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Tres Leches Cake

User Rating 1 Star Rating (1 Review)


Tres Leches Cake

This special cake is great for any ocassion.

© 2008 Ashley Skabar, licensed to About.com, Inc.

Pastel de Tres Leches is a cake that very litterally means "cake of three milks," which obviously poses a problem for the dairy-free! This recipe replaces the milk, sweetened condensed milk and cream traditionally used with soy products and uses agar flakes for an extra spongey cake.Use whatever non-dairy ice cream you prefer, either a store-bought variety or homemade non-dairy ice cream.

Because this cake needs to chill for at least 6 hours, this is a great cake for party preparations. I like to make this the night before a special dinner or party and then frost it right before dinner.

Makes one 8" x 8" cake

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes


  • For the cake:
  • ½ cup cold water
  • 1 T. agar flakes (see head note)
  • 2 T. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 T. lemon zest (optional)
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • ½ cup plain unsweetened soymilk (not non-fat)
  • ½ cup plain unsweetened soy yogurt
  • 1 cup all pupose flour
  • ½ cup cake flour
  • 1 t. baking powder
  • For the cream:
  • 1 ½ cups plain soymilk (not non-fat)
  • 2 cups non-dairy vanilla ice cream
  • For the frosting:
  • 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • ½ cup soymilk powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • ¼ cup and 2 T. soy yogurt, divided
  • ½ t. vanilla


1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Very lightly oil an 8”x 8” square cake pan, or an 8” round cake pan. (I actually prefer to simply use a non-stick pan to keep the cake very light.)

2. Make the cake. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the water, agar flakes, lemon juice, lemon zest and sugar, stirring well to dissolve. Bring the liquid to a boil and then turn down the heat and let the mixture simmer for 4 minutes, or until the liquid resembles a thick syrup. Stir in the soymilk and soy yogurt until well combined and cook for about 1-2 minutes more. Remove the sauce pan from heat.

3. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder until combined. Using an electric hand mixer, add the syrup mixture and mix until just combined. Pour into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Set the pan on a wire cooling rack to cool for 10 minutes.

4. After 10 minutes of cooling, poke holes in various places in the top of the cake with a fork or toothpick. Let the cake cool for another 20 minutes.

5. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over low heat, combine the soymilk and non-dairy ice cream until the ice cream has just melted and the mixture is consistent. Pour this over the cake and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight.

6. Make the frosting. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, sift together the powdered sugar, soymilk powder and salt until combined. Using an electric hand mixer at a low speed setting, mix in the ¼ cup soy yogurt until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Add the remaining 2 T. soy yogurt and vanilla and beat until thick and creamy. Chill for at least 15 minutes before icing the cake. Serve cold.

User Reviews

Reviews for this section have been closed.

 1 out of 5
Didn't work at all, Member sugarlandtx

I tried to make this cake 2 times, following the recipe exactly, and neither attempt resulted in any form of edible cake. Once baked the batter baked formed some type of strange hot, doughy, glop that looked the same as when it went in. The batter didn't rise at all and I have no clue why. The first time I tried, I added the milk/sugar/lemon juice/agar agar mixture hot, right from the stove. The batter didn't rise one bit and even remained sticky in the pan. I tried a second time by letting the liquids cool to near room temperature before adding them to the dry ingredients. The batter was wetter however, still didn't rise and only began to burn when left in the oven for additional time. I will not make this cake again and wasted too much time on it to begin with. Also, having eaten many pasteles de tres leches in the past...there is NO lemon in any recipe I've ever had. Don't waste you time on this one.

30 out of 31 people found this helpful.

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