Tiramisu Tres Leches Cake


I had this idea of putting tiramisu and tres leches cake together because even though they are 2 very different desserts, I feel like the textures are a little similar. So I had a feeling they would be good together.

I’m so glad I did this. The flavours of tiramisu paired with the flavours and texture of a tres leches cake is an amazing combination!

A slice of the tiramisu tres leches cake on a white plate, with the full cake in the background.

Video Tutorial

What makes this a tiramisu tres leches cake?

I felt like I should give a quick explanation, because every time I make a dessert inspired by tiramisu there is always someone who is like ‘THIS IS NOT TIRAMISU’.

So let me explain my vision.

If we think of tiramisu, it is essentially layers of coffee soaked sponge fingers, a mascarpone cream and cocoa powder on top. This is a very simple breakdown of tiramisu, there is much more to it. But these are the main components and flavours.

If we think of tres leches cake, it is a cake that has been soaked with 3 different kinds of milk, then topped with whipped cream.

So for this cake, my goal was to take the flavours of tiramisu and add it to a tres leches cake.

For the coffee flavour, I flavoured my milk mixture with coffee and then I also dipped some sponge fingers into brewed coffee and added this on top of the soaked cake.

For the mascarpone flavour, I added mascarpone into my whipped cream. Then finally, I topped the cake off with some cocoa powder.

Now we have a tiramisu tres leches cake!

A slice of the tiramisu tres leches cake on a white plate.

The milk mixture

For this tiramisu tres leches cake, there are 3 different things we are going to make. 

This is the milk mixture, the cake and then the mascarpone whipped cream.

We’re going to make the milk mixture first. This is just because it has coffee in it, so I felt like it would be good to let the coffee marinate in the mixture before using it. I don’t truly know if this makes a difference, but let’s make it first anyway.

These are the ingredients you are going to need for this mixture:

  • Whole milk
  • Instant coffee
  • Evaporated milk
  • Condensed milk

I just wanted to mention, you can add as much or as little coffee as you want. If you want a super strong coffee flavour in your cake, add more. Or if you want a weaker coffee taste, add less.

I didn’t make mine super strong, but you do you. Add the coffee to taste!

The top of the full tiramisu tres leches cake, after cocoa powder was dusted over it.

Ingredients for the cake

For the cake, we are making a fluffy spongy kind of cake.

I actually don’t know what kind of cake this is….genoise, sponge, chiffon….there are so many different kind of cakes HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO KNOW THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THEM.

I digress whatever the name is, I love this recipe. I use it for a lot of my cakes.

Here are the ingredients you will need to make it:

  • Eggs – the eggs in this recipe are the most important ingredient. This is the only ingredient that is going to make the cake rise and make it fluffy.
  • Granulated sugar – caster sugar works too. In the recipe card below, you will see 2 measurements for the sugar. It’s not a mistake, it’s just that we are going to whip 75g of sugar with the egg whites, and then another 75g of sugar will be whipped with the egg yolks. I thought I should mention it in case someone gets confused.
  • Oil – any flavourless oil works, I like to use vegetable oil. This is going to add some moisture to the cake.
  • Lemon juice – this is optional, but I feel like these fluffy kind of cakes can sometimes have an eggy taste. Lemon juice does a great job at getting rid of this taste.
  • Vanilla extract – for flavour.
  • Plain flour – also known as all purpose flour.
The cake batter inside of a baking dish, before being baked.
The cake layer after it had been baked.

A few tips when making the cake

Like I mentioned, the main ingredient in this cake is the eggs. We are going to be whipping these, which is going to add a lot of air into the batter. This air is going to make your cake rise as it bakes.

However with cakes like this, ones that rely on whipped eggs, there is a risk of them deflating. So here are a few tips to prevent that from happening.

Don’t grease your baking dish

Since this cake has no raising agents in it, in order for it to rise as it bakes, the cake batter grips onto the sides of the baking dish.

If you grease your dish, the batter won’t be able to do this. So it’s best not to grease it.

Don’t open your oven door too early

The main reason why a cake like this can deflate is because one, the oven door was open too early. Or two, the cake was taken out too early.

I baked this for around 1 hour.

I recommend not opening your door for at least 40 minutes, after 40 minutes your can open the door and check the cake if you need too. But try not to open it any earlier.

Release the cake from the sides of your dish after baking

With all that being said, no matter what you do, this cake will deflate slightly as it cools. This is normal, if you notice it shrink a little don’t worry.

It is only a problem when the cake becomes completely flat.

Because of the fact that it deflates a little, after your cake has baked, I recommend running a knife around the sides. Just to separate the cake from the sides of the baking dish.

This way the cake will deflate more evenly. If the sides are still stuck to the dish, only the centre deflates which will leave you with an uneven cake.

The coffee dipped sponge fingers arranged on top of the cake layer.

The mascarpone cream

The last thing we need to make is the whipped cream on top.

To make this, all you need is:

  • Mascarpone – use full fat mascarpone.
  • Double cream – also known as heavy cream. Whipping cream works here too.
  • Icing sugar – also known as powdered sugar.
  • Vanilla – for flavour

I just wanted to mention, when it comes to the sugar, you can add this to taste.

I added 200g, I felt like this was the perfect amount of sweetness for me. But you can use more or less.

When it comes to whipped cream, you can always adjust the amount of sugar.

How to fix over whipped cream

To make the cream, all you need to do is whip all of the ingredients together. Whip this mixture just until you get soft peaks.

You don’t want to over whip this cream, because then it becomes too thick and not very smooth, which makes it hard to spread onto the cake.

If you do feel like you have over whipped it DON’T WORRY, we can fix this.

Just pour some un-whipped cream into it and mix this in. Keep repeating this until your whipped cream goes back to soft peaks and is smooth again.

The only time when this fix won’t work is when you have whipped your cream to the point where it turns into butter. So try not to get to this point.

The top of a slice of the cake.

Letting the tiramisu tres leches cake chill overnight

The last step in this recipe is to let the cake chill in the fridge.

I highly recommend leaving it in the fridge overnight. I’ve found that with tres leches cake, the flavours taste so much better the next day and also the texture of the cake is so much softer the next day too.

So for best result, chill it overnight.

But if you feel like you can’t wait until the next day to dig in, 2 hours in the fridge is good enough!

Here are a few other tiramisu inspired desserts I’ve made:

Tiramisu Tres Leches Cake

5.0 from 2 votes


  • For the milk mixture:
  • 250ml whole milk

  • 1 tablespoon instant coffee (add as much or as little as you want)

  • 400ml evaporated milk

  • 380g condensed milk

  • For the cake:
  • 6 egg whites

  • 75g granulated sugar

  • 6 egg yolks

  • 75g granulated sugar

  • 100ml vegetable oil

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

  • 120g plain flour

  • For the mascarpone whipped cream:
  • 200g mascarpone

  • 400ml double cream

  • 200g icing sugar

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • Extras:
  • Around 30 sponge fingers (I recommend buying extra in case you need more)

  • 200ml brewed coffee (you can make this as strong or as weak as you want)

  • Plus some cocoa powder to dust on top


  • Making the milk mixture:
  • In a pot, add the whole milk and coffee, place this onto medium heat. You want to heat this just until all the coffee has dissolved. You don't need it to come to a boil, you don't even need the milk to be hot, we're just heating it to help the coffee dissolve.
  • Take this off the heat and mix in the evaporated milk and condensed milk. Leave this aside.
  • Making the cake:
  • Pre-heat your oven to 180c/350f.
  • In a large bowl, add the egg whites and start to whip these. Once they become foamy, whiles still whipping, slowly pour in the first 75g of sugar. Once the sugar has been added, whip until you get stiff peaks. Leave these aside.
  • In a separate large bowl, add the egg yolks and the second 75g of sugar. Whip these until the mixture lightens in colour and almost doubles in volume.
  • Add the oil, lemon juice and vanilla into this, whisk these in. Now add the flour and whisk just until you get a smooth batter.
  • Add half of the whipped egg whites into this batter, gently fold these in. Now add the rest of the egg whites and fold until you can no longer see any lumps or streaks of egg whites.
  • Pour this into a 9x12 inch baking dish, make sure NOT to grease this dish.
  • Bake at 180c/350f for around 50-60 minutes. Once baked, run a knife around the edge of the dish, just to separate the cake from the sides. Leave this aside to cool for 20 minutes.
  • After 20 minutes, poke holes into the cake using a skewer or knife, then pour the milk mixture over it. Don't pour it all on at once, add a little, let it soak in, then add more. Keep repeating this until you've used all of the mixture.
  • Add the sponge fingers:
  • Once you've added the milk mixture, you can add the sponge fingers.
  • Dip the sponge fingers into your brewed coffee, you don't want to soak these in the coffee, just do a quick dip on both sides.
  • Arrange these on top of the cake.
  • Making the mascarpone whipped cream:
  • Add the mascarpone into a large bowl and mix this, just to loosen it up a little.
  • Add the double cream, icing sugar and vanilla into this and whip until the mixture thickens and you get soft peaks.
  • Spread this over of the sponge finger layer, then dust some cocoa powder on top.
  • Leave this in your fridge to chill. Leaving it to chill overnight will give you much better results, but 2 hours in the fridge is also good enough.
  • Now cut into it and then enjoy!


  1. Abdullah Mustafa
    June 19, 2023 / 5:25 am

    Is the tablespoon of vanilla for the cake supposed to be a teaspoon?

    • Ash Baber
      June 19, 2023 / 5:32 pm

      no i used a tablespoon. i feel like this cake needs a good amount of vanilla!