If you’ve always had a sweet tooth, your childhood memories may include sneaky dollops of merengue when your mother or abuelita was making their legendary tres leches recipe — whether the occasion in question was Nochebuena, a birthday, or just because. Tres leches is arguably the most iconic Latin dessert, especially because it’s found in most Latin American countries, from Nicaragua to Mexico, Puerto Rico, and everywhere in between.
According to Food52, the the tres leches recipe is most likely a British export, evolving from the English dessert trifle. Interestingly enough, the dipping part of the recipe probably breathed new life into a days old cake. The popularity of Tres leches has also coincided with the rise of canned milks, since the traditional recipe of course calls for three milks: evaporated milk, condensed milk and whole milk.
Well, by now you’ve probably realized that we love a good tres leches – so what better way to ring in National Dessert Day than a roundup of the wildest very leche recipes on TikTok right now? These unique recipes are fun and tasty, and are all fantastic updates on the classic postre.
1. Pumpkin Spice Tres Leches
If you fancy rolling your eyes a bit at the traditional pumpkin spice lattes that abound every fall, let us introduce you to something that might change your perspective: pumpkin spice. very leches. This recipe will get you in the mood for fall, so get ready for tons of cozy goodness.
2. Strawberry Crunch Tres Leches
If you’ve loved these Good Humor Strawberry Shortcake Ice Cream Bars since you were a kid chasing the neighborhood ice cream truck, this recipe is for you. An easy strawberry cake mix meets golden Oreo “crunchy,” plus an unexpected addition of Jell-O.
3. Coconut Tres Leches
We have coconut flan, so why not also have a tres leches de coco? This TikToker has the perfect recipe, swapping coconut milk and almond extract into a store-bought cake mix. Condensed and evaporated coconut milk completes this new kind of “tres leches,” and let’s just say the result is tropical perfection.
4. Cafe Tres Leches
Are you the person who can’t function without your morning coffee? If you’ve got your daily café con leche or cortadito situation down to a T, then you’ll love this one. This easy tres leches cafe is a Latin version of a tiramisu, and we’re here for it.
5. Tres Leches Banana Pudding
Who doesn’t love banana pudding? How about a banana cream pie? At this point, we’ll even have banana compote – AKA baby food – but we’re happy to have this tres leches banana pudding recipe instead. Whipped, sweet, cloud-like perfection: get the full recipe at Ma’s Cocina YouTube channel.
6. Toddy Tres Leches
Depending on your country of origin, you may not be familiar with Toddy, the powdered chocolate drink mix used to make delicious hot chocolates and milkshakes. Very popular in Venezuela, but also seen throughout Argentina, Toddy is a very different take on your standard Nesquik. If you can find it in your local supermarket, try this tres leches recipe with it!
7. Tres Leches Churro Cupcakes
Freshly made churros are God’s gift to mankind, no questions asked – I mean, they’re crispy, fried, yet moist to perfection, all rolled in cinnamon sugar (heaven). We love the idea of churro flavored tres leches, especially because this recipe makes cupcakes instead, perfect for birthdays!
8. Rompope Tres Leches
If your family pulls out the rompope every holiday season flawlessly, like in the eggnog-like Mexican drink that’s creamy and cinnamon-flavored, you’ll love this recipe. This TikToker guides users step by step, so it is very easy to prepare, by introducing the rompope into the mixture of three milks. Garnish with cherries, of course!
9. Tres Leches Pina Colada
While a piña colada might not be the first thing that comes to mind when talking about cake, a tres leches piña colada just logic. Just like other unlikely combinations such as ice cream and fries, this mash-up is downright perfect. Plus, all you need is a pina colada mix to get everyone thinking “If you like pina coladas” while eating this cake.
10. Tres Leches Fruity Pebbles
Hear us out: while Fruity Pebbles in a tres leches cake might sound like blasphemy (or just plain wrong), it’s true in all the best ways. Tons of Fruity Pebbles cereal goes into the Funfetti Cake Mix (making it super easy), while the cereal also soaks in milk to give it a distinctive, nostalgic flavor. Mixed and matched with standard evaporated and condensed milks, the end product is perfect for kid’s birthday parties.
11. Coquito Tres Leches
While rompope is a classic in Mexico, coquito is a similar holiday drink found in Caribbean countries like Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic (meanwhile, Cuba has creme de vie, Venezuela has ponche cream, etc.). Coquito is famous for including coconut cream and coconut milk (although recipes differ), so this coquito flavored tres leches is a coconut dream. Also, if you use coquito with rum, you surely get a distinctive flavor from this too!
12. Chocolate Tres Leches
Chocolate tres leches may not be the more inventive recipe in this list, but it would still make our abuelita gasp and grab her metaphorical pearls – so let’s just say it has some shock value for some people. We love the idea of bringing the power of cocoa into such a creamy dessert, with the resulting cake just as moist as the original, just with a hint of chocolate.
13. Tres Leches Lucky Charm
Last but not least, if the idea of Fruity Pebbles tres leches wasn’t enough, we’re introducing this recipe’s perhaps even crazier cousin: tres leches Lucky Charms. Standard boxed cake mix meets Lucky Charms infused milk, resulting in a super fun combination that’s quite different from the classic.
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