Cinco de Mayo (the 5th of May), a celebration of Mexican pride in the southwestern United States and Mexico, is practically synonymous with margaritas, tacos and the famous super-moist cake known as Tres Leches (Three Milks) Cake.
The holiday commemorates Mexico’s victory over the invading forces of French Emperor Napoleon III at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. Holiday traditions include parades, folk dancing, mariachi music performances and street festivals. As with any holiday, food plays a big part in the festivities, and what’s a celebration without cake? Although Tres Leches Cake draws on influences from other areas of Latin America, such as Cuba and Costa Rica, it was adopted into Tex-Mex tradition more than a generation ago—just in time to become a favorite during this revitalized holiday.
After the milks are poured over the top, the cake is chilled until it soaks up most of the liquid. Then sweetened whipped cream is spread over the top. Serve the cake on top of extra milk mixture.
Tres Leches Cake
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 cup whole milk
1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
2 cups heavy cream
1 tablespoon rum
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour a 13 x 9-inch baking dish.
2. Combine butter and 1 cup sugar in a large bowl. Beat with a mixer at medium speed until fluffy. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat in eggs one at a time, mixing well.
Combine flour, baking powder and cream of tartar. Add to butter mixture slowly and beat well. Spread batter in pan. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool.
3. Stir together milk, evaporated milk and sweetened condensed milk. Pour 3 cups over cake. Reserve remaining milk mixture to serve with cake. Refrigerate cake until chilled.
4. Combine heavy cream, remaining 1/2 cup sugar, remaining 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and rum. Beat until thick and spread over cake. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
5. Pour leftover milk mixture onto dessert plates. Slice chilled cake into squares and place on dessert plates. Serves 16.
Per serving: 440 calories, 26g fat, 140mg chol., 8g prot., 45g carbs., 0g fiber, 230mg sodium
Recipe by Robin Noelle