MIND BLOWING Tres Leches CUPCAKES!! This super easy Mexican inspired dessert is perfect for parties! So delicious!

Tres Leches Cupcakes are a light and airy cupcake that’s filled with three decadent and creamy milks, then topped with a fluffy whipped cream and dusting of cinnamon sugar.

MIND BLOWING Tres Leches CUPCAKES!! This super easy Mexican inspired dessert is perfect for parties! So delicious!pinterestAre you familiar with Tres Leches cake? It’s a light, sponge-like cake that’s soaked in three milks (tres leches). Typically the cake is made in a larger form, but I wanted something that was more portable and perfect for single serving.     Find more cupcakes here.

This Mexican-inspired dessert is a light yet indulgent treat that is really a breeze to make.

Light and fluffy Tres Leches Cupcakes filled with three types of milks for an indulgent treat that's so delicious!

How To Make Tres Leches Cupcakes:

  • You’ll start by creating your cake batter from scratch. That might sound intimidating, but I promise this is such a super easy recipe! I’ve made it with a hand mixer and stand mixer and both ways work amazing!
  • Since this cake is meant to absorb the three milks, the cake needs to be a light sponge cake. To do this we have to separate the egg yolks and egg whites, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form and then gently fold back into the batter. This creates air pockets in the cupcake that can absorb all the milk later on.
  • Once the cupcakes have cooled you’ll want to score the tops of them with a knife or fork to allow the milk to seep in.

Score the tops of the cupcakes to allow the milks to seep in and soak up.

What Milks go into Tres Leches Cake?

This recipe calls for three types of milk that are whisked together until smooth then slowly added to each cupcake.

  • Heavy Cream
  • Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • Evaporated Milk

You don’t need to add any other sweeteners or flavorings to the milk mixture! It’s so simple!

WOW! These Tres Leches Cupcakes are filled with three types of milk and topped with a light and airy whipped cream topping! So delicious and SO EASY!

You might be wondering if the cupcake wrappers are durable enough to hold in all the liquid from the cupcakes? YES! There is ZERO leaking through or soggy wrapper bottoms. I’ve never had an issue with them making a mess when transporting either.

But seriously, can we all just take a moment and marvel at that gorgeous cupcake?

MIND BLOWING Tres Leches CUPCAKES!! This super easy Mexican inspired dessert is perfect for parties! So delicious!

These Tres Leches Cupcakes should definitely be made pronto. Grab a fork and dig in!


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4.92 from 25 votes

Tres Leches Cupcakes

These Tres Leches Cupcakes are light and fluffy cupcakes filled with three creamy milks and topped with a light and fluffy whipped cream frosting.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 24
Calories: 161 kcal
Author: Shawn


For the Cupcakes:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 5 whole eggs; separated
  • 1 cup Sugar; divided
  • 1/3 cup Coconut Milk
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract

For the Tres Leches:

  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 10oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 8oz can evaporated milk

For the Topping:

  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 3 to 4 tbsp powdered sugar
  • cinnamon sugar
  • fresh sliced strawberries


  • Set oven to 350 degrees F and line a muffin pan with cupcake liners.

For the Cupcakes:

  • In a large bowl combine flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
  • In another two bowls separate the egg yolks and whites. To the yolks add 3/4 cup of sugar. Beat with a mixer until yolks are pale yellow and fluffy. Add coconut milk and vanilla extract. Mix until combined. Slowly, and gently incorporate yolk mixture into flour mixture.
  • Beat egg whites on high until soft peaks form. Add the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar and beat until stiff but not dry. Gently fold egg whites into batter until incorporated being careful not to over mix.
  • Scoop batter into cupcake liners and bake for 15 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely (about 10 minutes).

For the Tres Leches:

  • In a bowl combine 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream, one can of sweetened condensed milk, and evaporated milk. Whisk until smooth and combined.
  • Score the tops of each cupcake with a sharp knife so liquid can easily be absorbed.
  • Pour one tablespoon at a time into each cupcake, let it absorb and continue until you have put 3 tablespoons into each cupcake. Let them stand and absorb for about 20 minutes.

For the Topping:

  • Beat the heavy whipping cream in a large bowl until soft peaks form, add the powdered sugar and continue to beat until stiff. Pipe the whipped cream onto each cupcake and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar and top with fresh sliced strawberries.
Store cupcakes loosely covered in the refrigerator until ready to serve. I recommend topping with the whipped cream topping just before serving.


Calories: 161kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 68mg | Sodium: 47mg | Potassium: 44mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 414IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 1mg
Keywords: cupcakes, milk, Tres Leches, whipped cream
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?don't forget to share a picture and mention @iwashyoudry on Instagram or tag #iwashyoudry!

Originally published on 5/19/2011. Updated photography & recipe on 3/1/2018.


MIND BLOWING Tres Leches CUPCAKES!! This super easy Mexican inspired dessert is perfect for parties! So delicious!

About the author

Shawn is the Owner and Creator of I Wash You Dry. She loves to create and share simple, family-friendly recipes. Mom to 5 adorable children and dwells in the desert of Southern Utah.
60 Responses
  1. Bianca

    Amazing recipe! I used this for 2 8” cake pans and they came out great! For the cupcakes, after soaking them, the wrappers did become soggy even with 2 tbsp of milk mixture. Is there a specific cupcake liner that you use? Also, can these be baked in advanced and frozen?

    1. I’ve never had an issue with the wrappers getting soggy, but if yours did, I would try the foil lined wrappers next time. As for freezing – I imagine the cake can be frozen ahead of time, but defrost and THEN add the milk for best texture and flavor. Hope that helps!

  2. Crystal Sage

    3 stars
    the whipped frosting was delicious. the milk sauce was yummy, but the cupcakes themselves seemed more like french toast than cake. They were very eggy. The egg to flour ratio was not right in my opinion. It was a bummer on my birthday. An old friend made a tres leches cake a dozen years ago that I have not been able to replicate since.

    1. Shawn

      The cupcakes are supposed to be spongey and not your typical cake-like texture. I’m not sure if that’s throwing you off or not? Sorry you weren’t happy with the results.

  3. Susan

    5 stars
    BEST tres leches ever. I fell in love with this cake in Mexico years ago and have made many recipes in cake form. This was by far the best! I love the fact that each cupcake is (for the most part) equally moistened and contained. Cake was delicious (I don’t think previous recipes I’ve tried had cinnamon in it). Thank you – new favorite recipe!!

  4. Sunshine Smiles

    5 stars
    Tasted so good! Husband’s allergic to coconut milk, so I did a 1:2 ratio of melted butter and water as recommended by the internet, and the cupcakes turned out fine. By far the tastiest cake-type dessert I’ve had in forever!
    I could have improved it for myself by mixing the whipped topping a little stiffer and taking a bit more time to let the tres leches absorb into the cupcakes. But overall they were fabulous.

  5. Angil

    If making these as a cake, what alterations would you suggest? Also, what would a good bake time be? Sorry need all of the help I can get, I’m not a savvy Baker.

    1. Shawn

      Hi Angil, I’m thinking you could bake this in a 9×13, and just bake until the center of the cake is cooked through. Not sure on how long that would take exactly. Hope it works out for you!

  6. Christine Woodmansee

    5 stars
    Did you use coconut milk in a can (non-dairy) or the coconut milk that you find in the dairy department? These look yummy and I’m going to take them to a dinner party tomorrow night!

  7. Jazbeth

    5 stars
    I will be trying these tonight for tomorrow should I add the milk tonight and is it ok for them to sit in the fridge until tomorrow morning ?

      1. Jazbeth

        5 stars
        Thank you! Also how soon after I have added the milk do I wait until I put them in the fridge ? (Covered) or do they stay out for the 20 minutes then put them in the fridge ?
        Sorry thank you

        1. Shawn

          Hi Jazbeth, You can put them in the fridge right away if they are going to be in there over night. When you are ready to serve, just pop out of the fridge, put your toppings on and enjoy!

    1. Claudia

      This recipe sounds so yummy! I like the idea of it being an airy cake to absorb the milk. I’m planning on making these in advance for a bbq on Sunday. I won’t be home Saturday so I need to prep as much as I can today and Friday. Do you have any tips?
      Like should I make the cupcakes today and incorporate the milk Friday night and the topping on Sunday before serving? Will it affect the taste?

      1. Shawn

        Hi Claudia, You should be okay to prep on Friday with the milks. Just cover and pop them in the fridge. Just before serving, take them out put on your toppings and enjoy. Hope this helps!

  8. Mason

    First off: thank you so much. These look amazing and I’m excited to try them!
    I’m thinking of adding a mango or guava curd to the center of the cupcakes, do you recommend any adjustments to the recipe?

    1. Shawn

      Hi Mason, I have not tested this recipe with that, but it’s worth a try! I can’t think of any adjustments you would need to make. Let me know how they turn out.

  9. Jessica Ocampo-Callaghan

    Do you think these would work in the mini cupcakes? I’m having a Seis de Mayo party at work, but I would need like a 100!

    Thanks in advance!!!

    1. Shawn

      It could be worth a try! You would have to be sure to reduce baking time by a few minutes (The toothpick test will tell you when they are done). Also, the liquid for each cupcake would be reduced (at teaspoon at a time). Good Luck!

    2. Jessica Ocampo-Callaghan

      The mini version came out perfect!!! I improvised for the icing though since I was making so many and could not ice right before serving.

      The recipe made about 68 minis and I reduced the bake time to 11 minutes and did about 2 teaspoons of the milk into each.

      I cheated on the icing and bought a whipped already made one and instead of the strawberry I drizzled a small amount of caramel on each!

      They were a huge hit at my work fiesta!

      Thank you for the recipe and advice. I can’t wait to make more of your stuff in the future!!!

    1. Shawn

      Yes, you can half this recipe. Halving 5 eggs can be tricky, but all you need to do is separate 5 eggs and then whisk yolks and whites separately till it is a homogenous mixture. You can then divide each egg part in half and use as instructed in the recipe. The leftover whites can be frozen for another time. Hope this helps!

    1. Shawn

      Hey Marlene, it’s because I’ve had spam bots leave spam comments and rate the recipes low, and even though I’ve deleted their comments and marked them as spam, they are still negatively impacting the recipe ratings. I’m working with the developer of the rating system to find a solution to this.

      1. Marlene

        They sound awesome and am making them for a get-together this Saturday. I’ve made so many of your recipes and loved them! Thanks for helping me create great meals!

  10. Kristen

    These look so delicious! I have been looking for a good Tres Leches cupcake recipe for some time. These will be perfect for Cinco de Mayo!

  11. Krista {Budget Gourmet Mom}

    Those look dangerously good! My hubby lived in Argentina for awhile and loves tres leches. Great recipe Shawn!

  12. Krystal and Brad Cooley

    YUMMY indeed! I'll have to make those one day. This weekend I have to make two cakes for a block party. They are delicious and they're actually Weight Watcher friendly! So they might not be the healthiest thing, but better than most cakes! So people are more likely to eat it. The ingredient list is SO EASY. Maybe I'll put the recipe up on my blog! It's got vanilla cake mix, pudding, some eggs, crushed pineapple, mandarin oranges, cool whip, and that's almost about it! 🙂

  13. Sandy

    I'm going to have to try these! I love getting that at cafe rio! If these taste as good as you say you may have just become my new favorite person!

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Shawn Syphus

Hi, I’m Shawn and I’m a busy mom of five; pretending to live on a budget. I love to cook, and explore new recipes, but they have to be quick and easy with as few dishes as possible.

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