quecomida_logo“4 Leches” First Birthday Cake


Tres Leches cake is a traditional Mexican cake soaked in a mixture of 3 milks: whole, evaporated, and sweetened condensed.  It is deee-licious, and we had our favorite version from Pie in the Sky Bakery (a gift from the bakery owners and our friends, Susan & Phil) for Maximo’s 1st birthday party.  I made a special version for the babe, with less sugar, and a 4th milk – mine.  Of course it had to be booby-shaped.  He loved it and surely would have eaten the whole thing had I let him.  Aside from me, our friend Daniel Brewer was the only other person to brave a taste and claimed to really like it.  I preferred Pie in the Sky’s version.

The Recipe:

“Busy-Day 1-layer Cake”

(adapted from Better Homes & Gardens New Cook Book)

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup sugar (reduced from 2/3)

2 tsp. baking powder

2/3 cup milk

1/4 cup butter, softened

1 egg

1 tsp. vanilla

In a bowl combine sifted flour, sugar, and baking powder.  Add milk, butter, egg, and vanilla.  Beat on low until combined, then beat on medium for 1 minute.  Pour batter into 2 greased and floured ramekins (I used small rounded custard dishes to get a “mound” type shape).  You’ll have enough batter left over for a few more small cake molds, or you could make some cupcakes.  Bake in a 350° F (180° C) oven for about 20-25 minutes, but check them for doneness as baking time will vary depending on your oven, the depth of the mold you use, thickness of the baking dish, etc.  The cake tasted great, even with so much less sugar.  It was still sweet, just not oversweet like most baked goods.

4 Milks Mixture

1/3 cup whole milk

1/3 cup evaporated milk

1 tbsp. heavy cream*

1/3 cup breast milk

*Traditionally, you would use sweetened condensed milk as the 3rd milk, but I skipped this because of the crazy sugar content of la lechera (as it is called here).

After the cakes have cooled, unmold onto a plate, poke with toothpicks, and pour milk mixture slowly over the cakes, allowing it to soak in.  You can frost the cakes with whipped cream (sweetened or not depending on your preference) or leave them as is.  Arrange cakes together on a serving dish, cut a cherry or grape in half, and place one half on top of each cake for nipples.  Voila – 4 leches Chi-Chi Cakes!



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