I'm not so much a chocolate cake person, so the idea of a vanilla cake soaked in creamy milk sounds amazing to me. It's reminiscent of tiramisu but without the espresso powder and a bit more creamy.
Tres Leches is translated to "three milks" but "tres leches" sounds so much more fancy, so the entire world outside of Latin America is going with this term. The three milks include 1) evaporated milk, 2) sweetened condensed milk and 3) heavy cream. Those are the tres leches that you use to soak the cake in. If you want to be technical about it, there are actually quatro leches as there is a fourth milk used in the cake itself. Either way, this cake is not for the lactose intolerant.
I searched around for different recipes and when we planned another family Mexican dinner night, I made it for dessert. This Pioneer Woman recipe is what I went with and she has thorough step by step instructions on her blog.
I'll show you just a few steps. After baking the cake, you turn it out on a platter. I let it cool for a while and then mixed the milks to pour over and let it soak for an hour or so.
After the milks soaked in completely, I whipped up the cream with some sugar and vanilla and spread it on top.
It was the perfect dessert to follow taco night and it was a hit with the kids. What kid wouldn't want creamy cake with whipped cream and a cherry on top? I'm not a huge fan of the maraschino cherries, but they are a very pretty contrast to the stark white cake. So, enjoy dessert with a cherry on top.