Tres Leches Rum Cake

Y’all, I am so sorry. I know it’s another cake on the blog and it seems like one after another but there’s been so much going on and so many events.  I have to share this one with you.  This past weekend was Christian Orthodox Easter and, as always, we had a garlicky, rosemary roasted lamb, homemade hummus and tsatziki, Greek roasted lemon potatoes, zucchini feta casserole and Greek stewed green beans, rounded out with grilled pita bread and for dessert, this cake.  I really wanted an easy weekend.  My goal was an easy menu we could enjoy in the pool.  And that’s what I got.  I found a gorgeous lamb roast with a healthy fat cap. larded the meat with a paste of garlic, fresh rosemary, salt and pepper and popped it into the refrigerator to marinade a day or two.  I made the hummus, zucchini casserole and green beans on Saturday as well as this tres leches cake.  On Sunday all I had left to do was drop the beans in a pot to cook and roast the lamb, zucchini and potatoes.  That allowed me to open some bubbly and have it with my family in the pool.  It was so relaxing and easy, y’all.  Jimmy threw some Greek sausage on the grill and played some of our favorite Greek tunes on his speaker.  I pulled out of the closet our pricey pool “floaties” for the first time this year, after all, summer is just about here.  I have some lovely enameled plates with a blue and white paisley pattern which were perfect for poolside.  One of my few rules in this house is no glass by the pool.  It’s impossible to find a piece of broken glass in the water should something break and you certainly don’t want to find it following a trail of blood.  We all so enjoyed the sunshine, the occasional butterfly and the blue of the skies broken only by swaying palm fronds or the random puffy, white cloud silently gliding overhead.  I floated in the pool taking  in the wonderful aroma of Jimmy’s Cuban cigar and let the sound of the water falling from the jacuzzi lull me into a drowsy stupor. I’d probably still be there if I hadn’t suddenly remembered… the cake!  I quickly dried off and headed into the house to whip cream and ice the cake.  Black berries had been on sale at my grocery store and I figured their tartness would be a perfect foil for the richness of the cake.  Two seconds later I was passing out plates with some of the best cake I’ve ever made.  Mercy!  I confess.  I lost all self-discipline with this tres leches cake.  We’ll simply leave it at that.  A tres leches cake is always welcome and wildly popular here in south Florida but adding a bit of rum gilded the proverbial lily.  One of the reasons I couldn’t stay away from it is it tasted so like the cakes my grandmother in Puerto Rico used to bake.  And, yes, it was the rum that made her cakes so special.  Moist and dense, this cake is a wonder.  It’s quick to bake, must be made a day in advance, (yay!), for the cake to soak in the milk-rum mixture, it feeds a happy, happy crowd and it’s easy on the eyes.  It is your dream cake and I hope you’ll try it out.  Buen Provecho!

Tres Leches Cake with Rum

  • Servings: 20
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons butter (1 1/2 sticks), room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 5 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 12-ounce can evaporated milk
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 4 tablespoons golden rum
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 4 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar
  • 2 tablespoons golden rum
  • Fresh berries to garnish, optional
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350°.   Lightly grease and flour or lightly cover with non-stick spray a 9×13 baking dish and set aside.
  2. In a medium size bowl combine well flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.
  3. In a larger bowl, mix butter and sugar with a hand mixer until light and fluffy.
  4. Add eggs, one at a time, to butter mixture and beat well after each addition.
  5. Add vanilla extract to butter-egg mixture and mix to combine.
  6. Transfer flour mixture into butter-egg mixture and mix BY HAND just to combine.
  7. Pour batter into greased baking dish and bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden on top and the sides of the cake have started to separate from the pan.
  8. In a separate bowl whisk until thoroughly combine the sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, whole milk and rum.
  9. Let cake cool 10-15 minutes.  Using a BBQ or bamboo skewer, puncture cake all over from the top to the bottom.
  10. Using a spoon slowly cover cake with the milk-rum liquid.  Take your time and make certain to cover every inch of the cake.  It seems like a lot of liquid but the cake will absorb most of it overnight.
  11. Cover cake with plastic wrap and chill overnight.
  12. When ready to serve, whip cream until the cream begins to thicken.  Add confectioner’s sugar and continue whipping for another minute.  Add rum and finish whipping cream until you have stiff peaks.
  13. Ice cake with whipped cream, slice into squares and garnish with berries if using, then serve.
  14. Cover any remaining cake and refrigerate up to 3 days.



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