Pastel De Tres Leches

(or, Three Milk Cake)

1 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1⁄2 cup unsalted butter
2 cups white sugar (divided)
5 eggs
1 1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla extract (divided)
1 cup milk
1⁄2 of a 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1⁄2 of a 12-ounce can evaporated milk
1 1⁄2 cups heavy (whipping) cream

Preheat oven to 350 °F. Grease and flour a 9 x 13 inch baking pan.

Sift flour and baking powder together and set aside. Cream the butter and 1 cup of the sugar together until fluffy. Add the eggs and 1/2 teaspoon of the vanilla. Beat well. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, 2 tablespoons at a time, mixing well until blended. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 30 minutes.

When cake has finished baking, pierce it in 8 or 10 places with a fork or skewer, and let it cool. Combine the whole milk, evaporated milk, and condensed milk and pour over the top of the cooled cake. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.

Whipped cream topping: When ready to serve, combine the whipping cream and the remaining 1 teaspoon of vanilla and 1 cup of sugar, whipping until thick. Spread over top of cake.
Because of the milk in the cake, it is very important that you keep the cake refrigerated until ready to serve. Serve chilled and with fresh fruit, if desired.


Caribbean version: Replace the sweetened condensed milk with 1⁄2 cup of coconut milk in the milk mixture. You can also add 1⁄4 cup rum or any other liqueur.

Southern version: In addition to the three milks, add 1/3 cup peach schnapps. You can add 1⁄2 cup of diced, drained peaches to the batter. About 1⁄4 cup of pecans can be added to the batter or sprinkled on top of the cake before serving.

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