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To achieve a tres leches cake with her ideal balance of savory and sweet, pastry chef Paola Velez swaps out the classic evaporated milk and sweetened condensed milk for heavy cream, half-and-half, and whole milk, mindfully adding sugar to create a balanced sweetness. The cornmeal in the cake batter gives the dessert a delicious nuttiness and a subtle crunch, made even richer with the addition of tangy labneh.


Read the full recipe after the video.

Recipe Summary test

30 mins
11 hrs


For the Cornbread Cake:
For the Tres Leches Soak:


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat the oven to 350F. Lightly coat a 13-by-9-inch baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.

  • In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.

  • In a large bowl, whisk together labneh, eggs, milk, olive oil, and lemon juice until smooth. Add the dry ingredients to the labneh mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until just combined. Give the batter a few turns with a rubber spatula to make sure there aren't any floury pockets or clumps. Scoop the batter into the cake pan and smooth the top; bake until a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes.

  • While the cornbread bakes, make the Tres Leches Soak: Combine the milk, cream, sugar, half-and-half, and salt in a medium bowl. Refrigerate until ready to use.

  • Once your cornbread is room temperature, cut it into 12 equal pieces. Using a skewer, gently poke some holes into the cornbread to allow the Tres Leches Soak to permeate. Pour the Tres Leches Soak over the cake, cover and chill for at least 8 hours (or overnight). Serve with whipped cream and/or fresh fruit. Enjoy!