This easy Tres Leches Cake recipe makes a saffron milk cake that will forever be immortalized in your memory. The eggless Tres Leches Cake infused with floral saffron is rather, rather indulgent and quite simply stunning.
I thought a Tres Leches Cake would be complicated, but it couldn’t be simpler. The saffron milk cake is rich, luscious, tastes like a celebration, and evokes a delightful feeling of happiness.
How to make Saffron Tres Leches Cake
WHY TRY THIS SAFFRON TRES LECHES CAKE?
Make-ahead cake recipe
Easily accessible ingredients
Heady, earthy flavor of saffron
Spongy, moist, and showstopper of a cake
WHAT IS TRES LECHES CAKE?
A Tres Leches Cake is a sponge cake drenched in three types of milk—whole, condensed, and cream. That’s what tres leches means – three milks. It is a popular milk cake recipe across Latin America that originates from Nicaragua (or at least that's what most people agree on).
I added a special ingredient to my version of this eggless tres leches cake: saffron, my nod to Diwali. To me, this sweet, comforting cake tastes of festivities itself. It’s gorgeously moist, absolutely delicious, and has a wonderful melt-in-the-mouth consistency.
HOW TO MAKE SAFFRON MILK CAKE?
Step 1: Sift the usual suspects - all-purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
Step 2: Whisk in caster sugar and set aside.
Step 3: In a separate bowl, whisk oil and yogurt with a few strands of saffron.
Step 4: Combine the dry ingredients into the wet to form a thick batter.
Step 5: Pour the cake batter into a well-greased parchment paper-lined baking pan.
Step 6: Bake for 30–35 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
HOW TO MAKE SAFFRON MILK?
Step 7: While the sponge cake bakes, make the saffron milk by adding saffron threads to warm milk. Let it sit and infuse.
Step 8: Stir in the condensed milk and cream.
Step 9: By now, the cake should be ready. Take it out of the oven and poke it with your skewer, so it’s literally riddled with holes.
Step 10: Pour the saffron milk concoction over the cake, completely bathing it in the three-milk mixture.
Step 11: Set it aside to absorb the milk while it cools on the counter.
Step 12: The saffron milk cake tastes best when cool, so cover it with plastic wrap and keep it in the fridge overnight.
Final step: Serve chilled, topped with whipped cream.
- You can serve the saffron milk cake in the tin or on a platter.
- Top with a generous cloud of homemade whipped cream, you can add some saffron to the cream as well.
- Pair each slice with the leftover saffron milk (poured around the slice).
- A sprinkling of nuts will add texture to the milk cake.
TIPS ON SAFFRON CAKE
- Typically, a Tres Leches Cake recipe is baked in a square tin and served out of it. I opted for an 8-inch round tin. I really, really recommend lining the bottom of the pan with paper, no matter what shape it is, if you’re serving the milk cake on a platter and not the tin itself.
- Make sure you pour the three-milk and saffron mixture evenly and all across the cake. You don’t want parts of it to be as dry as the Sahara and parts of it to be extra moist.
- Do not worry about making the cake soggy. Since it’s a sponge cake, the light and airy crumbs drink up the milky trifecta, making it even more luxurious.
- Use only 3/4th of your saffron milk to soak the cake. Set aside the rest for serving. Want extra for serving? Simply whisk the ingredients for the sauce/milk together...It’s ready in a jiffy and won’t take time.
- Given that the saffron milk cake recipe uses sugar, cream, and condensed milk, you’d think it'd be overly sweet. It’s not. It’s well-balanced, and the trick is to follow the measurements.
Ras Malai Tres Leches: One of the very popular variations of saffron cakes is the rasmalai cake recipe, and you can easily convert this eggless tres leches cake into one.
Simply add cardamom powder to the cake batter and the saffron milk. It truly levels up the cake. I had full plans to do so, but at the last moment, it completely slipped from my mind.
Vegan Saffron Milk Cake: If plant-based milk, cream, and condensed milk are easily available, you can very conveniently make this tres leches cake recipe vegan.
MORE RECIPES FOR INDIAN CAKES
Saffron Tres Leches Cake | Saffron Milk Cake
- 1.5 cup / 200 gms All-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 tsp Baking powder
- 1/2 tsp Baking soda
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 1/2 cup / 100 gms Caster sugar
- 3/4 cup/ 195 gms Yogurt
- 1/2 cup/ 90gms Coconut oil You can use any vegetable oil you prefer
- 1 tsp Vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp Saffron strands
- 1 cup/ 250 ml Warm milk
- 1/2 tsp Saffron strands
- 1/2 cup/ 140 gms Sweetened condensed milk
- 1/2 cup/ 100 gms Cream I used Amul cream
- 1/2 cup/ 100 gms Whipping cream, chilled
- 1/4 cup / 25 gms Icing sugar
- Preheat your oven to 180C. Grease an 8" pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.
- Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.
- Whisk in the caster sugar.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the oil, yogurt, and vanilla extract. Stir in the saffron.
- Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ones and mix well.
- Pour the batter in the prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.
- While the cake is baking, make the saffron milk.
- Mix the saffron in the warm milk. Let the mixture stand for 2-3 minutes.
- Whisk in the condensed milk and cream. Set Aside.
- When the cake is baked, poke holes all over the cake's surface with a wooden skewer and pour over 3/4 of the saffron milk.
- Let the cake soak in the milk. Once it's cooled at room temperature, transfer the cake to the refrigerator for 8 hours or overnight.
- Before serving, carefully turn the cake onto your serving platter. You can also serve the cake in the pan.
- Spread the whipped cream liberally on top of the cake and sprinkle some chopped pistachios and dried rose petals for decoration.
- Slice and serve each slice with the remaining saffron milk. Enjoy!
- Beat together the cream and icing sugar until soft peaks form.
Saffron cake is looking super delicious 😋 😍 👌
Natasha Minocha says
Thank you very much, Basira! So lovely to hear from you.xoxo
Hi Tasha, i made it, truly tried making first time & turned out awesome and not a crumb was left. It's very precise & easy to follow recipe. Thanks for this wonderful recipe. O would like to share photos too but don't know how to.
Natasha Minocha says
Thank you so so much for your amazing comment, Jalpa! So grateful you tried this recipe and enjoyed it. Have a wonderful day! xx