as seen on  a whisk and a spoon   


Johnny C’s Tres Leches Cake

(recipe adapted from Southern Cakes by Nancie McDermott)


3 cups all purpose flour

1 tbsp plus 1 tsp baking powder

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

2 cups sugar

4 eggs

1 cup milk


Three Milk Sauce

1½ cups milk

½ cup sweetened condensed milk

One 12 oz can evaporated milk

1 tbsp dark rum (optional)

1 tbsp grated lime zest



Sweetened whipped cream for garnish (optional)

Fresh fruit, such as kiwi or berries for garnish (optional)


Cake Method

-Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease and flour a 13 x 9 inch pan. In a medium bowl, combine the flour and baking powder and stir with a fork to mix well.

-In a large bowl, combine the butter and sugar and beat with a mixer at high speed to mix well. Add the eggs one by one, beating well each time and stopping to scrape down the bowl now and then until the mixture is light, fluffy and smooth.

-Add one third of the flour mixture and then half the milk, beating at low speed each time just until the flour or milk disappears into the batter. Add another third of the flour, the remaining milk and then remaining flour in the same way.

-Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 35 – 40 minutes, until the cake is golden brown, springs back when touched lightly in the centre and begins to pull away from the sides of the pan.

-While the cake bakes, make the sauce. (You want the cakes to still be warm when you add the sauce)


Three Milk Sauce

-Combine the milk, sweetened condensed milk, and evaporated milk a medium saucepan.

-Heat gently over medium heat, stirring often until the mixture forms a smooth, steaming hot sauce. Do not let it come to the boil.

-Add the rum, if using, and allow to cool for 10 minutes before using.


To Finish

-Cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Sprinkle the lime zest over the cake. -Punch holes with a toothpick in the top of the cake, about 1 inch apart.

-Slowly pour the warm milk sauce over the warm cake, in stages, stopping to let the cake absorb the sauce before adding more. You may not need it all. You can add more later if needed.

-Let the cake stand for 1 hour. Cover and refrigerate, allowing the cake to come to room temperature before you serve it.

-Cut into squares and serve right from the pan. Garnish with sweetened whipped cream and fresh fruit if desired.