I like celebrating Cinco de Mayo every year by creating a spread of popular Mexican dishes. This year I decided to add a tres leches cake to the mix. This rich dessert is made by combining whole milk, sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk and pouring it over fresh baked cake. The cake soaks up all the milk and is then topped with whipped cream. I also like adding a bit of color with strawberries and kiwi which, combined with the white whipped cream, represent the colors of the Mexican flag.
Tres Leches Cake
1 1/2 cu All Purpose Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 cu Salted Butter, softened
1 1/4 cu Sugar
5 lg Eggs
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
zest of a Lemon
1 cu Whole Milk
1 can Sweetened Condensed Milk, 14oz size
1 can Evaporated Milk, 12oz size
2 tbl Grand Marnier (optional)
2 cu Heavy Cream
1/2 cu Powdered Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
Strawberries, optional for garnish
Kiwi, optional for garnish
Grease and flour a 9" x 12" baking pan and set aside. I've actually had better luck with glass baking dishes with this recipe versus metal.
Mix flour, baking powder and salt together in a medium sized bowl. Set aside.
With a hand mixer in a large bowl or using a stand mixer, cream butter until smooth. Add sugar and mix until fully incorporated. Add eggs, one at a time, and continue to mix. Add vanilla extract and then gradually add in flour mixture. Add lemon zest and then mix at medium high speed until mixture is smooth and fully incorporated, about 2 minutes. Pour mixture into the baking dish and spread it into the corners. Place dish in a 350 degrees F preheated oven and bake until golden brown and the top springs back when pressed. This will take about 20-25 minutes in a metal pan and about 35 minutes in a glass baking dish. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool for 30 minutes.
Mix together whole milk, condensed milk and evaporated milk in a large bowl until fully blended. Add Grand Marnier if you like. Using a thin wooden skewer or a fork, poke several holes in the cake. After it has cooled for 30 minutes, pour the milk mixture on top and allow it to soak into the cake. Refrigerate the cake for 3 hours.
After 3 hours, whip cream until soft peaks form and then gradually add in powdered sugar until stiff peaks form. Add vanilla extract and mix to combine. Top cake with the whipped cream mixture and refrigerate until ready to serve.
To serve, slice into individual serving sizes and add a few slices of kiwi and strawberries for garnish.