Tres leches cake sits somewhere at the intersection ofand cake, its luscious texture able to please lovers of both. In Spanish the dessert’s name means “three milks,” referring to the combination of condensed milk, evaporated milk, and heavy whipping cream poured over the cake after it comes out of the oven. Several Latin American communities, including those from Mexico and Nicaragua, claim the dessert as their own, but its origin story is . The roots of milk cake can be traced back to medieval England, when cooks would often soak stale cake to make trifle, extending its shelf life.
In this version from Alma, a now-closed Dallas area Mexican restaurant, an otherwise classic tres leches cake recipe includes a fourth leche—whole milk—beaten into the sponge cake batter for good measure. The cake will absorb most of the rum-laced soak if you give it time, but if there’s any remaining sauce, spoon it over the top before you serve it.
This tres leches cake is delicious as is, but if you want to decorate it for a party, you could frost the top of the cake with sweetened whipped cream or gild it with sliced strawberries, mangoes, or kiwis.