Tres Leches Cake with Dulce de Leche Glaze

Tested & Perfected Recipes
Tres Leches Cake

A stunning tres leches cake with a rum-spiked dulce de leche glaze.

Tres Leches Cake

Popular in Latin America, tres leches cake or pastel de tres leches is a light and fluffy cake soaked with a mixture of three milks: sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, and heavy cream (leche means milk in Spanish). It’s a homey cake served right from the baking pan and it has a consistency similar to bread pudding or custard.

In this version, rum is added to the soaking liquid and, instead of the traditional whipped cream topping, a simple rum-spiked dulce de leche glaze covers the cake (which, I guess, technically makes it a quatro leches cake). My husband calls it “heaven on earth.”

What You’ll Need to Make Tres Leches Cake

ingredients for tres leches cake

Before we get to the recipe, can I just tell you how many tres leches cakes I baked before arriving at this version? Eight! Finally, I found a recipe by pastry chef Nick Malgieri that was a spot-on. The key to his recipe? Using a chiffon batter for the base and cooling the cake upside-down. I jazzed up the recipe by adding rum and dulce de leche.

How To Make Tres Leches Cake

egg yolks, water, and oil in mixing bowl

Begin by combining the egg yolks, oil, water and vanilla in a mixing bowl. Whisk to blend.

whisked egg yolk mixture

In another bowl, whisk together the flour, part of the sugar, and the baking powder.

whisked dry ingredients

Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture.

egg and flour mixtures in bowl

Using an electric mixer, beat for one minute to aerate. Set aside.

beating egg and flour mixture

Next, combine the egg whites and salt in a clean, dry bowl and beat until foamy and soft peaks form (when you lift the beaters or whisk out of the bowl, the peaks will hold for a second and then melt back into themselves).

foamy egg whitesAdd the remaining sugar in a steady stream and beat the mixture until stiff peaks form. As you can see below, the mixture will be glossy, and when you lift the beaters or whisk out of the bowl, the peaks will point straight up with just a tiny droop at the top.

egg whites whipped to stiff peaks

Add the a quarter of the egg whites to the batter and stir to combine — this lightens the mixture making it easier to fold in the  remaining egg whites.

adding egg whites to batterFold in the remaining egg whites — this is just a gentle mixing method that helps the batter retain the volume of the beaten egg whites. It’s easy: use a large rubber spatula to cut down vertically through the two mixtures, then gently turn half the mixture over onto the other half. Continue cutting down the middle and turning a portion over. Don’t stir. The egg whites should be fully incorporated but only just so — try not to over mix.

tres leches batter in bowl

Transfer the batter to an ungreased 9 x 13 x 2-inch glass or ceramic baking dish (do not use metal). It’s very important not to grease the pan; a chiffon cake needs to grip the sides of the pan to rise. And the cake needs to stick to the pan since it cools upside-down.

tres leches batter in pan ready to bake

Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until the cake is set and golden.

baked tres leches cake

Let the cake settle for 1 to 2 minutes (you want it to deflate just a bit, so that the top of the cake is level with the rim of the baking dish). Invert 4 glasses onto the countertop and invert the cake pan onto them, positioning one in each corner of the pan. A chiffon cake needs to hang upside down to cool or it will collapse and fall.

tres leches cake cooling upside-down

Let the cake cool for about an hour, then flip it over and run a sharp knife around the edges to loosen it from the pan. Poke it all over with a toothpick or skewer.

poking tres leches cake

Make the tres leches soaking liquid by combining the evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, heavy cream, and rum.

tres leches soaking liquid

Pour it slowly over the cake, allowing the cake to absorb the moisture as you go. Don’t rush this process or the liquid won’t be absorbed evenly.

pouring soaking liquid on cake

It’s helpful to tilt the pan slightly back and forth to help it absorb.

tilting baking dish to help liquid absorbRefrigerate the cake for at least eight hours or overnight to allow it to fully absorb the tres leches mixture. Then, prepare the topping by combining the dulce de leche, rum, and water in a bowl. Microwave it for about one minute so it’s easier to blend.

whisked dulce de leche glaze in mixing bowl

Spread the glaze over the chilled cake.

spreading dulce de leche glaze on cake

Make a pretty design by swirling the glaze with an offset spatula or butter knife.

finished tres leches cakeChill the cake until ready to serve.

Tres Leches Cake

More Cool, Creamy Dessert Recipes

Tres Leches Cake with Dulce de Leche Glaze

A stunning tres leches cake with a rum-spiked dulce de leche glaze.

Servings: Twenty-four 2-inch squares
Cook Time: 35 Minutes
Total Time: 9 Hours, plus 8 hours to chill in the fridge


For the Cake

  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled-off with a knife
  • 1 cup sugar, divided
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 5 large egg whites
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

For the Soaking Mixture

  • 1 (12-oz) can evaporated milk
  • 1 (14-oz) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons dark rum

For the Glaze

  • 1 (13-oz) can dulce de leche, preferably Nestle
  • 1 tablespoon dark rum
  • 1/4 cup water


  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F and set a rack in the middle position.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, oil, water and vanilla.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or beaters, combine the flour, 3/4 cup of the sugar, and the baking powder; mix on low speed for 20 seconds to combine. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and beat (start slow to combine then increase to medium for stand mixer/medium-high for hand mixer) for one minute to aerate it slightly. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula and beat for just a few seconds more. Set aside.
  4. In a clean, dry mixing bowl, combine the egg whites and salt. Using the whisk attachment or beaters, whip the egg whites (on medium speed for a stand mixer/medium-high speed for a hand mixer) until they are white, foamy, and beginning to hold a very soft peak, 40 to 60 seconds. Increase the speed (medium-high for stand mixer/high for hand mixer) and gradually add the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar in a slow stream. Continue whipping the mixture until it is shiny and holds stiff peaks, 2 to 3 minutes.
  5. Using a large rubber spatula, add 1/4 of the egg white mixture into the batter and mix thoroughly. Add the remaining egg whites to the lightened batter and gently fold until the batter is uniform. Do not over-mix. Scrape the batter into an ungreased 9x13-in glass or ceramic baking dish (do not use metal) and smooth the top (note that it's very important NOT to grease the pan). Bake the cake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until it is set and golden.
  6. Let the cake sit on the stovetop for 1 to 2 minutes, until the cake settles (you want it to deflate just slightly, so that the top of the cake is level with rim of the pan), then invert four glasses onto the countertop and invert the cake pan onto them, positioning one in each corner of the pan. (A chiffon cake needs to hang upside down to cool or it will collapse and fall.) Let cool for 1 hour.
  7. Once the cake has cooled, flip it over and run a sharp, thin-bladed knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the cake from the sides. Poke holes in the cake with a skewer or point of a small, sharp knife at 1/2-in intervals.
  8. Prepare the soaking liquid: in a large bowl, whisk together the evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, heavy cream and rum. Slowly pour or spoon the soaking liquid over the cake, tilting the pan every so often to help it absorb evenly. Be patient: this process takes about 10 minutes. If the cake is slow to absorb, run a knife around the edges of the cake again and poke a few more holes. Don't worry if it looks like a mess; it all gets covered with the glaze anyway. Place the cake in the refrigerator, uncovered, to chill for at least 8 hours or overnight.
  9. Once the cake has chilled, make the glaze: in a medium microwave-safe bowl, combine the dulce de leche, rum and water. (Note: If you want a really boozy cake, change the proportions in the glaze to 3 tablespoons water and 2 tablespoons rum). Heat for 30 to 60 seconds in the microwave to soften the dulce de leche, then whisk until completely smooth. Let the mixture cool to room temperature, then spread over the cake, swirling artistically with an offset spatula or butter knife. Place the cake back in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Serve with fresh fruit, if desired.

Nutrition Information

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  • Calories: 234
  • Fat: 8 g
  • Saturated fat: 3 g
  • Carbohydrates: 34 g
  • Sugar: 27 g
  • Fiber: 0
  • Protein: 5 g
  • Sodium: 112 mg
  • Cholesterol: 41 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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  • Hi! Can I use a 6×8 pan for this recipe? Would I have to cut the recipe in half and how would it affect the baking time of the cake?

    • — Nikunja Gupta on November 10, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Nikunja, Yes, you would need to cut the recipe in half. The baking time may be a little shorter so keep a close eye on it. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on November 13, 2020
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn, do you think I could make this with the marshmallow meringue topping that you use with your indoor s’mores?

    • — Eugenia on August 13, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Eugenia, I wouldn’t recommend it, but you could top the cake with whipped cream. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on August 14, 2020
      • Reply
  • I made this cake exactly as directed, paying very careful attention to the reviews since others had issues with the cake falling out when cooling upside down. I used an ungreased 13×9 Longaberger ceramic casserole dish, baked it for 45 minutes (the minimum) and it came out golden brown and the toothpick was bone-dry. Sure enough, after about 5 minutes when turned upside down on the glasses to cool, the whole middle fell out.

    However, since I read the reviews and knew that could happen, I had placed a very large cutting board underneath. I carefully picked up the cake and immediately pieced it back together in the pan. It looked messy, but did the best I could to make it look like the original cake. I then let it cool for an hour on a wire rack (not upside down). I continued following the directions exactly – poking holes in the cake with a skewer, very slowly pouring the soaking liquid evenly into the cake, and then refrigerating overnight. I made the glaze the next day and covered all the mess – you couldn’t even tell! And it turned out delicious! So if this happens to you, don’t worry – it will turn out great!

    I will definitely make this cake again, but will increase the baking time (at least 50 minutes). And this is just personal preference – I will also slightly reduce the rum in the glaze (not the cake, only the glaze), as I thought it was just a bit too strong for me. So instead of one whole tablespoon of rum, maybe use a teaspoon and the rest water.

    Overall, it is a deliciously moist and flavorful cake, so don’t worry if your cake falls – no one will even know and you will get rave reviews!

    • — Kirsten on August 2, 2020
    • Reply
  • I tried this recipe but made a change-used coconut milk instead of evaporated milk and it was delish. Loved by friends& family.

    • — Phebe on July 15, 2020
    • Reply
  • Fantastic recipe! I followed the recipe exactly, and it came out perfectly. My family loved it!

    • — Mariel on July 9, 2020
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn!

    Can I bake this cake in a standard size, well greased and lined angel food pan?

    • — Vassa on July 2, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Vassa, I think you could use an angel food pan but don’t grease it (as you will be inverting the pan while the cake cools. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on July 6, 2020
      • Reply
  • Do you think it would be possible to make this into a layer cake? I want to make it again but for a birthday cake where I use whipped cream etc… not sure how it would work in metal pans

    • — Sophie Zajdela on May 28, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Sophie, With the soaking liquid this has, I wouldn’t recommend making this into a layer cake – sorry!

      • — Jenn on May 29, 2020
      • Reply
    • Koi, it looks amazing but I am worried about the flipping part. Would it affect the cake terribly if I skip the flipping? Thanks!

      • — Taltal on December 26, 2020
      • Reply
      • It’s fine to skip that part, Taltal.

        • — Jenn on December 26, 2020
        • Reply
  • My family LOVED this! For the topping, I used 1 can of the Nestle dulce de leche + 1 T. rum + 1 T. water and only heated for 15 seconds because I was worried it might be too runny after reading some of the reviews, and it was perfect!

    • — Alexandra on May 16, 2020
    • Reply
  • I just baked the cake and it turned out lovely! I’m wondering if I can make the tres leches with coconut milk versus heavy cream? Thoughts? Thank you in advance.

    • — LINDSAY BLAAUW on May 4, 2020
    • Reply
    • Glad you liked it! Yes, I think coconut milk would work here. Please LMK how it turns out if you try it!

      • — Jenn on May 5, 2020
      • Reply
  • So I’m am making this now and it seems like it makes a lot of the soaking liquid. Am I to use all of it? I’ve been spooning it on my cake but seems like I’ve used half of it and I’m just worried that if I use all of the liquid the. my cake may be too soggy.

    • — Paula on May 4, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Paula, I would use all of it; it is meant to be soaked through. 🙂

      • — Jenn on May 4, 2020
      • Reply
  • Hi! I made this cake for hubby’s birthday. Was very delicious. I feel like the liquid absorbed very quickly and was more concentrated on the edges. The middle pieces were moist but not as moist as the outer. Not sure what I did wrong. Any ideas ?

    • — Farah on May 3, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Farah, Next time, slow down a little with the soaking liquid; if you spoon it very gradually over the cake, you can make sure it distributes more evenly. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on May 3, 2020
      • Reply
  • Absolutely delicious. I modified the recipe by using 0.75 cups of sugar instead on one cup.

    • — S on April 28, 2020
    • Reply
  • Can we leave out the rum in the glaze and the soaking mixture? Should we replace it with anything else (non alcoholic)? Thanks

    • — Tammy Hawthorne on April 28, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Tammy, It’s no problem at all to just omit the rum — it will still be delicious.

      • — Jenn on April 28, 2020
      • Reply
  • I’m confused about inverting the cake to let it cool. What stops the cake from falling onto the counter? Do you use a lid to stop it?

    • — Sean on April 12, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Sean, I know that sounds really unconventional, but a chiffon cake needs to be inverted to cool or it will collapse. To ensure that it doesn’t fall out while inverted, make sure the cake is fully baked (it has a tendency to fall out if it’s underbaked), that you avoid a metal pan (use glass or ceramic) and do NOT grease the pan. Hope that helps and that you enjoy if you make it!

      • — Jenn on April 13, 2020
      • Reply
      • Awesome, thanks so much! Thoughts on adding a whipped cream topping above the dulce de leche layer? Would that work?

        • — Sean on April 20, 2020
        • Reply
        • Hi Sean, I’d probably suggest doing one or the other. 🙂

          • — Jenn on April 21, 2020
          • Reply
        • I added a cinnamon whipped cream and it was delicious with the dulce de lèche, so you can definitely do both

          • — Sophie Zajdela on May 28, 2020
          • Reply
  • Hello! I couldn’t find dulce de Leche so I found a recipe to make it. I gave it a go and while it’s delicious.. but not as dark in color, it’s rather light actually. I’m not sure what it’s supposed to taste like so- do you think I should try again? Also, would it be a deal breaker if I use half & half or should I go back to the store! Thanks so much!

    • Hi Dani, you could certainly try the Dulce de Leche recipe again or for the most predictable results, you could order it online. And I do think you could get away with half-and-half in place of the cream. Hope that helps!

    • This cake was a bit challenging for me. My mistakes though, I did get the de Leche right but then the first cake fell & I was in a rush for bedtime for my toddlers so I didn’t read the directions fully and I did rush the liquid process and now it’s sitting in the fridge this morning with a very slight pool on the top of the cake. Not sure at this point if I should pour off the liquid before I attempt to salvage it? I don’t want to try again!

      • Hi Dani, It’s not unusual for the liquid to pool a little — you can just pour it off. I hope (after all your trials and tribulations!) that you enjoy. 🙂

  • I made this for my husbands work function and it was a hit. My Latino friends said this was perfect. And one of our friends recently visited Spain and said she was the tres leche expert. This recipe received 5 starts from her as well. Thanks again Jen for making me look like the “genius chef”! 🙂

  • Hi Jennifer,
    Do you happen to know what is “heavy cream” called in Canada? We have “half and half” (which is typically used as coffee cream) or “whipping cream”.
    Thank you,

    • Hi Carolyn, It looks like it’s called whipping cream in Canada. 🙂

  • I made the cake the first time and it came out perfect. I made it again today and the cake did not rise to fill the pan. It was only halfway. What did I do wrong? Also, the egg white mixture does not look white and fluffy like your picture. When I add the sugar, it stays the same color. Why?

    • Hi Angelica, sorry you had a problem with the cake this time! You mentioned that your egg white mixture doesn’t look white and fluffy like mine. That definitely can cause issues as that mixture adds lightness to the cake and helps it to rise. And did you by any chance grease the baking dish? (If you do, it keeps this kind of cake from rising fully.) Last, did you make any adjustments to the recipe this time around?

      • Fit for a king! This is a very special cake. Decadent and delicious. So glad I used the dulce de leche glaze instead of whipped cream although whipped cream is excellent on the side.

        • — Kim on May 7, 2020
        • Reply
  • Hi!! Can i use brandy instead of rum???

    • — Colomba Thomas
    • Reply
    • Sure, Colomba — hope you enjoy!

  • Hi Jenn, I was searching for a moist banana cake when I came across your wonderful website and sticky toffee banana cake. I have now made that about 5 times to rave reviews. Just off the back of that, I have ordered your cookbook which should arrive tomorrow, fingers crossed. I am currently looking to make this delicious looking tres leche cake but as it’s just me and hubby and it looks like a lot, could I halve the recipe and use a 21 x 21cm pyrex glass dish? If yes, any suggestions how I can adjust baking time? I live in the UK hence the measurement in cm. Many Thanks.

    P.S: I often find myself just reading your recipes like a novel, at this stage, hubby may have to pry the cookbook from my hands when it arrives.

    • Hi Nenny, so glad you enjoyed the sticky toffee banana cake enough to order the cookbook! I do think you could halve the tres leches cake and use a 21 and use a 21 x 21-cm dish. The cake may take a few minutes longer in the oven but keep a very close eye on it. Hope you enjoy!

      • Thanks Jenn, I will give this a try this weekend. If I do decide that we should make absolute pigs of ourselves and use a 33 x 23 cm dish, if it fair to assume a porcelain one will work? The cookbook has arrived, happy days 😋

        • Should, Nenny, porcelain should work. Thanks so much for purchasing the cookbook! ❤️

  • Made this for a Cinco de Mayo dinner and it was amazing. I will have to say that when I got ready to put the topping on this morning I added the rum and was adding the water but thought it looked like too much. I only added about two tablespoons and still couldn’t swirl it after chilling it. I would only add maybe one tablespoon rum and one tablespoon water and microwave at most for fifteen seconds. It tasted wonderful so thanks for the recipe!

  • HI Jen,
    I baked my cake for the amount of time, it looked beautiful. I let it cool for the 1-2 minutes, turned it over to cool, and the whole middle of the cake fell out. What did I do wrong?

    • — Denise LaBarre
    • Reply
    • Oh no, Denise! I’m so sorry you had trouble. What type of pan did you use? Was it greased?

      • I used a glass pan, not greased. I did test the cake with toothpick which came out clean. I read that sponge cakes can be a bit fussy.

        As a side note, I love your recipes! The berry trifle is a big hit whenever I take it to a gathering.

        • — Denise LaBarre
        • Reply
        • Yes, they can be a bit fussy. Typically issues with cooling/falling are the result of making substitutions, the cake being underbaked (the wet batter makes the cake heavier and prone to falling), or the pan being greased. Hopefully you were able to salvage it; luckily, this cake gets soaked and covered with frosting, so no one will know!

          • This literally just happened to me, too! I think I’ll have to cover the entire thing with whipped cream to hide the mess.

            • — Erin
  • Hi Jenn, Can you substitute butter for the oil?

    • — Jeana Gutierrez
    • Reply
    • I don’t recommend it, Jeana – sorry!

  • Hi! I would love to make this for an upcoming Cinco de Mayo Party. Are there any changes I need to make since I live at 7300 feet above sea level? Thanks!

    • — Karen Campbell
    • Reply
    • Hi Karen, Unfortunately, I don’t have any experience baking at high altitudes so I don’t have any wisdom to share but you might find these tips from King Arthur helpful.

  • I made this cake using a hand blender, followed all the directions, except substituted dark rum with 1 and 1/2 tablespoons rum extract for the cake and 1/2 tablespoon for the topping. I inverted the cake with no problem … It came out perfect n delicious. One question, how long do I cool the cake before the soaking?

    • — MaryEllen Fonseca
    • Reply
    • Hi MaryEllen, It should take about 1 hour; have updated the recipe. Hope you enjoy!

  • Hi jenn, Why doesn’t the soaking mixture soak very well even if I added 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream?

    • Hi Fanny, Did you let it sit for a few minutes so it could absorb? If it’s slow to absorb into the cake, you can run a knife around the cakes’ edges again and poke a few more holes on top.

      • Hi Jenn,
        I 1st made this without the rum & it was deeelish! The next time I included the rum although it was light rum & I do believe you have a WINNER here. The rum was exactly what it needed for that extra little kick of flavor!! I have some bourbon i thought about trying but not sure how the flavor may be. Will let you know if i do try it that way.
        Thanks for all the recipes you share & willingness to share your knowledge when someone has a question.

  • Hi Jenn!

    I have made Tres Leches multiple times but with boxed cake mix. This time, I wanted to try it from scratch. I have a Classic Mixer 4.5q. When I added the eggs, vanilla, water, and oil to the dry mixture, it did not liquify! It was more doughy than a typical mix. Can you please tell me where I went wrong? All my measurements were correct. I finished baking the cake but it was just a mess and it was very thin and spongy and I doubt that’s how its supposed to be!

    Will try again this morning. Thank you!

    • Hi Nels, I’m sorry to hear you had such a problem with this! Although you said you measured carefully, I’m wondering if you inadvertently made a measuring mistake somewhere along the way. (Some people have had a challenge with cooling the cake as it needs to be inverted, but I haven’t heard any complaints about the batter not liquifying.) You said you were going to try it again — How did it turn out?

      • Hi Jenn!

        The second time around the cake was great! I had measured everything out, but you’re right – I might’ve made a small mistake somewhere. Either way, it came out great and tasted a lot like the Dominican version of tres leches (my favorite!). Will definitely make a chiffon cake in the future 🙂

  • Hi, Jenn,

    I haven’t tasted the cake yet, but it looked and smelled perfect–until I added my glaze! I wanted to share my experience in case anyone else out there was thinking of subbing out the rum.

    I made my own dulce de leche with the stovetop method and a can of sweetened condensed milk, and used water as was recommended as a substitute for the rum (since the birthday girl doesn’t like rum), but didn’t realize how thinned out the dulce de leche would end up. I used the same amount of water as was called for rum (1/4 c. + 1 T.), but definitely should have used less. I idiotically poured on the dulce de leche “glaze” anyway, thinking it would magically thicken…somehow…but, uh, no. Now my mom’s birthday cake is sitting in a pool of beige-y sauce. I’m betting this will be too sweet (and mushy). It might have been that my dulce de leche was already too thin? Now trying to figure out how to rebrand this cake (quattro de leche?) and cover up the rather unattractive top…

    I would definitely try this again, but with much less water for the glaze.

  • Hi jenn
    I sorry for a lot of questions.
    If i make 2 9×2 inches is going to be tha same process.I thinking how to put together 2 layers?

    • Hi Fanny, I wouldn’t recommend making this into a layer cake – with the soaking liquid it has, I think you’ll have a big mess on your hands – sorry!

  • Jenn, First thank for share your recipes they are the best I made tres leches cake it was delicious. I want to make another one but I only have fine cake flour can I use this? Thanks

    • Glad you like this cake, Fanny! Yes, cake flour will work here.

  • Can i use RUM less or more 3 TBSP FOR THE SOAKING MIXTURE.

    • Sure Fanny, just compensate with more or less heavy cream.

  • Hi Jenn
    Can i use this recipe for 12×2 in heart pan.

    • Yes, I think that should work with no changes, Fanny. Hope you enjoy!

  • Hi, quick clarification…do you refrigerate the cake first overnight then the next day put the dulce de leche topping?

    • — Victoria Aquino
    • Reply
    • Yes, it should be refrigerated for at least 8 hours before you spread the glaze on top. Hope that helps!

  • Hi Jenn, do you think I can make this 2 days ahead? And then glaze with dulce de Leche before serving? Basically, can it soak for too long?

    • Two days ahead is fine, Erin. Hope you enjoy it!

  • If Kahlua were to be used instead of rum would the amount of sugar in the recipe need to be changed? And would the Dulce de Leche pair well with it or would a whipped cream topping be better?

    • Hi Neiha, I think you could replace the rum with Kahlua without making any other changes. I’d love to know how it turns out!

  • With the poking holes in the cake of the Tre de leche cake, I had to laugh because it looked like you have used an electric drill to do it!! Go girl!!

    • Ha! Hope you enjoyed it! 🙂

  • What can I use if i can’t find dulce de leche

    • Hi Tonya, you can actually make your own dulce de leche with sweetened condensed milk. You can find a simple recipe here. Hope that helps!

  • Hi, Jenn,
    First, I am loving your new cookbook! I wish I could attend your cooking demo on Saturday, but I am 3,000 miles away 🙂

    Second, this cake recipe looks amazing! I have all ingredients except Rum. Do you think Grand Marnier will be a satisfactory substitute? Third, I have a hand mixer with a turbo boost-like feature, which I occasionally use with a deep mixing bowl (because things tend to fly otherwise). Do you think if I use that feature when mixing it will allow me to cool the cake upside down? If not, I will cool it right side up. I also can try the upside down method with a cooking rack underneath it like someone else mentioned doing.

    Tonight I will be making your Chicken Marsala for dinner 🙂

    • So glad you’re enjoying the cookbook, Laura – thanks so much for buying it!!
      Regarding the cake, it’s fine to use a hand mixer and I think placing the cooling rack underneath it sounds like a good “insurance policy.”
      (And I think Brandy would be a better choice than Grand Marnier.) Hope you enjoy!

  • This is an absolute winner in my circle. My husband is my biggest critic and each time I make this, he licks the tray clean so much so that this is now his birthday cake tradition. I like this version a lot more to Nick Malgieri’s specifically because of the dulce leche topping and overall the cake tastes absolutely delicious. I will also add, people take my baking skills more seriously since I started baking this recipe:D So thank you very much Jenn.

  • Can I use milk instead of water? Also, can I replace rum with almond or vanilla extract?

    • Hi Eileen, Are you referring to using milk in the cake or the glaze? And regarding the rum, no need to substitute extract; you can leave it out of the soaking liquid, and just substitute water in the glaze.

  • Hi Jenn! Can i add cream of tartar to help the egg whites fluff some more if i am using a handmixer? will it affect the taste? 🙂

    • — Jessica Anne Tolentino
    • Reply
    • Hi Jessica, Yes, I think you could – hope it turns out well!

  • This was a awesome cake! I have a stand mixer and had no issues with preparation. I baked for 38 minutes. After reading the reviews where the cake fell out of the pan I decided to cool the cake with the hopes of saving it if it fell. I still used the four glasses but placed a wire cooling rack on top of my cake and then flipped it and set on the glasses. Thankfully mine didn’t fall. The wire rack does not touch the cake. I will bake this same cake in the future and vary the topping. Thanks so much for sharing.

  • Hello Jenn, Is it possible to replace the rum with Irish cream or brandy?
    Thanks in advance!

    • Hi Malak, I think brandy would work here. Enjoy!

  • I made this cake years ago and had no problems, came out perfectly, loved by everyone. Made it again last night; the cake dropped out of the overturned pan. Were my eggs too cold? Was it because I used AP flour? I tried again this morning with eggs left on the counter overnight and unbleached cake flour. Cake fell out of the overturned pan again! My pan was ungreased and I timed everything to the second. Not sure why I’m having such bad luck. The cake was a special request for my sister’s birthday but looks like I will have to make something else. I’m so sad!

    • Oh no– so sorry you had that experience twice! Sometimes a chiffon can fall out of the pan if the cake is under-baked. If you want to try again, increase the baking time a bit.

  • Can an enamel pan be used or does it have to be glass?

    • — Ursula Grennan
    • Reply
    • Hi Ursula, enamel will work here as well. Enjoy!

      • I’d hate to buy an extra bottle of alcohol. I have brandy, makers mark whiskey, and sazernac whiskey. Any idea which will be best to sub for rum?

        • I’d go with the brandy. Hope you enjoy! 🙂

  • Can the Tres Leches cake be frozen? Thank you, Dinah

    • I don’t think it’d freeze well, Dinah. Sorry!

  • Would it be all right to use a 13 x 9 stoneware dish as I don’t have a Pyrex one?

    • Yes, that’d be fine, Ana. Enjoy!

      • Can I use olive oil instead ? Thank you

        • I don’t recommend olive oil here, Galia – sorry!

    • Yes, Jessica, a normal baking dish will work fine. Enjoy!

  • Hi,
    Baked this for my dads birthday…a big hit again…thanks for the lovely recipe.

  • is the topping made with a tin of caramel? never heard of the ingredient you say to use but the picture on the can looks like caramel. (Cape Town, South Africa)

    • — Meredyth Brown
    • Reply
    • Hi Meredyth, I would think that you could find Dulce de Leche in South Africa, but if not, you may be able to get away with caramel if you think it will work as part of a glaze.

    • Hello Meredyth! If you can’t find already prepared Dulce de Leche, try your hand at making some at home. It’s easy! The basics: place a can of “sweet condensed milk” in a heavy pot and cover it with 2 inches of water, simmer it for 2.5 hours (add water if necessary), let it cool down completely, open to find a pot of deliciousness. A quick internet search will give you a more detailed explanation. I make mine on the stove but it can be done in a slow cooker too. Enjoy!

    • Hi Meredyth – you can find a can of caramel next to the condensed milk in any Pick n Pay. Enjoy!

  • A BIG BIG THANK YOU. I baked this for my husbands birthday and he loved it (he does not like sweet things). I was over the moon. I think it deserves way over 5 stars. I have also tried your Rosemary Focaccia and Apple cake..all fantastic..Will definitely try more. Thanks a ton for making his birthday special.

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