The Cake Slice: Johnny C’s Tres Leches Cake

August 20, 2010 at 4:22 pm | Posted in cakes & tortes, groups, simple cakes, sweet things, the cake slice | 19 Comments

Johnny C's tres leches cake

Who is Johnny C?  Yeah, I don’t know.  What’s a tres leches cake?  That I do know!  “Tres leches” actually refers to a soaking sauce usually made of condensed, evaporated and regular milks (sometimes coconut milk or cream gets in there, too) that soaks its way into every pore of a spongy cake.  As a self-proclaimed connoisseur of fine cakes from around the globe, pastel de tres leches is truly one of my favorites.

This recipe, though…well, it wasn’t a bad one, but an old coworker, who’s from Columbia, gave me the recipe his sister makes for every family gathering, and I think it’s much better.  While this cake is made using the creaming method, hers is more of a separated egg sponge, and it really takes in the soaking liquid in a different way.  When you put a fork into hers, you see how spongy and it is, and the milk just barely starts to weep out…it turns almost puddingy if you keep it overnight.  Johnny C’s absorbed the milk and just trapped it there…it was a little too heavy for my tastes, but I’ll admit it was much improved with a little rum whipped cream (then again, what isn’t?). 

I’ll stick to my preferred version of pastel de tres leches (I’ll post it sometime, I promise!), but if you want to give Johnny C’s a go, here’s a printable link to the recipe, or get your hands on a copy of Southern Cakes by Nancie McDermott.  Cruise through the list of The Cake Slice Bakers to check out all of our tres leches cakes this month!


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  1. With all of the baking that I do, can you believe that I’ve never tasted a tres leches cake? I’ve been looking for a recipe to try, so can’t wait to read about your fav version.

  2. I would love to try your preferred tres leches recipe 🙂 I was pleasantly surprised by this month’s cake, but then again, it was the first tres leches cake I’ve ever made/had, so I didn’t really have any point of reference.

  3. umm.. someone get me a spoon.

  4. Oooh I can tell it’s pretty heavy, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing! It looks delicious 🙂

  5. Rum whipped cream sounds to die for…I agree with you on the cake…nothing great…just okay. You cake looks awesome though.

  6. Your cake looks great. I love the sound of the rum cream on top – dreamy

  7. Your cake looks absolutely delicious, I need a bite!

  8. I agree with you about the texture of the cake. I’ve made and have tasted many others and while this one was good, it was not great. I changed mine up a bit and made a chocolate version- it was good but the texture as you said was definitely different.

    Your cake looks great!

  9. looks delish… but I’m going to have to patiently wait for you to post “Your” recipe… 🙂

  10. The photo of the berries is gorgeous, though!

  11. I think this was a good attempt at tres leches but not quite an authentic pastel de tres leches.

  12. this looks amazing! :O)

  13. Please post your recipe.

    • If you look at the last paragraph, you will see a link to the recipe.

  14. Well I can’t wait for you to post your favorite recipe!

  15. Ohhh Tres Leches cake is so good!!! it is so moisted and fluffy its irresistable!

  16. This looks sooooo yummy!

  17. Do we need to start a petition to get this amazing tres leches recipe?!

    • no, i just need to find it! all my recipes and most of my cookbooks are in boxes right now (we recently moved and i haven’t unpacked them yet).

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