This gingerbread tres leches is a gingerbread cake that’s soft, moist, and absolutely delicious! Gingerbread cake mix gets doused with three types of milk and topped with a homemade whipped cream for a holiday treat you’ll want to make year after year!
Someone asked me the other day for a Christmas cake recipe and I realized that I don’t have too many. I have this red velvet cake, this eggnog pound cake, and this who pudding (that’s kind of like a cake), but that’s really it.
So I thought it was time for another one!
This gingerbread tres leches has all of the flavors of gingerbread with the moist sweetness of a tres leches cake. And if you’ve never had a tres leches cake before, don’t worry, it’s delicious.
The name tres leches means three milks in Spanish and the addition of cream, evaporated milk, and sweetened condensed milk in this recipe means it’s ridiculously moist and creamy.
It’s also SO easy to make (easier even than this pumpkin crunch cake) and pretty much fool-proof, which means it’s a great recipe whether you’re a pro baker or not!
Whip up this cake for your next holiday party and serve it alongside some holiday punch for a festive treat! And if you’re really into gingerbread, you could serve it up with these gingerbread cupcakes to give people options!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Six-ingredients – you just need six ingredients (not counting water) to make this simple cake and they’re all things you likely have at home other than possibly the cake mix!
- So easy – if you can make a box cake mix, you can make this cake. That’s pretty much it plus dumping and poking the cake!
- Keeps well – this cake is actually even better the day after once all of the liquids have had a chance to soak into the cake!
- Gingerbread cake mix – if you can’t find gingerbread cake mix (it can be hard to find some years), you can also make this with spice cake mix with good results.
- Ingredients to make gingerbread cake – you’ll also need the ingredients to make the gingerbread cake. It’s typically either egg and water or egg and oil – do whatever your recipe says!
How to Make Gingerbread Tres Leches
This cake is pretty simple from start to finish but make sure to pay attention to the details because like with any cake recipes, you do have to follow the instructions!
Preheat the oven to 350*F and spray a 9″ x 13″ baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
Once your pan is ready, mix the gingerbread cake mix and ingredients to bake the cake (typically either oil and eggs or water and eggs) in a large bowl.
Next, pour batter into the baking dish, making sure it’s spread out in an even layer. Bake for 25-30 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.
Remove the cake from the oven and use a fork or round handle of a wooden spoon to poke holes all over the top of the cake, just like if you were making a strawberry poke cake.
Once your cake is full of holes, set it aside and make your filling and topping.
To make the tres leches filling, mix together the evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk and 1/3 cup heavy cream. Just whisk them together to combine, no need to whip or turn them into something other than just a liquid!
Once well mixed, pour the milk mixture over the cake until it is slightly saturated, but not soggy. You likely won’t need all the mixture – stop when it’s saturated instead of just continuing to pour the milk on the cake.
Place the cake in the refrigerator to allow it to cool for a few minutes.
While cake is cooling, add 2 TBS sugar to the remaining heavy cream and whip until stiff peaks form.
Remove cake from the refrigerator and spread whipped cream over the top of the cake and sprinkle with cinnamon if desired.
Return the cake to the fridge and chill for at least four hours before serving, even better if stored overnight.
Cut into squares and serve directly from the pan. This doesn’t transfer to another dish or platter well because of the liquid soaked in and under the cake.
Store in the fridge covered for up to three days then throw any leftovers away.
Think of cake that’s been drenched with a creamy sauce, similar to a bread pudding, but not as soggy. This gingerbread tres leches has the flavor of gingerbread with the creaminess of tres leches.
You can the cake to look saturated but not totally soaked through and sopping wet. If you pour too much of the mixture on the cake, it’ll end up soggy, not just moist like you want it to be.
You can freeze tres leches before you add the milk or whipped cream, just like you would freeze any regular box cake. Just wrap the cake up in plastic wrap and freeze in an airtight container. Thaw when you’re ready to make the cake and add the milks and whipped cream once thawed.
More Easy Cakes
If you like this gingerbread tres leches recipe, you’ll love these other delicious cakes and cupcakes!
- Santa cupcakes – red velvet cupcakes topped with the cutest Santa hats, super easy to make and adorable!
- Grinch cupcakes – cupcakes inspired by the Grinch movie with little Santa hats on top!
- Chocolate Dr. Pepper cake – another moist cake kept moist with the addition of Dr. Pepper to the batter!
- Hot chocolate cupcakes – the ultimate winter treat! Cupcakes inspired by a big mug full of hot chocolate.
- Mini Oreo cheesecakes – these yummy treats are mini and magical, great for adding to Christmas treat plates!
Gingerbread Tres Leches
- 1 14.5 ounce box of gingerbread cake mix plus ingredients to make the cake
- 1 ⅓ cup heavy whipping cream (divided)
- 12 ounces evaporated milk
- 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
- 2 TBS sugar
- cinnamon (if desired for ganish)
- Preheat the oven to 350*F and spray a 9" x 13" baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
- Mix the gingerbread mix and ingredients to make the cake in a large bowl.1 14.5 ounce box of gingerbread cake mix
- Pour batter into the baking dish and bake according to the package directions.
- Remove the cake from the oven then use a fork or round handle of a wooden spoon to poke holes all over the top of the cake and set it aside.
- Mix together the evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk and 1/3 cup heavy cream then pour the milk mixture over the cake until it is slightly saturated, but not soggy. You might not need all of the mixture. Then place in refrigerator to chill.1 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream, 12 ounces evaporated milk, 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
- While cake is chilling, add 2 TBS sugar to remaining heavy cream and whip until stiff peaks form.1 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream, 2 TBS sugar
- Remove cake from the refrigerator and spread whipped cream over the top of the cake, sprinkle with cinnamon if desired, then return to the fridge to chill for at least 4 hours before serving.cinnamon