Cuatro Leches Cake (Four Milk Cake)

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This cuatro leches cake recipe creates a soft, moist, and sweet cake that’s soaked in four different milk flavors (caramel sauce included).

cuatro leches cake

There’s only one thing better than tres leches cake (three milk cake) and that’s cuatro leches cake (four milk cake). This is because the fourth ingredient is caramel or dulce de leche, and every dessert tastes better with the addition of caramel, right?

So, what other ingredients can you expect in this cuatro leches cake? Well, exactly what you’d find in a tres leches cake! Besides a cake mix, you’ve got heavy cream, sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, and whipped topping. Together with the caramel sauce, these ingredients combine to make a cake that’s deliciously soft, moist, and sweet with a creamy topping.

Cuatro leches cake is undoubtedly a stand-out dessert and thankfully, it’s easy to make. Once you bake your cake, all you have to do is poke holes all over it, pour the smooth milk mixture on top and add the caramel. Then it goes in the fridge overnight so all that deliciousness can soak through the cake and in the morning, you add the whipped topping before serving.

If you’ve ever wondered about this cake’s origin (and its counterpart tres leches cake), most people say Mexico but nearly every country in Central and South America claims it as its own! Now let’s make a cake… cuatro leches cake (four milk cake) to be exact.

cuatro leches poke cake ingredients

Recipe Ingredients

  • Heavy cream
  • Sweetened condensed milk
  • Evaporated milk
  • Caramel sauce
  • Whipped topping
  • A cake mix

prepare cake mix

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.

spread cake mix in 9 x 13 pan

Spray a 9×13 baking pan with baking spray.

Spread the cake batter in the prepared pan and bake according to directions on the box. Make sure the cake is baked completely done before removing it from the oven. The old toothpick-in-the-center trick is the way to go!

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

poke holes in cake with end of wooden spoon

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

pour sweetened condensed milk in bowl

Pour your sweetened condensed milk into a medium bowl.

add other milks

Add your other kinds of milk.

stir until well blended

Stir all of that up really well until well blended.

pour milks into cake

Pour the milk mixture over the warm cake.

Give it a few minutes to soak in good.

let cool and spread caramel over milk cake

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

Don’t eat it yet!

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

cover cuatro leches cake and refrigerate overnight.

Cover with plastic wrap or a lid like so and refrigerate overnight.

top cuatro leches cake with whipped cream.

The next day, ice your cuatro leches cake with whipped topping.

Slice of cuatro leches cake.

Enjoy your delicious 4 leches cake!


Because of the whipped topping, you’re going to want to store cake leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge. However, they’ll last up to 5 days. The cake just gets better as the milk soaks in!

Recipe Notes

  • You can use whatever sponge cake mix you like. I like butter golden but you can use yellow, white, or whatever you have. You could even use a chocolate cake mix if you want.
  • Serve a slice of cake with a maraschino cherry, fresh peach slices, sliced plums, chopped apricots, or blueberries.
  • You could also serve it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, which perfectly complements the caramel sauce.
  • Another version of quatro leches cake features coconut milk instead of the dulce de leche (caramel). If you want to try this cake recipe instead, add 1 cup of coconut milk to the milk mixture. You could also decorate the whipped topping with some coconut flakes.
  • Traditionally, this cake recipe was paired with a meringue topping. You’ll need sugar and egg whites (make sure there is no egg yolks present and you beat them until stiff peaks form). For more details on how to make a meringue topping, head to my homemade banana pudding recipe.

Recipe FAQs

Can I make my cuatro leches cake in advance?

Yes, you can store your cuatro leches cake in the fridge up to three days in advance. I’d add the whipped cream topping just before serving.

You may enjoy these other cake recipes:

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Unbelievably Blissful

Phenomenal Red Velvet Cupcakes

Cheesecake Toppings & An Easy Cheesecake Recipe

Mini Bundt Cakes Using Aunt Sue’s Famous Pound Cake

Caramel Apple Cake from Mama Reed

Texas Turtle Sheet Cake

Four Milk Cake

Cuatro Leches Cake (Four Milk Cake)

This cuatro leches cake recipe creates a soft, moist, and sweet cake that's soaked in four different milk flavors (caramel sauce included).
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American, Mexican
Keyword: cake


  • 1 butter golden or yellow box cake mix prepared in a greased 9x13 pan according to directions
  • 16 ounces caramel
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk 14 ounces
  • 12 ounces evaporated milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 16 ounces whipped topping


  • After the cake has been prepared according to package directions, poke holes all in the top of it.
    1 butter golden or yellow box cake mix
  • In a medium bowl, stir together the condensed milk, evaporated milk, and heavy cream. Pour over the warm cake.
    1 can sweetened condensed milk, 12 ounces evaporated milk, 1 cup heavy cream
  • Allow cake to cool slightly and milk mixture to be absorbed.
  • Spread caramel over cooled cake. Cover with a lid or plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
    16 ounces caramel
  • Ice the cake with the whipped cream topping and serve immediately or cover and return to the refrigerator until ready to serve.
    16 ounces whipped topping
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  1. Aw come on.

    This is tres leches.

    Caramel sauce doesn’t count as a fourth milk. You need whole milk.

    Nothing more frustrating than the bait and switch in the online recipe game.

  2. 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!!

    1. 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!!

  3. I’ve made this cake but I didn’t use the evaporated milk. I think it would give it a richer taste.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.


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