3 Milks Cake or Pastel de Tres Leche

Three milks cake slice

This was a cake made purely out of curiosity because I honestly could not imagine what it would taste like or that the 600ml of milk would actually soak in to such a small cake. In origin, it is a fairly recent Latin American celebration cake. Essentially, it creates a very soggy, sweet cake – not sure what I was expecting really.  Many American recipes also cover this cake in whipped cream to serve it but I went with Marian Keyes recipe from her new book Saved By Cake; it looked slightly less decadent!


  • 200g Butter
  • 200g Caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 200ml Sour cream
  • Seeds of 1 vanilla pod or 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 200g Self-raising flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon Bi-carb soda

Soaking milk

  • 200ml Evaporated milk
  • 200ml Sweetened condensed milk
  • 200ml Double cream

Preheat your oven to 180 and grease a 20cm square cake tin. I used a silicon pan, which was perfect for soaking in but, unfortunately, had retained the flavours of a previous (savoury) dish I had made. Be sure you don’t make the same mistake!

Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add two eggs and half the sour cream and beat well. Add remaining two eggs and the remaining sour cream and beat again.

Now add the vanilla and stir through. Sift in the flour and bi-carb soda and fold into the mix using a metal spoon.

Spoon the mix into your tin and bake for 25 minutes until a skewer comes out clean.
In a jug, combine the three milks and stir well. Prick the cake (still in it’s tin) all over with a fork. Slowly pour all the milk over the cake. When it has soaked in a little, cover with glad wrap and place in the fridge overnight. Or for at least 12 hours to allow the milk to absorb.

I feel as though this cake would be delicious served warm but thanks to the soaking time it is, of course, served cold. As it is, it makes a decadent dessert. Marian Keyes calls this a “Hug in a Cake” but, for me, a hug in a cake would have to be something warm and flvoursome, so I’ll keep looking.

Three milks cake


  1. The pastel de tres leche cake sounds delicious. It could be rewarmed gently in a slow combustion oven (or for the modern folk, a microwave oven).
    Thanks for the receipe.

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