Hola, amigos! Last weekend I decided to treat myself to a nice, big, yummy slice of Tres Leches cakes. This type of cake is very popular here in Mexico, and no party is complete without it. It’s so sweet and soft that it seems to melt in your mouth with every bite. Plus, this cake was extra special because we celebrated a very important milestone in our family. It was very Tres Leches worthy!

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The best reason to have a Tres Leches cake

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Tres Leches cake is very popular in Mexico and all over Latin America. The name Tres Leches means “three milks”, which is a reference to the three different kinds of milk used in the recipe. It’s a very sweet, fluffy, soft, and moist kind of cake, sort of like a sponge cake.  It’s usually covered in a thick layer of whipped cream or meringue, and sometimes candied fruit is also added as decoration. Very decadent, indeed.

The best reason to have a Tres Leches cake

The History

There’s a whole controversy about where the recipe came from. Some say it came from Mexico, others claim it’s actually from Nicaragua, and there’s another version that places the birth of Tres Leches cake in Miami. In any case, Tres Leches cake is clearly a descendant of the European-style confectionery popular in Latin America since the 19th century.

The best reason to have a Tres Leches cake

The Recipe

I must confess I have never tried to make Tres Leches cake. Baking is just not my strong suit. However, here in Mexico you can find a decent Tres Leches cake in just about any corner. In fact, bakeries and confectionery shops are found on almost every Mexican street. Mexicans are very fond of desserts, cakes, and any sweet bread, and confectionery is a big tradition. I believe this preference originated during the French Invasion in the 19th century. Merci, France!

Even though I can’t bake to save my life, I will still share with you a few Tres Leches cake recipes that you can try. Start clicking!

Tres Leches Cake from Pati’s Mexican Table

The Best And Easiest Tres Leches Cake from The Domestic Rebel

Tres Leches Cake from Roxana’s Home Baking

Chocolate Tres Leches Cake from Lick The Bowl Good

Tres Leches recipe and video from Tastemade

Vegan Tres Leches Cake from Ordinary Vegan

The best reason to have a Tres Leches cake

The Reason

Last weekend, we decided to go out and get a big, delicious Tres Leches cake to have a private little celebration ahead of my oldest son’s 18th birthday. This is an important occasion for him and the whole family. He is our oldest son, the oldest grandson, and the first in this generation to come of age. It is also an extra special occasion because there was a time when we thought this day would never come. Let me explain.

My heart of Mexico family
Coming home from the hospital

The Miracle Baby

My oldest son was born 18 years ago at 28 weeks. He was such a tiny, little baby that I could fit his entire backside on the palm of my hand. He could not breathe on his own, and he had a cardiorespiratory arrest when he was transferred to a major hospital. The doctors told my husband and I that our baby had only very slim chances of survival. For two months, we could do nothing but watch as our precious little baby fought for his life in a little corner of the NICU.

Now, 18 years later, he is here with us and he is all grown up. He has no visible reminders of his premature birth, only a scar on his neck from where a catheter was inserted during his prolongued hospital stay. He was our miracle baby, and now he is a young man.

My heart of Mexico family
My little boy

The Perks

In Mexico, like in most other countries, an 18-year-old can legally work, drive, drink, get married, and vote. Not that he’s planning to do all of those things at once, I hope. In a few weeks, he’ll register and get his voting card. This is important, because a voting card in Mexico is the most commonly used official form of identification. With it, he can also get his driver’s license, apply for a job, and yes, buy liquor if he wants to.

My heart of Mexico family
Mommy’s little angel

The Duty

All 18-year-old Mexican males must complete a compulsory military service. My son has had to cut off his long, curly locks and now sports a close-cropped cut. He will soon march into the local recruitment office and register for his military service. Later in the year, he will go to the nearest military base with all the other local 18-year-old boys, and attend a draw. If he is selected, he will have basic military training during the weekends for a whole year. If not, he’ll just return to the local recruitment office next year to get his military service slip. Most young men hope they get the second option.

My heart of Mexico family
In high school

This compulsory military service is not something that a guy can easily get out of. Without a military service slip, a man cannot apply for certain government-issued documents, like a passport, or for a job in public service. But more importantly, it is also a civic duty. Many young Mexican men simply never register for it and nothing really happens, but in our family we believe in serving our country, so he’s not going to get of this one.

My heart of Mexico family
With friends

The Next Step

Also, this year my son will finish high school and he’ll have to apply for entrance to university. In Mexico, universities hold entrance exams at different dates, so students often have to take multiple exams during the year. It’s a hassle, and it can get expensive to pay for so many exams, but my son will probably take at least three of them. Hopefully, he’ll be admitted to either the state or the national university. Wish him luck!

My heart of Mexico family
As long as I’m living, my baby you’ll be

The Future

As you can see, all this is worthy of at least one Tres Leches cake. Or maybe two. My husband and I are very proud of our oldest son. He is a kind, generous, courageous young man with big dreams and an even bigger heart. As he embarks on his own life voyage, we hope we’ll have many more occasions to celebrate with him, a chocolate Tres Leches cake included. Happy birthday to my grown up baby boy!

Update 23/07/16

My son just got his voting card and his admission letter from the state university! My husband and I are happy and very proud of him. First of our kids to go to college, and hopefully not the last!

Do you have a special occasion worthy of a Tres Leches cake? Share!

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43 thoughts on “The Best Reason To Have A Tres Leches Cake

      1. I definitely will 🙂 I think it is sweet to celebrate your son, especially after all he and your family have been through when he was a baby. I really share in that sentiment. Our mexican family is also very close. Blessings to you!

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Wow – I can’t believe your oldest is 18?! You looks so young. He should be so proud of his mama – fit and lovely. That cake looks amazing – I certainly would not have been able to stop and take pics ;-0! His story is equally amazing. Those days when he was a baby must have seemed so long and then you blink and he’s 18! Increible.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for sharing the story of your wonderful son! Best wishes to him and to the whole family as he enters this new phase of life!

    I wanted to let you know that I found your blog through a recent post by OM in which he listed active blogs in his community. I’m pleased to make your acquaintance!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love this story and appreciate the vegan recipe for Tres Leches, as I have two sons who are vegan.
    I learned a few things about 18 y.o’s in Mexico. You have a beautiful familia, much to be proud of, and many blessings. PS> Love your ‘about’ section, “fascinating things about Mexico that have nothing to do with politics….” 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What a lovely lovely story, happy birthday to your eldest son!! A birthday is always a wonderful reason to celebrate let alone an 18th, and then add his very amazing start in life I hope it was an extra large tres leches cake!! It looks delicious by the way!!
    Thanks for sharing with #myexpatfamily

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Fabi,
    Your post about your son was beautiful. The cake was symbolic. I had heard of it since they sell it at the market near me.
    Thank you for bringing your post to the Bloggers Pit Stop Linky Party.
    Janice, Pit Stop Crew

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I didn’t know you could get chocolate tres leches cake, that’s new to me and looks rather delicious in the picture! Chocolate has always been my favourite flavour of cake, so I will definitely look for that next time I’m in a pastelería (sadly not often enough!). Happy birthday to your son, that really is a special occasion worth celebrating with plenty of cake! #MyExpatFamily

    Liked by 1 person

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