Tres Leches Cake for the holidays

Espi at work in the inn’s kitchen

This year we are mixing things up a bit as our kids wanted to create some new traditions. We fully support that as both of our girls are moms now, and they have great ideas to make the holidays special for their families. Yesterday I was chatting with a neighbor about the holidays and she mentioned that all of her family was coming and their traditions were eating lots of great homemade food, telling stories and laughing. I just chuckled to myself as that was pretty much my childhood tradition along with getting plenty of clothes as presents. My mom was very practical and always worried about how we were dressed so it made perfect sense to give clothing as presents. This year we are following ¬†that tradition in a sense since all our kids are getting coats and hand made hats and scarves from Nanny and Poppy. ( don’t tell anyone:)

Our daughter’s April and Jennifer

So getting back to the subject of traditions- our daughter Jenn asked if we could start a new tradition of having a White Elephant Ugly Sock Swap on Xmas Eve and later enjoy a Mexican dinner in honor of our sweet grandsons Trenton and Josh.

Josh & Trenton at Paine’s Creek this past summer

I loved the idea, ordered some socks and had already preplanned a Mexican meal with chicken tacos and tamales ( I have them in the freezer from the Tamale Company out of Texas) Check out a previous blog for dinner ideas and where we order the tamales. So that left only deciding on a dessert. I was looking through the winter Magnolia magazine and happened upon a beautiful picture of an Eggnog Tres Leches Cake. There we go and how perfect for our new Mexican Christmas Eve Ugly Sock Swap Meal. I remembered that Espi had made us a delicious Tres Leches cake this summer when the kids were visiting. It was her mom’s recipe and it made a huge impact on ALL of our family. The boys loved it, my son in-laws went back for seconds and the girls thought it was mighty special! Yesterday, I asked Espi for the recipe which is included below-

Espi's Moms Tres Leches Cake
Recipe type: Cake
Serves: 12
This sweet, moist and light Tres Leches Cake recipe makes a unique and impressive dessert that all will love. It's so easy to make and is made the day before.
  • Cake
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ⅓ cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 12 ounces evaporated milk
  • 14 ounces condensed milk
  • Topping
  • ¼ cup whole milk
  • 1 pint heavy cream
  • 3 Tablespoons Sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  1. Preheat oven to 350 and Either butter and flour or spray with baking spray a 9 by 13 inch baking dish. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl. In the stand of an electric blender add the sugar and eggs and mix thoroughly. Add the flour mixture and mix well. Pour into your baking dish and bake for 45 minutes until golden brown.
  2. Let cool and then pierce the cake many times with thin holes. (you can use a toothpick or a cake tester) Whisk together ⅓ cup whole milk, 1 teaspoon vanilla with the evaporated and condensed milk and pour over the cake. Refrigerate overnight.
  3. Just before serving whip together ¼ cup of whole milk with 1 pint of heavy cream. Slowly add 3 Tablespoons of sugar. When soft peaks form fold in the vanilla.
  4. Spread on top of cake and serve. Strawberries pair really well with this dessert.
I did a little research for the Eggnog version and found the original recipe listed in the Magnolia Magazine was actually created by a gal who has a wonderful blog called Flavor Mosaic. I found the details on Pinterest and have added it to our page under Freeman Test kitchen. While I know the recipe above is a tried and true old fashion recipe that Espi’s family has probably made 100’s of times, but I decided to make this Eggnog version for the holidays since it has a festive flavor that will pair perfectly with the Tres Leches. You have the option of making it as a layer cake or in a glass 9 x 13 pan. I think I will make it as a single layer in a ¬†rectangular pan as this cake is very moist after you add the liquid and not quite sure how that would work with a leisured cake- guessing it takes a little skill and patience. During the holiday when I am making 3 meals for 9 people, I am always thinking of ways to make things easy:)
Eggnog Tres Leches Cake
Recipe type: Cake
Serves: 12
The eggnog in this recipe make for a perfect holiday dessert.
  • Cake
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoons ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • Liquid to pour over baked cake
  • 1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 12 oz can evaporated milk
  • 1½ cups eggnog
  • Topping
  • pint of Heavy Cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Either butter and flour or spray with baking spray a 9 by 13 inch baking dish. Sift together the flour, baking powder, nutmeg and salt. In the bowl of an electric mixer beat the sugar and butter until light and fluffy. In a measuring cup, add the 2 teaspoons of vanilla to the one cup of milk and beat in the 2 eggs. Mix well. Alternating in thirds- add ⅓ of the flour mixture to the butter and sugar mixture and blend on low. Add ⅓ of the milk mixture making sure to blend well after each addition. When all of the liquid and flour has been added increase the speed to medium and mix well.
  2. Bake for 35 minutes or until cake is firm and golden brown. Once cake is cool, pierce the cake many times with a toothpick or cake tester. Whisk together the condensed and evaporated milk with the eggnog. Slowly pour one half of the eggnog mixture over the cake, then leave it for a few minutes to soak in. Pour over the remaining eggnog, cover the pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate for eight hours or overnight. When ready to serve whip the heavy cream, adding the sugar slowly until soft peaks form. Fold in the vanilla. Spread on top of the cake and sprinkle with fresh ground nutmeg.
I think this Eggnog recipe is sure to be a winner. Pictures will follow after the holidays or the evening of for our daily Instagram.

Happy holidays friends from Byron, Donna and Harrison too

Added note from your innkeeper in January:

Egg Nog Tres Leches Cake

We made the Egg Nog version over the holidays and while it was good, our whole family agreed that Espi’s Mom’s version in the best!

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