, and what she used to top off the cake, check out her recipe here.

Tres Leches Cake ingredients (yields 24 individual cakes):

Cake -
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 5 whole eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/3 cup milk
Drizzle - 
  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
Icing - 
  • 1 pint heavy cream
  • 3 tbs sugar

Tres Leches Cake instructions:
  • Preheat oven to 350F
  • Spray two cupcake pans with cooking spray making sure to get a good coating in each compartment
  • Mix together flour, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl
  • Separate the 5 eggs with the yolks in one mixing bowl and the egg whites in another
  • Work with the egg yolks first, adding 3/4 cup sugar and beating until the yolks are pale yellow
  • Stir milk and vanilla in with the yolks
  • Pour egg yolk mixture over the flour mixture and stir 
  • Clean beaters
  • Beat egg whites on high until soft peaks form
  • Add in 1/4 cup sugar and beat until egg whites are stiff (not dry)
  • Gently fold in the egg whites to the cake mix
  • Pour in the cupcake pans about 2/3-3/4 full
  • Bake for around 8-12 minutes (depending on oven), until a toothpick inserted comes out clean
  • Cool for a few minutes in pan
  • Once cooled enough to be able to touch pan, carefully remove the mini cakes and place them upside down on a platter
  • Cool completely
  • Mix together condensed milk, evaporated milk, and heavy cream in a bowl or pitcher
  • Poke holes all along the top of each cake
  • Slowly drizzle the mixture over the cakes (it's ok if some runs off and gathers in the platter, the cakes will soak some up)
  • Let sit for around 30 mins to let them soak up as much as possible
  • Whip 1 pint heavy cream and 3 tbs of sugar until thick
  • Spread over each cake with a small offset spatula

  • Optional- You could finish this off with any kind of topping you might like including Maraschino cherries or even some Mexican chocolate

Thanks for checking out this Tres Leches recipe, hope you enjoyed it. Feel free to share online, or with a friend. Have a great Cinco de Mayo!

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