Tres Leches Cake

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Tres Leches Cake by Janet Frias
Story and Photos by Jenavie Aguilar

Growing up in a Mexican American household, Janet Frias can’t help but have a love for her culture, especially the food.

Frias’s mom is a strong cook who learned from her mom and many generations before her.

“I love Mexican food! Not only do I like to eat enchiladas, mole, and tortilla soup, but I like to cook it as well,” Frias says.

But there is one desert that really hits the spot for her sweet tooth, and that’s a homemade Tres Leches cake, or Three Milks cake.

Janet Frias is a senior at St. Mary’s University where she is studying English- Communication Arts.

She loves to work with people, communicate, and overall be involved with public affairs.

“I love St. Mary’s because it’s given me a great opportunity in networking, meeting people, and being involved with the community,” Frias states.

Her plan to become involved with public relations after graduation is well on its way.

“At this point, I’m looking for an internship in public relations to gain more experience and decide what direction I want to go into when it comes to public affairs.”

Along with being a full-time student, Frias is also an active member of the Delta Zeta sorority at St. Mary’s University where she has held a few executive positions as well, including public relations chair.

“When doing public relations, you have to relate to your audience as much as possible.

What do they want? What are they looking for? And how are you going to give it to them?” Frias explains.

Her involvements with school and the community leave Frias with little free time although she tries to cook when her schedule allows, “I like to bake when I get the chance and learn new recipes from my mom,” she says.

My favorite cake to bake, that I learned from my mom, is Tres Leches cake because it just melts in my mouth and it hits the spot every time.

I like to bake this because it’s not like an ordinary cake. I can’t help but crave this every time I’m in the mood for baking.

“The first time I tried baking a Tres Leches cake, it wasn’t as good as my mom’s,” she says.

Freas has only made this cake a few times, but each time only gets better. She plans to bake this cake for her sisters in Delta Zeta after she has mastered it.

“Each time I bake this cake, I get closer and closer to perfection, and I hope to master it one day so that I can pass down my secrets to the next generation.”

“Anyone that bakes this cake needs to take their time, and to not forget to add a little tender loving care,” Frias advises.


  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 6 ¾ oz. flour
  • Baking powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 oz. unsalted butter
  • 8 oz. sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 (12 oz.) can evaporated milk
  • 1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 cups of whip cream


Preheat the oven for 350 degrees, and prepare oil and flour a 13 by 9 in. metal pan. Whisk together the cake flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.Place the butter into the bowl. Beat on medium speed until fluffy for about a minute.. Decrease the speed to low and gradually at the sugar over a minute. Crack the eggs in the mix one at a time and continue  mixing the batter. Add the vanilla extract. Then, add the flour mixture to  mix.. Transfer the batter to the prepared and spread. Bake in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until the cake is lightly golden.Remove the cake pan to a cooling rack and allow to cool for 30 minutes. Poke the top of the cake all over with a fork. Allow the cake to cool completely and then prepare to glaze.For the glaze: Whisk together the evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk and the half and half in a 1 quart measuring cup. Then, poor the glaze over the cake.Topping: Add whipped cream as the top layer to the cake and add sugar.

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