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Ube Tres Leches Cake

5 from 8 votes

Latin America meets the Philippines with this Ube Tres Leches Cake! SUPER soft and milky, this is a great recipe to try out for your next gathering. 

“Tres Leches” translates to “Three Milks”

Tres leches cake is a delicious Latin American cake, soaked in three kinds of milk. With strawberries as a popular topping, it’s a MUST TRY! It is my go-to dessert when visiting Mexican restaurants and I encourage you to try out the OG tres leches whenever you get a chance! The BEST tres leches I’ve ever tried was in Mexico – nothing compares! 

What is ube?

Ube is a tuber native to the Philippines not to be confused with purple yam, purple potato, and other purple root vegetables. It’s known for its natural vibrant purple colour and is used in popular desserts in Filipino cuisine. You’ll find it in a variety of dishes such as ube halaya, ice cream, and of course, cakes! If you live in the west, ube may be hard to get your hands on. If fresh ube is not accessible to you, it’s also common to use ube extract in place of the fresh stuff. 

Why not use real ube?

Tres leches sponge is known for its light and airy texture – making it super easy to absorb the milk. Using real ube can create a denser cake, due to its starch content. I usually say fresh is best, but when it comes to this recipe, I prefer using ube extract for that ube flavour.

What does it taste like? 

Ube has a really unique flavour! Some would describe the flavour of ube as being nutty with subtle vanilla. It’s subtle flavour makes it the perfect compliment to flavours like coconut, mango, and more!

If you’ve never had ube before, this is a nice, refreshing segue to the world of this vibrant and uniquely flavoured ingredient. 

Try other ube recipes!

Soft and spongy cake

This cake recipe will get you a soft and spongy cake. It’s the perfect canvas for soaking up the ube milk! 

To achieve this result, I recommend using a hand mixer or stand mixer. This will save you on the elbow grease of whipping the eggs and will incorporate enough air into the batter to give you a light and airy sponge. 

I hope you love this recipe as much as I do! My family adored this recipe and it’s now become one of my go-to dishes for gatherings! 

Ube Tres Leches Cake Recipe

5 from 8 votes
Recipe by asiamakes Course: Dessert


Prep time


Cooking time


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  • Ube Cake
  • 5 eggs, separated

  • 2/3 cup sugar

  • 1/2 cup milk

  • 2 tsp ube extract

  • 1 1/2 cup cake flour

  • 1/4 tsp salt

  • 1 tsp baking powder

  • Ube Milk
  • 1 cup milk

  • 1 can evaporated milk

  • 1 can condensed milk or ube condensed milk

  • Ube Whipped Cream
  • 1 ½ cups whipping cream

  • 3 tbsp icing or white sugar

  • 1/4 tsp ube extract

  • Crumbled cake trimmings for decoration (optional)


  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • Separate eggs into two separate bowls.
  • Beat egg whites in a large bowl until stiff peaks form. Set aside in the fridge.
  • In a separate bowl with the egg yolks, add sugar and beat until the mixture turns a pale yellow colour.
  • Add milk and ube extract to the egg yolk and sugar mixture. Mix on low until combined.
  • To the same bowl, sift in flour, salt, and baking powder. Mix until just combined.
  • Gently fold in whipped egg whites until fully incorporated.
  • Pour batter into a greased 9×13 inch baking dish. Baking for 30-35 minutes.
  • While the cake is baking, mix together milk, evaporated milk, condensed milk and ube extract. Set aside in your fridge until the cake is ready.
  • Once the cake is ready, allow it to cool for at least 20 minutes before cutting ½ an inch off of the edges.
  • Use a fork or skewer to poke holes into the cake. You want to poke a good amount of holes in the cake so the milk can be soaked up.
  • Pour the ube milk mixture over the cake and set it in your fridge for at least 1 ½ hours or until the cake has soaked up the milk.
  • In a cold bowl, whip together cream, sugar, and ube extract until it achieves stiff peaks.
  • Remove the cake from the fridge once it’s ready and spread the ube whipped cream in an even layer over the top. Feel free to decorate the cake how you like. As an optional step you can crumble the cake trimmings into crumbs and use those to decorate the edges of the cake.*
  • Serve and enjoy!


  • *The cake may be too soft to create crumbs, so toast the trimmings for only a few minutes to dry them out a bit!

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  3. Heather Eagleson

    This is a recipe I want to make for my Filipina coworker that is always offering me food at work. Her birthday is in a couple weeks and I want to bring this cake to work for her! I made a tres leches cake once, ironically for a male coworker’s birthday (I enjoy baking) and I’m familiar with ube already. If I end up making this, I’ll let you know how it turns out.

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