I like to call this Easy Tres Leches Cake my Red, White, and Blueberry Tres Leches. It is perfectly festive for the summer, and appropriate to take to any Memorial Day, 4th of July, or Labor Day party. It's a super fluffy cake, topped with airy whipped cream, and a sweet and tart blueberry jam.
After adding the whipped cream you can really add any fruit you like to the top of your cake. But I love the festive sprinkle of the red, white, and blue topping so I typically stick with this array.
Now don't let the ingredient list for this recipe deter you from making it. Yes, it's a little on the long side, but the cake is SUPER easy to make and has very little active time. Once you whip up the cake and get it in the oven, I make the jam and milk soak so the active time is minimal, and then just let them hang out while the cake bakes and cools.
The good news is that non of the ingredients are really that out of the ordinary. They are inexpensive and easy to get your hands on. And as usual, homemade is much cheaper and more delicious than storebought any day of the week!
Use the JUMP TO RECIPE button at the top of the post, or scroll to the bottom of the post to see the full recipe card with ingredient measurements and instructions.
This cake is what is known as a sponge. Because of that, you really have to whip the eggs and sugar into submission. It also allows the cake to a soak up all the milk you pour into it, making the tres leches what it is.
Start by whipping the eggs, for 6-7 minutes until they are light and fluffy.
Then place the cake batter into a buttered 9x13 baking pan. Buttering the pan is crucial, use butter and a brush because otherwise the sponge will stick and you DO NOT want that at all.
Bake the cake until set, then cool on a wire rack. While the cake is still warm I poke lots of holes in the cake using chopsticks or a skewer. Let the cake cool completely then soak it with the milk mixture.
Then let the cake cool completely. Place it in the fridge and everything get really cold. This can even be done up to a day ahead of time. Once cool, you can top the cake with whipped cream and your favorite fruits, I make a blueberry jam for this one, and top with strawberries and a little mint.
Now your cake is ready to eat. It can be kept in the fridge for up to 3 days. And if you are like me, you put your slice in a bowl and mash everything together to eat it.
Notes & Tips
While the cake bakes, make the jam and prepare the milk soak. These things can be made at the same time. Then you just let them hang out and cool while the cake bakes and cools itself.
I like to use something that makes large holes in the cake for soaking up the milk. I usually reach for chopsticks or the handle of a wooden spoon. Tiny holes from skinny skewers don't get the job done in my opinion.
Be sure the cake is totally cool before topping with the whipped cream or it will melt into the cake. Be patient.
Feel free to use any fruit you like to top the cake. Oranges, kiwi, and strawberries are very traditional. As well as berries and mango. Any soft fruits are great.
If you would like to keep the milk soak dairy-free, create a dairy-free tres leches cake by swapping the milk for coconut milk, the heavy cream for whipped coconut cream, and I even find it at my local healthy grocery store, coconut evaporated milk and sweetened condensed milk. So use those swaps to keep it free of dairy.
Oh and use a little coconut oil to grease the pan, you want an oil that will stick to the pan when spreading around.
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Thanks for posting this recipe. I love your blog. When Joanna made this on the show she took the milk ( hot right off the stove) and poured it over the cake. I have never seen anyone do that when they made this cake before. Did you pour it over hot?
Thank you for posting such great recipes
I make mine while the cake is baking, so it's not hot, but still warm when I pour it over the cake.
This is an impressive cake that comes together easily and bakes up tall in the pan. It's not a difficult recipe, but with the cake, the jam, the milk mixture, and the whipped topping, it is a little labor intensive. But worth it. This would be a great recipe for a dinner party or a summer cookout with friends.
The cake soaks up all of the mlik but it isn't wet and the blueberry topping is a great accompniment. I used 1/4c of powdered sugar in my whipped cream and it was just right with the sweet cake and jam. Would absolutely make this one again.
So glad to hear you enjoyed this John. It is a bit of a labor of love, but nothing too complicated. It is one of those where you have to clear your mind and just enjoy being in the kitchen for a little bit, but SOOOO worth it at first bite!