This is not your ordinary tres leches cake. Cereal milk tres leches cake is infused with the sweet flavors of your favorite breakfast cereal!
Multiple birthday cakes are the norm when you are married to a baker.
We have been celebrating my husband’s birthday this weekend. So far we have enjoyed strawberry lemon olive oil cake, this buttermilk chocolate cake, and now we’re working on this cereal milk tres leches cake.
Since experimenting with breakfast cereals in my Cinnamon Toast Crunch ice cream pie, I have become obsessed with cereal milk.
What better way to infuse cereal milk flavor than in a cake SOAKED in milk?! Naturally, I had to make a tres leches cake.
Cereal Tres Leches Cake
Christina Tosi of Momofuku Milk Bar is the mastermind behind the popularization of “cereal milk.”
Her unique and creative desserts allow you to remember the joys of being a kid even when you’ve become a full fledged adult.
This cereal milk tres leches cake is an ode to childhood!
Tres leches translates to “three milks.” There is debate whether the cake originated from Mexico or another country in Central America.
This version uses these three milks: evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, and cereal milk.
Breakfast Cereal Birthday Cake
Any breakfast cereal works for this recipe. I opted to use Trix for its fun colorful appearance.
Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Cookie Crisp, Fruit Loops, and Fruity Pebbles are equally delicious substitutes.
Even Honey Nut Cherrios would taste great in this recipe!
Since we’re celebrating a birthday, I figure I should go with the most colorful and festive of the cereal family.
Tres Leches Cake Tips
The key to making a great tres leches cake is starting with a dry cake.
Sounds strange, I know. The cake needs to be dry in order to absorb all the liquid. Think of bread pudding, breakfast strata, and French toast, they all benefit from day old bread.
If you use a recipe for a moist cake, it won’t be able to hold it’s structure while also absorbing the soaking liquids.
A dry cake will suck up all that moisture giving you the most delicious results.
- Cool sponge cake to room temperature.
- Use fork to poke (dock) cake all over.
- Pour milk liquid a little at a time over cooled cake until all the cake has been absorbed
- Do not frost the cake until you are ready to serve!
- If you are making the cake ahead of time, you may store the soaked cake in the fridge for up to 2 days. Be sure to keep the cake in an airtight container to prevent any unwanted flavors for soaking into the cake!
This would make a fun birthday cake for a kid (or adult) of any age!
You get all the tasty qualities of a tres leches cake plus all the memorable and familiar tastes associated with your favorite childhood breakfast cereals. It’s a win-win.
Once I make this cereal milk tres leches cake for my friends, I’m sure it’ll be requested quite often.
Cereal Milk Tres Leches Cake
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 large eggs, separated
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup whole milk
- 1 cup mini Trix cereal , or sweet breakfast cereal of choice
- 1 cup whole milk
- 12 oz can evaporated milk
- 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 ½ cup heavy cream, chilled
- ⅓ cup powdered sugar
- 1 ¼ cup mini Trix cereal, or sweet breakfast cereal of choice
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9×13-inch baking pan and line with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- Using a stand mixer or hand held mixer, whip together egg yolks and sugar on medium speed until the mixture has thickened and is pale in color. Add milk and mix until incorporated.
- Add flour mixture and mix until combined.
- In another bowl, using an hand held mixer, whip egg whites to medium peaks. Gently fold egg whites into batter in three additions. Fold until there are no longer any white streaks of egg whites. Be careful not to overmix.
- Pour cake batter into prepared baking pan. Spread into an even layer. Bake for 35 minutes until the top of the cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Leave cake in pan and let cool to room temperature.
- While the cake is cooling, combine 1 cup cereal with 1 cup whole milk. Steep for 30 minutes. Strain out soaked cereal and save cereal milk. Add evaporated milk and sweetened condensed milk to cereal milk. Stir to combine.
- Using a fork (docker or skewers), poke holes throughout the cooled cake.
- Pour combined milk over poked cake. Once all the milk has been added, let cake stand for about 30 minutes until all the liquids have been absorbed. *
- In a chilled bowl, whip together cold heavy cream and powdered sugar. Whip to medium stiff peaks. Spoon over milk soaked cake. Use an offset spatula or the back of a spoon to evenly distribute whipped cream. Top with cereal. Slice and serve immediately.