Last week for our Cinco de Mayo block party, a neighbor brought the most delicious Tres Leches cake. I have NEVER had Tres Leches cake before last week. I’m not entirely sure how it is possible to have gone this long living life without having it, but last week was my first bite.
And I’m a goner.
Let me recap what happened last week. Everyone had a small piece of cake, and had I known how much I’d enjoy my small piece of cake I would’ve left my polite pants at home and gone back for a larger piece. But, with QVC on the horizon, I decided to just enjoy a small piece. As we wrapping up the leftovers, however, my neighbor prepared a little to go plate of more Tres Leches cake. It’s like everyone “knew” that I really wanted a bigger piece. The husband says “oh no, none for us” to which he got the side eye. Maybe none for you, but I’m having that stuff for breakfast tomorrow!
Fast forward and we are packing up the mobile lemonade stand turned margarita stand and somehow I left the darn to go cake on the patio table. I can’t even tell you the sadness that overcame me when I realized, hours later, that the cake was forgotten.
The following day, we were back at the same neighbor’s home and she says “did you forget your cake last night? I saved it.” It’s as if the cake gods heard my cries and sent down the milk cake angels.
However, the wrapped cake had been left out on the counter.
Here’s the thing about Tres Leches cake. You want it cold. The colder the better. Room temperature cake is just not the same.
So, sadness set in again.
Until…..I waited one whole week and then set out to recreate a cake of my own! One whole week I waited!
That darn cake haunted me in my dreams.
But these Mason Jar Tres Leches Cake with Strawberry Whipped Cream is what those dreams are made of and absolutely worth every single calorie.
Traditional Tres Leche cake is baked in a 9 x 13 baking dish, drizzled with the milk mixture comprised of condensed milk, evaporated milk and heavy cream, then topped with whipped cream.
I made a few adjustments and gave my Tres Leches a bit of an individual platform in which it could shine.
I mean, who doesn’t want their very own Mason Jar Tres Leches cake??
I also added strawberries to my whipped cream because well, why not!
- For the Cake:
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 5 large eggs, separated
- 1 cup sugar
- ⅓ cup milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- For the Tres Leches Mixture:
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- One 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
- One 12-ounce can evaporated milk
- For the Strawberry Whipped Cream:
- 2 ½ cups heavy whipping cream
- 2 ½ tablespoons sugar
- 1¼ teaspoons vanilla
- 5 tablespoons Strawberry Puree
- For the cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9- by 13-inch cake pan and set aside.
- Sift the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder and salt) into a large bowl.
- Separate the eggs. Beat the egg yolks with ¾ cup of the sugar on high speed until the yolks are pale yellow. Stir in the milk and vanilla. Pour the egg yolk mixture over the flour mixture and stir very gently until combined.
- Beat the egg whites on high speed until soft peaks form. With the mixer on, pour in the remaining ¼ cup sugar and beat until the egg whites are stiff but not dry. Fold the egg white mixture into the batter very gently until just combined. Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan, spreading to even out the surface.
- Bake until the cake is done, about 30-35 minutes. Allow to cool in the pan.
- For the tres leches: Combine the heavy cream, evaporated milk and condensed milk in a small pitcher. Pierce the surface of the cake with a fork several times. Drizzle the milk mixture over the top and allow the cake to sit and absorb the milk mixture. It will seem as though you have too much milk mixture. Just pour, allow to seep, then pour some more. Allow the cake to sit overnight in the refrigerator.
- Instructions for Simple Strawberry Puree:
- Place strawberries (about 1½ cups, hulled and sliced) and ¼ cup liquid in a blender and select the ‘puree’ setting. Pulse until berries are broken up and turn to liquid. **I strain my puree through a fine mesh strainer because I don't like pulp, for a whipped cream with a bit of texture, feel free to skip the straining.
- In the chilled bowl of a standing mixer, combine: 1 ½ cup heavy whipping cream, 1 ½ tablespoon sugar and ¾ teaspoon vanilla on low speed until ingredients are combined. Increase speed to high and as the mixture begins to thicken (a few minutes) add 5 tablespoons (or more!) Strawberry Puree. Continue beating until stiff peaks form.
- Remove the cake from the refrigerator, and using a small round cutter (I used a biscuit cutter) layer into mason jars, followed by whipped cream, and then another layer of cake, finishing with an additional layer of whipped cream.
- Garnish with a sliced strawberry.
If you’re serving at home, you’re free to make these little lovelies as pictured. If you’re traveling, however and need to bring them to a potluck or special occasion, skip the top layer of whipped cream and strawberry. Seal them in their jars and pack along your whipped cream, in a piping bag, and in a cooler on ice. Just before serving, add your additional strawberry whipped cream to each and garnish with a sliced strawberry.
Seriously cute for BBQs. Just remember to keep the cake in the cooler and not out in the sun, because….milk. And because Aimee says you will be disappointed in warm Tres Leches cake. You want it chilled.
Do you have big plans for the weekend? We’re headed south for graduation + crawfish boil festivities and I cannot wait. It’s the perfect bon voyage before the big upcoming week.