Have you ever had a Tres Leches cake? Tres Leches means three milks in Spanish and it is a traditionally Mexican dessert. Last year I shared a recipe for a round, pretty, celebration worthy version right here. This year I am changing it up by adding convenience (hello boxed mix) and traditional South Asian flavours (Ras Malai).
Why Should I Make this Cake?
What is Ras Malai?
Ras Malai is a traditional South Asian dessert in which sweetened milk is cooked and perfumed with chopped nuts, cardamom and a little saffron (sometimes, not always). Sweetened tender mini cakes are then placed in that milk to soak up all those flavours.
There is something about that milky cake texture that makes it an almost natural dessert to convert into a Ras Malai Tres Leches Cake.
What Goes in this Ras Malai Tres Leches Cake
- A White Cake mix with a dose of beautifully scented cardamom
- A condensed, evaporated, and whole milk mix with a little more cardamom and a drop or two of rosewater
- A pillowy sweetened whipped cream topping
How can I make this in one big pan?
Here in these photos I have used a 18 150ml jars. However, you can use the same ingredients to make it in a 13*9 pan. Here is how
- Bake the cake in a 13*9 pan
- Bring it to room temperature then poke holes in the cake (I like to use the back of a wooden spoon)
- Gently pour the milk mix all over the cake - it may seem like it initially won't go in, but it will. Just make sure you get it all over the cake.
- When the cake is completely cool then cover it with a mix of 2 cups whipped cream and 5 tbsp sugar (or use cool whip, it's all good).
How do I make Ras Malai Tres Leches ahead of time?
This cake becomes better as it sits so you can make the whole thing a day ahead of time and refrigerate until ready to serve. This is whether it is in cups or one big pan. It also keeps well for a few days after making. Not that leftovers are ever a problem per se.
Can I change out the milks?
I truly love these as is. However life happens and for those times here are some suggested subs for this Ras Malai Tres Leches Cake.
- Dulce de leche for sweetened condensed milk, this will give a caramelly more "kheer" like flavour, it will also be a little less sweet
- Half n half for the whole milk, for a richer cake
- You can also sub out the evaporated milk with a mix of condensed milk (¼ cup) and whole milk (¾c up) but personally I am not crazy about that substitution.
Other Crowd Friendly Desserts (that you can make ahead!)
Made this cake? Rate it below and tag me in your recreations on Instagram @flourandspiceblog - happy baking!
Ras Malai Tres Leches
- 1 13*9 cake pan
- 1 White Cake Mix Box (& ingredients on the box)
- 5-6 cardamom pod seeds coarsely pounded or 1 tsp cardamom powder
Three Milk Mix
- 1 cup condensed milk (sweetened)
- 1 cup evaporated milk
- 1 cup whole milk
- ¾ tsp cardamom powder
- 2 drops rosewater
Whipped Cream Topping (for Jars)
- 1 ¼ cup whipping cream
- 3 tbsp sugar
- chopped pistachios and/or almonds, dried rose petals
- Prepare cake batter according to package directions with the cardamom added in.
- Bake according to the instructions on the box and let the cake come to room temperature
Three Milk Mix
- Mix all the ingredients in a bowl or a large meausring cup if you have one
- Whip the cream on medium speed and when it starts to thicken add the sugar
- Whip until stiff peaks form
- Cut your cake into even pieces. For my 150 ml jars I made roughly 18 and then crumbled the cake into the jars. (see notes)
- Put 3 tbsp of the milk mix in each jar (again for the size above)
- Top with a swirl of whipped cream and nuts. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving, 4 is better.
- Jars can vary by size. Simply take out what you are using and fill it with crumbled cake. Once you have a sense of how much cake goes in your jar you can assess how many yours will make. The milk mix is 3 cups or 48 tbsp and you can then divide it equally among your cups
- For a 13*9 size bake the cake, poke holes in it with the back of a wooden spoon, pour over the milk mix then frost with a whipped cream mix that is 2 cups whipped cream plus 5 tbsp sugar.