It has taken me over 2 years to finally post the third wonderful recipe from the birthday dinner that my friend, Melissa, gave me in 2020. (This pace of marking things off of my list sounds about accurate these days, sadly.)
The birthday gift was: cooking together + a menu I didn’t have to choose and groceries that I didn’t have to collect + an amazing meal with our families + 3 new recipes to add to my life. It was gift upon gift!
I first posted the Kale Salad, as it immediately became a family staple. Then, months later, I finally had the gumption to try making the main dish, Chicken Piccata, on my own a couple of times. After the second time, and felt confident sharing it and writing up the recipe that was given to me verbally. Now, over two years after the dinner, I am finally sharing the amazing dessert- Tres Leches Cake. It is the best version I have ever eaten. It is so moist and flavorful and a real treat. It’s a moist vanilla cake with a vanilla milky filling poured into the baked sheet cake, cooled and topped with whipped cream, cinnamon and strawberries. It’s a great cake for any season!
This recipe is not hard, it just requires planning and a few bowls! Melissa wrote on the recipe “you need three bowls for this recipe”. And you do. At least 3. In fact, you have to rinse one bowl a couple of times for the filling and the whipped cream if you want to stick to 3.
If you are like me, if I am mentally prepared for most things, I can rise to the occasion. And I am glad to make a recipe that requires planning, if it’s a *sure thing*. This recipe is that. After the cake is baked, it needs to cool. Then the filling is made and added into the poked cake. It then needs to chill for an hour or more before frosting and serving. As a bonus, I believe the cake gets better with time, so you can make it ahead. Day 2 and 3 were divine. (There was no day 4 from which to report!)
from Melissa Snider
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
1 ½ tsp. salt
5 large eggs, separated
1 ¼ cup sugar, divided
1 tsp. vanilla
½ cup milk
¼ cup melted butter, cooled
1 can sweetened condensed milk (14 oz.)
1 can evaporated milk (12 oz.)
½ cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups heavy cream
½ cup sugar
cinnamon sugar (2 tsp. ground cinnamon & 2 Tbsp. Granulated sugar combined)
Preheat oven to 350 ˚
Grease 9 X 13 inch baking pan
Bowl #1: Beat together egg yolks and 1 cup sugar until stiff ribbons trail behind beaters. Then beat in vanilla. Set aside.
Bowl #2: Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
Bowl #3: Beat egg whites until soft peaks form then gradually add in the other ¼ cup sugar.
Add yolk mixture to dry ingredients and beat together. Add in milk and melted butter. Gently fold in egg whites.
Bake 30 minutes, let cool.
Using a rinsed-out Bowl #2: Make filling- mix all ingredients using a fork. Poke holes all over cake. Pour mixture evenly over cake. Cover in fridge at least 1 hour.
Using a rinsed-out Bowl #2 again: Make whipped cream- placing heavy cream and ½ cup sugar in the bowl and using the wire whisk attachment to your mixer, whip cream on high until stiff peaks form.
Use whipped cream to “frost” the top of the cake. Slice cake, sprinkle top with cinnamon sugar and serve with sliced strawberries.