These perfect Tres Leches Cupcakes are lightly soaked in a three milk mixture and topped with whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon. One of our favorite Mexican dessert recipes!

I’ve been asked for years to convert my popular Tres Leches Cake recipe into cupcakes and I finally made it happen, with the end result becoming a new favorite dessert recipe!  I’ve also converted my German Chocolate Cake into German Chocolate Cupcakes.

Tres Leches Cupcakes with whipped cream and a strawberry on top.

What I LOVE about this recipe:

  • Individual servings: These tres leches cupcakes make the perfect individually portioned dessert that’s lower calorie and people go crazy for!
  • No butter or oil:  I get asked all the time if this is a mistake (“where is the butter?”), but it’s not!  This recipe is not made with butter or oil. The light and airy texture comes from whipped egg whites, and the three milk mixture poured over the cupcakes adds the perfect sweetness.

How To Make Tres Leches Cupcakes:

1. Combine dry ingredients: In a medium bowl combine flour, baking powder, and salt.

2. Separate the eggs placing the yolks and whites in two separate bowls. Add ¾ cup sugar to the bowl with the egg yolks and mix on high speed until the yolks are pale yellow. Add the ⅓ cup milk and vanilla and stir to combine.  Use electric beaters to beat the egg whites on high speed, gradually adding the remaining ¼ cup of sugar as you mix, beating until stiff peaks.

3. Combine and pour in muffin tins: Pour the egg yolk mixture over the flour mixture and mix just until combined. Fold egg whites into the batter gently until combined. Divide batter evenly among muffin liners.

4. Bake at 350F for 12-16 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.

Four process photos for making the batter and baking Tres Leches Cupcakes.

5. Poke holes in cupcakes.  Use a long toothpick or thin skewers to prick holes deeply all over each cupcake (but be careful not to poke through the cupcake liners).

6. Add Tres leches (three milks): Combine the evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, and whole milk in a small bowl. Slowly spoon 2 Tablespoons of the milk mixture over each cupcake.

Two process photos for poking holes and pouring three milk mixture over tres leches cupcakes.

7. Refrigerate the cupcakes for at least 1 hour or overnight, to allow them to soak up the milk.

8. Top with cream and serve.  In the meantime, whip the heavy cream, sugar and vanilla until stiff peaks. Spoon a little over the top of each cupcake. Sprinkle with cinnamon and add fresh strawberry slices, if desired. Enjoy!

Tres Leches cupcakes topped with whipped cream and cinnamon, lined up on a baking tray.

Make Ahead And Freezing Instructions:

To make ahead: Make the cupcakes 1-2 days in advance (making them up to step 8 of the recipe) and store them, covered, in the refrigerator. (Do not poke holes in them yet).

To freeze: Make cupcakes up to step 8 and allow them to cool completely.  Do not poke holes in them yet.  Store them in a freezer safe bag for 2-3 months.  Allow them to thaw completely, then poke holes and pour milk mixture over them.

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Recipe

Tres Leches Cupcakes with whipped cream and a strawberry on top.
Prep 20 mins
Cook 15 mins
Total 1 hr 35 mins
Add to Meal Plan

Ingredients
 
 

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 5 large eggs , separated
  • 1 cup granulated sugar , divided
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 12 ounce can evaporated milk
  • 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • Foil muffin tin liners (not paper)

For the whipped cream:

  • 1 pint heavy whipping cream
  • 3 Tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ground cinnamon , for topping

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a standard muffin tin with foil liners (don't use standard paper liners; the milk mixture will soak through).
  • In a medium bowl combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Separate the eggs, placing the eggs in one bowl and the egg whites in another.
  • Add ¾ cup sugar to the bowl with the egg yolks and mix on high speed until yolks are pale yellow. Add the ⅓ cup milk and vanilla and stir to combine.
  • Pour the egg yolk mixture over the flour mixture and stir gently just until combined (don't over-mix).
  • Use electric beaters to beat the egg whites on high speed. Gradually add the remaining ¼ cup of sugar as you mix and continue beating until stiff peaks.
  • Fold egg whites into the batter just until combined.
  • Divide batter among muffin liners. (I fill them ¾ full and am able to get about 22 cupcakes.)
  • Bake for 12-16 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
  • Use a long toothpick or thin skewers to prick holes deeply all over each cupcake (being careful not to poke through the cupcake liners).
  • Combine the evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, and whole milk in a small bowl.
  • Slowly spoon 2 Tablespoons of the milk mixture over each cupcake.
  • Refrigerate the cupcakes for at least 1 hour or overnight, to allow them to soak up the milk.
  • Just before serving whip the heavy cream, sugar and vanilla until stiff peaks. Spoon a little over the top of each cupcake. Sprinkle with cinnamon and add fresh strawberry slices, if desired. Enjoy!

Video

Notes

To make ahead: Make the cupcakes 1-2 days in advance (making them up to step 8 of the recipe) and store them, covered, in the refrigerator. (Do not poke holes in them yet).
To freeze: Make cupcakes up to step 8 and allow them to cool completely.  Do not poke holes in them yet.  Store them in a freezer safe bag for 2-3 months.  Allow them to thaw completely, then poke holes and pour milk mixture over them.
Recipe adapted from Tres Leches Cake, from the Pioneer Woman.

Nutrition

Calories: 236kcalCarbohydrates: 28gProtein: 5gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 83mgSodium: 93mgPotassium: 188mgFiber: 1gSugar: 23gVitamin A: 473IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 132mgIron: 1mg

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About The Author

Lauren Allen

Welcome! I’m Lauren, a mom of four and lover of good food. Here you’ll find easy recipes and weeknight meal ideas made with real ingredients, with step-by-step photos and videos.

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    We loved this recipe. I added some dulce de leche in the middle of the cupcake and everyone loved them. I love all your recipes and my family enjoys eating them

  2. 5 stars
    Hi Lauren
    If i make one day before to the party can leave overnight poke holes and pour milk mixture .
    Or i have to do this the same day to the party?
    Thanks

  3. 5 stars
    These were amazing!! Very light and airy but moist. Delicately sweet. The whole family devoured them. Thanks for sharing!

  4. If I’m bringing to a party, can I top with whipped cream and refrigerate until dessert time? It will hold its shape right?

  5. Could you use the silicone muffin pans? Just to keep from accidentally poking a hole in the cupcake liner.