Pumpkin Spice Tres Leches Cake


pumpkin spice tres leches cake slice on a white lace plate

This Pumpkin Tres Leches Cake is a super fun seasonal twist on a classic Hispanic dessert and is SO delicious! You’ll love the fall flavors in this super moist “three milk” cake!

So weirdly, one of my more popular recipes is my Tres Leches cake. I can’t explain why, it just is.

Sometimes I will make a recipe and think that it’s going to go gangbusters and be an instantaneous success. Everyone will go crazy gaga for it and I will be so famous… but then the recipe does, well, fair at best. Other times I’ll make a recipe and think, “okay, this recipe is good but nothing truly outrageous” and it goes crazy. I have no control! You can predict some things but not everything, that’s for sure. And I certainly didn’t think my Tres Leches cake would be so popular but I am so glad everyone loves it!

A few months ago, a reader private messaged me about doing a pumpkin spice tres leches cake. I was intrigued! Since pumpkin flavors abound this time of year, I figured, why not? Maybe this one will take off, too. I certainly hope it does – this cake is AMAZING.

The Cake

The cake is full of amazing pumpkin spice flavor and consists of your usual cake suspects: flour, sugar, vanilla, pumpkin (of course!), eggs, oil, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and the spices. To bring out the pumpkin flavor, I like adding a combination of ground cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice to this cake batter, but you could absolutely use pumpkin pie spice exclusively if you wanted to. It’s easy – it has all the spices already in there, like ginger, allspice, cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Super yummy and a staple this time of year.

You’ll bake up the cake batter and let it cool for about 15 minutes, then poke holes all over the cake using the handle of a wooden spoon or a dowel/skewer.

a closeup square piece of pumpkin tres leches cake on a white plate

The Tres Leches

Tres Leches literally translates to “three milks” and three milk products are used in this cake. We’re using heavy whipping cream, sweetened condensed milk, and evaporated milk mixed together. We’ll pour it over the poked, still warm cake and let the milks seep into the cake. The hardest part is you have to wait overnight for the cake to set and the flavors to meld. I know, it’s kind of torture!

Just before serving, frost the cake with a homemade whipped cream consisting of heavy whipping cream and some confectioners’ sugar. I like to finish it off with a dusting of cinnamon. So perfect!

This Pumpkin Spice Tres Leches Cake is super moist with a scrumptious three milk custard, fall-inspired pumpkin spice flavor and a fun twist on a classic! You’re going to love it.

a square slice of pumpkin tres leches cake on a white plate

Pumpkin Spice Tres Leches Cake

This Pumpkin Spice Tres Leches Cake is a fun, fall-inspired twist on a classic Hispanic dessert! Made with pure pumpkin and delicious aromatic spices, this super moist cake is soaked in a three milk custard for amazing flavor and a delicious custardy texture.

Prep Time8 hrs 10 mins

Cook Time30 mins

Total Time8 hrs 40 mins

Course: Cake, Dessert

Cuisine: American, Dessert, Mexican

Ingredients

For the Cake:

  • cups granulated white sugar
  • 15 oz (1 can) pure pumpkin puree do not use pumpkin pie filling
  • 3/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • tsp pumpkin pie spice

For the Tres Leches Filling:

  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 12 oz evaporated milk (one can)
  • 14 oz sweetened condensed milk (one can)

For the Whipped Cream Frosting:

  • cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • Ground cinnamon, for dusting the top, optional

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350° degrees F. Liberally grease a 13×9 light metal rectangular baking pan with cooking spray. Set aside.

  • In a large bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the granulated sugar, pumpkin puree, oil, eggs, and vanilla extract with the paddle attachment on low speed until just combined, about 30 seconds. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices. Gradually add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture until fully combined and batter is smooth and cohesive. Pour the batter evenly into the prepared pan and smooth out the top.

  • Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let cool for 15 minutes. While cake briefly cools, in a medium bowl, whisk together the heavy whipping cream, evaporated milk and sweetened condensed milk until combined; set aside.

  • Poke holes all over the warm cake using a skewer or dowel or if you don’t have either, the handle of a wooden spoon or a knife’s tip. Pour the milk mixture evenly over the cake, using all of the milk mixture. It will seem like a LOT of milk, but bear in mind that the cake will gradually soak up the mixture overnight in the fridge. Cover the cake and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.

  • Just before serving, make the whipped cream frosting. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whip together the heavy whipping cream and confectioners’ sugar until stiff peaks form, about 5-7 minutes. Spread the whipped cream evenly over the cake. Dust with ground cinnamon, if using. Store the cake in the fridge, covered.

closeup slice of pumpkin tres leches cake with a bite missingSpicy, pumpkin-y, moist and sweet – you’re going to LOVE this creamy cake!

pumpkin tres leches cake photo collage

Have a super sweet weekend!

xo, Hayley

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