Cuatro Leches Cake (Four Milk Cake)


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Four Milk Cake from SouthernPlate

I’m different.

Some see this as a bad thing, some see it as a good. I see it as what it is. Chances are, you’re pretty different, too, maybe in some of the same ways, maybe in different ones.

Wouldn’t life be boring if we were all stamped out copies of one another.

I’m not putting a question mark at the end of my previous sentence, even though it is technically a question. It is a question meant as a statement, intended to get you to thinking but true enough that it requires no answer.

So I’ll just ignore all of the grammatical rules I was taught in college in lieu of some better ones I just made up on the fly.

I’m cool like that.

Because I said so. Don’t you agree – period. Of course you do.

When I was born, in the hospital, all the other babies came out bald or with heads full of hair that laid down perfectly.

Mine was white as a sheet and stood straight up all over my head. The nurses tried to slick it back with baby oil and that held for a minute or two until PLINK! a small tuft broke free from the oil to stand up again and then PLINK!PLINK!, two more, and then PLINK! PLINK! PLINK! PLINK! PLINK!

And I smiled.

Some say babies don’t smile – but those are usually folks who have a hard time smiling themselves and don’t want to believe that another human, only hours into this world, would do something so much better than they do.

I was born smiling and I haven’t forgotten how to do it, regardless of what life has thrown me.

And life has thrown me things and they’ve been some hard hits, but you don’t hear me talking about them or focusing on them or wallowing in them like some folks do. You don’t even know most of them exist.

Because I’m different.

I’m not different because I want to be or try to be, I’m different because that is who I am. And this world has tried time and again, and it won’t stop trying in the days and years ahead, to make me be like it, but I can’t do that.

Because I’m different.

And when I make Tres Leches , three milk cake, I make Cuatro Leches, Four milk Cake instead. Because I can’t march to the beat of other drums because I can’t even hear those drums over the roar of my own orchestra.

And I know that if three milks are good, four will be even better, especially when that fourth one is caramel.

Don’t you agree.

Again, no question mark.

Gosh I have fun!

Now let’s make a cake…

Cuatro Leches (Four Milk) Cake

Cuatro Leches (Four Milk) CakeYou’ll need: Heavy Cream, Sweetened Condensed Milk, Evaporated Milk, Caramel Sauce, whipped topping, and a cake mix.

I like Butter Golden but you can use yellow, white, or whatever you have. You could even use chocolate if you want.

Cuatro Leches (Four Milk) Cake

Prepare cake mix according to the package directions.

This butter golden mix is fluffier than regular cake mixes but I promise whatever you use will be just fine so trust me and don’t fret. If you’re going to fret over something there are greater causes than cake mix.

Cuatro Leches (Four Milk) Cake

Spray a 9×13 pan with baking spray.

Cuatro Leches (Four Milk) Cake

Spread cake mix into pan and bake according to directions on the box, making sure to get cake completely done before removing from oven.

We’re gonna put all sorts of good stuff on top of this cake so we don’t want it sinking in the middle.

Cuatro Leches (Four Milk) Cake

Here is the finished cake.

Cuatro Leches (Four Milk) Cake

Now poke holes all in the top of the cake using either a fork or the end of a wooden spoon or whatever you grab out of the drawer first.

Cuatro Leches (Four Milk) Cake

Pour your sweetened condensed milk into a bowl…

Cuatro Leches (Four Milk) CakeAdd your other milks

Cuatro Leches (Four Milk) CakeNow I’m using the big can of evaporated milk, so there is a wee bit left in it. Anyone wanna guess what I do with that?

BOTTOM’S UP! I love evaporated milk. It’s also good in coffee :)

Cuatro Leches (Four Milk) Cake

Stir all of that up really good until well blended.

Cuatro Leches (Four Milk) Cake

Pour it over the cake.

Cuatro Leches (Four Milk) Cake

Give it a few minutes to soak in good.

Cuatro Leches (Four Milk) Cake

Let it cool a bit and then spread your caramel over the cake.

Cuatro Leches (Four Milk) Cake

Don’t eat it yet.

I know, this seems like a cruel thing to say…

Cuatro Leches (Four Milk) Cake

Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Cuatro Leches (Four Milk) Cake

Ice with Whipped Topping.

four milk cake southernplateEnjoy!

Cuatro Leches Cake (Four Milk Cake)
  • 1 Box Butter Golden or Yellow Cake mix, prepared in a greased 9x13 pan according to directions
  • 16 ounces caramel
  • 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 12 ounces evaporated milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 16 ounces whipped topping
  1. After cake has been prepared according to package directions, poke holes all in the top of it.
  2. Stir together condensed milk, evaporated milk, and heavy cream. Pour over hot cake.
  3. Allow cake to cool slightly and milks to be absorbed.
  4. Spread caramel over cooled cake. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  5. Ice cake with whipped topping and serve immediately or cover and return to the refrigerator until ready to serve.

“Everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you are climbing it”


Submitted by Marian, thanks Marian! Submit your favorite quotes by clicking here.


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  1. Mary.mimi says

    Yep… I too march to the sound of my own music that is in my head… and consider different a great thing to be… SOOOO… I think your cuarto cake will now become CINCO (in celebration on Cinco de Mayo here in TX) I will add coconut milk to my 4 milk assortment and henceforth call it Cinco Leches Cake :)

  2. Sandra says

    This poking stuff is new to me, but this will be the third cake I had to poke this year. I did Katie’s lemon cake, OMG, and yesterday I did a “better than . . . .” cake, which this reminds me of. Does this cake need to cool before poking and pouring or just before whipping?

  3. Fran Miller says

    Hey, Sandra. You “poke & pour” the hot cake, then cool it a little before adding the caramel & refrigerating. Christy, another delicious cake to add to my repetoire! Aren’t you wonderful. (period) LOL =^..^=

  4. Kathy says

    I thought the same thing about the coconut milk when I read it also, and then thought about changing the caramel to chocolate topping, like hot fudge sauce, since I’ve been wanting a Mounds candy bar, I can’t wait to try this cake though. Thanks.

  5. Wanda from TX says

    All of you ladies bring a smile to my face! Sandra brought a laugh, with her poking comments! HA!
    My fellow Texans, why don’t one of you make this wonderful cake and I will just come and eat it!

    Christy, you may not believe this one, but my mother tells me she made my baby formula out of Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk…yikes! What a sugar high for a baby. This was back in 1950, so perhaps they were less enlightened about the overload of sugar.

    Seriously, I just wanted to add my two or three cents worth here and say that we should each take pride in our differences, because… as Christy pointed out, it would be a dull world indeed if we were all identical! As the mother of four and grandmother of five, and a former teacher, I can assure you that each child has differences and we should celebrate this fact! Three of my children are teachers, and two are parents themselves, and I am proud to have raised them to understand the beauty of each child’s “quirks” and differences.

    Happy May Day to all of you!

    Wanda from TX

    • Philippa says

      Wanda, about your mother’s recipe for baby milk – – that wasn’t uncommon! I’m a Baby Boomer, too, and when I began to look after children, I remember reading recipes for baby milk that sound unhealthful now.
      As for my own mother, she was a nurse, yet she did as her mother (and grandmother, etc.) did and supplemented baby milk (homemade or store-bought) with bottles of water mixed with Karo corn syrup or pancake syrup. They explained it once as saying that it got babies to drink water so they wouldn’t dehydrate.

  6. Susan Morris says

    Christy, I love you becasue you are different. You are YOU. Always be yourself, no matter what pressures are put upon you to conform! Always teach your children to be THEMSELVES! Thank you for the wonderful stories that go with the wonderful recipes. Thank you for the wonderful memories of my grandparents and other past relatives. Thank you for the joy you bring to my life, and for sharing your life with us.
    Susan Morris, Jacksonville, TX

  7. Sue Wilkins says

    Christy, you always bring a smile to my face and I like you, do a lot of smiling. As others have written, being different is good and I love you just the way your are. One of my fav sayings is “Conform and Be Dull”
    As for this cake….I will be making this ASAP as we love Tres Leches Cake and this one is so easy.
    Sue Wilkins, Hot Springs, AR

  8. Karen Branscum says

    Oh My!!! CHRISTY JORDAN!!! I’m ashamed of you……I know this has to be sinful!!!! I love tres leche cake…and you just made it even more tempting..Hmmm this sure has my attention…

  9. Jeni says

    Well Missy, whatever tune you are marching too, you just keep on marching! I like you being the drum major because you lead me every post in such a positive way!

    You recipes are not bad either. 😉

  10. Susan N says

    Looks so good.
    Someone mentioned their baby formula their Mama used to make for them.
    Back in the day before formulas, everyone used evaporated milk and added some corn syrup and water to it. can remember making it for my younger brother. corn syrup was supposed to help like a baby laxative! an old remedy for baby tummy was a little corn syrup.
    My, have times changed.
    Am like you Christy, love that evaporated milk… get it now at Aldi’s for 79c a can and use several cans a week in cooking, coffee and hot tea.

  11. Margaret says

    OOhh! I’ve never told a soul that I love drinking “Pet” Milk (evaporated milk) I can drink it straight from the can, it’s better cold. I keep it on hand for when I run out of half and half for my coffee. Will make this cake soon!

  12. Jackie says

    How does that saying go? “I’m unique just like everyone else.” :)

    And I’m different when it comes to babies smiling. Most folks say it’s gas, but gas hurts. Why would they smile about that?

    Thanks so much for another hit recipe! I’m gonna try not to make it until the next family get-together so that I won’t eat it all by my lonesome.

  13. Brenda Caldwell says

    This cake is decadent! Of course, that’s what desserts are supposed to be, right :) I would love for you to post a baby picture of yourself sometimes, I’m sure you were the cutest!

  14. Tamela in Central Florida says

    Oh Christy, I would love, along with a lot of other people, to see a baby pic of yours!!! I haven’t thought about tres leches cake in a long time but you have put it in my head & now I’ll have to make it to get rid of the craving!!!

  15. Fifi says

    Hi Christy,
    This cake looks divine, I can’t wait to make it. I have a question for you: do you add the milks to the cake while it is hot out of the oven or do you wait a while?

  16. Amber says

    Christy, the way you feel about evaporated milk? I feel that way about sweetened condensed. As children, my sibs and I would fight over the rights to a) lick the batter left in the mixing bowl and b) scrape out the Eagle brand can. Now that I am a grown-up and in a house to myself, no one fights me for either. Matter of fact, I’m making this cake right now and seem to have not done a great job getting all the milk into the mixing bowl. Time to break out a spoon!

  17. Bettina says

    Christy, the cake turned out fabulous and everyone in the hospital I work with loved it! (I already have requests to make it again!) I have never made a milk cake and my only question, was the cake suppose to absorb all of the milk or should there always be some left over in the bottom of the pan? Thank you for all of your wonderful recipes, you never steer me wrong and everything always turns out amazing!! Keep the great recipes coming. 😀

    • says

      The fourth milk is the whipped topping. Traditionally this would be whipped cream, made from scratch with heavy whipping cream. I use whipped topping instead because it is more economical and easier :) You are welcome to make it from scratch if you prefer though :)

  18. Aprile says

    Christy, I made this over the weekend and it was a huge hit! But I have a question/concern – I used the amounts called for in the recipe, but my cake was a lot soggier than your picture – we had to dip portions out with a spoon because it was too smooshy. Is it supposed to be like this? However, smooshy or not, the taste was divine!

  19. DotRot says

    My husband and special needs daughter just finished making this for my Mother’s Day meal. I think we’ve created a monster! She had so much fun poking all the holes, I’m surprised there’s any cake left. Can’t wait to eat it tomorrow.

  20. Jeanne Rushton says

    Gosh! I just read through your comments and couldn’t help but smile from enjoying it! Thank you! And the recipe…I love dimples but not where this one would lead to! I am going to make it and I know everyone will love it, dimples or not! Jeanne :)

  21. Kate says

    What a wonderful website. I am spoiled for choice with so many yummy recipes to choose from, although I think this is a contender for first place especially as there is a birthday coming up soon. Loving all your heartwarming stories too.


  22. Angelia Renfro says

    I had my first taste of this cake…loovvee it!!!!!ima add chocolate sause with the carmel sause and blueberries/strawberries/rasberries on top for my babes Birthday!!!. Thanks for the recipe…will let you know how it goes.

  23. Angela says

    Any advice on 8×8 squares? I’m considering DIYIng my wedding cake with this recipe! My fiancé and I cannot get enough of tres/cuatro leches, and we’re servings breakfast-for-dinner so it’s such a perfect compliment!

    I’ll make 3- 8×8 squares to be displayed (not stacked, obviously) and one sheet cake to be cut behind the scenes.

    Thank you!!

    • says

      Congratulations on your upcoming wedding Angela!!! I would make a trial run before the big day BUT I think you could double the recipe, divide it into the 3 8X8 pans then bake and prepare that way. Let me know how it turns out if you try it!!

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