6 Ways To Perfect Alia Bhatt's Favourite Mexican Milk Cake

It’s no secret that ‘girl of the moment’ Alia Bhatt loves a good tres leches cake. The soft and tender Mexican dessert is appreciated worldwide for its moist and delicate crumb and mild sweetness. The classic cake is made by soaking a light sponge cake in a mixture of three different varieties of milk. The cake should ideally be soaked in milk overnight, but there are other ways to perfect a tres leches cake.

Though the Mexican milk cake isn’t the easiest recipe to master, only a few key components can make sure you have perfectly fluffy, moist and luscious tres leches. Make a note of these basic pointers which can make sure your homemade milk cake is truly delicious.

Use Cake Flour

Instead of all-purpose flour, use cake flour for this recipe. Cake flour is more finely-grained than regular flour; it’s milled from softer wheat variants and it has low gluten content so it makes sure tres leches have a tender crumb. Cake flour also absorbs more liquids faster so the tres leches can be more moister. Cake flour is also responsible for the fluffiness of tres leches and helps the milk cake attain its signature airiness.

Three-Milk Soaking Technique

The signature element of Tres Leches is the soaking of the sponge cake in a mixture of three kinds of milk: evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, and whole milk or heavy cream. To perfect this technique, opt for an easy three-milk soaking technique. 

Pierce the baked sponge cake with a fork or skewer to create channels for the milk mixture to penetrate. Gradually pour the milk mixture over the cake, allowing it to absorb evenly. Refrigerate the soaked cake for several hours or overnight to ensure the full absorption of the flavorful milk blend.

Whipped Topping Consistency

A luscious whipped topping is the finishing touch that crowns the perfect Tres Leches. Achieve the ideal whipped topping consistency by using well-chilled heavy cream. Beat the cream just until stiff peaks form; remember overbeating can lead to a buttery texture. Sweeten the whipped cream with a modest amount of sugar to balance the sweetness of the cake.

Refrigeration Duration

Proper refrigeration is essential to allow the Tres Leches to set and develop its characteristic texture. After soaking the cake, refrigerate it for at least 4-6 hours. You should ideally store it overnight, allowing the flavours to meld, and the texture to become irresistibly moist. Kept in the fridge, tres leches with buttercream or ganache topping will last for 3-4 days. If the cake has custard, cream or cream cheese, don’t refrigerate it for more than 2 days.

For A Cake Mix, Choose Pound Cakes

If you’re making a tres leches with a box cake mix, try to go for a pound cake, since they tend to have sturdier sponges. If you have only a few hours to make this cake and don’t want a tres leches that’s too dry or too soggy, opt for this method. A sponge cake that is too delicate may disintegrate when soaked in the milk mixture, leading to sogginess. Make sure that the cake has enough structure to absorb the liquid without losing its form.

Control Soaking Time

While tres leches are meant to be moist, they should not be too soggy. There may be a small puddle of milk when you cut into it, but the cake is supposed to hold onto its shape. Achieving the perfect balance between a moist texture and avoiding sogginess needs close monitoring of the soaking time of the sponge cake. 

Once you pour the three-milk mixture over the cake, allow it to absorb the liquid gradually. It's important not to oversaturate the cake. Typically, letting the cake soak for about 15-30 minutes is sufficient. Avoid leaving it in the milk mixture for an extended period.