Gluten Free Tres Leches Cake

Gluten Free Tres Leches Cake is a classic Mexican dessert that’s soaked with three milks and topped with whipped cream and strawberries!

gluten free tres leches cake on white plate

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


Milk Mixture

  • 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

  1. Beat egg whites until foamy, then slowly add sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form. Transfer to another bowl and set aside.
  2. 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.
  3. Fold in egg whites. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt over bowl and fold in carefully.
  4. Pour into prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Cool completely.
  5. 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.
  6. Whip heavy cream with powdered sugar and vanilla until stiff peaks form. Spread over cake and serve with strawberries or berries.
scooping slice of tres leches cake out of glass pan

tres leches cake frequently asked questions

Can This Cake be Made in Advance?

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.

What are Some Other Flavor Ideas?

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!!

How Long Will it Keep?

This cake will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days.

fork full of cake on white plate

Gluten Free Tres Leches Cake is the moistest cake and is perfect for Cinco de Mayo or any celebration!

gluten free tres leches cake on white plate

Gluten Free Tres Leches Cake

Gluten Free Tres Leches Cake is a classic Mexican dessert that's soaked with three milks and topped with whipped cream and strawberries!
4.50 from 4 votes
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 12 servings



  • 1 cup (140 g) Kim's all purpose gluten free flour blend a store bought blend may be substituted, but hasn't been tested
  • 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
  • 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.
Keyword Gluten Free, three milks cake, tres leches cake
Tried this recipe?Tag @letthemeatglutenfreecake on Instagram so we can see!

13 thoughts on “Gluten Free Tres Leches Cake”

  • I made this cake and will be serving it with fresh mangoes. I had a little taste before icing it just to make sure it tastes good . I was worried because it fell and pulled away from the sides of the pan. But it does taste very good, although very low height. Any idea as to what would cause the shrinkage? I greased the sides of the pan as well as the bottom with cake release and was wondering if it slid down the sides too much? Thank you!

    • That’s just the nature of this particular sponge cake. Mine also shrinks, as you should be able to see in my pictures and video. It’s not a very tall cake, but it also swells just a bit when all of the milks have been fully absorbed.

      • Ok – thanks. That’s good to know. And it tastes even better on Monday than it did on Sunday. I baked /soaked it Friday night. Delicious with the whipped cream and fresh mango. Another winning recipe!

  • I’ve made this several times and it has been a hit every single time. I used Bob’s Redmill 1 to 1 baking flour and it was great. It looks like it’s becoming one of my staples for special family
    occasions . I am the only GF person in the family so finding recipes that the others love is fantastic! Thankyou for sharing the recipe ❤️

  • 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.

    • 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.

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