Sunday, April 18, 2010

April's Cupcake of the Month: Tres Leches Cupcakes

In picking this month's cupcake, I noticed I hadn't make a cupcake from the first section of Martha Stewart's Cupcakes yet: Swirled and Sprinkled.

In addition to the Tres Leches Cupcakes, this section includes Chocolate Chip Cupcakes, Carrot Cupcakes, Yellow Buttermilk Cupcakes, Coconut Cupcakes, Red Velvet Cupcakes, Rhubarb Cupcakes with Whipped Cream, Devil's Food Cupcakes, Chocolate Malted Cupcakes, Tiramisu Cupcakes, Banana-Pecan Cupcakes, Blueberries-and-Cream Cupcakes, Zucchini-Spice Cupcakes, Mocha Cupcakes, Date-Nut Mini Cupcakes, Ginger and Molasses Cupcakes, Applesauce-Spice Cupcakes, and Peanut Butter and Jelly Cupcakes. January's Cupcake of the Month: Streusel Cupcakes were from the second section of the book: Dipped and Glazed. February's Cupcake of the Month: Martha's Meyer Lemon Cupcakes were from the fourth section of the book: Filled and Layered. March's Cupcake of the Month: Flourless Chocolate Cupcakes were from the third section of the book: Simple and Sweet. The last non-decorating centric section I have yet to try is Piped and Topped.

This recipe accurately replicates a Tres Leches cake. The only problem I had with it is coming to the realization that I don't really like Tres Leches cake. For the amount of sugar and fat, I want something less subtle and soggy. But my panel of independent taste testers at brunch seemed to really dig 'em. So if you're into Tres Leches cake, or your sweet tooth is more mature than mine, this might be the perfect thing for you. Be sure to eat them with a fork so you can scrape off the gooey goodness on the wrapper, which is the best part.

Also, a little beef with the original recipe which instructs bakers to "brush milk mixture over cupcakes, repeating until all liquid has been used." If you use a brush instead of spooning the milk mixture on you will be brushing until the end of days. Even using a spoon it took me a ton of time. This step is much easier if you adhere to the instruction to only fill the cups 1/2 full with batter. This leaves room for the milk mixture to pool on top before it soaks in, which is much less messy and more efficient than if the cupcakes rise too high in the cups.

Additionally, the recipe recommends using paper lined foil cupcake liners. I didn't have those on hand so I used two layers of paper cupcake liners. Granted, these are really nice cupcake liners, not your standard grocery store liners, but they held up just fine after 24 hours of soaking. You might be fine with just one layer of paper liners if you're confident in their quality.

Tres Leches Cupcakes adapted from Martha Stewart's Cupcakes: 175 Inspired Ideas for Everyone's Favorite Treat


  • 6 large eggs, separated, room temperature
  • 1/4 t baking soda
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1 C sugar
  • 1/2 C (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 C all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1 can (12 oz.) evaporated milk
  • 1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 3/4 C heavy cream
  • 1/4 C confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • Ground cinnamon, for dusting

1. Preheat oven to 325. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. With an electric mixer on medium speed, whisk together egg whites, baking soda, and salt until soft peaks form. Reduce speed to low. Add yolks and sugar; whisk until completely combined. Fold in melted butter with a flexible spatula. Add flour in four batches, folding until just combined after each.

2. Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each halfway. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until light golden brown, about 25 minutes. Remove from oven. Immediately poke holes in tops of cupcakes with a skewer.

3. Whisk together evaporated milk, condensed milk, and 3/4 C heavy cream. With cupcakes still in tins, spoon milk mixture over cupcakes, repeating until all liquid has been used. Allow cupcakes to absorb mixture, at least 30 minutes (or up to one day in the refrigerator wrapped tightly in plastic once completely cool; bring to room temperature before serving).

4. Whisk 2 C heavy cream until soft peaks form. Add confectioners' sugar and whisk until combined. If not using immediately, whipped cream can be refrigerated, covered tightly, up to 3 hours in an airtight container.

5. To finish, dollop whipped cream generously onto cupcakes, and dust with ground cinnamon. Serve immediately.

Previous Cupcakes of the Month:
January's Cupcake of the Month: Streusel Cupcakes
February's Cupcake of the Month: Martha's Meyer Lemon Cupcakes
March's Cupcake of the Month: Flourless Chocolate Cupcakes

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