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Tres Leches Red Velvet Cupcakes

Tres Leches Red Velvet Cupcakes

Take your two favorite flavors, tres leches and red velvet, mix them into one recipe, then watch you blow your own mind! MORE+LESS-

Updated March 21, 2017


box (15.25 oz) Betty Crocker™ Super Moist™ Cake Mix Milk Chocolate


teaspoon almond extracts


tube Betty Crocker™ red gel food color


ounces sweetened condensed milk


can Betty Crocker™ Rich & Creamy cream cheese frosting

Tiny chocolate cupcake truffles, chocolate hearts, or valentines sprinkles for garnish

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  • 1

    Preheat oven to 350°F. In a stand mixer, beat together the Betty Crocker™ chocolate cake, eggs, butter, vanilla, almond extract, water, and the entire tube of red gel coloring until smooth.

  • 2

    Line 24 muffin tins with aluminum-Use an ice cream scoop to transfer the batter into each lined cup.

  • 3

    Bake in preheated oven for 18-20 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely.

  • 4

    Use a small spoon or ice cream scoop to remove a small portion of cake from the center of each cupcake.

  • 5

    Drizzle the cream, evaporated milk, and sweetend condensed milk into the center of each cupcake, evenly drizzling the three types of milk between all 24 cupcakes. Allow to set for about an hour before frosting with cream cheese frosting.

  • 6

    Press a chocolate truffle cupcake or chocolate heart on top of each cupcake, or sprinkle with sprinkles to finish off your cuppies with utter perfection.

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 Serving
Calories from Fat
% Daily Value
Total Fat
Saturated Fat
Trans Fat
Total Carbohydrate
Dietary Fiber
Vitamin A
Vitamin C

1 Starch; 0 Fruit; 1 1/2 Other Carbohydrate; 0 Skim Milk; 0 Low-Fat Milk; 0 Milk; 0 Vegetable; 0 Very Lean Meat; 0 Lean Meat; 0 High-Fat Meat; 2 Fat;

Carbohydrate Choice

2 1/2

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

More About This Recipe

  • Ready for the sexiest recipe alive? Red velvet meets tres leches cake in a magical cupcake kind of way!This is easy, too! Here's how to make these awesome cupcakes -- just in time for Valentine's Day:Top these decadent cupcakes with a pretty piece of chocolate and enjoy!(I found these mini chocolate cupcake truffles at my local grocery store. You can use something like this, a red chocolate heart, or whatever you like to garnish your frosted cupcakes!)
  • Treat your friends, family, and of course, yourself to these cupcake cuties.

Good Tres Leches Cupcakes Recipe

Tres Leches Cupcakes are drenched in a 3 milk combination, similar to traditional Tres Leches Cake, however within the handheld type! Topped with whipped cream, cinnamon, and strawberries, these make an exquisite end to any Mexican dinner!

Have fun Cinco de Mayo or plan a Mexican-inspired feast with these tres leches cupcakes as the right dessert! Make an entire meal with these Fajitas or Chimichangas and creamy Horchata (a scrumptious Mexican cinnamon rice drink).

Tres Leches Cake

To-die-for moist cake made in many Latin American countries. You have to make it to believe it.

can sweetened, condensed milk

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13 inch pan liberally until coated.
  2. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Separate eggs.
  3. Beat egg yolks with 3/4 cup sugar on high speed until yolks are pale yellow. Stir in milk and vanilla. Pour egg yolk mixture over the flour mixture and stir very gently until combined.
  4. Beat egg whites on high speed until soft peaks form. With the mixer on, pour in remaining 1/4 cup sugar and beat until egg whites are stiff but not dry.
  5. Fold egg white mixture into the batter very gently until just combined. Pour into prepared pan and spread to even out the surface.
  6. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Turn cake out onto a rimmed platter and allow to cool.
  7. Combine condensed milk, evaporated milk, and heavy cream in a small pitcher. When cake is cool, pierce the surface with a fork several times. Slowly drizzle all but about 1 cup of the milk mixture&mdashtry to get as much around the edges of the cake as you can.
  8. Allow the cake to absorb the milk mixture for 30 minutes. To ice the cake, whip 1 pint heavy cream with 3 tablespoons of sugar until thick and spreadable.
  9. Spread over the surface of the cake. Decorate cake with whole or chopped maraschino cherries. Cut into squares and serve.

I first made Tres Leches cake about five years ago, when my baby was still a baby and I was trying to find something yummy to make for my friend Ana for her birthday. Ana&rsquos from Mexico and taught me how to make pico de gallo and guacamole, and I asked her what her favorite kind of cake was.

&ldquoTres Leches?&rdquo I said. &ldquoThree milks?&rdquo I&rsquod passed high school Spanish. But I&rsquod never heard of the cake.

Ana went on to explain to me what Tres Leches Cake is: a light, airy sponge cake soaked with a mixture of three milks: evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, and heavy cream. Yes, you heard me. Some say the cake comes from Nicaragua others, Mexico. It&rsquos absolutely to die for.

I did some digging and some reading and wound up making this very cake for Ana&rsquos birthday. She&rsquod grown up eating it and hadn&rsquot had it for over ten years, and she clapped her hands with glee. Then I took a bite and clapped my hands with glee. Then we ate it together. Then we cried together. What a cake this is!

Tres Leches Cupcakes

I wanted to make Tres Leches Cake for Cinco de Mayo, but I also wanted to make cupcakes. It was a little more work than the regular cake but I got just what I was looking for.


  • 1 cup Flour
  • 1-½ teaspoon Baking Powder
  • ¼ teaspoons Salt
  • 5 whole Eggs, Separated
  • 1 cup Sugar, Divided
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • ⅓ cups Milk
  • _____
  • 14-½ ounces, fluid Evaporated Milk (1 Can)
  • 15 ounces, fluid Sweetened Condensed Milk ( 1 Can)
  • ¼ cups Heavy Cream
  • _____
  • 1 pint Heavy Cream
  • 3 Tablespoons Sugar
  • 1 dash Vanilla
  • 4 Tablespoons Liquid From Maraschino Cherries
  • 30 whole Maraschino Cherries


*Prep time includes all the non-cooking steps.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

Combine flour, baking powder, and salt.

Beat egg yolks and ¾ cup sugar until the mixture turns light yellow. Add milk and vanilla.

Combine egg yolk mixture with dry flour mixture, stirring gently just until combined.

Beat egg whites until soft peaks form, then add final ¼ cup of sugar and continue beating until egg whites are stiff.

Fold beaten egg whites gently into the batter mixture just until combined.

Thoroughly spray cupcake pans. Fill each cup about half way with batter. It is best to work quickly, because the batter will start to fall. I had good luck with my first 3 pans (I can only bake 1 pan at a time in my oven.)

Bake 8-10 minutes, until tops turn golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Wait about 5 minutes, then gently remove cupcakes from the pan. I used a fork to pull the cakes away from the pan around the edges then they came out fine. Allow cupcakes to cool completely.

Then combine evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, and ¼ cup heavy cream in a bowl. Whisk to combine thoroughly.

Cut waxed paper or parchment paper into squares (about 3.5″ X 3.5″, or 1/3 the length of the roll worked well for me). Put the cupcakes back into the muffin pan upside down on top of the squares. This will work better than muffin cups because the paper will be loose around the edges allowing the milk mixture to drip down the sides so that it can be better absorbed by more of the cake.

Poke each cupcake with a fork 2 or 3 times.

Pour milk mixture over the upside down cupcakes, about 1 teaspoon at a time. Go through the whole batch and then start again, repeat several times. At first the milk will pool on top but will be soaked in when you start the second time around. It is amazing how much liquid this cake can hold!

I started by focusing on the tops and after 2 or 3 times I started letting some of the liquid drip down the sides. I repeated about 6 or 7 times. Continue repeating until the cakes seem thoroughly soaked and the sides of the cake are moist and sticky. Rest after each round just a bit to absorb the liquid.

Let the cakes sit about 30 minutes. In the meantime make the icing. NOTE: this makes a bunch so you could probably half the amounts of each ingredient on the icing list and still be fine. Beat the remaining pint of heavy cream with 3 Tablespoons sugar. (Honestly, this makes way too much whipped cream, but I made the whole recipe because I wasn’t sure how much to use.)

When soft peaks form, add a splash of vanilla and the juice from maraschino cherries. I was hoping to flavor the whipped cream with the cherry juice, but it wasn’t as strong as I hoped and didn’t soften the whipped cream, so add even more if you want a stronger flavor.

Continue beating until firm peaks form. I went a bit past standard whipped cream.

After cakes have been sitting for 30 minutes, top each with whipped cream and a cherry. Store in the fridge.

Tres Leches Cupcake Recipe

Empty the sweetened, condensed milk into the smaller pan, then cover with aluminum foil.

Place the small pan in the larger one, then place both in the oven. Carefully fill the space between the two pans with water until it comes up 3/4 of the way.

Close the oven door and walk away for at least 1 hour. Seriously—don't open the oven door! Go watch some Netflix or something.

Once the hour is up, peel off the foil and check your dulce de leche for color. You want it to be a rich, golden brown, like a prizewinning golden retriever. If it's not there yet, put the foil back on and put the pans back in the oven for 15 more minutes. Repeat until the desired color is reached.

Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. Turn down the oven temp to 350° to bake the cupcakes.

Make the Brown Butter Cake:

Preheat oven to 350°. Line cupcake pans with 24 baking cups.

In a skillet over medium heat, melt the butter, stirring occasionally, until the butter becomes a nutty, brown color, about 5 minutes.

In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the eggs on medium-low speed for 2 minutes until light yellow and lightly foamy.

Increase the mixer speed to medium-high. Pour the hot brown butter into the eggs slowly, so that the mixture tempers and the eggs do not scramble. Once the butter is added, reduce the speed to medium-low.

With the mixer running, add the milk, vanilla and salt. Mix for 1 minute until well combined.

Sift together the flour, sugar and baking powder and add to the butter bowl. Mix on medium until just combined, about 30 seconds. Remove the bowl and paddle from the mixer and, once again, use the paddle to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl, ensuring that everything is well mixed.

Place the batter in the refrigerator for 10 minutes to allow the flour to hydrate.

Scoop the batter into the prepared baking cups, filling them 2/3 of the way.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through. The cupcakes are done when the centers spring back when you touch them.

Prepare the milk soak while the cupcakes are in the oven. Set up a baking sheet with a wire rack.

Remove the cupcakes from the oven. Let cool for 5 minutes.

Take the cupcakes out of the pans and place face-up on the wire rack. Using a fork, dot each cupcake three times—or stab.

Spoon 1 1/2 tsp. milk mix onto each cupcake. Let cool completely.

Combine the condensed milk, cream and whole milk in a glass jar. Microwave, uncovered, on high for 1 minute.

Place a lid on the jar and shake vigorously until well mixed. Remove the lid and set the soak aside.

Make the Dulce De Leche Buttercream:

Add 1/2 cup dulce de leche and a pinch of salt, and mix well. Taste for flavor.

Add more dulce de leche, 1 tbsp. at a time, until the desired flavor is reached.

Place a sheet of parchment paper on a baking sheet, allowing it to overhang the edges.

Mix the water and sugar in a small saucepan until it resembles wet sand.

Cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture begins to color. Carefully begin to swirl the pan, continuing to cook until the sugar is a rich, amber color.

Immediately pour the molten caramel over the parchment-lined baking sheet. Tilt the sheet back and forth until the caramel cannot spread anymore. Let cool until hardened, about 5 minutes.

Using a pastry brush, give the cupcakes one more quick swipe of the milk mix.

Fill a pastry bag fitted with a fluted tip with the dulce de leche buttercream and pipe onto each brown butter cupcake.

Roll up the parchment paper with the poured caramel, pressing firmly to help the caramel break up into small pieces. Push the larger shards into the buttercream and finish by sprinkling smaller shards across the top of each cupcake.