This easy Tres Leches Chocolate Cake is a wonderful dessert. Perfect for any celebration.
I want to share this Tres Leches Chocolate Cake that I made for my husband's birthday a month ago. He had been asking for this tres leches cake variation for a while, but I never made or even heard about it before. So, I created it for his birthday and it was a great idea. The result was a moist, rich and absolutely fantastic chocolate cake!
What is Tres Leches Cake?
It's basically a cake soaked in a mixture made with three kinds of milk. Tres leches translates to “three milks,”. This cake is usually made with condensed milk, evaporated milk and heavy cream.
It's a popular dessert in Latin America and the original is made with a vanilla cake. But now days you find many variations of the traditional cake. Some of my tres leches variations are dulce de leche three milks cake, tangerine three milks cake, coffee three milks cake and coconut three milks cake.
This tres leches cake variation is rich, sweet and moist with a wonderful chocolate flavor. It pairs wonderfully with my meringue frosting, but you can use your favorite frosting for this cake if you don't like mine.
Ingredients to Make this Cake
You'll find the printable recipe card with exact ingredients amounts and directions below.
Baking powder: Check that your baking powder is fresh.
Eggs: I always use cage free eggs for my recipes.
Milk: To make this tres leches cake, you need condensed milk and evaporated milk. If you don't want to use evaporated milk, replace it with whole milk.
Heavy cream: I like to use heavy cream in my three milks mixture.
Flour: Use all purpose flour to make this cake.
Cocoa: Use a good quality cocoa powder to make this recipe.
Vanilla: I recommend using a good quality vanilla extract for this recipe, because I added to my the cake, three milks mixture and frosting.
Sugar: Granulated sugar for the cake and frosting.
Butter: Be sure to use unsalted butter.
Tres Leches Chocolate Cake Recipe
- 2 ½ cups all purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup cocoa
- 1 cup water
- 12 tablespoons butter soft
- 5 large eggs
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
Tres Leches Sauce
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 can evaporated milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 egg whites
- ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
- ¾ cup sugar
- ¼ cup water
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350° F.
- Grease and lightly flour a baking dish.
Make the Cake:
- In a bowl whisk together the flour, salt, sugar, cocoa and baking powder.
- In a large bowl beat the eggs with an electric mixer on high speed for 2 minutes, reduce the speed to low. Add the flour mixture, butter, water and vanilla extract and mix for 2 more minutes.
- Pour the batter into the baking dish and bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick stuck in the middle comes out clean. Remove cake from the oven and with a fork make holes all over the top of the cake. Set aside to cool for 10 to 15 minutes.
- When the cake is cooling, make the milk sauce, whisk together sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, heavy cream and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl.
- Pour the 3 milks sauce over the cake until it is all absorbed. Refrigerate for a least 3 hours or overnight.
- For the frosting, in a small pot mix the water and sugar, over medium high heat, stirring constantly for 5 minutes. Set aside.Beat the egg whites with cream of tartar until stiff peaks are formed. While beating the egg whites, add sugar syrup and continue beating for 5 more minutes. Add vanilla extract and beat 1 more minute. Spread the frosting over the cake.
- Turn on the broil for your oven and place the top rack in the middle.
- Cover cake with meringue. Bake for 2 minutes; or until the meringue is lightly browned. In this step you must be careful because the meringue can burn very quickly. To avoid accidents I do it with the oven door open.
More Cake Recipes to Try
Coffee Flavored Cake (Torta de Café)
Colombian Black Cake (Torta Negra)
Chocolate and Dulce de Leche Cake
Christine @ Fresh Local and Best
Tres Leches is such a wonderful and decadent dessert! Yours looks luxurious!
Delicioso!...gracias por otra receta facil y rápida.
Christine @ Fresh Local and Best
I forgot to mention - Happy holidays!
wow...delicious n yummy
Oh my word....I have a recipe for tres leche cake in a whitewater cookbook and I've always wanted to give it a try. Your version seems much more simple and I think I could just climb through the screen of my laptop to EAT THAT CAKE. Yum. Thank you for sharing. I only make desserts when I'm going to a party so I don't keep it in my house:) That's how I manage my calories. hehe! Party here I come! Just in time for the holidays.
I drool over regular Tres Leche cake, I would be over the edge with chocolate Tres Leche-Oh my!!!
Merry Christmas to you and your family.
My colombian boyfriend is going to love me for making this! Thanks! Happy Holidays
I just had a chocolate tres leches cake here in Mexico the other day and it was so delicious! I hope you have a great holiday my friend.
Hugs from Mexico.
I've never had a chocolate tres leches, but it sounds fantastic! I have to try this.
¡Que rico, Erica!
Aprovecho para desearte que pases unas Felices Fiestas Navideñas y que el Año Nuevo venga repleto de muchos de los mejores deseos que tengas.
Happy holidays to you and your family -- and all the best in 2011.
No se me habia ocurrido hacer el Tres Leches asi!! Que buena idea! Se ve delicioso! Erika, te deseo una Feliz Navidad y un 2011 lleno de bendiciones!
Merry Christmas to all of Erika's readers as well...
Never saw a chocolate version of Tres Leches cake. Mmm, it looks fantastic. Merry Christmas.
Erica, I love tres leche cake, but have to admit that never had a chocolate one...looks delicious, full of flavor 🙂
This is my kind of cake chocolaty and moisty for the milk!
Happy Holidays Erica! 🙂
Happy Holidays to your Erica and your family. I love your recipes and blog. I always look forward to the next one! Felix Navidad!!!
Delicious. I definitely have to try it.
Erica look absolutely delicious! Really! Have a lovely Christmas and happy Holidays!! huggs, gloria
Jenn AKA The Leftover Queen
What a delicious looking cake! I am sure your hubby loved it! 🙂 Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas!
That looks good...I have always been curious about how a Tres Leches Cake taste, now I am curious about how a chocolate one taste like too! Merry Christmas to you and your family Erica:)
Such a moist and yummy cake! Merry Christmas to you too! 🙂
that's what i'm talkin' about! what an awesomely moist and succulent cake, erica!
I love tres leches cake but I've never had a chocolate one...it sounds amazing! I hope you and your hubby had a wonderful Christmas, Erica!
I didn't know there was such a thing as chocolate tres leches! How positively scrumptious! I have to add this to my baking list. Hope you had a great Christmas!
Yum - we had tres leche cake when we were in Mexico- now I need to have it with chocolate - I think that's guaranteed to put it over the edge
A Canadian Foodie
I cannot imagine that the cake would absorb the entire sauce - I believe you, but I cannot imagine it. And the moist cake must be decadent beyond compare! You have a very lucky husband, indeed. YUM!
Happy New Year to you!!!
My husband also loves tres leches cake, so this would be for me! since I am a chocolate fanatic! Love this, so thanks for sharing, oh and...
Happy New Year to you and your family! Oh did I say that already? Well again!
Thank you everyone 🙂
Hola Erica! me encanto tu receta! me encataria hacer este cake para el cumple #4 de mi hijito... pero tu crees que pueda decorarlo como quiero... de su muneco preferido?? o quedara demasiado dulce?? muchas gracias por compartir tus recetas!! Que Dios te bendiga!
Natalia- Debes tener cuidado, por que te puede quedar dulce.
Great recipe. My family loved it. Was easy to follow. Baking time was close to the suggested time.
I was wondering what size baking pan you used?
I am making this for my spanish project. The cake looks delicious by just looking at the pictures. I hope it turns out great and gets me an "A". (: Thanks much!
Hello, that cake looks delicious!
What size dish did you use?
Would an 8" x 8" pan be ok?
I am helping my son make this for a school project....Can't decide on an 8X8 pan, 9X13 or a bundt pan??
What have you used?
I used a 8-inch round cake pan.
Stumbled upon the website recently and this is my first recipe....Simply amazing! Everyone must try it.
Yo siempre he hecho el 3 leches pero nunca con chocolate seguro ha de ser un manjar delicioso.
Tomo nota con tu permiso de la receta.
Saludos y decirte que yo soy de ecuador y vivo en Washington dc y tengo un blog de recetas de cocina.
Hi Erika. Love merengue, but not a fan of tres leches. Do you think it would work on a regular chocolate cake??