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Pressure Cooker Tres Leches Cake

Making tres leches cake in an electric pressure cooker is such an easy way to prepare the dessert. I haven’t tried making a ton of pressure cooker desserts, but this cake comes out perfectly every single time – and there is no need to turn on the oven!

Slice of Pressure Cooker Tres Leches Cake

I typically think of using my pressure cooker for soups and stews, but pressure cookers are also workhorses for moist cakes like this pressure cooker tres leches cake.

Pointing at the cake button on Aroma's pressure cooker

My digital pressure cooker/multi-cooker from Aroma even has a cake button to remind me of that fact!

When baking in a pressure cooker, you can use a regular cake pan. Most 6 quart pressure cooker/multi-cookers like this one can hold an 8 inch round cake pan.

Be sure to create a foil sling for the cake pan before lowering it into the pressure cooker to avoid burning yourself when you remove the cake.

To make a foil sling, take a piece of aluminum foil longer than the diameter of your pan and fold it in thirds longways.  Place the pan on top of it so that you can see both foil ends sticking out of the side of the pan.

cake being lowered into the pressure cooker with a foil sling

What is Tres Leches Cake?

Tres leches cakes is popular in Mexico and all across Latin America. It is translated as three milks cake as it is made with evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, and heavy whipping cream (or whole milk). 

Slice of tres leches cake

Tres leches cake is airy, like an angel food cake, as it’s made by incorporating whipped egg whites.

Most tres leches cakes are made in a single layer topped with whipped cream or toasted marshmallow frosting. When I’m not turning mine into tres leches cupcakes, I get fancy with mine and serve it as a layer cake with whipped cream between the layers and marshmallow frosting on top.

How to Make Pressure Cooker Tres Leches Cake

The first step to perfect tres leches cake is to prepare the cake batter. My recipe yields enough batter for two layers. 

Whip egg whites until soft peaks form. Soft peaks just barely hold their shape. They fall over shortly after you lift the beater.

egg whites in soft peak phase

Then, add sugar to the egg whites and keep beating until stiff peaks form. Stiff peaks are glossy and hold their shape when the beater is lifted.

A bowl of egg whites beaten to stiff peaks

Next, beat the egg yolks and sugar. As you beat them, they will double in volume and become a pale yellow color.

Beaten egg yolks in a mixing bowl

Add milk, vanilla, flour, baking powder, and salt, and mix until combined. 

I suggest using whole milk, but any milk will work here.

Adding dry ingredients to tres leches cake batter 

Next, gently fold in the stiff egg whites. Do this by hand, not with a stand mixer, as the speed of the stand mixer can remove the air from the fluffy egg whites.

folding egg whites into tres leches cake batter

Divide the batter evenly between two well-greased 8 inch cake pans. 

Add water to the bottom of the pressure cooker and place the trivet inside.

Adding water to a pressure cooker

Use the foil sling to lower one of the cake pans into the pressure cooker. Make sure the pressure release knob is sealed. Cook at high pressure for 50 minutes or, if you are using the Aroma pressure cooker, just press the cake button (there is no need to set a time).

Locking pressure release knob

When the cake is done, power off the pressure cooker and move the valve from the sealed position to the venting position. Be careful to avoid the hot steam that will emerge.Once the steam has been released and the pressure cooker unlocks, open the lid and remove the cake. Place the cake on a cooling rack to cool and repeat the pressure cooking process with the next cake.

Once both cakes are cooled, use a skewer or toothpick to poke lots of little holes in the cakes. These will help the cakes absorb the three milks.

poking holed in the tres leches cake

Pour a mixture of heavy whipping cream, sweetened condensed milk, and evaporated milk over both cakes. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Remove one of the cakes from the cake pan and place it on a cake stand or decorative plate. Spread whipped cream over the top.

Spreading whipped cream on tres leches cake

Top with the second cake. Pipe on marshmallow frosting and torch with a culinary torch – or just pipe on more whipped cream if you prefer

Refrigerate until ready to serve, up to three days.

Pressure cooker tres leches cake with a slice on a cake server

Best Tips for Making Pressure Cooker Tres Leches Cake

  • Be sure to grease the pans well so that the cakes come out easily.
  • If there is any extra liquid that doesn’t get absorbed into the cake, just drain the liquid into a glass and drink it!
  • If you prefer, you can make this cake as two single layer cakes.
  • If you don’t have a pressure cooker, you can make this cake in the oven. Bake at 350 F for about 30 minutes.

Pressure Cooker Tres Leches Cake Variations

  • My recipe was adapted from the Instant Pot Peaches and Cream Coconut Tres Leches Cake by Tidbits. I love the idea of adding peaches to a tres leches cake!
  • This cake would be amazing with a layer of dulce de leche in the middle. You could also use cajeta (goat milk dulce de leche).
  • If you want to make it even fancier, I suggest decorating the cake with isomalt. Isomalt is so much easier to work with than people realize. Check out my Isomalt Basics for more details and a how-to video.
  • Instead of decorating with marshmallow frosting, you could decorate with chocolate ganache! Chocolate makes everything better, right?
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Slice of Pressure Cooker Tres Leches Cake
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5 from 3 votes

Pressure Cooker Tres Leches Cake

Classic tres leches cake conveniently made in a pressure cooker! Serve it in a single layer or as a layer cake. 
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword pressure coker desserts, pressure cooker cake, tres leches cake
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Chilling Time 4 hours
Total Time 2 hours 20 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 387kcal
Author Stef

Ingredients

Cake Ingredients

  • 5 eggs separated
  • 1 cup sugar divided
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup cake flour not self-rising
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
  • 12 ounces evaporated milk

Topping Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups whipped cream
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

Cake Instructions

  • In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whip egg whites at medium speed with an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until soft peaks form.
  • Add 1/4 cup of sugar and continue whipping at high speed until stiff peaks form.
  • In another mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat egg yolks and 3/4 cup sugar until pale yellow and doubled in volume.
  • Mix in milk, vanilla, cake flour, baking powder, and salt on low speed until fully combined.
  • Gently fold in beaten egg whites/sugar with a spatula.
  • Divide batter evenly between two 8" greased cake pans.
  • Add water to the bottom of the pressure cooker and place a trivet inside.
  • Place the first cake pan inside with a foil sling underneath it.
  • Close the lid and set the pressure release valve to locked.
  • If your pressure cooker has a cake button, press it to begin the cake cycle. Otherwise, cook at high pressure for 50 minutes.
  • When the cook cycle is complete, immediately power off and move the pressure release valve to its venting position.
  • When venting is complete, remove the cake pan using the foil sling and set it on cooling rack, leaving the cake in the pan.
  • Repeat with the second cake, making sure that about 1 1/2 cups of water remain in the bottom of the pressure cooker bowl.
  • Use a skewer or a toothpick to poke lots of holes in both cakes.
  • In a small mixing bowl, combine heavy whipping cream, sweetened condensed milk, and evaporated milk.
  • Pour liquid evenly over both cakes.
  • Cover both cake pans with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or for at least four hours.

Topping Instructions

  • Set the first cake onto a cake stand or decorative plate.
  • Use an offset spatula to spread whipped cream evenly over the top of the cake.
  • Place the second cake on top of the whipped cream.
  • To make the marshmallow frosting, combine egg whites, sugar, and vanilla in the metal mixing bowl of your stand mixer and set over a pot filled with boiling water on a range, creating a double boiler.
  • Whisk by hand for a few minutes until the mixture reaches 110 F on a candy thermometer.
  • Place the bowl on a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whisk on medium speed for 10 minutes.
  • Increase to high speed and whisk until stiff glossy peaks form, about 5 to 10 minutes more.
  • Pipe on top of the cake.
  • Brown with a culinary torch.
  • Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to three days.

Notes

  • Be sure to grease the pans well so that the cakes come out easily.
  • If there is any extra liquid that doesn't get absorbed into the cake, just drain the liquid into a glass and drink it!
  • If you prefer, you can make this cake as two single layer cakes.
  • If you don't have a pressure cooker, you can make this cake in the oven. Bake at 350 F for about 30 minutes.

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Pressure Cooker Tres Leches Cake
Amount Per Serving
Calories 387 Calories from Fat 90
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 10g 15%
Saturated Fat 6g 30%
Cholesterol 100mg 33%
Sodium 171mg 7%
Potassium 334mg 10%
Total Carbohydrates 63g 21%
Sugars 55g
Protein 9g 18%
Vitamin A 7.8%
Vitamin C 1.7%
Calcium 22.1%
Iron 3.2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Have you tried this recipe?Click here to leave a comment and rating!
Making tres leches cake in an electric pressure cooker is such an easy way to prepare the dessert. The cake comes out perfectly every single time and there is no need to turn on the oven! The BEST authentic homemade Tres Leches Cake!
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