Tres Leches Wedding Cake

If you’re here reading this, it’s either because you’re just browsing through my blog (in that case, hello!), or you’re interested in a “Tres Leches Wedding Cake, in that case hello to you, too!
For those of us who are new to this delightful cake – Tres Leches is a cake that is popular in Latin America. Translated “Three Milks,” in English, it is a wonderfully light, soft sponge cake that is soaked in three different types of milk – evaporated, condensed and whole milk.
The opportunity to make a Tres Leches wedding cake came about at the end of last year, when a couple with South American origins commissioned me to make their wedding cake. They asked me if I’d be willing to make a cake that is really popular in South American countries, and I said I’d give it a go!
Whilst I have a flavour list for couples to choose from, I am always ready to experiment with new flavours when asked to.
I have previously made chocolate and passionfruit, Cherry Bakewell, strawberries and champagne and dark chocolate and raspberry on request.

Tres Leches Cake by Leela Licious

However, when I set upon researching a recipe for a Tres Leches wedding cake, I couldn’t find one. The traditional Tres Leches cake is extremely soft due to the fact it is literally soaked, drenched in the three milks. As a result, it is often served as a tray bake in Latin America – not the four-tier cake the couple had hoped for their wedding.

Tres Leches cake soak by Cooking Classy

In fact, I came across this image of former US President, George Bush’s daughter on her wedding day. She and her husband had opted for a Tres Leches wedding cake, and as you can see, it didn’t go well. As happy as the couple look, the cake was collapsing during their cake cutting photos, a fate no bridal couple should have to endure!

Jenna Bush wedding cake

After some thinking, I decided that I’d use my standard sponge recipe as a base and lightly soak (rather than drench) it in a mixture of the three milks.
Another lovely feature of this Mexican sponge cake is that it is usually paired with fresh fruit and whipped cream.
I usually use American buttercream between my cake layers, but whilst researching I stumbled across Russian buttercream.
Made with condensed milk and unsalted butter, I knew this would further add to the taste and provide a more authentic punch to the flavour profile.
Adding fresh fruit, to a stacked cake brings it’s own host of problems, so the bride and I compromised by adding strawberry jam between each layer of the cake.

When it came to sampling the cake, the couple were thrilled, the only obstacle I had to get past now was the taste buds of all the guests, who were more than familiar with a true Tres Leches recipe.
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous. It was obviously important to the couple to have a cake that tasted like “home”, and I didn’t want to offend with my version.
However, I needn’t have worried. The bride, her mother, and many of the guests have been in touch with me to tell me just how delicious they found the cake.

Considering that it’s a cake that clearly has an important place in Latin American culture, I am honoured and pleased that my version passed the taste test.
I have been told by other attendees, that I should make this flavour a staple in my offerings.
I may just do that.
Until next time,
Jasmine

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