Tres Leche Question

Decorating By Darthburn Updated 24 Jan 2010 , 5:39pm by Darthburn

Darthburn Posted 21 Jan 2010 , 4:56pm
post #1 of 15

Has anyone ever made a tiered Tres Leche cake? The recipes I am finding has the cake baked, then milk poured over it, the meringue applied. I can't imagine using a cake like that for layers.

I remember on Throwdown with Bobby Flay he competed against a guy with tres leche donuts and they were dry.. not soaked. Am I just looking at the wrong recipes?

Can anyone help me out with how it's done of a killer recipe please?

Thank you in advance. icon_smile.gif

14 replies
Angel_Cake Posted 21 Jan 2010 , 5:30pm
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I don't know what Bobby Flay made, but a true Tres Leches cake is soaked with three kinds of milk, it shouldn't be dry... sorry can't help!

Darthburn Posted 21 Jan 2010 , 7:09pm
post #3 of 15

Well it was a guy named Mark Isreal of the Doughnut Plant in New York that made it, and looking at pictures of it and other doughnuts you can see they are sturdy. Maybe dry was a poor choice of words. It just seems that if you bake a cake and then pour the milk on it to soak, the cake would be mushy, but theirs isn't and I was wondering if there is a trick to it or if someone has made a birthday or wedding cake (rounds or anything) with it.

But thank you for the reply anyway Angel_Cake icon_smile.gif

Texas_Rose Posted 21 Jan 2010 , 7:14pm
post #4 of 15

Jenna Bush's wedding cake was a tiered tres leches cake.

I know the recipe is different in different areas. Here the frosting is whipped cream.

Rusti Posted 21 Jan 2010 , 7:46pm
post #5 of 15

We have a local cuban restaurant that does a wonderful Tres Leches cake using sponge cake with sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk and coconut milk poured over to soak, worth every calorie! It does no have a strong coconut flavor but it's great. icon_biggrin.gif Never seen it with icing, doesn't need it.

Darthburn Posted 21 Jan 2010 , 7:51pm
post #6 of 15

I was reading through Texas_Rose post on Jenna Bush and researching in those articles.

I guess tres leches is a cake (with the milk) and dulce de leche is a type of caramel people use for filling.

I'm just curious on a good recipe for tres leches cake that can be layered and tiered... and I guess covered in whipped frosting like Jenna's cake.

I really appreciate the replies, I know this hasn't been the easiest topic.


icer101 Posted 21 Jan 2010 , 8:04pm
post #7 of 15

look at jenna's cake.. they also remark about it already falling.. thel top tier.. thought it was meant to be that way.. but then read the article. i have made these cakes.. but not for a wedding. was told. never to stack them for a wedding.. i am going to listen to the ones that told me not to.. hth... yes, they are very moist.. and the true frosting is whipped frosting. delicious.. know there are many flavors.. i have made the strawberry one. i think i got the recipe from c/c...

Darthburn Posted 21 Jan 2010 , 8:10pm
post #8 of 15

I hate to double up questions, but that also leads into another... the stacking. I'm not sure why a moist cake would compact or tilt... when you all stack, you put your dowels or plastic tubes in and then add the next cake on a cardbaord circle onto that, right? I don't see the tilting issue if the cake isn't bearing the weight of the tiers above it... the dowls and carboard structure is, right?

Texas_Rose Posted 21 Jan 2010 , 8:10pm
post #9 of 15

I used this recipe for our Christmas cake

It wasn't layered, just left in the pan, but the cake held the milks well enough that it would work, I think. I would probably let the milks soak into the layers overnight, then put them on cake boards (foamcore covered with press and seal is what I'd use, tres leches is a heavy cake) and set those on cooling grids over a cookie sheet in the fridge for a few hours to let any milk run out that was going to, before doweling. Also, assuming that you would be making it a little while in advance of serving, you'd want to use stabilized whipped cream.

Texas_Rose Posted 21 Jan 2010 , 8:14pm
post #10 of 15

I think Jenna's cake was tilted because the top tier was set down on the floral spray. That's what it looks like anyhow.

Tres leches is dense enough to hold the dowels, even when it's soaked. The only real issue would be whether the top half of the layer would press too much on the bottom one, squeezing milk out to dribble down your tiers, and maybe making the tiers shorter than the dowels.

Darthburn Posted 21 Jan 2010 , 8:18pm
post #11 of 15

Ahhhh that makes sense... thank you Texas_Rose, especially for the recipe.

Thank you everyone that helped also.

I'm going to try that recipe, Texas, and report back on how the layers handle stacking. I may have to tweek it a little, like add a slight bit less of the milk... but I'mm willing to try! icon_smile.gif

CuatroLeches Posted 24 Jan 2010 , 4:29pm
post #12 of 15

Our Miami bakery, Cuatro Leches Desserts, specializes in traditional vanilla tres leches and dulce de leche (cuatro leches) cakes. We frequently receive requests for birthday, baby shower and special occasion cakes, and we offer these tips to fellow bakers and pastry chefs:

Unlike Mexican-style tres leches which are often frosted like a traditional cake on the top and sides, Miami-style tres leches cakes call for baking, soaking, frosting and serving the cakes in a 9"x 13" x 2" cake pan so that the excessive milk mixture may be contained. Another regional difference is the amount of milk mixture used in the recipe. Mexican style tres leches cakes are denser, pound-cake like tortes lightly moistened with the milk mixture almost like syrup. In South Florida, and many parts of the Caribbean, tres leches cakes are heavily soaked in the three milks mixture, resulting in a rich, extra creamy dessert. These Miami desserts are served chilled with a consistency and flavor profile very similar to vanilla cake and ice cream. When served, the cake slices are often resting in a pool of the sweet milk mixture and are eaten with a spoon versus a fork.
The amount of milk used will be a factor for two reasons. First, it will affect the weight of the cake and it will make require some thought on how to contain the excess milk mixture in the cake once presented on the tier.

Our recipe for tres leches results in a very heavy cake - a quarter sheet cake pan (9" x 13" x 2") tres leches cake can weigh as much as 7 pounds. Using a sturdy pedestal stand should be sufficient, just be weary of making your tiers too heavy. We prefer to present our cakes on ceramic plates, but a thin-profile, lightweight plastic plate may work best if you are trying to achieve a multi-tiered effect.

For a more sophisticated presentation, one method we have used on individual (mini) cakes and on round tres leches tortes is baking and soaking the tres leches in the traditional method (inside the cake pan) then freezing the cake overnight in the cake pan before unmolding the cake. This allows you to frost the frozen cake on the tops and sides, while retaining the milk mixture inside the cake. Frost the cakes and set them up on the final presentation platter or plate. Be sure that you select a plate material that will retain the milk mixture that seeps from the bottom of the cake. In our experience, this has been minimal and adds to the presentation.

Be sure to allow several hours for the tiers to thaw in the refrigerator before serving.

Good luck!

Cuatro Leches Dessert Bakery
Miami, Florida 33155

Darthburn Posted 24 Jan 2010 , 4:38pm
post #13 of 15

Wow! Thank you for all the information!

When it thaws, is the milk going to run out everywhere? I thought about perforating the cake and only using a small amount of the milk mixture, that way it would soak in but not be excessive enough to saturate it to the point of dripping out. Also thought about soaking it over night, then placing it back in the oven for maybe 15 minutes to help dry or evaporate some of the milk and make it more of a cake cake. The impression I have now is if I try to layer this it's just going to be a big mush. Is that right or will it be more sturdy than i think?

Appreciate the help greatly!

CuatroLeches Posted 24 Jan 2010 , 5:22pm
post #14 of 15

I think if you treat your cake like a French génoise cake, substituting the soaking syrup with a traditional tres leches milk mixture you will attain the flavor profile you are looking for. Perhaps you can experiment creating a syrup with a little rum and the three milks mixture?

Prick the top of cakes with a wooden skewer or large fork, brushing the three milks mixture evenly over the cakes, making sure the milk mixture is absorbed before each new layer is added. You can make each tier multiple layers by spreading a thin layer of dulce de leche caramel in between each layer to help retain the syrup between the tiers.

Let us now how it goes!

Cuatro Leches Dessert Bakery
Miami, Florida 33155

Darthburn Posted 24 Jan 2010 , 5:39pm
post #15 of 15

Excellent, that is what I was wondering about! I was hoping to use dulce de leche as a filling sort of, so that would be great if it helps hold it in. And I will try the brush on and wait method... that sounds like excellent advice! Thank you so much again!

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