Mexican Chocolate Tres Leches Cake - Decadent, Indulging and Fudgy Chocolate Cake drenched in milk. Creamy and moist on the inside with super delicious chocolate milk oozing out of every bite and a thick chocolate whipped cream frosting to top it all up, this cake is the final destination for all Chocolate Cakes.
It's just the best of all kinds!
Tres Leches Cake
Tres Leches Cake is a traditional Latin American dessert recipe that is typically made during Cinco De Mayo or other Mexican festivals and special occasions. Tres Leches Cake originates from Mexico.
This milky cake has thick vanilla whipped cream topping over it.
This super moist and decadent Cake is just like a Poke cake but with frosting.
What Does "Tres Leches" mean?
Tres Leches Literally Translates to - "Three Milk Cake".
This cake gets this name because after the Sponge Cake is baked, a mixture of three milk - Half and Half, Evaporated Milk, and Condensed Milk is poured over it.
This is allowed to soak in by the Cake and then there is a final layer of heavy cream which is topped with fresh strawberries or ground Cinnamon.
Quite possibly the best Summer Dessert recipe ever.
This decadent, super moist, and spongy cake is one of my favorite Cake recipes ever. It is just the best cake recipe ever!
Mexican Chocolate Tres Leches Cake
While the traditional Tres Leches Cake is vanilla flavored, I took it up a notch higher and made Chocolate Tres Leches Cake.
Now, this is not your original Tres Leches Cake but is even better.
You have rich, dark cocoa, chocolaty and decadent taste to a fluffy and moist cake and that's just the best!
Ingredients needed to make Chocolate Tres Leches Cake
Here is a quick glance at the Tres Leches Cake Ingredients. Since this one is a chocolate Tres Leches Cake so I have used Dark Chocolate and Cocoa Powder. For Authentic Tres Leches Cake, just skip out on these two ingredients and you will have the best authentic Tres Leches Cake at home.
- AP Flour
- Dutch Processed Cocoa Powder
- Baking Soda
- Baking Powder
- Kosher Salt
- Eggs (whites & yolk separated)
- Dark Chocolate Chunks
- Unsalted Butter
- Granulated Sugar
- Pure Vanilla Extract
Three Milk Mixture:
- Melted Dark Chocolate
- Heavy Cream (or Half and Half)
- Evaporated Milk
- Condensed Milk
- Heavy Cream
- Granulated Sugar
- Melted Dark Chocolate
- Chocolate Shavings (for garnish)
- Mint Leaves (for garnish)
Here's a Quick video on How to Make Chocolate Tres Leches Cake
How to make Chocolate Tres Leches Cake
Below is a detailed description of this Mexican Chocolate Tres Leches Cake Recipe. You can find the printable recipe card below.
Also, watch the video for a quick visual.
STEP 1: Make the Meringue
I always start with making the Meringue as it feels like the most difficult part of this recipe and once I get this done, I breathe a sigh of relief.
- Separate Egg Yolks and Egg whites
- Beat the Egg whites in a clean and dry bowl using a handheld mixture at high speed for 5 minutes
- Once it gets foamy, add 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar at a time and beat until combined
- Beat until you get stiff peaks in your Meringue.
A quick tip to get proper Stiff Peaks in Meringue is to add just 1/2 teaspoon of Cream of Tartar or Lemon Juice in the Egg whites, before beating them.
This will make sure that you have the perfect meringue with proper stiff peaks.
STEP 2: Whisk the Dry Ingredients
Coming to the second step of this Chocolate Tres Leches Cake Recipe, it's now time for our dry ingredients. Remember, that in baking it's these dry ingredients that give structure to your cake.
- In a medium-sized bowl, whisk, AP Flour, Baking Powder, Baking Soda, Cocoa Powder, and Kosher Salt
- Whisk until combined and there are no lumps.
STEP 3: Beat the Wet Ingredients
Mexican Tres Leches Cake is supposed to be spongy and moist. And the reason behind that spongy cake is egg yolks which are heated until glossy.
- Beat Egg Yolks with Granulated Sugar and Vanilla Extract
- Beat until smooth and glossy. (This is the exact step that accounts for a fluffy cake)
- Melt Dark Chocolate Chunks with Butter. ( I use Hershey's Dark Chocolate and then I melt it with butter in the microwave)
- Allow it to cool down to room temperature
- Pour this melted chocolate into the egg mixture
- Beat until smooth and glossy.
STEP 4: Combine Wet and Dry Ingredients
Now, in this Tres Leches Cake recipe, it's time to combine the wet and dry mixtures.
- Sieve the dry flour mixture in the Wet Chocolate Mixture.
- Fold lightly, just until combined
- Now, add the Meringue in parts and fold until combined
- The Tres Leches Cake batter shall be very thin and ribbon-y. Don't worry, it should be like that.
- Pour this in a parchment paper-lined baking dish
- Bake in a 350F (180C) preheated oven for 20-25 minutes.
- After the Cake gets baked, allow it to cool down to room temperature for 10 minutes.
STEP 5: Making the Three Milk Mixture
Coming to the most important part of this Mexican Tres Leches Cake, the Three Milk Mixture. Now, since I am making a Chocolate Tres Leches Cake, so it only makes sense to use Chocolate along with Milk. For the vanilla version, skip out on the chocolate.
Here, I have used Heavy Cream and Chocolate to make the Chocolate Milk. This is the first milk I will be using. You can also replace Heavy Cream with Half and Half.
- Melt Dark Chocolate Chunks with a stick of butter in the oven. Stir until smooth.
- Mix this melted chocolate with heavy cream to make Chocolate Milk.
- Pour this Chocolate Milk into a mixing jar
- Next, pour in the Evaporated Mik
- And finally, pour in the Condensed Mik
- Whisk all of this until combined.
- Poke holes using a fork all over the baked cake
- Pour this Three Milk Mixture over the cake
- Allow it to refrigerate for 2 hours so that the sponge soaks in all the milk.
STEP 6: Making the Frosting
Finally, coming to the last and final step of this Easy Chocolate Tres Leches Cake recipe - Making the Frosting.
- Beat Heavy Cream in a bowl until it gets thick and develops stiff peaks
- Add granulated sugar, melted dark chocolate (or cocoa powder), and vanilla extract to this.
- Beat just until combined and develops stiff peaks.
- Spread this over the Tres Leches Cake
- Use an offset spatula to spread the frosting and even it out.
- Drizzle melted chocolate on top
- Decorate with chocolate shaving and mint leaves
- Cut into equal-sized pieces and serve.
So, that the recipe for Authentic Tres Leches Cake. Isn't it so easy!
Tres Leches Cake with Fruits
Authentic Tres Leches Cake is topped with fresh Strawberries. The fruity and tarty taste of Strawberries tastes really amazing with the vanilla and milky flavors of an authentic Tres Leches Cake.
However, these days, people use all sorts of fruits and Berries to top over Tres Leches Cake. From Blueberries to Blackberries to Raspberries to Pineapples to Mangoes, you can top your Tres Leches Cake with any fruit you love.
Tres Leches Cake is actually very easy. All you are doing is just adding a three milk mixture to a baked cake and then topping it off with a whipped cream frosting.
It's the Three Milk Mixture that makes an Authentic Tres Leches Cake tastes so moist and soft. Traditionally Tres Leches Cake with Strawberries is served during Cinco De Mayo. However, you can always make it with any fruits you love.
Can I replace All Purpose Flour with Cake Flour?
Yes, of course, you can. I always find it easier to use Cake flour than All-Purpose flour. It's so much better. Also, you can forget about Baking Soda and Baking Powder. All you need is cake flour and cocoa powder. Now, since this is a Chocolate Tres Leches Cake, so I have used a good quality Dutch Processed Cocoa Powder. This will make the Cake intensely Chocolatey!
All about the Three Types of Milk
Now, an authentic Mexican Tres Leches Cake calls for three milk mixture which are -
- Half and Half
- Evaporated Milk
- Condensed Milk
For those of you not residing in America, the replacement for Half and Half is half the amount of Heavy Cream and Half of Whole Milk.
Or like I did, you can replace Half and Half with Heavy Cream. I do this because it makes the cake richer and gives the milk mixture a thickness.
However, make sure to never skip out on any one of these milk. It's all of these Three kinds of Mik which make an Authentic Tres Leches Cake taste so moist and amazing.
How to store Tres Leches Cake
You can store these Tres Leches Cale in the refrigerator. Refrigeration will help the cake soak all the milk. You can refrigerate this for up to 3-4 days. Do not freeze this cake. However, you might find that the texture of whipped cream topping gets a little soggy after refrigeration, and the cream doesn't store well. But that shouldn't make any difference in the taste of this Tres Leches Cake
Important Tips to make the Best Tres Leches Cake
Room temperature Eggs - This recipe for Tres Leches Cake calls for Eggs that need to be separated and beaten. It is best to use Room temperature Eggs as Meringue with Cold Eggs is going to be so difficult.
Do not overbeat the Cake Batter - This Cake will be spongy but that is because of the Meringue. Overbeating the Cake Batter will create a lot of Air Bubbles in the cake and as a result of this, the cake will rise up quickly in the oven but will quickly sink as well, creating a well in the middle of your cake. So, avoid overbeating the Cake batter. Just fold Meringue and Cake mixture until combined.
Sift the Dry Ingredients: If you sift and use the dry ingredients, they will incorporate with the wet mixture easily and result in a smooth cake batter
Do not skip refrigeration after pouring the milk - Now, since this is a Tres Leches Cake, this will take time to get done. And you will have to give this the time to soak in all the moisture from the milk. I recommend at least 2-3 hours of refrigeration so that the cake soaks up all the moisture from the Three Milk Mixture
Tres Leches Cake Decoration: Now, an Authentic Tres Leches Cake doesn't have any fancy decoration. Its just topped with a layer of whipped cream frosting with some Cinnamon dusted on top. We make it fancy and beautiful with some Strawberries and Mint Leaves. This Chocolate Tres Leches Cake has been decorated with chocolate shavings, melted chocolate drizzle, and some mint leaves.
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Chocolate Tres Leches Cake
- 3 large Eggs egg whites and yolk separated
- 1 cup Dark Chocolate Chunks
- 1 stick Unsalted Butter to melt chocolate
- ¾ cup Granulated Sugar divided
- 1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
- ¾ cup AP Flour
- ½ cup Dutch Processed Cocoa Powder
- 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
- ½ teaspoon Baking Powder
- ¼ teaspoon Kosher Salt
- 1 cup Dark Chocolate melted
- ¼ cup Heavy Cream to make Chocolate Milk
- ¼ cup Evaporated Milk
- ¼ cup Condensed Milk
- 1 cup Heavy Cream
- ¼ cup Melted Dark Chocolate or 2 tablespoon Dark Cocoa Powder
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla
- 2 tablespoon Granulated Sugar
- Chocolate Shavings for decoration
- Melted Dark Chocolate for decoration (optional)
- Sperate Egg Yolks and Egg whites. Place the Eggwhites in a clean and moisture-free bowl. Beat over medium speed using a handheld mixer until foamy. Add 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar and beat until you have stiff peaks in your Meringue. Keep this aside.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together AP Flour, Cocoa Powder, Baking Soda, Baking Powder, and a pinch of Kosher Salt.
- Melt Dark Chocolate chunks and Butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Stir until smooth and glossy. Allow it to cool down to room temperature for 5 minutes.Beat Egg Yolks with Granulated Sugar and Vanilla Extract. Now, combine the chocolate mixture with the Egg yolks mixture. Beat until glossy.
- Stir in the dry mixture with the wet mixture. Do not overmix. Just mix until combined.
- Fold the Meringue with the Cake Batter.
- Place this Chocolate Tres Leches Cake mixture in the lined baking dish. Bake @350F (180C) for 20-25 minutes. After the cake gets baked, insert a toothpick in the center and check if its done. If it comes out clean, your cake is baked to perfection. Allow it to cool down to room temperature for about 5 minutes on the counter.
- Whisk Melted Chocolate, Heavy Cream, Evaporated Milk. and Condensed Milk in a jar until combined.
- Use a fork to prick the top of the cake. Poke holes all over the cake.
- Pour the three milk mixture over the cake. Allow it to refrigerate covered for 2 hours, so that the cake soaks in all the moisture.
- Whip Heavy Cream with granulated sugar and cocoa powder. Once you have stiff peaks, spread them over the cake. Even it out using an offset spatula.
- Decorate the Chocolate Tres Leches Cake with some chocolate shavings or melted chocolate. Cut cake into equal-sized squares and serve.