Golden Milk Tres Leches Cake

Golden Milk Tres Leches Cake

Golden Milk Tres Leches Cake

By Polina Chesnakova, author of Everyday Cake

Makes 12 to 16 servings

This Latin American dessert consists of a sponge cake soaked through with tres leches (Spanish for three milks) and then topped with whipped cream. For a twist, the tres leches here begins as golden milk—a traditional Indian drink that has its roots in Ayurveda. Infused with turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, and other spices, this electric-yellow tres leches marries two vibrant cuisines into one irresistible cake. 

Don’t skimp on the whipped cream—it helps cut the sweetness and makes it extra moist.

For the cake:
6 eggs, at room temperature
1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ¼ cup (175 g) all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons neutral oil, such as canola or safflower

For the Golden Milk tres leches:
1 (13.5-ounce) can light coconut milk
1 ½ cup (355 ml) whole milk
3 tablespoons Golden Milk Turmeric Latte Mix
2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste or extract
½ teaspoon lightly packed freshly grated nutmeg
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

For the whipped cream:
2 cups (475 ml) heavy cream, cold
2 tablespoons honey or granulated sugar
Ground cinnamon, for dusting

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch glass or ceramic baking dish with parchment paper.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the eggs and sugar on medium-high speed until thick ribbons form, about 10 minutes. Add the vanilla and mix to combine. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt.

Use a silicone spatula to fold one-third of the flour mixture gently but confidently into the egg mixture by hand. Repeat with the rest of the flour mixture in two batches—be careful not to overmix! Drizzle in the oil and fold to thoroughly combine.

Gently scrape the batter into the prepared dish and gently smooth out the top. Bake the cake until it springs back when pressed and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and allow the cake to cool completely.  

Meanwhile, make the tres leches. In a medium saucepan, whisk together all the ingredients except for the sweetened condensed milk. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat, and gently simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, cover, and let steep for 1 hour, or until the cake has cooled. Strain the liquid into a medium bowl, using the back of a spoon to press all the liquid out from the bloomed spices, and whisk in the sweetened condensed milk. At this point, I like to transfer the tres leches to a liquid measuring cup or small pitcher for easy pouring.

Once the cake is cool, run a knife around the edges of the pan and invert it onto a cutting board. Remove the parchment from the cake and flip it over again. Use a serrated knife to cut off the cake’s browned top—you may be able to simply peel it off. This extra step ensures that the cake will be evenly soaked through. Nestle the cake (cut side up) back into the baking dish. Gradually pour the tres leches evenly over the top. Allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes, then cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours and ideally overnight.

Up to a few hours before serving, make the whipped cream. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the heavy cream and honey on medium-high speed until it holds stiff peaks. Spread it evenly over the top of the cake and lightly dust with cinnamon.

Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve. This cake keeps well in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.


  • Susan Turner: March 14, 2023

    Hi Karen. Susan from the Curio Kitchen here with apologies for the very tardy reply! Thank you for spotting and letting us know about our error! (Polina’s recipe was correct and listed cornstarch; we made a transcription mistake when uploading it here.)
    We’ve added the missing 3 tablespoons cornstarch to the ingredient list. I hope that you’ll make the cake now! It’s a lovely thing for spring.

  • Karen: March 14, 2023

    Direction state stiff together … “cornstarch” but this item is not listed? What is the measurement? Thanks

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