Notes: The whipped cream in this recipe is stabilized with unflavored gelatin and cream cheese—feel free to omit those ingredients if you expect the cake to go in one sitting.
This recipe can be halved. If doing so, bake the cake in an ungreased 8- by 8-inch baking dish and reduce baking time to 25 to 30 minutes.
Be sure to thoroughly chill the cake prior to serving. I sometimes pop it in the freezer for 20 to 30 minutes right before serving.
Read more: Dulces: Tres Leches Cake
- Yield:12 to 16
- Active time: 30 minutes
- Total time:4 hours, 30 minutes
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 6 large eggs, separated
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 (12-ounce) cans evaporated milk
- 2 (14-ounce) cans sweetened condensed milk
- 3 cups heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin (see note)
- 2 tablespoons water (see note)
- 1/4 cup cream cheese, softened (see note)
- 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 325°F.
Combine flour and baking powder in small bowl; set aside.
In bowl of stand mixer, beat egg whites and salt with whisk attachment on medium-low speed until whites begin to froth, about 1 minute. Increase speed to medium-high and beat whites until soft peaks form, 1 to 2 minutes. Slowly add the sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form, 2 to 3 minutes. The mixture may look a bit thick.
Add egg yolks and beat just until combined. Decrease speed to low and add flour in three additions, alternating with the milk, scraping sides and bottom of bowl as necessary. Add vanilla and beat just until combined.
Scrape batter into an ungreased 13- by 9-inch baking dish. Bake until cake tester inserted in center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer cake to cooling rack and cool completely in pan, 60 to 90 minutes.
Once cooled, poke cake all over with fork. Combine evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, and 1 1/2 cups heavy cream in large bowl. Pour mixture evenly all over cake. While cake soaks, make whipped cream.
Combine gelatin and water in small bowl. Microwave until gelatin dissolves, about 20 seconds. Cool to room temperature, about 5 minutes.
In clean bowl of stand mixer, beat cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar, and cooled gelatin with whisk attachment until soft and whippy, about 2 minutes. Add remaining 1 1/2 cups cream and beat to soft peaks, about 2 minutes.
Spread whipped cream over cake and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, at least 2 hours. Serve.