Recipe by Jack Hazan

Golden Tres Leches Cake

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Dairy Dairy
Easy Easy
12 Servings
1 Hour, 30 Minutes

Not only am I Syrian, but I’m also part Guatemalana (it’s a fun fact that still surprises my friends). Grandma Raquel and Aunt Reina were born in Guatemala, and this is their special recipe. They added healthy turmeric to the classic tres leches cake, essentially creating a golden milk cake. Turmeric is a natural antidepressant, so if the sugary milk doesn’t make you happy, maybe the spice will provide a serotonin boost. This cake is perfect for literally any occasion. Make it on the weekend for family and friends, or serve it for afternoon tea as a way to connect with loved ones.



  • 1 cup (140 grams) all-purpose flour, such as Glicks

  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

  • 5 eggs, separated

  • 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar

  • 1/3 cup (80 milliliters) whole milk

  • 1 teaspoon Gefen Vanilla Extract

Soaking Liquid And Whipped Topping

  • one 12 ounce (340 gram) can evaporated milk

  • 1 (14-oz./400-g.) can sweetened condensed milk

  • 1 and 1/4 cups (420 milliliters) heavy cream

  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric, such as Pereg, plus more for sprinkling

  • 1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger


Prepare the Cake


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius). Coat a nine by 13 inch (23 by 33 centimeter) baking pan with nonstick cooking spray (I prefer using glass Pyrex so you can see the yellow turmeric milk).


In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt.


In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a medium bowl using a handheld electric mixer, beat the egg yolks and 3/4 cup (150 grams) of the granulated sugar on medium speed until the yolks become pale yellow. Add the milk and vanilla. On low speed, add the flour mixture and beat until just combined. Transfer the batter to a separate largle bowl and clean the mixer.


In the bowl of the now-clean stand mixer, using the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add the remaining 1/4 cup (50 grams) of granulated sugr and beat until the egg whites are glossy and thick.


Gently fold the gg white mixture into the batter. It is ok if it streaky. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and use an offset spatula to even out the top.


Bake for 40 minutes, or until it is golden brown and the sides pull away from the edges of the pan.

To Make The Soaking Liquid And Whipped Topping


In a saucepan, combine the evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, 1/4 cup (60 millliliters) of the heavy cream, the turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, and pepper over medium-low heat. Heat for four to five minutes, or until the mixture is fragrant. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool.


Poke holes in the cake with a skewer every half inch (13 millimiters) or so. Set aside one cup (240 milliliters) of the soaking liquid in the fridge (this will be used for the whipped topping), then slowly pour the rest of it over the cake (use a pastry brush to ensure that the liquid has soaked into all the skewer holes). Allow the cake to absorb the milk mixture for 20 minutes, then store in the fridge for at least two hours.


In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or in a medium bowl using a handheld electric mixer, beat the remaining one and 1/2 cups (360 milliliters) of heavy crem and reserved one cup (240 milliters) of soaking liquid. Add the powdered sugar and beat  on medium speed until thick. Spread over the top of the cake. For extra golden color, sprinkle a bit of turmeric on to. Serve immediately.

To Serve


This cake is best served the day it is made. Store leftovers in the fridge for up to two days.


You can add chopped maraschino cherries as decoration if you want to be traditional.


Recipe excerpted from Mind Over Batter (Chronicle Books, 2023).

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Golden Tres Leches Cake

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