I made this cake on a whim last week. I just saw strawberry milk at the store and it all kinda came together from there. I tried to infuse strawberry at every level and the result is an amazing tres leches cake that tastes like a strawberry milkshake – yum!
The cake is a lot of fun and a very pretty dish, but if you don’t have time for all this don’t be afraid to improvise and use boxed cake mix or defrosted strawberries in juice in the off season. Yeah for strawberries!
STRAWBERRY TRES LECHES CAKE
Macerated Strawberries (Make-ahead):
2 lbs strawberries
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/4 cups all flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 large eggs, separated
1 cup sugar, divided
1/3 cup strawberry milk
1/3 cup pureed macerated strawberries,
plus 1 Tablespoon of juice from macerated strawberries
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the macerated strawberries: In a bowl place: washed, stemmed, and sliced strawberries (2lbs); sprinkle with 1/2 cup sugar and 2 Tablespoons lemon juice. Cover and set aside – the strawberries will begin breaking down and releasing their juices. After 30-45 minutes you should have enough to start your cake; recover and allow to continue breaking down while you prepare the recipe and of course for serving later!
For the cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9- by 13-inch cake pan.
Sift the 1 1/4 cups flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon of salt into a large bowl.
Separate the eggs. Beat the egg yolks with 3/4 cup of the sugar on high speed until the yolks are pale yellow. Stir in the 1/3 cup of strawberry milk, 1/3 cup strawberry puree, 1 Tablespoon of juice from macerated strawberries, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Pour the egg yolk mixture over the flour mixture and stir very gently until combined.
Beat the egg whites on high speed until soft peaks form. With the mixer on, pour in the remaining 1/4 cup sugar and beat until the egg whites are stiff but not dry. Fold the egg white mixture into the batter very gently until just combined. Spoon into the prepared pan and spread to even out the surface.
Bake until the cake is done, 35 to 40 minutes; allow to cool and turn out (upside down) onto a rimmed platter.
If your cake is not this dark no worries! I accidentally used baking soda instead of baking powder, which causes more browning.
For the tres leches: Combine 1/4 cup heavy cream, 1 1/2 cups strawberry milk and one can sweetened-condensed milk in a small pitcher; whisk to combine. Pierce the surface of the cake with a fork several times. Drizzle the milk mixture over the top and allow the cake to sit and absorb the milk mixture in about three stages. (I like to go back at this point and re-poke my cake in the opposite directions) Don’t worry about totally soaking the cake! That’s what you want, but you don’t want to dump it all on at once and have a dry cake in a pool of tres leches.
For the icing: Whip the cream with the sugar and macerated strawberry juice. Spread it evenly over the top and sides of the soaked cake and decorate with fresh strawberries if you like. Or even better don’t and serve with macerated strawberries.
Refrigerate until ready to serve; several hours is fine, because the colder the better!
This recipe is adapted from Pioneer Woman’s TL Cake: recipe here
P.S. your house is going to smell AH-mazing when you make this,