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(Super Easy) Shortcut Tres Leches Cake

Need a shortcut recipe for Tres Leches Cake? This post shows you how to make it the easy way, with simple ingredients like boxed cake mix.

Need a shortcut recipe for Tres Leches Cake? This post shows you how to make it the easy way, with simple ingredients like boxed cake mix.

Who doesn't love a good Tres Leches cake?

If you've never had this incredible, rich, moist cake, let me tell you – you're missing out. It's a Mexican dessert that's soaked in three different kinds of milks (hence tres leches), so it's kind of a cross between a pudding and a cake. I top mine with homemade whipped cream and a little sprinkle of cinnamon.

But just because it's sounds complicated doesn't mean it has to be! Making this cake is just as simple as putting together a plain old boxed cake mix (that's revved up a little), mixing together a few kinds of milk, and pouring it over. Super simple and so incredibly tasty.

Great way to make a boxed cake mix taste homemade/from scratch!

That brings me to one of my favorite kitchen hacks (and one of my most popular Instagram posts ever). I shared this a few weeks ago (and have once before, too) and people went nuts over it! The way I make boxed cake mix taste homemade is simple: milk instead of water, butter instead of oil, add an extra egg. That's it. In my opinion, this tastes better than trying to make a cake from scratch.

Need a shortcut recipe for Tres Leches Cake? This post shows you how to make it the easy way, with simple ingredients like boxed cake mix.

That's kind of the secret to making such a simple cake taste so rich. You would absolutely never know that this is an easy recipe.

Need a shortcut recipe for Tres Leches Cake? This post shows you how to make it the easy way, with simple ingredients like boxed cake mix.

Let's see how to make it!

(Super Easy) Shortcut Tres Leches Cake

Need a shortcut recipe for Tres Leches Cake? This post shows you how to make it the easy way, with simple ingredients like boxed cake mix.
Print Recipe
Prep Time:30 mins
Cook Time:40 mins
Total Time:1 hr 10 mins

Ingredients

  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 stick butter melted
  • 4 eggs
  • 16 oz carton heavy cream
  • 12 oz can evaporated milk
  • 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • cinnamon

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, mix together cake mix, milk, butter, and eggs. Pour into a greased 9x13" pan and bake according to package instructions.
  • While cake bakes, mix together half of the heavy cream, evaporated milk, and sweetened condensed milk.
  • Once cake is baked and allowed to cool for 10-15 minutes, use a fork to poke holes all over the cake. A little bit at a time, pour milk mixture over the cake, allowing it to soak in before pouring additional mix. Continue until all milk is poured and soaked in.
  • Use other half of the heavy cream to make whipped cream; mix powdered sugar in slowly as you beat heavy cream with a mixer. Beat until stiff peaks form.
  • Spread whipped cream over top of the cake. Sprinkle cinnamon to over the top of the whipped cream. Refrigerate cake for about an hour before serving.
Servings: 16 -20
Author: Leslie @ Lamberts Lately

Hope you enjoy, friends! I now have a Pumpkin Spice version of this recipe – click here to see.

See more of my recipes here.

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13 Comments

    1. Hello! Planning to make this for my Granddaughter’s Birthday. Can the cake be be made a day ahead and refrigerated? Thanks in advance for your help!

      1. Absolutely! I’d wait until the day you serve it to add the whipped cream, but there’s no problem with making the rest in advance.

  1. I just wanted to clarify…use half of the heavy whipping cream, but all of the condensed milk and evaporated milk…is that correct?

    1. Correct; you’ll use 8oz of heavy cream to pour over the cake (with the evaporated and condensed milk) and 8oz to whip as a topping for the cake.

  2. I have a question, can I add whipping cream to the cake a day before and place it in the fridge? Also would substituting the whipping cream with cool whip work as well? I’m in the process of making this cake for my daughter’s birthday.

    Thanks

    1. I’d wait until the day you’re serving to add the whipped cream to the top – everything else can be done the day before. And yes, you could totally sub Cool Whip!

  3. So easy!!! So Good!!! Thank You for a great recipe!!!!

  4. Would I be able to divide the milks into two for two 9 in cakes? So 14+12+8=34 so half would 17, would it still be good enough or would be too dry? Does that make sense?

    1. Leslie Lambert says:

      That should be fine! I would make sure it takes a little while to soak in; if not, you might want to just add a little bit more milk after the fact.

  5. Jennifer Mecklenburg says:

    I cannot wait to make this. But, can I make this in a ‘cupcake’ pan for individual cakes instead? Thanks!

    1. Leslie Lambert says:

      I think you could! Of course, adjust bake time as needed.