pastel de tres leches with a holiday twist

it's a holiday here, and i'm up to no good. it's not worth telling you about. and i would love to tell you i slaved, slaved, SLAVED over this cake, but i didn't.

pastel de tres leches, or "three milks" cake, is a dessert found in central america that many countries claim as their own, but most probably was just a promotional recipe on the back of a can of evaporated milk. yellow cake (sometimes pound cake, sometimes sponge) is soaked in a mixture of milks and topped with either whipping cream or meringue. reid at ono kine grindz has a lovely cuban-based recipe here, but if you are lucky to live somewhere where bakeries make beautiful sponge cakes akin to giant mamon like they do here on island, just buy one of those and soak it in a mixture of evaporated milk, condensed milk, and cream, then top with more whipped cream.

i happened to have some eggnog about, so i decided to make this cake with a twist by substituting the heavy cream with the holiday libation. i heated 2 parts egg nog, 1 part condensed milk, and 1 part evaporated milk just to a boil, then added a healthy dash of nutmeg and rum (optional). i poured the warm mixture over the pre-bought sponge cake until it was mostly absorbed, poured a bit more, and stuck the whole thing in the refrigerator to absorb the excess overnight. i then topped it with a bit of whipped cream.

if you are from guam and remember the classic fiesta dessert latiya(lah-tí-jah), which is a sponge cake topped with a vanilla pastry cream, this cake is like a richer, tastier version of that. waaaay better tasting, imo. hey, maybe we should make like latin america and claim it as our own.


Hi Santos,

Thanks for the mention. =)

This sounds like a good adaptation of a store bought cake. I like the flavor combination that you put together. In fact, this seems much easier to make...next time I'm going to cheat. But don't tell anyone! =)

it's a secret! ;-)

Mmmmm this looks so rich and sweet!

Oh my God! I should say that just looking at the photos gave me a headstart on wanting to eat dinner. I like the description under your header, because it seems that I run into a lot of foodie sites written by asian women. Oh well, goes to show that we have our priorities in life. Reading this blog gave me a sort of cozy feeling, since I am originally from a bunch of islands---Hawaii!

hi toni and rowena, thanks for visiting!


the sponge cakes here are not as sweet as in the philippines, so it's not as sweet as most people imagine it to be. it is, however, very rich, despite having a surprisingly light texture. good party cake.


e komo mai! you sure are a long way from the islands :-)

A bit racist but who cares right?

anon, i don't get what's racist about this, clue me in.

"but most probably was just a promotional recipe on the back of a can of evaporated milk."

Hmm, you sure do know the facts right?....well at least get a clue and if you don't know then don't make up dumb stupid comments!

And that little "twist" that you claim, well it's very well known that these cakes have been made with alcoholic eggnog and even certain types of wines.

Again, don't make stupid crap up if you don't know!

wow, why so angry at christmas-time?

this is my food journal. this is not any statement of fact other than what i have cooked or eaten. i have not created anything new that hasn't been said or done before. others have made the same supposition:


just like others have added alcohol or eggnog to the cake.