Mini Tres Leches Cake

Things we love about this Mini Tres Leches Cake: its moist and light, the whipped cream frosting makes it a breeze to frost and it’s just the right size to avoid cake lingering around the kitchen for days.

A Tres Leches Cake is a Latin American dessert made with eggs and flour (out of the oven it’s similar to angle food cake) and then soaked in a combination of evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk and heavy cream. This layered Tres Laches Cake has less cream than a traditional sheet pan cake but the flavor, frosting and fruit is all there.

We adapted our recipe from the Pioneer Woman. It’s SO delicious and completely worthy of a special occasion or any day.

Baking a Mini Tres Leches with your little bakers

June Bug Baker Recipe Rating: Ladybug Learner Level III

This cake recipe will help little bakers test their skills whipping eggs and cream. Beating the eggs takes a bit of attentiveness and there are three different steps to the recipe (cake batter, tres leches cream, and frosting) which require a longer attention span.

To make it more doable for ages 2-4 years, I would prep the batter ahead of time and have your little one help with making the tres leches cream and whipped cream frosting. All ages will have a lot of fun decorating the little cake! Here are some tips by age for making this cake with little bakers:

2 years + mix all the dry ingredients.

2 years + mix the tres leches filling.

2 years + frost and decorate the cake. (The whipped cream frosting is very spreadable. Scoop a little frosting on top and let your little baker spread it out with an icing spatula or butter knife.)

3 years + poke the cake with a fork before pouring on the tres leches filling.

3 years + slice strawberries using a toddler safe knife.

4 years + beat egg yokes until light and pale yellow and beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. (Stiff peaks are created by beating egg whites until peaks stand straight up when the mixer is lifted. When they are ready the peaks will not fall over. Careful here not to over-beat and make the egg whites dry.)

4 years + whip heavy cream to make frosting.

7 years + practice cracking eggs and separating the whites from the yokes. (Pro tip: any broken egg shells can be scooped out using another broken piece of shell).

How we baked it

Mini Tres Leches Cake Recipe

Total Time: 1 hour | Prep 40 minutes | Bake Time: 18-20 minutes
Servings: 10-12 slices using two 6 inch cake pans
Adapted slightly from The Pioneer Women
June Bug Bakers Rating: Ladybug Learner

1/2 cup (64 g) all purpose flour
1/2 + 1/4  teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 eggs, separated yokes and whites
1/2 cup sugar (separate out 2 tablespoons)
1/4 teaspoons vanilla
3 tablespoons buttermilk (or milk)

Tres Leches Drizzle
5 oz evaporated milk
7 oz sweetened condensed milk
2 tablespoons buttermilk (or heavy cream)

Whipped Cream Frosting
1 pint heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup maple syrup
8-10 strawberries hulled and halved


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 C). Spray two round 6 inch cake pans. Line bottom of pans with parchment paper and spray again.
  2. Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Set that aside for now.
  3. Crack eggs and separate the whites from the yokes. (We did this while prepping the measuring all the ingredients).
  4. Pour egg yokes into a medium sized bowl and add 6 tablespoons of sugar.
  5. Beat yokes and sugar on high speed until yokes are pale yellow. 
  6. Stir in milk and vanilla.
  7. Add egg yolk mixture to flour mixture and gently combine. 
  8. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites on high speed until soft peaks form. As you continue beating, pour in the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form.
  9. Fold egg white mixture into batter very gently. Make sure not to over mix. 
  10. Pour batter into prepared pan and spread until even.
  11. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Allow cake to cool on plate.
  12. Make the Tres Leches drizzle: Combine sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk and heavy cream in small pitcher.
  13. Whipped Cream Maple Frosting: Beat 1 pint of heavy whipping cream until thick, stir in about 1/4 cup of maple syrup.
  14. Refrigerate cream and frosting until cake is cool.
  15. When cake is cool poke the surface several times with a fork.
  16. Slowly drizzle about 1/2 cup of the tres leches cream mixture between both layers of cake.
  17. As the cake absorbs the cream, hull and half the strawberries.
  18. Frost the first layer of cake and layer on strawberries, spread frosting on top of the strawberries, place the second layer of cake, and frost top and sides. Decorate with strawberries.

Strawberry Cake Pie

Penny calls this ‘cake pie’ for obvious reasons. We first made it a couple of summers ago and now whenever I see a bunch of ripe strawberries I immediately think of this recipe. It’s simple, sweet and packed full of strawberry goodness. Penny was excited to be able to cut the berries all by herself. Yes, Penny and Jack have their very own set of kitchen knives. These nylon knives are safe for little hands and work great on fruit. Of course if you don’t have safe knives or your little one isn’t ready to help with this part I would hull and half the strawberries ahead of time.

We got our recipe from Smitten Kitchen. Here’s how we made it with a 5 and 2 year old in the kitchen.

baking tips by age

2-4 years: This is an easy recipe to prepare all the ingredients ahead of time in small bowls and then let your little one do the combining. At this age I would cut the green top off the strawberries first and let them half the fruit. They’ll love helping arrange the strawberries on top of the cake.

5-7 years: Let your little baker haul and half the strawberries if you have kid-safe knives. Try pulling up the green leaves before cutting as close to the top as possible. As always, they can combine and mix ingredients. Arranging the strawberries on top of the cake makes it their own.

how we baked it

Strawberry Cake Pie

Recipe from Smitten Kitchen where it was adapted from Martha Stewart


6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 cup, plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pound strawberries, hulled and halved

The Prep

Bring butter to room temperature.
Measure all ingredients into small bowls.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Butter 10 inch pie pan.
Hull and half strawberries now or with your little baker.

The Directions

  1. Prepare strawberries – cut off green tops and then cut in half long ways.
  2. Add 1 1/2 cups of flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt together in a small bowl and whisk.
  3. Beat the room temp butter with 1 cup of sugar in a large bowl until pale and fluffy. This takes about 3 minutes with an electric mixer. Or, if you need to keep a baby napping you can mix by hand for about 10 minutes.
  4. Stir in 1 one egg, 1/2 cup of milk and 1 teaspoon of vanilla until combined.
  5. Gradually add in dry mixture and stir until smooth.
  6. Pour batter into pie pan. Arrange the strawberries on top, cut side down. You can overlap the strawberries or make one layer.
  7. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of sugar over the berries.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes. Then reduce heat to 325 degrees F and bake for another 50-60 minutes.
  9. You’ll know the cake is done when it’s golden brown and a tester comes out without wet batter.
  10. Cool before cutting into wedges.

I enjoy mine with fresh whipped cream, Jack likes ice cream and Penny prefers hers with sprinkles because, why not? 🍓

Bugs and kisses,

June Bug Bakers