This variation of a Latin American favorite features a butter cake soaked in two kinds of milk. A topping of real whipped cream makes the third of the tres leches (three milks) in the dessert. “Milk cake” may not sound glamorous, but the flavor is spectacular. Add visual glam by garnishing each serving with sliced strawberries, toasted nuts or a sprinkling of shaved dark chocolate.
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour an 8-by-12-inch or 9-by-13-inch baking pan.
2. Place flour and baking powder in a medium bowl and whisk to combine well.
3. Using electric beaters, cream the butter in a large bowl for 1 minute. Continue to beat as you gradually add the sugar. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally during this process. When all the sugar is incorporated and the mixture looks fluffy, beat in the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides after each addition. Beat in the vanilla. Add the flour mixture 1/2 cup at a time and beat until barely combined.
4. Spread batter in prepared pan. Bake until toothpick inserted near center of cake comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Cool cake on a wire rack 40-60 minutes.
5. Use a meat fork or skewer to poke deep holes all over the cake. Combine the half & half (or soy creamer), sweetened condensed milk and liqueur. Pour the mixture in 1/2-cup portions over the top of the cake and use a spatula to gently spread the liquid over the cake surface. Let each batch soak in before adding the next.
6. Chill the cake at least 2 hours.
7. Beat the heavy whipping cream with electric beaters in a large, chilled bowl until it begins to thicken. Keep beating as you gradually add the remaining 1/4 to 1/2 cup sugar. Beat until firm peaks form.
8. To serve: Cut the cake with a thin-bladed knife. Serve each portion with whipped cream.
Copyright by Terese Allen