How to Make Tres Leches Cake: With a Puerto Rican Sabor

Tres leches cake (like flan) is one of the few desserts popular across most of Latin America. We are partial to this Puerto Rican-inspired approach to the traditional sponge cake, which gains its luscious texture from three milk products — condensed, evaporated and fresh — and is topped with a fourth: whipped cream. This delicioso version adds a fifth type of leche: coconut milk. With magical results, making it one of Familia Kitchen’s most popular desserts.

Thank you Kathleen Squires, one of our favorite food journalists, who is married to one of our childhood friends, Ronnie Rodriguez, for sharing this recipe with Familia Kitchen. “This comforting confection, based on a recipe from Ronnie’s family, reflects Puerto Rico itself to me,” she tells us. “Its texture calls to mind the island’s humid, tropical climate. Its use of canned dairy — imperishable, no need for refrigeration — speaks to the stamina and grit of the people. Its use of three milks pays homage to the island’s triad of cultural influences: Africa, Spain and the U.S. mainland. And a lacing of rum commemorates the island’s agriculture, and fondness for the spirit, in a delightfully sweet way to toast a place and people so very close to my heart.”

Find more family-famous Puerto Rican recipes here.

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