Gluten Free Tres Leches Cake is a classic Mexican dessert that’s soaked with three milks and topped with whipped cream and strawberries!
It’s been a long time since I’ve had a tres leches cake, and even longer since I’ve made one. If you’ve never had the pleasure of divulging in this wonderful cake that is tres leches, I’m here to change that!
what is tres leches cake?
Tres leches cake is a soft vanilla sponge cake that is soaked with a mixture of three milks. It’s usually topped with a simple whipped cream and adorned with fruit. The sponge cake soaks up all that sweet milky goodness and becomes this moist, delicious cake that’s unlike any other. What’s even better is that it actually improves with age, meaning it can be made a day or two ahead.
the ingredients you’ll need
- Kim’s all purpose gluten free flour blend — a store bought blend may be used, but hasn’t been tested
- Baking powder
- Vanilla extract
- Evaporated milk
- Sweetened condensed milk
- Heavy cream
- Heavy cream
- Powdered sugar
- Vanilla extract
- Fresh fruit/strawberries, if desired
how to make gluten free tres leches cake
- Beat egg whites until foamy, then slowly add sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form. Transfer to another bowl and set aside.
- In the same mixing bowl, add egg yolks and the rest of the sugar and beat until light in color and thick. Add milk and vanilla.
- Fold in egg whites. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt over bowl and fold in carefully.
- Pour into prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Cool completely.
- Whisk together evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, and heavy cream until combined and pour over cooled cake that’s been poked several times with a skewer. Refrigerate overnight.
- Whip heavy cream with powdered sugar and vanilla until stiff peaks form. Spread over cake and serve with strawberries or berries.
tres leches cake frequently asked questions
You bet! Actually, this cake is better if made in advance! It allows the milks to soak through the cake and the texture and flavor is phenomenal.
I’ve made this cake into the most glorious coconut cake by replacing the sweetened condensed milk with a can of cream of coconut (sweetened) and topped with shredded coconut instead of strawberries. Yummy!!
This cake will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days.
Gluten Free Tres Leches Cake is the moistest cake and is perfect for Cinco de Mayo or any celebration!
Gluten Free Tres Leches Cake
- 1 cup (140 g) Kim's all purpose gluten free flour blend a store bought blend may be substituted, but hasn't been tested
- 1½ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp kosher salt
- 5 large eggs, separated
- 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar, divided
- ½ cup (120 ml) whole milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
Three Milks Mixture
- 1 12-oz (354 ml) can evaporated milk
- 1 14-oz (396 g) can sweetened condensed milk
- ⅓ cup (80 ml) heavy cream
- 2 cups (480 ml) heavy whipping cream
- ¼ cup (31 g) powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- sliced fresh strawberries
Make the Cake
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease a 9 by 13-inch pan and set aside.
- In a large bowl, add egg whites and beat until foamy. Slowly add ¼ cup granulated sugar and continue beating until stiff, but not dry, peaks form (when removing the whisk, the egg whites will stand straight up and form a "peak.") Transfer the egg whites to a smaller bowl and set aside briefly.
- In the same large bowl, add egg yolks and the rest of the sugar (¾ cup) and beat on high until light yellow in color and thick. Add milk and vanilla on low speed until well combined.
- Carefully fold in egg whites until no more streaks of egg whites are seen. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt over batter and fold into batter gently and completely.
- Pour into prepared pan and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until cake springs back when lightly touched, and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack.
Mix the Milk Mixture
- Using the blunt end of a wooden skewer (or anything that will poke small holes), poke several holes into the cake.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the three milks. Pour the milks over the cake. Cover the cake and refrigerate for at least six hours, preferably overnight.
- In a large bowl, begin whipping heavy cream until thickened. Add powdered sugar and vanilla and continue whipping until stiff peaks form. Spread over soaked cake and top with strawberry slices. Slice and serve.
8 thoughts on “Gluten Free Tres Leches Cake”
I love your website and ideas and I am looking forward to trying this recipe out today. Do you have any recommendations/tips for making this recipe as cupcakes? Thanks!
I’m not sure if it would work as cupcakes because of the milks. You could try it, but I have my doubts.
So as I was making my cake I realized that there was ALOT of the three milks mixture. When I poured it over it the cake, well it kind of flooded. Do I scoop out all the extra liquid after it has sat over night?
No, that’s how it’s supposed to be. The three milks will soak into the cake and cause the cake to be almost like a custard cake. Did you happen to watch the video? The video shows exactly how it’s done.
Hi Kim. This sounds fantastic and I can’t wait to make it! I’m just wondering … what kind of cake pan should I use? And does it need to be greased or anything before pouring the batter in? (I didn’t see this info above, but maybe I missed it somehow. My apologies, if so.) Thanks, Judi
I’m so sorry, Judi! I put it in the video, but forgot to put it in the post itself. Thanks for catching that and I’ve since corrected it. It should be a 9 by 13-inch pan and bake at 350 F.
What size pan, and how is the pan prepared?
I’m so sorry, Lucia! I forgot to put that info! Thanks for catching that, and it’s since been added. It’s a 9 by 13-inch pan and bake at 350 F.