Tres Leches Cupcakes: An Ode to Venezuela and Beautiful Bones | Cupcake Project

Tres Leches Cupcakes: An Ode to Venezuela and Beautiful Bones

Home  »  Recipes  »  Cupcakes  »  Tres Leches Cupcakes: An Ode to Venezuela and Beautiful Bones

Tres Leches means three milks. I made my tres leches cupcakes for two reasons. I tried to come up with tres reasons, but decided that dos would be fine!

  1. Tres leches is a speciality in Venezuela and other parts of South America. I just had some amazing Amano chocolate from Venezuelan beans so I thought a Venezuelan tres leches cupcake was in order. ama
  2. Food Blogga (I just love that name) was diagnosed with osteoporosis in the past year. She is hosting an event where participants make calcium-rich food to raise awareness of the disease. Go to her blog and read more about it. This is important stuff – far more important than reason 1 for making this cupcake. I figured that since tres leches cupcakes have not one milk, but three, they would be absolutely perfect for the event!

Note On Milk and Osteoporosis

While I made my tres leches cupcakes for the osteoporosis event, I want to take a moment to point out that despite what Big Milk would have you believe, it is not a given that lots of milk makes strong, healthy bones. When I started looking into the connection between calcium and osteoporosis to write this post, I found that the connection isn’t so clear. As you do your homework and read Food Blogga’s info on osteoporosis as I suggested above, be sure to also read this compilation of reference articles on It highlights research that argues for and against milk’s role in preventing osteoporosis.

You didn’t know I would give you homework, did you?

The Tres Leches Cupcake Recipe

I got the recipe for the tres leches cupcakes by converting a cake recipe on Cooking Along to cupcake format. I am reprinting it with my modifications below. The Meringue Frosting recipe is also from Cooking Along, reprinted with my notes and modifications.
Join the free mailing list to receive the latest recipes, tips, and tricks by email!
Print Pin
5 from 1 vote

Tres Leches Cupcakes

Tres Leches means three milks, and those choices make this recipe a winner.
Course Dessert
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword meringue frosting, tres leches, tres leches cupcakes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Chill 5 hours
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 28 cupcakes
Calories 173kcal


Cupcake Ingredients

  • 8 eggs separated
  • 1 1/3 C granulated sugar
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 C all purpose flour
  • 3 T corn starch
  • 1 t baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 6 oz evaporated milk 1/2 can
  • 11 oz condensed milk 3/4 can
  • 3/4 C heavy cream or 1 can of coconut milk unsweetened (I used heavy cream)

Meringue Frosting Ingredients

  • 2 egg whites
  • pinch salt
  • 1 C sugar
  • 1/2 C water
  • 1 t ground cinnamon


Cupcake Instructions

  • In a big bowl, beat the egg yolks and 1 C of the sugar until pale and fluffy.
  • Add the vanilla.
  • In another bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, corn starch, and salt.
  • Mix until combined with the yolk mixture.
  • Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form.
  • Add 1/3 C sugar at the end. Do not over beat!
  • Fold the whites into the yolk and flour mixture, being very careful not to deflate the batter.
  • Fill cupcake liners about halfway.
  • Bake at 350 F for 20 minutes or until golden brown and when a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  • With a serrated knife, remove the top golden layer on each cupcake to expose the sponge. You can toss the tops in the trash or proceed to eat them all! You can see the pile of cut off tops on the left edge of the photo above.
  • Mix the three milks and spoon them into the cupcakes.
  • Put about three T of the milks into each cupcake.
  • Wait for the milks to be absorbed and add more. You will see a pool of milks at first, like the photo above, but soon the milks will completely absorb into the sponge cake.
  • Refrigerate the cupcakes covered for 5 hours or overnight.

Meringue Frosting Instructions

  • Mix the water and sugar in a small pan.
  • Bring it to a boil and cook until soft crack point, about 10 minutes. To know when the syrup has reached soft crack, take a little bit with a clean spoon and drop it in a bowl filled with water. It is ready when you can make a little soft ball with it inside the water (be very careful handling the syrup, it gets extremely HOT).
  • When the syrup is about to come to the soft crack point, beat the egg whites (with a pinch of salt added just a minute after starting the beating) until soft peaks form.
  • Still beating the whites, add the syrup in a steady way and beat until the mixture cools down. The final mixture will resemble soft marshmallows.
  • Frost the cupcakes! I am bringing these cupcakes over to Alanna's on Monday - some other St. Louis food bloggers will be there as well. Therefore, I won't be able to hide the fact that I just shmeared the frosting onto most of the cupcakes. I only made a few with the pretty swirls. The main reason for this is that this recipe did not make enough frosting for lots of big swirls. If you want big frosting, double this recipe.
  • Top with cinnamon. This will give a great flavor and a pretty presentation.


Nutrition Facts
Tres Leches Cupcakes
Amount Per Serving
Calories 173 Calories from Fat 45
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 5g 8%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Cholesterol 61mg 20%
Sodium 45mg 2%
Potassium 109mg 3%
Total Carbohydrates 28g 9%
Sugars 23g
Protein 3g 6%
Vitamin A 4.1%
Vitamin C 0.5%
Calcium 6.8%
Iron 3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Have you tried this recipe?Click here to leave a comment and rating!


Love it? Share it!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

31 comments on “Tres Leches Cupcakes: An Ode to Venezuela and Beautiful Bones”

  1. Triple the calcium and triple the deliciousness! Thanks a bunch, Stef!

    BTW-There isn’t gonna be a quiz later in the week on the homework, is there?

  2. Gracesays:

    i’m loco for tres leches. (that’s right, i took 4 semesters of spanish in high school…) these cupcakes are muy bonita. :)

  3. Sophiesays:

    These look mighty delish :). Good for you for participating in the Osteoporosis event :D. Wish I coulda done it…but I found out too late!

  4. toontzsays:

    Yum! I so wish I could taste one of those right now!

  5. K.says:

    These look great – but I doubt even you could beat Dan’s Tres Leches cake! (Not that I’m biased or anything – but his was AMAZING!!)

    BTW- the strawberry cakes turned out pretty good once they rested for a few hours. At least they disappeared at the party! Guess I need to be more patient with myself. Darn pregnancy hormones!

  6. Marasays:

    i have never had a tres leches anything…so sad…esp considering my heritage is 1/2 mexican. i need to get on that!

  7. Nancysays:

    Thanks for my cupcakes. I loved the milkiness and moistness. Would have preferred less sweetness. As always, you’re my favorite cucake queen.

  8. Great flavor choice! Those look yummy!

  9. Great flavor choice! Those look yummy!

  10. Great flavor choice! Those look yummy!

  11. Great flavor choice! Those look yummy!

  12. Great flavor choice! Those look yummy!

  13. Cakespysays:

    FANTASTIC!!! A triple threat of dairy deliciousness. Tres Leches is one of my newest obsessions. I feel as if it’s like flan in the respect that it’s hard to find a good one, but when you do, you become a believer. Wonderful! And maybe if I eat enough I’ll get my growth spurt and break the 5 foot mark? ;-)

  14. Stefsays:

    Susan – Nah.. no quiz. I’m running on the honor system.

    Grace – Hah! I took French, don’t remember a thing.

    Sophie – So many different events to participate in. It’s hard to get to them all.

    Toontz – I did have one just now. Yum!

    K. – Good. Glad everything worked out.

    Mara – What are you waiting for? :)

    Nancy – Rumor has it you liked your second one better. Glad the coffee pairing worked out for you.

    Sweet and Saucy – Thanks! I dig em.

    Cakespy – Hah! Good luck with that!

  15. Deborahsays:

    I love tres leches cake – and in cupcake form I’m sure they are even better!

  16. Gigisays:

    Another awesome cake to cupcake conversion! I have never tried tres leches cake before. I’ll have to ask around and see if I can find a good place for a slice.

  17. Stefsays:

    Deborah – It’s good whatever way you can get it!

    Gigi – Thanks! Hope you find a good one!

  18. Whenever I’ve made tres leches, as a cake, it comes out very very wet and has to be eaten with a spoon. With these cupcakes, does the milk soak through the liners?

  19. Stefsays:

    MyDear – The tres leches did not soak through the liners. Just be careful of how much you add to the cupcakes. I only added what could be absorbed and then stopped.

  20. Anonymoussays:

    i just tried this recipe and the cupcakes didnt turn out as i expected it to be. i followed the step exactly making i didnt leave anything out. the cupcakes were super sweet just the way my family likes it but it kinda had this bland flavor to it, actually it no flavor at all. it was only sweet, nothing more.

  21. Stefsays:

    Anon – So sorry to hear you didn’t like it.

  22. Lismisays:

    I utilized the tops that were cut off by making love and star shapes out of them with cookie cutters.After that I put them back on top of the cupcakes. I frosted that mini love and star-shaped cakes or you can eat them straightaway! ^-*

  23. Stefsays:

    Lismi – What an adorable idea! Thanks for sharing!

  24. Melissasays:

    Que Delicioso! (well delicioso sounding!!) Today I saw Tres Leches mix from Betty Crocker & thought of using this as a cupcake. But THIS sounds MUCHHH better!! Thanks!

  25. I made these last night for a birthday party. I had never had tres leches cake before but the birthday girl requested it in cupcake form. I’m not sure how my cupcakes stood up to the real deal but everyone said they were the best cupcakes they’ve ever had. Next time I make them I plan to use 6 eggs (they were a little eggy) and a little more of the “milk mixture.” I wanted them to be even more moist. The fluffy frosting was divine though!

  26. Thanks for a jumping off point! I made my own rendition of these cupcakes- a smaller batch, less eggs and a tad more milk.

  27. Tres leches is my numero uno favorito pastel on the planet (i probably butchered the spanish). I am looking for cupcake recipes for a bridal shower that are a little “special” and this is it! Thanks for sharing your recipe.

  28. Lisasays:

    I just found your blog last week – I love it. :) I made these today and they were awesome! I love the frosting, too.. boiled the sugar to 238 degrees and added clear vanilla, almond, and butter flavors to the finished product, just to give it a little dimension. I will DEFINITELY be making this again.

  29. tres leches cake is found throughout latin america and in most latino bakeries in the USA. this recipe looks great. i’ve always used regular milk instead of heavy cream and a dose of brandy… meringue frosting is delicious but whipped cream will work just as well :)

  30. Pinolerasays:

    Tres Leches was originally created in Nicaragua (though it is often falsely credited to Cuba as well.) It was not originally a Venezuelan cake, but it can indeed be found in most Latin American countries now.

  31. If I wanted to make my cupcakes HEAVILY liquored for an adult birthday party how would you suggest I do so?

Show All Comments

Stay Connected!

Join my mailing list - and receive a free eBook!

Sign me up!
Gray Logos Representing Media Where Cupcake Project has Appeared
Next Post