Recipe courtesy of Melissa Gaman for Food Network Kitchen

Tres Leches Carrot Cake

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 2 hr 20 min (plus 4 hr chilling)
  • Active: 45 min
  • Yield: 12 to 16 servings
This ultimate mash-up of two classic cake recipes is fun and surprising in all the right ways. Mixing carrot juice in with the 3 soaking milks turns the cake a pretty pastel shade of orange. To keep the sponge cake light and airy (and ready to take on all the milks), make sure to finely grate the carrots and beat the egg yolks and sugar until very thick and pale.


For the Cake:

For the Topping:


  1. Preheat the oven to 350˚ F and lightly coat the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Separate the eggs, putting the whites in a large bowl and the yolks in another.
  2. Add the cream of tartar to the egg whites and beat with a mixer on medium-high speed until soft peaks form, about 3 minutes. Reduce the speed to low and gradually beat in 1/3 cup sugar. Increase the speed to medium high and continue to beat until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 4 minutes.
  3. Add the remaining 2/3 cup sugar and the vanilla to the bowl with the yolks and beat with the mixer on medium-high speed until the mixture is pale yellow and very thick, 4 to 5 minutes (if you spoon a bit of the mixture on top of the rest, it should sit there for a few seconds before sinking in). Sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt over the yolk mixture and fold until blended. Fold in the carrots; the batter will be thick at first but will relax once the carrots are folded in.
  4. Fold in about one-third of the whipped egg whites until the batter has lightened in texture. Fold in the remaining egg whites in 2 additions until no white streaks remain.
  5. Spoon the batter into the pan and evenly smooth the top. Bake until the cake is browned and the top springs back to the touch, 35 to 40 minutes. Transfer to a rack and let cool completely in the pan.
  6. Loosen the edges of the cake with a thin metal spatula. Using a wooden skewer, poke holes all over the top of the cake, all the way to the bottom. Whisk together the condensed milk, evaporated milk, carrot juice and heavy cream in a bowl or large measuring cup. Slowly pour the mixture all over the cake, including the corners, until all of the milk mixture is used, allowing it to pool a little in the center. Cover, without touching the surface of the cake, and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.
  7. Remove the cake from the refrigerator and make the topping: Beat the heavy cream, sour cream, sugar and vanilla in a large bowl with a mixer on medium speed until stiff peaks form, 2 to 3 minutes. Spread the topping on the cake and dust with cinnamon.