Strawberry Tres Leches Cake is made with a boxed cake mix, a 3 milk syrup & topped with whipped cream and fresh berries! This tres leches cake recipe is a simple way to create a traditional, festive dessert!
Tres leches cake recipe box cake creates a soft and tender cake with delightful toppings in every bite, making it impossible to stop eating! This tres leches strawberry cake is a perfect treat to serve at family gatherings or just to enjoy on the weekend, it will disappear fast so make sure to get your slice!
Easy Tres Leches Poke Cake
Making tres leches cake with cake mix is a super simple way to get great taste and results without a ton of work. I got this original recipe from a friend of mine and I have to say that it has quickly become one of my family’s favorites.
This type of cake is similar to Poke cakes, which are cakes that are baked and then poked before having a syrup-like mixture poured over the top of the cake. It soaks into the cake to create a rich, flavorful, and moisture-packed bite in every slice. This Mexican tres leches cake is made with almost the same exact method, showing just how easy it is to assemble and enjoy.
Why we think you will love this recipe!
There are so many reasons to love this sweet cake, but here are our top three reasons that we think it really stands out:
- It is versatile to decorate. Decorating this cake to look like an American flag makes it perfect for patriotic holidays like the fourth of July, memorial day, and more, but you can just as easily scatter berries over the top or just use sliced strawberries for a simple dessert perfect for any time of the year.
- It does not taste like boxed cake. While we do use a box of mix to help make the process easier, we also doctor it up by adding in additional ingredients like flour and sugar, which help to make it taste much more like a homemade cake.
- It is a chilled cake. Made in advance and kept chilled, this cake is perfect for those hot days when you want something sweet but not too heavy or rich. The fresh berries and whipped cream on top also help this cake to stay feeling light.
Tres Leches Cake Ingredients
For the three milks, you will need:
Evaporated milk: You will need 1 12-ounce sized can of evaporated milk for this recipe.
Condensed milk: Use 1 14-ounce can of sweetened condensed milk to make it sweeter and it thicker.
Heavy cream: You will need ½ cup of heavy cream to make the syrup taste nice and rich.
For the cake, you will need:
Cake mix: Use 1 15.25 ounce box of vanilla flavored cake mix. You can use white cake mix or yellow cake mix if desired too.
Flour: Add in 1 cup of all-purpose flour to help to build a good structure for the cake.
Sugar: You will need to add in 1 cup of granulated sugar to help add sweetness and help the cake to stay nice and tender.
Milk: Use 1 cup of milk to help moisten the cake batter. It will improve the texture and add extra flavor to the cake. The reason why is because the milk will have more fat and add density to the cake.
Oil: Adding in ½ cup of vegetable oil will help give the cake more fats needed to stay moist.
Vanilla extract: Using 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract to enhance the flavors in the cake well. For more of an intense vanilla flavor, replace vanilla extract for vanilla bean in a 1:1 ratio.
Eggs: You will need 4 large eggs to bind the cake together well.
For the whipped cream frosting, you will need:
Heavy cream: You will need 2 cups of heavy whipping cream for the homemade whipped cream.
Powdered sugar: Add in ½ cup of powdered sugar to make the whipped cream smooth and sweet. You can replace this with granulated sugar if you don’t have powdered sugar on hand. A sugar free option would be Splenda for a calorie free substitute in a 1:1 ratio.
Vanilla extract: Use 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract to make the whipped cream taste great.
For the cake toppings, you will need:
Blueberries: You will need fresh washed blueberries for the blue part of the flag.
Strawberries: Washed and sliced strawberries will make the red stripes in the flag cake, but you can use any red berry in its place if desired.
How to make Strawberry Tres Leches Cake
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
Spray the inside of a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and then set it aside.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the dry cake mix, flour, sugar, vanilla extract, eggs, milk, and vegetable oil. Mix with an electric mixer until no lumps remain.
Proceed to pour the cake batter into the prepared pan and bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes.
Let cool completely on the countertop or place it into the fridge for a speedier process.
Add all three milks into a medium-sized mixing bowl and whisk together to combine.
Place into the fridge until ready to use and the cake has cooled completely.
Whipped cream recipe
Start by adding your heavy cream to a mixing bowl and beat on high speed with an electric mixer for 4-6 minutes or until the cream has thickened and stiff peaks form.
Then, add the powdered sugar to the cream and mix well to combine.
Place the cream into the fridge to chill until the cake is cooled and ready to assemble.
Once the cake has been completely cooled, poke holes all over the cake using a fork.
After the holes are poked, pour the milk syrup over the top, slowly. Add more or less of the milk depending on how moist you want the cake.
Next, spread the whipped cream evenly over the top of the cake to cover the entire surface of the cake.
Wash the blueberries and strawberries well, make sure all stems are removed.
The, thinly slice the strawberries.
Start decorating by adding the blueberries to the upper left side of your rectangular cake, covering a section about 3 inches across and 2 inches down.
Use the sliced strawberries to line the cake to help hold the blueberries on top of the cake.
Leave a 1-inch space and then make 3 full lines of strawberries across the cake.
Place the remaining whipped cream into a piping bag and pipe white lines on the flag. You can use a 1M star tip or any decorative tip if desired.
Pipe small stars in the spaces between the strawberries.
Place the cake back into the fridge so that it has time to absorb the milk syrup. We recommend a minimum of 4-5 hours, but overnight works best.
Slice and serve. Enjoy!
How to serve tres leches cake
Typically the cake is served cold because the cake is placed in the refrigerator to have time to soak up the milk. Serve this cake up for any special occasion like parties, BBQs, Birthdays, and more and it’s sure to be a delicious hit.
STRAWBERRY TRES LECHES CAKE
- 12 oz evaporated milk
- 14 oz sweetened condensed milk
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 15.25 oz vanilla cake mix
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup milk
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs
- 2 cups heavy cream
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9×13 pan with non stick spray and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the dry cake mix, flour, sugar, vanillaextract, eggs, milk, and vegetable oil. Mix with an electric mixer until nolumps remain.
- Proceed to pour the cake batter into the prepared pan and bake in the ovenfor 30-35 minutes.
- Let cool completely on the countertop or place it into the fridge for aspeedier process.
- Add all three milks into a medium-sized mixing bowl and whisk together tocombine. Place into the fridge until ready to use and the cake has cooled completely.
Whipped cream recipe
- Pour heavy cream into the bowl of an electric mixer. Mix on high for 4-6 minutes, until cream has thickened and stiff peaks form.
- Add powdered sugar to the cream. For more sweetness add more powdered sugar until satisfied. Place into the fridge until ready to use.
- Make sure cake is completely cooled. Poke holes all over the cake with a fork.
- Pour the three milk mixture slowly over the cake. You can add more or less depending how moist you want the cake.
- Spread the whip cream evenly over the cake.
To make an American flag cake:
- Wash the blueberries and strawberries well, make sure all stems are removed.
- Then, thinly slice the strawberries.
- Start decorating by adding the blueberries to the upper left side of yourrectangular cake, covering a section about 3 inches across and 2 inches down.
- Use the sliced strawberries to line the cake to help hold the blueberries ontop of the cake. Leave a 1-inch space and then make 3 full lines of strawberries across thecake.
- Place remaining whipped cream in a piping bag to pipe the white lines of the flags. A 1M star tip or any decorative tip would be fine.
- Pipe small star-shaped bits of cream in the spaces between the strawberries.
- Place back into the fridge so the cake has time to absorb the three milks. It's best overnight but if you are in a rush for at least 4-5 hours. Serve & enjoy!
Why is it called tres leches cake?
This cake gets its name because after baking, the cake is then soaked in three types of milk; evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk and whole milk or heavy cream. Hence the “tres leches”, three milks!
How do I store tres leches cake?
Place any leftovers in an airtight container and place them into the refrigerator. It is important to do so because the cake is saturated with the three kinds of milk and covered in whipped cream. It is good for approximately 3-5 days in the refrigerator.
Why is tres leches not absorbing milk?
One reason could be not giving the cake enough time to completely absorb the milk mixture. It is best to make the cake in advance so there is time for chilling for 4-6 hours or overnight, to have the best results.
Another reason could be not pouring enough milk mixture over the cake. Tres leches require a lot of milk to get that wet consistency. After pouring the mixture, cover it up with a lid to prevent the top layer of the cake from getting dried out. Poking holes on top of the cake can help the milk get absorbed.
Here are more delicious cake recipes to try soon!
- EASY HOMEMADE VANILLA CAKE
- LEMON STRAWBERRY POKE CAKE
- AMBROSIA BUNDT CAKE
- 7-UP POUND CAKE
- CHOCOLATE CAKE WITH WHIPPED CREAM FROSTING
- FRUITY PEBBLES POKE CAKE
- VANILLA BUNDT CAKE
- EASY CHERRY CHOCOLATE CAKE
- ALMOND BUNDT CAKE
- KEY LIME CAKE
- PEACH CAKE WITH CINNAMON GLAZE
- EASY PINEAPPLE BUNDT CAKE
This strawberry tres leches cake recipe is a sweet cake soaked in three different kinds of milk covered in homemade whipped cream topped off with fresh fruits. Try it soon and you’re sure to love it as much as we have!