Eggnog Tres Leches is a gorgeous, decadent dessert with sponge soaked in eggnog and topped with whipped cream. Learn how to make the best tres leches, and this recipe will easily become your favourite dessert of the season!
I'm such a sucker for the good old Tres Leches cake. I could be held at gunpoint and not care if I had a plate of this moist, spongy dessert in front of me. Speaking of which, is it pronounced Trayz-Lechezz? Or more fancily - Tray-Lesh? Go figure! Also, we seem to be on a roll with putting a spin on classic dishes and beverages - check out our latest Roasted Pineapple Moscow Mule recipe!
What is Tres Leches? Though it sounds French, Tres Leches is actually a Mexican dessert. It usually has a sponge cake heavily soaked in milk, evaporated milk and heavy cream and is topped with whipped cream. We wanted to jazz it up a bit and so we made a version with Eggnog in it! I know you're probably thinking.. "Eggnog is a beverage. How do we make dessert with a beverage?" Guys adding Eggnog takes Tres leches to another level! This milk cake just got a makeover.
What is Eggnog?
Eggnog is made of raw egg yolks and sugar, mixed with milk or cream and vanilla extract. Since we are not big fans of uncooked eggs, we temper the eggnog by adding warm milk mixture to the whisked egg yolks and sugar. And we cook it in the heat of the milk for some amazing eggnog! The eggnog is flavoured with vanilla and nutmeg - both flavours ringing in the Christmas season! Usually, we would also add some cream to our eggnog. Since we are making it for this Eggnog Tres Leches, we want it to be thin so that the sponge soaks it up.
The Best Sponge Cake for Tres Leches
The sponge cake for Tres Leches is soooo soft and fluffy. This sponge cake recipe is slightly different from others. It should be airy and light so that it can soak up the eggnog! The trick for that light sponge is to separate egg whites and yolks. The yolks are used in the batter and egg whites are whipped until smooth peaks of whipped cream get formed. We fold this into the batter to get a feather light cake crumb.
Incorporate Eggnog in the Tres Leches
The best tres leches will always be soft, spongy and full of milk. So that every bite just dissolves in your mouth. You should get a mouthful of the three milk every time you eat it. To get that liquid incorporated, holes are poked all over the sponge. Then warm eggnog is poured all over the sponge and then cake is refrigerated to allow the sponge to firm up. You'll have a moist, sweet sponge cake oozing with eggnog and milk with each bite!!!
Whipped Cream and Other Toppings
The combination of moist, spongy cake with eggnog and snowwhite peaks of whipped cream is what makes this Tres leches cake so special. We've sprinkled some cinnamon powder on top - it adds a spicy note to the dessert, plus the colour contrast is stunning! Fresh berries like strawberries and blueberries go soooo well with any Tres Leches cake! The acidity of these berries will cut right through the dense flavours and make it mouthwatering!!
This eggnog Tres Leches recipe is easy to achieve and so satisfying to eat. Don't be surprised if it disappears before you can say Tres Leches! We made a lot of Tres Leches before we posted this recipe. So here are some top tips that you must read before trying this recipe:
Top Tips for the Best Eggnog Tres Leches
- Measure Ingredients: Make sure to measure wet and dry ingredients properly and use a weight scale as much as possible. This is a delicate dessert and needs accurate measurements for the sponge to turn out right.
- Eggs: Cold eggs are easier to separate into yolks and whites. You can then let them get to room temperature before you start working on the batter
- Don’t overmix: Don’t overmix while incorporating the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Use a spatula to fold the batter carefully. Do the same when incorporating the whipped egg whites. The idea is to incorporate as much air as possible, because that is what helps the sponge rise. If you watch the video, you’ll notice how light the batter is.
- Baking dish: Since the sponge is so light, it’s hard to take the cake out in another dish. It’s best not to handle the sponge once it’s baked as it can break. Which is why we bake it in a ceramic or glass dish so that it can be served directly.
- Refrigerate: It’s important to let the cake refrigerate once the eggnog is poured. This gives the sponge time to absorb the liquid and also set in the fridge so that its moist. The sponge doesn’t become soggy or disintegrate
- Rest: Let the cake rest for 30 minutes before pouring the eggnog mixture. This helps the cake absorb the eggnog well
Can I Make Eggless Tres Leches?
We knew we would get many requests for an eggless version, so we attempted it and tested it many times, but it just doesn’t work as well. For that light and airy sponge that can hold almost 2-3 cups of liquid, you need to add eggs. That's just how it is 🙂
More Season Favourite Dessert Recipes:
- Danish Brown Butter Cookies
- Scottish Dundee Cake
- Last Minute Plum Cake
- Classic Cassata Upgraded
- Eggless Vanilla Sponge Cake
Watch how to make Eggnog Tres Leches Recipe Video
Eggnog Tres Leche - 3 Milk Cake
- 5 Eggs seperated
- 1 Cup (200 g) Sugar Divided into ¾ Cup and ¼ Cup
- ⅓ Cup (80 ml) Milk
- 2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
- 1 Cup (125 g) Flour
- 1 ½ Teaspoons Baking Powder
- ¼ Teaspoon Salt
- 2 Cups (488 g) Milk
- 1 Egg Yolk
- 3 Tablespoons (37.5 g) Sugar
- ½ Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- ¼ Teaspoon Nutmeg
- 3 Tablespoons Whiskey
- 2 Cups (480 g) Heavy Cream
- ¾ Cup (90 g) Icing Sugar
- Cinnamon Powder for dusting
- Butter a 10 x 7 x 2.5 inch casserole dish or baking pan. Preheat the oven to 170C.
- Set aside three mixing bowls.
- Mixing Bowl 1: Add egg yolks and ¾ th cup sugar. Beat together on high speed for 5-6 minutes or until sugar is partly dissolved and the mix is pale and fluffy. It should be of ribbon consistency. To this add vanilla extract and milk and stir to combine.
- Mixing Bowl 2: Sieve the dry ingredients together (flour, baking powder and salt). Pour the egg yolk mix on top of the flour mix and gently fold to combine. Set this cake batter aside.
- Mixing Bowl 3: Whip egg whites for about 30 seconds to a minute or till they are foamy. Continue whipping and add the remaining ¼th cup of sugar little by little. Keep whipping until soft peaks are achieved, for about 3-4 minutes.
- Add all of the egg white mix to the cake batter. Gently fold till it is well combined. Be sure to be gentle with it as you don't want to knock out any air.
- Pour the prepared batter into the baking dish. Bake in the oven at 170C for 40-45 minutes or until the cake is firm to touch. When done, poke a toothpick or skewer into the centre of the cake, it should come out clean. Allow the cake to cool down for 30 minutes.
- Whisk sugar and egg yolk using a hand blender or a whisk. Whisk till pale and creamy, about 2-3 minutes.
- Heat milk, vanilla extract and nutmeg in a saucepan and bring it to a gentle simmer. Now slowly whisk the milk into the egg mixture, making sure to add the milk mixture in a thin, steady stream so that you don't scramble the eggs. Keep whisking continuously till all the milk is whisked in.
- Transfer the mixture back to the saucepan and cook on medium heat till the eggnog slightly thickens. Keep stirring as it heats to keep it from sticking to the bottom. Once the eggnog is ready, add the whisky, mix and transfer it to a jug. Keep aside.
- Using a beater or stand mixer with whisk attachment, beat the whipping cream for 3-5 minutes or until soft peaks are achieved. Add the sugar little by little and continue to whisk for another minute. Set aside or refrigerate if using later.
- Once the cake is almost at room temperature, use a toothpick or a fork to poke holes all over the surface of the cake. This is to ensure that the eggnog soaks up the sponge evenly.
- While the eggnog is still warm, pour it over the sponge and allow it to soak up. Once done, leave it aside so the sponge can absorb all of the syrup. Poke more holes if necessary. Refrigerate it for 30-40 minutes.
- Remove from the refrigerator and add the whipped cream on top of the sponge. Use a palette knife or the back of the spoon to evenly spread it out. Dust some cinnamon powder using a fine sieve. Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or if you can’t wait, dig in already! The dish just tastes better when chilled. Slice up, serve and enjoy those sweet sweet festivities!