Tres Leches Cake is one my absolute favorite desserts. Sponge cake soaked in three milks layered with sweet whipped cream and homemade strawberry compote, makes for quite an indulgent treat.

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Strawberries and Cream Tres Leches Trifles Recipe

Pastel de Tres Leches, aka three milks cake, is a traditional Mexican dessert made with a yellow sponge cake soaked in a combination of sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk and media crema or heavy cream and topped with sweetened whipped cream and fresh fruit.

What I love the most about Tres Leches Cake is that it's so easy to adapt to many flavors. I've made tiramisu and Pina colada version of this cake and it delicious very single time.

This is also a great dessert for a crowd. Its typically served in as a sheet cake so its perfect for a buffet table. What a found is that Tres Leches Cake also works beautifully as a trifle, which how a prefer to serve it. For this recipe, I use a seamless wine glasses for a more elegant presentation. The layers are so stunning, they beg to be shown off.

When you first make this cake, you may notice that it has a course texture with lots are air pockets due to the whipped egg whites. Moisture for this sponge cake comes from the soaking liquid. If you've never made Tres Leches before you might think there is too much soaking liquid but trust me the cake will soak up the milk like, a well--a sponge. 

Strawberries & Cream Tres Leches Trifles in Wine Glass

What You Need For This Recipe

For the Sponge Cake:
  • Sugar
  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • VanillaFlour
  • Baking Powder
  • Salt
For the Milk Mixture:
  • Evaporated Milk
  • Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • Heavy Cream or Media Crema 
For the Strawberry Compote & Whipped Cream:
  • Strawberries
  • Sugar
  • Orange Juice
  • Orange Zest
  • Orange Liqouor, optional
  • Heavy Cream

What is Media Crema?
Media crema is a Mexican table milk similar to heavy cream with the consistency of sour cream. It's used in sweet and savory dishes. Traditionally it's one of the milks in Tres Leches cake. You can typically fin it in the grocery store aisle with the canned milk. In case you can't find it, heavy cream is great alternative.

Evaporated Milk vs. Sweetened Condensed Milk
Evaporated milk and Sweetened condensed milk are both consentrated, meaning 60% of the water content is removed. The only differen between the two is sweetened condensed milk is sweetened. (I hope the name didn’t give it away.) 

]Strawberries & Cream Tres LechesTrifles   Woman Making Strawberry Compote

How To Assemble Tres Leches Trifles 
This recipe will make 8 individual trifles in 17 oz wine glass. If using champagne flutes you should get about 16 individual servings. 

You can also use this recipe to make one large trifle. To do this bake the cake in two 9 inch cake pans. Slice each individual cake in half length wise so you have 4 cakes total. Place one slice of cake in the trifle dish and pour over 1/4 of the milks. Next layer whipped cream and the strawberry compote. Repeat until you've reached the top ending with the whipped cream. Garnish with fresh strawberries.
Another option is to sever in a 9x13 inch cake pan. Poke holes, add the milks and allow the cake soak over 4 hours to overnight. Pour over strawberry sauce, then layer with whipped cream and serve with fresh strawberries. For this presentation you will only need 1/2 of the whipped cream recipe.

How To Make Ahead & Store Tres Leches Trifles
Tres Leches cake must be stored in the refrigerator can last up to 2 days.

Making this recipe ahead is super simple. Bake the cake per the instructions and allow to cool. Tightly wrap cakes while in still the pan with a couple of layers of plastic wrap and then a layer of aluminum foil. Alternatively, if you're like me and don't have room in your freezer, remove the cakes from the pan and proceed the with step mentioned above. 

I have assembled the trifles a day ahead, covered in plastic wrap and stored in the fridge. They came out great, although I suggest only doing this the day before serving.

Strawberries & Cream Tres Leches Trifles in Wine Glass

Tips On How To Make This Recipe
  • It may seem like a lot of milk, but the cake will soak it up making perfectly moist and not soggy or dry.
  • This cake is best when soaked overnight in the fridge for at least 12 hours.
  • Store in the fridge for up to 2 days. Alternatively store un-soaked cake for up to 2 months in freezer.