Tres Leches Pie Recipe
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Love Tres Leches Cake? This brilliant Tres Leches Pie Recipe offers the silky comfort of Tres Leches Cream Cake wrapped in crispy pastry crust! It’s a dazzling Thanksgiving Pie option!
Tres Leches Cake Recipe
I’ve always been a sucker for a silky slice of Tres Leches Cake.
It’s a light airy sponge cake, saturated with three milks, to the point of weeping sweet creamy tears when sliced and set on a plate.
Mexican Tres Leches Cake is a unique and satisfying dessert, that is a true crowd-pleaser. Especially when piled high with fresh whipped cream!
Why Tres Leches Pie?
So why couldn’t I just leave Tres Leches Cake alone? Why did I have to go and turn it into a pie?
For one, I’m a trouble maker. *wink*
Second, as much as I love traditional Tres Leches Cake, I thought the soft textures could benefit from a bit of flaky crust for contrast.
Third, although Tres Leches Cake isn’t a traditional American holiday dessert, I’ve found when you turn any flavor combo into a pie, it’s suddenly perfect for holiday parties.
Imagine it… Heavily saturated custard-like cream cake, with a dash of cinnamon, resting in a crisp buttery crust, then topped with a mountain of whipped cream.
It screams Thanksgiving and/or Christmas!
Tres Leche Recipe Components
There are four components that make a Tres Leches Pie work. Let’s discuss…
Flaky Pie Crust
You can use a store-bought refrigerated pie crust in this recipe, or you can make pie crust from scratch. Either way, you must freeze the pie crust in the pie pan before placing it in the oven. This will help to keep the sides erect while baking.
Then you must bake the pie on the bottom rack so the bottom crust is well baked and can withstand the moisture from the filling.
In order for the three milks to have a platform in which to shine, there must something to hold them in place. A simple sponge cake, baked directly into the crust will to the trick!
It’s best if the sponge cake isn’t overly flavored, so the delicate milky taste can be the star.
Tres leches is literally translated as three milks. Therefore, three milk are used in the recipe… Sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, and heavy cream.
Sweetened condensed milk provides thickness and sugar. The evaporated milk adds a concentrated dairy flavor. And the cream gives it a lovely luxurious texture.
A little pinch of cinnamon offsets the dairy and brings the flavors together.
The final element of a great Tres Leches Pie, and also the traditional cake, is a generous dollop of whipped cream on top.
Whipped cream is one of the simplest things to make.
Just beat cold heavy cream with a little bit of sugar, on high speed. Within a couple of minutes, you have real whipped cream.
How To Make Tres Leches Pie
- Prep the Crust. Use your fingers to crimp the edges of the pie crust around the top of the pie pan. Press the crust down against the top of pan a little. Then freeze the crust until ready to use.
- Make the Cake Batter. Meanwhile, cream the butter and
sugar together on high speed, until light and fluffy. Turn the mixer on low and add the eggs, vanilla, flour, baking powder, and salt. Once combined, turn off the mixer.
- Bake the Pie. Scoop the cake batter into the pie crust. Then bake on the lowest rack, until the center is puffed and set.
- Make the Tres Leches. Combine the sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, heavy cream, and cinnamon.
- Saturate the Pie. Once the pie comes out of the oven, use a fork to prick holes all over the surface of the cake. Slowly pour the tres leches over the cake. Try not to let any of the milk mixture run over the sides of the crust.
- Whip the Cream. Beat the heavy cream and sugar in a clean mixing bowl. Spoon the whipped cream over the top of the pie. Spread it over the pie into a dome. Done!
Get the Full (Printable) Tres Leches Pie Recipe Below
More Amazing Thanksgiving Pies
- Southern Sweet Potato Pie
- Best Pumpkin Pie Recipe
- Pumpkin Cream Pie with Candied Walnuts
- Decadent Cinnamon Pie
- Fluffy Cinnamon Cream Pie with Brown Sugar Cream
- Delicate French Silk Pie
- Pomegranate Cream Tart
- Caramel Apple Slab Pie
- The Fluffiest Fluffernutter Pie
Tres Leches Pie Recipe
For the Cake:
- 1 refrigerated roll out pie crust, or homemade
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 3 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Tres Leches:
- 1/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
- 1/3 cup evaporated milk
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
For the Whipped Cream:
- 2 cups heavy cream, cold
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Set out a 9 inch pie pan. Roll the pie crust out into a 12 inch circle. Then fold the crust over the rolling pin and gently move the crust to the pie pan.
- Use your fingers to crimp the edges of the pie crust around the top of the pan. Press the crust down against the top of the pan a little. Then place the pie crust in the freezer until ready to use. (This helps it to not slump while baking.)
- Meanwhile, place the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric stand mixer. Cream the butter and sugar together on high speed, until light and fluffy. Usually 3-5 minutes. Scrape the bowl with a rubber spatula.
- Turn the mixer on low and add in the eggs and vanilla. Scrape the bowl again. Then turn the mixture on low and add in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Once combined, turn off the mixer. Do not overbeat.
- Scoop the cake batter into the pie crust. Then bake on the lowest rack for 20-25 minutes, until the center is puffed and set.
- For the Tres Leches: In a small bowl combine the sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, heavy cream, and cinnamon. Whisk well to break up the clumps of cinnamon.
- Once the pie comes out of the oven, allow it to cool for 5 minutes. Then use a fork to prick holes all over the surface of the cake. This will allow the tres leches to absorb easily into the cake.
- Slowly pour the tres leches over the cake. Take a break when needed to let the tres leches absorb. Then continue until all the tres leches is incorporated. Try not to let any of the milk mixture run over the sides of the crust. Place in the refrigerator.
- For the Whipped Cream: Place the heavy cream and sugar in a clean mixing bowl. Beat on high until firm peaks form. Scrape the bowl and whip again if needed.
- Spoon the whipped cream over the top of the pie. Spread into an even dome. Sprinkle the top with cinnamon for decoration. Then place back into the refrigerator until ready to serve.
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Hi! I am quarantine-baking and am craving tres leches but can only find recipes for 13×9 cakes. We are two people and don’t want to make a big cake. Do you think I can still follow your recipe but omit the pie crust (less work lol)?
Yes, you can absolutely skip the pie crust for a small tres leches cake. :)
I like to use coconut milk/cream instead of whole milk as my third leche (and if I know it’s just adults having it, I add coconut rum).
This was really amazing! My family can’t wait for me to make it again!
I LOVE this idea!!! Tres leches cake is one of my favorites and this steps it up another notch!
Wow, this is the softest pie ever!! Love the flavor of the tres leche & the whip cream on top is the perfect topping!
One of our favorite cakes, turned out perfect!
This could easily become a family favorite! So moist and flavorful! Just perfect!