I am so excited to share this recipe with you! It's one of my favorites and is such a refreshing summer cake! I came up with this Milk and Berries Cake recipe after our baking collab group chose "summer berries" for June's theme. I wanted to create a dessert that's cold & easy for the heat! The obvious choice was ice cream, but that was the theme for last month and I wanted to try something new. Tres Leches Cake is one of my favorite refreshing cake desserts! I love that it's chilled, topped with whipped cream, and has incredible flavors from the three milks. So, I decided to add some summer berries into the mix!
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What You Need to Make This Recipe
Flour, baking powder, salt: AKA the dry ingredients, these are like the cake's foundation!
Sugar: Sweetens the cake! Half will get mixed in with the egg yolks and the other half with the egg whites.
Vanilla extract: Gives the cake a little flavor boost!
Eggs: Help provide structure & texture! However, they will be separated in this recipe. The whites will get whipped into a stiff meringue and then folded into the rest of the cake batter!
Milk: Adds flavor and moisture to the sponge cake!
Berries + sugar: Cook the berries with sugar to create a smooth compote that'll be poured over the cake with the milks. I used strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries but you can use your favorite berries instead!
Sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, whole milk: These create the Tres Leches blend (AKA "three milks" in Spanish) that gets poured over the cooled sponge!
Heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar, vanilla extract: Whip these ingredients to stiff peaks and spread on top for a refreshing frosting!
8x8" square pan: This one is my favorite! Be sure to grease it well so the cake doesn't stick to the sides.
Hand mixer: I highly recommend using one of these for all the whisking this recipe requires. You could also use a stand mixer with a whisk attachment. I don't recommend whisking by hand unless you want a good arm workout and have a few extra minutes to spare.
Small/medium saucepan: Something to cook the berries and sugar in.
Making the Sponge
This is kind of like Porto's Milk'N Berries Cake, but easier, smaller and homemade! The ingredients that go into the sponge are pretty few and basic. Start off by combining the dry ingredients and separating the eggs. The yolks can go into a medium sized bowl as you'll just be adding half of the sugar, the vanilla, and the milk to them. Then that mixture will get mixed into the dry ingredients. The egg whites should go in a clean, dry, large bowl because they're going to get whipped into stiff peaks with the other half of the sugar and then folded into the cake batter. When the cake is baking, it'll puff up in the pan and then it'll shrink back down when it cools. This is typical sponge cake behavior because of the airy meringue, so don't panic when this happens!
Toppings & Assembly
As the cake cools, make your berry compote and milk mixture. (You can use fresh or frozen fruit!) After the berries cool down, mix them in with the three milks! Make sure your cake layer has cooled completely inside & out, then poke holes all around the surface so that the milk & berries can seep into the sponge. I've found that a wooden toothpick works well. Pour the mixture on top and then let it settle in the refrigerator for an hour!
While you're waiting for the cake to absorb the milk and berries, whip up the whipped cream! You could also top it with store-bought whipped topping, but I prefer homemade! After you frost it, it's ready to eat! It can be sliced into 9 equal squares and I like to add fresh berries on top for extra flavor and decor!
Tips & Storage
Yes! Creating a meringue with the egg whites and gently folding it into the batter gives the cake its light & airy, spongey texture.
This is when the mixture is thick and holds its shape when you lift it up with a whisk or spatula. The peak will be stiff rather than drooping down.
If you have a 9 inch round pan, that should work too!
In an airtight container in the refrigerator for a maximum of one week! It's best eaten within the first couple of days.
Did you try this recipe?
Tag @brokenovenbaking on Instagram and rate & comment below!
Milk and Berries Cake
- 8x8 inch square pan
- Mixing bowls
- Hand mixer
- Measuring spoons
- Measuring cups and/or scale
- Small saucepan
- ⅔ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 3 large eggs (separated) room temperature
- ⅔ cup granulated sugar (divided in half)
- ¼ cup whole milk
- ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
Milk & Berries Sauce
- ½ cup strawberries chopped
- ½ cup raspberries
- ½ cup blueberries
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 3 ounces (⅓ cup) evaporated milk
- 4 ounces (½ cup) sweetened condensed milk
- 1½ ounces (1 tablespoon) whole milk
Whipped Cream Frosting
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream cold
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
- Grease an 8x8 inch square cake pan and preheat oven to 350°F.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
- Separate the eggs so that the egg whites are in a large bowl and the yolks are in a medium bowl.
- Whisk the egg whites with a hand mixer until they start to foam. Then, while continuing to mix, slowly add half of the sugar (⅓ cup) a little bit at a time. Continue whisking until they reach stiff peaks (the mixture is firm and holds its shape when lifted up with the whisk). Set aside.
- In the medium bowl of egg yolks, whisk in the remaining half of the sugar (⅓ cup). Add the milk and vanilla extract and mix well. Then, pour this mixture into the flour mixture and stir just until combined.
- Gently fold the egg whites mixture into the flour mixture until no visible streaks of egg whites are left.
- Pour the cake batter into the greased pan and bake on center of the middle shelf for 18-22 minutes. The cake will puff up while baking and be golden when it's done. A toothpick inserted into the middle should come out clean.
- Let the cake cool completely in the pan on a cooling rack.Note: the cake will shrink as it cools!
Milk & Berries Sauce
- Combine the berries and 1 tablespoon of sugar in a small/medium saucepan. Cook over low-medium heat while stirring occasionally until the berries are soft and syrupy. Remove from heat and let them cool.
- Mix the evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, and whole milk together really well in a medium bowl. Add the cooled berry mixture and stir well.
- When the cake has cooled completely, poke holes around the entire surface of it (I've found a wooden toothpick works really well). Then, pour the milk & berries sauce over the top - be sure to cover the entire cake (including the edges).
- Let the cake chill & absorb the sauce in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. Make the whipped cream frosting while it chills.
Whipped Cream Frosting
- In a large bowl using a hand mixer, whisk the heavy whipping cream until it reaches soft peaks (holds together but is still droopy). Then, add the vanilla and powdered sugar and continue whisking until it reaches stiff peaks.
- Store the frosting in the fridge until the cake is ready. Then, spread an even layer of whipped cream frosting over the top of the cake.