Eggnog Tres Leches Cake

Posted on: December 22, 2022. Updated on: July 1, 2023.

by Carolina Gelen

4.3 / 5. from 52

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This delicious, tender and moist eggnog tres leches cake is the perfect showstopper dessert to make for your next gathering or dinner party. While it looks impressive and has such a luxurious feel to it, this dessert couldn’t be easier to make. The final result is a light, and fluffy cake soaked in boozy homemade eggnog topped with gently sweetened whipped cream and spices.

If you don’t feel like making eggnog from scratch, a creamy store-bought one will do the job. If you’re looking for a boozy flavor, add a few splashes of your favorite liquor to the store-bought eggnog.

If using store-bought eggnog, you’re looking to use 4 cups or 1 liter of liquid in total to soak the cake. All you have to do is follow the instructions for making the sponge cake itself, soak it in your store-bought eggnog, chill it in the fridge and top it with whipped cream before serving. Follow instructions 1 to 7, then go straight to 12.

Now, there are lots of variations for eggnog you could buy, some are non-alcoholic, some are extra boozy. If your store-bought eggnog needs a little alcohol, add a splash of liquor to it. Remember, whatever you do make sure you have 4 cups of liquid in total.

If your store-bought eggnog is a little too strong, dilute it with whole milk or evaporated milk. Start with 1 cup of eggnog mixed with 1 cup of milk, then add more of each as needed until you get 4 cups of liquid in total.

Eggnog Tres Leches Cake

4.3 / 5. from 52

Click to vote

Servings: 12
Prep: 45min
Cook: 30min
Total: 1hr 15min

Ingredients

Cake

  • 6 large eggs, separated
  • 3/4 cup (150 g) granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup (80 g) whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, about half of a small nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon or a small pinch of kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (235 g) all-purpose flour, plus 2 tablespoons for dusting
  • 2 teaspoons (6 g) baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons butter or any oil, for greasing
  • 1 1/2 cups (375 g) heavy cream, chilled
  • 1/4 cup (25 g) powdered sugar

Eggnog Tres Leches Mixture

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg, about half of small nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 x 354 ml (12 fl oz) can evaporated milk
  • 1 x 397 g (14 fl oz) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 315 g (11 oz) whole milk, measured using a leftover can (see instructions for details)
  • 50 g to 100 g (1/4 cup to 1/2 cup) liquor of choice, plus more as needed, such as bourbon, whiskey or spiced rum, optional

Instructions

  1. Heat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Grease a 9 x 13-inch (22 x 33-cm) baking pan with butter or oil. Add the 2 tablespoons of flour to the pan and shake to coat the bottom and sides of the pan. Set aside.
  3. For the cake, separate the egg yolks and egg whites in two mixing bowls. Whip the egg whites to soft peaks using a mixer or a whisk. Gradually add half of the sugar (75 g) while constantly whipping. Whip to stiff peaks, until the egg whites are fluffy and hold their shape.
  4. Add the remaining 75 g of sugar to the egg yolk bowl. Whip using a whisk or mixer until the mixture goes from deep yellow to a pale yellow, and until light and fluffy. Add the 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon nutmeg, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, and 1/3 cup (80 g) whole milk. Gently mix to combine.
  5. Sift 235 g or 1 1/2 cups of flour in a separate bowl. Add 2 teaspoons of baking powder and whisk the two until combined. Add this dry mixture to the yolks, and gently mix to combine. You should be left with a thick, paste-like batter. Add a dollop of egg whites and vigorously whisk to combine. No need to gently fold yet, we’re looking to loosen the mixture first.
  6. Next, add the remaining whipped egg whites to the egg yolk mixture in 2 to 3 batches, gently folding to combine, using a wooden spoon or spatula. Once the egg whites have been incorporated, gently add the batter to the baking pan.
  7. Bake for 30 minutes, or until golden brown and dry on top, checking halfway through the baking process.
  8. In the meantime, make the eggnog tres leches mixture: in a small saucepan over medium heat, add 1 teaspoon of nutmeg, 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and the can of evaporated milk. Bring the mixture to a simmer, then lower the heat to medium-low.
  9. Whisk the 4 egg yolks in a heatproof bowl. Gently incorporate a spoonful of simmering hot spiced milk in the yolks, while vigorously stirring using a whisk. Repeat until the yolk mixture feels warm to the touch.
  10. Add the tempered egg yolk mixture to the remaining spiced milk, back in the saucepan over medium low heat. Cook for 3 to 4 more minutes, or until the mixture starts to simmer gently. Remove off heat.
  11. Pour the can of condensed milk in the saucepan, over the egg yolk mixture. Fill the empty can of condensed milk with whole milk, that should weigh 315 g (11 oz). Pour the whole milk in the saucepan. Whisk to combine, and there’s your eggnog. If using alcohol, add a splash of alcohol in the eggnog and taste as you go. Since we’re not cooking off the alcohol, it will add a strong boozey taste to our mixture, therefor start with little, taste as you go, and add more according to your preference, rather than following my measurements.
  12. Run a knife around the cake to help it release from the edges of the pan. Poke the cake all over its surface using a fork or skewers to help it absorb the liquid. Gently pour all of the eggnog mixture all over the cake. Place it in the fridge and chill for at least an hour and a half before serving, preferably overnight.
  13. Whip the heavy cream and powdered sugar together to stiff peaks. Spread the whipped cream all over the chilled cake. Grate more nutmeg on top, slice and serve.

Carolina Gelen

I speak 5 languages, but my favorite way to communicate is through the universal language of food. I translate food to be more approachable and accessible for the everyday cook. I didn't grow up with a lot, so I’ve always loved thrifting and finding a good sale. That also shapes my approach to cooking: I try to make most of my recipes as affordable as possible, and that is what my SCRAPS newsletter is about. Every two weeks I will send an exclusive recipe to your inbox. Subscribe to get full access to the newsletter and website.

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21 thoughts on "Eggnog Tres Leches Cake"

  1. Irene Granados Tackett says:

    I’d like to use an alcohol eggnog- Which ingredient do I replace?

  2. Nadya says:

    If using store bought eggnog, is that all I’m pouring over the cake once baked or still combining something else to it?

    1. Nadya says:

      and follow up question, how much eggnog will be I using?

  3. Nadya says:

    This recipes looks great! Will make this for my family holiday dinner. If I’m using store bought eggnog, how does that change the ingredients used in the eggnog tres-leches mixture? And how much eggnog?

    1. Carolina says:

      Hi Nadya, I just updated the headnote for this recipe and explained what to do if using store-bought eggnog. Let me know if you have any questions!

  4. Britnie says:

    I can’t find the heavy whipping cream or powdered sugar anywhere in the directions for the cake. Am I blind?

    1. Carolina says:

      HI Britnie,

      It’s direction 13.

      Best,
      Carolina

      1. Olga says:

        The measurements are not included anywhere in this recipe

        1. Carolina says:

          Hi Olga,
          There is a separate section next to instructions with all the ingredients and measurements.
          If you click on the little printer symbol a printable link opens with instructions and measurements.

          Best,
          Carolina

  5. Shannon Scattini says:

    I cannot wait to try this recipe… my favorite cake, ever!

    1. Carolina says:

      Enjoy 🙂

      Best,
      Carolina

  6. Sara says:

    This smells amazing so far!! Just wondering if I should be pouring the tres leches mixture over the cake while it’s hot, or let it cool first.

    1. Carolina says:

      Sara,

      I recommend letting it come to room temperature. I hope it turns out great for you 🙂

      Best,
      Carolina

  7. Claire says:

    How early can this be made before an event/how long will this last in the fridge? Looks great can’t wait to try it!

    1. Carolina says:

      Hi Claire,

      I recommend no more than 2 days beforehand, and last up to 5 days in the fridge.

      Best,
      Carolina

  8. Veena says:

    Can you clarify how much whole milk is needed for the egg nog? It says 11 oz but to fill the empty can of condensed milk which is 14oz. I had quite a bit of egg nog and my cake is sort of swimming in it. Hopefully will absorb in the fridge?

    1. Carolina says:

      Hi Veena, apologies for the confusing instruction, you’re supposed to fill the empty 14 oz can of condensed milk with whole milk and add that to the mixture, the total weight of that whole milk should be 11 oz. I added the 11 oz weight measurement for anyone who might not use a can of condensed milk as a measuring cup and uses a scale 🙂 Hope this clears things up!

  9. Nora says:

    This recipe was a real pleasure to make, I’m so glad I tried it. It’s chilling now but the eggnog mixture was so delicious, I know it will be amazing. Thank you for this twist on a classic!

    1. Carolina says:

      I’m so so happy to hear that!

  10. Marcia Guadagno says:

    I’m still uncertain how to use my eggnog that I have purchased from the grocery. Do I still add the nutmeg and cinnamon and heat it on the stove? Do I add the egg yolks to it? I’m very confused as to what I add or don’t add if using already prepared eggnog. Help!

    1. Carolina says:

      Hi Marcia, you don’t need to add anything to the store-bought eggnog (unless you want to add booze or extra spice for more flavor).

      All you have to do is make the cake and soak it in 4 cups or 1 liter of store-bought eggnog. Feel free to ignore the instructions on how to make the eggnog from scratch, just make the cake an:) All you have to do is follow instructions 1 to 7, then go straight to 12! Hope this helps 🙂