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Super Easy Shortcut Tres Leches Cake

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Our super easy shortcut Tres leches cake is as sweet as it gets! This spongey yellow cake is soaked in 3 types of milk that lends it an incredibly moist texture and heavenly sweet taste that makes it disappear fast!

A close up of a piece of shortcut tres leches cake on a plate with a fork.

What Goes Into Super Easy Shortcut Tres Leches Cake?

Most people think of Mexican cuisine as tacos and burritos. But from Mexican cuisine comes the revered tres leches cake. Literally meaning “three milks,” the recipe uses sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, and heavy whipping cream to attain its blissful texture and flavor.

The shortcut here is that you’ll use a yellow cake mix from a box which saves tons of time yet gives you a perfect dessert. Plan ahead to make it the day before serving as it’s meant to be enjoyed right from the fridge where those 3 milks converge for an amazing taste you’ll never forget!

A piece of shortcut tres leches cake on a plate with a fork.

Common Questions

What does tres leches cake taste like?

If you like your desserts sweet (and who doesn’t?), you’ll love the flavors. It’s served cold which renders a creamy, milky texture in every bite with a sweet sugary vanilla taste.

How long can tres leches cake sit?

Because of all that milk and cream, you need to keep your tres leches cake in the fridge. It will be good for 4 days though it’s best to eat it as soon as possible to enjoy the best flavors. Do not leave it out longer than it takes to serve and eat!

Where does tres leches cake come from?

Some claim Nicaragua is where this milky cake originally comes from, though Mexico has a stronger case backing up its origins of this dessert.

Can you freeze tres leches cake?

Yes, though you should make it without frosting it, then freeze it. Cover it tightly in freezer wrap and it should be good for 2 to 3 months. You’ll need to thaw it in the fridge overnight before you plan on serving it.

Chopnotch Tips

  • Don’t forget to grease your baking pan! You want that yellow cake to come out of there with ease.
  • If you’ve ever made a poke cake before, this recipe is similar in that you’ll want to poke lots of holes on the top so the 3 milks can seep into every part of it.
  • A chopstick is a handy tool to use to do the poking, as is a fork or skewer.
  • Refrigerate this shortcut tres leches cake, preferably overnight, without frosting it. You’ll want to make the frosting right before serving.


How to Make

Super Easy Shortcut Tres Leches Cake

This rich, moist, and sweet shortcut tres leches cake is an authentic Mexican dessert that uses box cake mix to make it faster without sacrificing flavor!
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 50 mins
Servings: 10


  • ½ package yellow cake mix
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • ¼ cup butter, softened
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

For topping:

  • ½ can condensed milk, sweetened
  • ½ can evaporated milk
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream

For cream:

  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 ½ tablespoon confectioners’ sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
💡TIP: Save this recipe to your desserts board on Pinterest so you can always come back when you need to! 👇👇👇


  • Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare and grease a baking pan.
  • Combine cake mix, eggs, milk, butter, and vanilla in a bowl. Whisk well to combine, for about 2 minutes.
  • Transfer to the pan, bake for 30-35 minutes.
  • Let cool for about 20 minutes. Whisk all topping ingredients in a bowl until blended.
  • Poke holes in the top of the warm cake with a fork or a skewer. Pour milk mixture over the cake and fill all the holes. Let cool completely.. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  • Beat cream in a bowl until thick. Add confectioners’ sugar and vanilla, beat until soft peaks form. Spread over cake and serve.

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 142kcal (7%), Carbohydrates: 2g (1%), Protein: 2g (4%), Fat: 15g (23%), Saturated Fat: 9g (56%), Cholesterol: 78mg (26%), Sodium: 66mg (3%), Potassium: 41mg (1%), Sugar: 1g (1%), Vitamin A: 552IU (11%), Calcium: 31mg (3%), Iron: 1mg (6%)

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