Jennifer's Recipe: Tres Leches Cake

Can you name at least 10 things that have been in short supply at some time in the last two years? The ones that come to my mind are toilet paper, paper towels, wipes, bleach, coins, meat, new cars, used cars, N95 masks, and yeast. Some that you might not have been aware of are Grapenuts, chow mein noodles, saltines, oyster crackers, and cream cheese! Strange assortment! Some of these shortages were/are challenging, and others were/are just an inconvenience. I feel they pale in comparison to the shortage right now of baby formula. If you have been around a baby ever, you know they need to eat often and they need to eat right now! If you aren't breastfeeding, you rely on formula. It has to be super hard and scary when you can't get the formula you need. My heart goes out to all those parents that are trying to look for formula.

Like most things, I usually channel my thoughts and concerns to food. In this situation, we are basically talking about milk. That brings to mind a favorite, Three Milk Cake, better known as Tres Leches Cake! Tres Leches is a Latin American dessert, which means three milk cake. Three different kinds of milk are poured over and then soaked into a baked cake. This gives you a rich, flavorful, extremely moist cake. It is luxurious to eat. There are recipes to make it from scratch, but no need to do that, when this recipe is excellent and starts with a cake mix. I like to top it with whipped cream or Cool Whip for the frosting and serve it with strawberries. This is a great cake for birthdays, graduations, Memorial Day picnics, Fathers Day, or just because you need cake!

Last week the government took some steps that will hopefully alleviate this formula shortage. Let's hope it quickly resolves. Who knows what the next shortage will be? I don't think it will be recipes! If anything, I have a surplus of those.

Tres Leches Cake

Cake Ingredients:

1 box of yellow cake mix

1 1/4 cups of water

1 Tablespoon canola oil or vegetable oil

2 teaspoons of vanilla

4 large eggs - room temperature

1 can sweetened condensed milk 

1/2 cup whole milk

1 cup whipping cream

Topping Ingredients:

Pick one:

Simple - Cool Whip

More work but so good - 1 cup whipping cream, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1 Tablespoon powdered sugar or granulated sugar- whip to stiff peaks

Another option - 1 can Betty Crocker whipped fluffy frosting.

Strawberries or other berries for serving (optional)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray the bottom and sides of a 9x13-inch pan. Set aside. In a large bowl, beat the cake mix, water, oil, vanilla, and eggs with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds. Then mix on medium for 2 minutes, scraping the bowl occasionally. Pour into the pan.

Bake as directed on the box for a 9x13 pan. Remove and let the cake stand for 7-10 minutes. Meanwhile in a large bowl, stir together the sweetened condensed milk, whole milk, and whipping cream. After the cake has stood for 7-10 minutes, poke the top of the hot cake every 1/2 inch with a long tined fork. Wipe the utensil occasionally to reduce sticking.

Slowly and carefully pour the 3 milk mixture over the top of the cake. Let sit for 15 minutes, then cover and refrigerate for about an hour. Frost with the desired topping. Store leftovers in the refrigerator.

Yield - one 9x13 cake - 15 servings (or more or less depending on how big you cut the pieces)


* I use Betty Crocker SuperMoist yellow cake mix or Aldi brand yellow cake mix but use your favorite brand.

* Cinnamon can be added to the batter, 1/2 teaspoon if desired or some can be sprinkled on the finished cake. 

* A pint of whipping cream would be enough for the cake and to make the whipped cream topping.

* Recipe Source - Adapted from Betty Crocker

Photo: Hungry Dudes
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