Jessica Dee

Home baker. Dessert & Mexican bread maker.

Chocolate Tres Leches

The “three milk” cake. It is typically soaked in whole, condensed and evaporated milk. But it did not originate that way. In the 19th century, a wine-soaked custard bread was popular in Mexico, likely influenced by the English during colonization. Soaking cakes and breads in liquid was a way of repurposing stale breads. Recipes have evolved over the years and tres leches are very popular in Mexico. You’ll find them at Quinceaneras, weddings, graduations, etc. Basically, any kind of celebration.

For this recipe, I decided to make a chocolate tres leches. Chocolate and milk are a great combo. It’s like eating a piece of chocolate cake with a cold glass of milk. The consistency is perfect. There is just enough milk, it almost tastes like a chocolate pudding. It was a big hit at home.

Chocolate Tres Leches

A chocolate cake soaked in milk, topped with a chocolate whipped frosting and dusted with cocoa powder.
Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 40 minutes
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 16


  • 1 `9×13 cake pan
  • 1 mixer
  • 1 whisk
  • mixing bowls
  • 1 sieve
  • spatulas


  • 320 g all purpose flour
  • 360 g granulated sugar
  • 85 g unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 3 cups whole milk divided
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup condensed milk
  • 3/4 cup evaporated milk


  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 3 TBS granulated sugar
  • 2 TBS unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
    Oil a 9×13 cake pan
    In a large bowl combine: flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Mix together. Set aside.
    In another bowl: add 2 cups of whole milk, oil, eggs and vanilla.
    Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix with whisk until smooth.
    Pour batter into oiled cake pan, bake 35-40 minutes. Use toothpick to check for doneness.
    Remove and cool 10 minutes.
    While cooling whisk remaining cup of whole milk with the condensed and evaporated milk.
    With fork or skewer, poke multiple holes in entire cake. Pour milk mixture over entire cake.
    Let the cake cool in refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
    While cooling you can make the topping.

Whipped topping

  • Combine heavy cream, sugar, unsweetened cocoa powder and vanilla in a mixing bowl. Use whipping attachment to mix. Start speed on low and gradually increase speed until you get a fluffy thick frosting.
    Spread all of the frosting evenly over the cake. Dust with cocoa powder.
    Cover with plastic wrap and place back in refrigerator until ready to eat.


It took 40 minutes for me to bake the cake. But it can vary. Check center for doneness. 
Keyword cake, pan dulce, tres leches

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