I have only eaten tres leches cake a handful of times, and to be completely honest, I have never actually tried a good one. Maybe I did when I was little, before I had a true appreciation for good desserts, but in my recent years all the ones I have tried have either been bad or just mediocre.
That being said, I can assure you that this recipe is so different from the cakes I have tried before. These tres leches cupcakes are made with a whipped egg-white batter that gives them a spongy texture. The sponge cupcakes are then filled with milk. The milk sets over a few hours and is able to suffuse throughout the entire cake.
Instead of icing, these cupcakes are topped with a homemade whipped cream, perfectly complementing the light and fluffy cake.
For a tutorial on how to make these, continue reading.
First you will make the batter and bake the cupcakes. If the egg white were properly whipped without being flattened, your cupcakes should turn out like this:
Next, you will want to poke deep holes into each cake with a fork:
Make the milk filling and, with a soup spoon or a small ladle, pour a tablespoon into each cupcake. This step tends to be a bit messy, so I would recommend keeping a paper towel or some napkins handy.
It will take a couple minutes for the milk to soak through. Once it looks like it has, pour another tablespoon of milk into each cupcake. Let this sit and repeat once more. There should be a total of 3 tablespoons in each cupcake. It is vital that you do put this much milk in each cake, but tres leches cake is ruined when too dry. Once this is done, you’ll need to refrigerate these overnight or for at least three hours.
After these are done being chilled, you can whip up the icing, pipe it on, and enjoy them fresh!
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 6 large eggs, room temperature, separated
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup 2% or whole milk
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
- 2/3 cup (5 oz) evaporated milk
- 1 cup 2% or whole milk
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon instant vanilla pudding*
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- For the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350F. Prepare your muffin tins with cupcake liners.
- In the bowl of a standing mixer, whip the 6 eggs whites. Gradually add in the sugar. Whip until stiff peaks form. Lower your mixer speed and add the 6 egg yolks.
- While the eggs are being whipped, prepare your flour mixture. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. When the egg mixture is ready, alternately add the flour mixture and the milk. Add the vanilla extract.
- Pour the batter into the muffin tins, filling only halfway (these cupcakes rise quite a bit and it will be hard to pour in the milk sauce if the cupcakes are too big). Bake for 15 minutes.
- For the milk sauce: Whisk together the sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, and regular milk. Once the cupcakes have cooled slightly, poke holes into each one using a fork. Spoon the milk sauce onto each one, one tablespoon at a time. Each cake should hold about 3 tablespoons. Next, cover the cupcakes and chill for three hours or overnight.
- For the whipped cream: Whip the heavy cream, gradually adding the vanilla, pudding, and sugar. Once stiff peaks have formed, ice your cupcake. Be careful not to over-mix!
- *This is to help stabilize the icing, though it is not completely necessary; the icing will hold longer with it so I would strongly recommend using it.