August 20, 2013

Tres Leches Cake with Whipped Cream Frosting + Summer Berries

For my friend Meg's 30th birthday bash we enjoyed quite the day of festivities - brunch, hilarious storytelling over mimosas, a day at the beach with the girls, special cards, phone calls & letters for Meg, dinner at a charming little Mexican joint, followed by cocktails & dancing at some of our favorite spots in Chicago. Megan's friends & family all helped plan the day - whether they were there in person or sending their love from miles away.

close up of this little beauty

I personally love it when birthdays of my friends roll around because it gives me an excuse to bake a big ol' cake - something I usually don't do since I live sans roommates & don't have much of sweet tooth (unless we're talking cheesecake - I will eat an entire one of those myself, no long as it's with fruit and not chocolate or caramel ☺).  Knowing we were going to a Mexican restaurant for the birthday dinner, I wanted to make a cake for Meg that would be a nice compliment to the cuisine - something light since I also knew we'd be going out for post-dinner drinks.  This led me to try my hand at my very first Tres Leches cake - now officially one of the easiest & tastiest cakes I have ever made.

I adapted this recipe from one I found on Martha Stewart's website. I also picked up some gorgeously ripe summer berries from Whole Foods to top the homemade whipped cream frosting.  So good, so easy, such a hit!  Everyone loved the cake & it was the perfect end to a great dinner at Las Palmas.  Recipe & photos below...

Happy Birthday, Meg - cheers to the best year yet! xoxo

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a little slice of heaven right there

Tres Leches Cake with Whipped Cream Frosting + Summer Berries

- 1 stick butter, melted & then cooled to room temp
- 1 1/2 c flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp sea salt (regular salt is fine too)
- 3/4 c sugar
- 5 eggs
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 12-oz can evaporated milk

For Whipped Frosting
- 2 c heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 c sugar

For Fruit Topping
- 1 package fresh strawberries, rinsed & sliced
- 1 package fresh blackberries, rinsed
*OR substitute any kind of fruit your little heart desires

Preheat over to 350° and grease a square 11 x 11" inch metal baking pan, or a 9 x 13" baking dish.

In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder and sea salt - set aside.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat 3/4 c sugar and eggs together on high speed until pale & thick (about 4 mins).  Add the vanilla and mix to incorporate.  With the mixer turned to low speed, add the flour mixture in 3 parts, stopping the mixer to scrape the sides of the bowl after each addition.  Stop mixer - using a spatula, fold in the melted butter until incorporated.  Transfer the batter to your baking dish.  Bake for 15 mins, then turn dish in oven and bake for another 15-20 mins or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.  Once out of the oven & while cake is still warm, poke holes all over the top of the cake using a wooden skewer.

In a medium bowl whisk together the condensed & evaporated milks. Pour mixture all over the top of the cake & let cool to room temperature (about 1 hour).

For Frosting
In an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip the heavy cream & 1/4 c sugar together on medium high speed until peaks form & the consistency is like whip cream (should be somewhat stiff so it's able to spread like frosting, but still light & fluffy).  Once cake has cooled, frost with whipped cream and decorate with the fresh fruit of your choice.  Refrigerate cake until ready to be served, or serve immediately.

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