tres leches cupcakes

Oct 4, 2010 by

i have a dear sister who is part pirate, part mexican and 100% awesome.  it’s her birthday this wednesday and i got the honor of making her a birthday dessert.   her first requirement was that she wanted cupcakes.  (little did she know that her husband picked up a sweet pirate cupcake kit a while back.  i’m bummed i didn’t get a pic of one with a pirate topper in it. 🙁 )  i mentioned tres leches cupcakes to her and she got REALLY excited.

so to wrap it up: pirates + tres leches + cupcakes = best way to celebrate the best. sister. ever!  happy birthday, bran!

recipe slightly modified from

  • 8 eggs, separated
  • 1 1/3 c sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 c flour
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 6 oz. evaporated milk
  • 11 oz. condensed milk
  • 3/4 c heavy cream
  • 3 oz. kahlua (or any liquor that you prefer)
  1. preheat the oven to 350°.
  2. in a large bowl, beat the egg yolks and 1 c of the sugar until pale and fluffy. (2-3 min.)
  3. add the vanilla.
  4. in a small bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, cornstarch and salt.  mix these ingredients with the yolk mixture until combined.
  5. beat the egg whites until soft peaks form.
  6. add 1/3 c of sugar at the end.  do not over beat!
  7. fold the whites into the yolk and flour mixture, being very careful not to deflate the batter.  (i used the paddle attachment on my kitchenaid mixer at a low speed).
  8. fill the cupcake liners about halfway.
  9. bake for 20 min. or until golden brown and when a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  10. with a serrated knife, remove the top golden layer on each cupcake to expose the sponge.  if some of your cupcakes didn’t rise over the cupcake liner, poke holes in them with a toothpick.
  11. mix the three milks.  divide the mixture in half, add kahlua to one half, to spike half of your cupcakes.  or to spike them all, double the kahlua and skip dividing the milk mixture in half.  or spike none of them at all.  it’s entirely up to you!
  12. you’ll want to add 3 tbsp of the milk mixture to your cupcakes.  you can add it to your cupcakes 1 tsp at a time.  this part takes a while, but you’ll want to take your time because if you try to add all 3 tbsp at once, you’ll just end up with a sticky mess.  the milk will completely absorb into the cake.
  13. refrigerate the cupcakes covered overnight.

meringue frosting recipe

(or you can just skip this and top the cupcakes with whipped cream)

  • 4 egg whites
  • pinch salt
  • 1 c sugar
  • 1/2 c water
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  1. mix the water and sugar in a small pan.
  2. bring it to a boil and cook until soft ball point, about 10 min. (or 235° for those of you with a handy dandy candy thermometer).  to know when the syrup has reached soft crack, take a little bit with a clean spoon and drop it in a bowl filled with water.  it is ready when you can make  a little soft ball with it inside the water.  be careful, this is HOT!
  3. when the syrup is about to come to the soft ball point, beat the egg whites (with a pinch of salt added just a minute after starting the beating) until soft peaks form.
  4. still beating the whites, add the syrup in a steady way and beat until the mixture cools down.  this takes a while, but the end product is worth it!  the final mixture will resemble soft marshmallows.
  5. frost the cupcakes!
  6. top with cinnamon.


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  1. bran

    holy crapcakes – they were AMAZING 🙂 Thank you so much!!

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