Tres Leches Cake with Fruit Compote

Tres Leches Cake with Fruit Compote

“Tres leches” means “three milks” in Spanish, and this vanilla cake soaked in a three-milk syrup and chilled overnight, is a holiday tradition in many Latin American countries. Our rendition features AE Milk and Sour Cream and is something really special. Frosted with AE whipped cream and served with a winter fruit compote, it just might become a holiday tradition in your house too!
20 minutes prep time
Prep Time

20 minutes

serves 12


35 to 40 minutes; refrigerate overnight  cook time
Cook Time

35 to 40 minutes; refrigerate overnight

hard difficulty



  • 1

    For the cake, preheat the oven to 325°F. Lightly coat a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with nonstick spray; set aside. In a large bowl, stir together the cake mix, flour, sugar, and salt. In a second bowl, whisk together the water, sour cream, vanilla, and eggs. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and blend with an electric hand mixer until all ingredients are mixed (some lumps will remain). Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the cake is golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

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  • 2

    While the cake bakes, combine 1 cup of the cream, the sweetened condensed milk, the milk, a tablespoon of vanilla and the cinnamon in a large saucepan (to prevent boil-overs). Bring the milk mixture to a simmer over medium-high heat; simmer until the mixture is reduced to a generous 2 cups, about 15 minutes, stirring frequently with a rubber spatula to prevent scorching. Off heat, stir in the rum. Keep the milk mixture warm.

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  • 3

    When the cake is done, remove it from the oven and use a skewer to poke holes in the top, pushing the skewer all the way to the bottom of the pan. Transfer the milk mixture to a measuring cup with a pour spout and slowly drizzle it over the top of the hot cake, allowing it to soak in before adding more. Loosely drape a clean towel over the cake (plastic wrap will cause condensation to form and drip onto the cake) and refrigerate for at least 8 hours, preferably overnight.

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  • 4

    For the compote, in a large saucepan, bring the pineapple juice, cranberries, and sugar to a boil over high heat. In a small bowl combine the water and cornstarch, mashing them together with your fingers. Whisk the cornstarch mixture into the boiling syrup and simmer until thickened slightly. Transfer the cranberries and syrup to a bowl. Stir in the diced pineapple, lime juice, and salt. Let compote cool completely before serving with the cake. (Compote may be made up to 2 days ahead and chilled.)

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  • 5

    Before serving, use an electric mixer to whip the remaining 1½ cups whipping cream in a small mixing bowl until soft peaks form. Spread the cream over the top of the cake. Cut into 12 squares and serve with Cranberry-Pineapple-Tangerine Compote.

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