Tag: christina tosi

Pastel Tres Leches – Three-Milk Cake

If you don’t think pastel tres leches (Mexican three-milk cake) is the best cake in the world, you just haven’t had it yet. I’ve been told tres leches is finally gaining traction in the US, but in Europe it’s still a sight for sore eyes.

This classic Mexican cake is the cake that will bring the word moist back en vogue. It’s a sloppy wet kiss of a cake and I love it more than any cake in the world.

A close up of the burnt meringue coating the tres leches cake.

White Cube, white cake

The first time I had pastel tres leches was in London. On a rainy terrace in Hoxton Square after a visit to a now-closed gallery. I have never forgotten about this cake, but I haven’t seen it on a menu since. The recipes all seemed quite intimidating for a shit baker like me. So it took me a few years to work up the courage. But work up the courage I did, because this cake is just that good and I have to get my fix in somehow.

The cookbook Mexico The Cookbook by Margarita Carrillo Arronte with pieces of pastel tres leches on a cake stand off to the side of the image.

Mexico: The Cookbook – Margarita Carrillo Arronte

Color me superficial but I bought Mexico: The Cookbook (order in the US or UK) by Margarita Carrillo Arronte because the dust cover is worth the money alone. Luckily it’s also one of the most complete cookbooks on Mexican cooking and I’ve had many a good meal because of it.

On orange plate with a slice of pastel tres leches with milk seeping out of it and a bamboo knife to the front of the image, on a soft pink background.

Raspberries and milk crumbs

Originally this cake is made with strawberries, but I’m a big raspberry fan so I used raspberries. I also thought it’d be fun to try and add a little extra texture to the cake in the shape of milk crumbs from Christina Tosi‘s All About Cake (order in the US or UK). But you do you.

The cookbook All About Cake by Christina Tosi with an orange plate with a wedge of pastel tres leches in front of it.

On orange plate with a slice of pastel tres leches with milk seeping out of it and a bamboo knife to the front of the image, on a soft pink background.

Pastel tres leches - Mexican Three-Milk Cake

Dorothy Porker
A recipe for the best cake ever: Mexican pastel tres leches, from Mexico: The Cookbook, with the addition of Christina Tosi's milk crumbs (which you can totally skip should you be so inclined).
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 1 hr
Course Birthdays, Dessert
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 8 - 10 people


  • Oven
  • Sheet pan
  • Parchment x2
  • Small bowl
  • Round cake pan ⌀ 11" - 28 cm
  • Large bowl x2
  • Sieve
  • Small bowls x2 to separate eggs
  • Metal serving spoon
  • Food processor or blender
  • Large rimmed plate or cake plateau
  • Heatproof bowl
  • Saucepan that the heatproof bowl can sit on comfortably
  • Handmixer
  • Spatula
  • Blow torch


To make the milk crumbs, for added texture (optional)

  • 1/2 c - 40 g milk powder
  • 1/4 c - 40 g flour
  • 2 T - 30 g extra fine sugar
  • 1 T - 15 g corn flour
  • 1/2 t - 2 g salt
  • 4 T - 55 g butter melted - unsalted (or skip the salt above)
  • 1/4 c - 20 g milk powder
  • 3 oz - 90 g white chocolate melted

To make the pastel tres leches

    For the cake

    • butter for greasing the cake pan
    • 2 1/2 c - 275 g flour
    • 1 T - 15 g baking powder
    • 8 large eggs yolks and whites separated
    • 1 1/2 c - 230 g extra fine sugar
    • 1 T - 15 ml vanilla extract
    • 4 T - 60 ml milk
    • 2 c - 240 g strawberries raspberries or other slightly more tangy soft fruits work well too

    For the cream

    • 1 can condensed milk 14 oz - 395 g
    • 1 can evaporated milk 5 oz - 150 ml
    • 1/2 c - 150 ml single cream
    • 3 egg yolks whites set aside for the meringue coating
    • 1-2 T - 15-30 ml brandy I used rum cause that's what I had - if you're feeding kids use 1 T - 15 ml of vanilla essence instead

    For the meringue

    • 3 egg whites set aside from when you made the cream
    • 1/2 c - 100 g extra fine sugar
    • juice of 1/2 lemon
    • 2 T - 30 ml golden (corn) syrup


    Make the milk crumbs (optional)

    • Preheat your oven to 120° C - 250° F and line a baking sheet with parchment.
    • In a small bowl, mix all dry the ingredients together except for the 4 T - 55 g of melted butter, 1/4 c - 20 g of milk powder and 3 oz - 90 g of white chocolate.
    • Now add the 4 T - 55 g of melted butter and stir until the mixture comes together in small clumps.
    • Spread the clumps out onto the prepared baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes until dry and sandy and leave to cool completely.
    • Once the clusters have cooled completely toss with the remainder of the 1/4 c - 20 g of milk powder.
    • Melt 3 oz - 90 g of white chocolate and toss to coat. If you toss this every 5 minutes or so until dry the milk crumbs should develop a nice even layer of white chocolate.
    • Store in the fridge or freezer in an airtight container until ready to use.

    Now make the pastel tres leches

      First, make the cake

      • Preheat your oven to 180° C - 350° F. Line the bottom of the cake pan with parchment and grease the sides with a little butter.
      • Run 2 1/2 c - 275 g of flour and 1 T - 15 g of baking powder through a sieve into a bowl and set aside.
      • In a separate bowl, whisk 8 egg yolks with 1 1/2 c - 230 g of extra fine sugar and 1 T - 15 ml of vanilla extract until ribbons form.
      • Now, in small portions, gently fold the flour and baking powder mixture through the yolks and sugar, alternating with 4 T - 60 ml of milk.
      • In another bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form, then gently fold these egg whites into the egg-sugar-flour mixture. This is best achieved in small portions with a metal serving spoon, taking one scoop of fluffy egg whites at a time, folding them in until almost fully incorporated, before folding in the next scoop. You really want to be gentle here so you don't knock the air out.
      • Pour the batter into the cake pan and bake for 40-50 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.

      Make the cream

      • Place all the ingredients for the cream into a food processor or blender and blend until thoroughly mixed. If you are planning to feed kids, please use 1 T - 15 ml of vanilla essence instead of 1-2 T - 15-30 ml of liquor.

      Back to the cake

      • Once a toothpick has come out clean from the center of the cake, remove the cake from the oven and leave to cool for 10 minutes before removing from the pan.*
      • Cut the cake in two layers while it's still warm and slice the outer top crust off the top layer of the cake, this will make for easier soaking (if you zoom in on my photo you'll see the top layer is relatively dry.
      • Place the bottom layer on a rimmed plate or cake plateau (I say rimmed because this cake will leak) and divide 2 c - 450 g of strawberries and the milk bar crumbs (if using) across the bottom layer before placing the top layer of cake back on top.
      • Pour the cream all over the cake, making sure you hit all the areas of the cake. Ideally the cake is still a little warm when you do this.

      Now make the meringue

      • Place the whites of 3 eggs, 1/2 c - 100 g of extra fine sugar, the juice of 1/2 lemon and 2 T - 30 ml of golden (corn) syrup in a heat proof bowl and place on top of pan with barely simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl doesn't touch the water.
      • Whisk vigorously using a hand mixer until the mixture becomes fluffy. Remove the bowl from the pan and keep going until a meringue forms, this should take 5 minutes or so. It'll still look a little floppy but will hold fine on the sides of the cake.
      • Use a spatula to cover the cake in whatever look you fancy. slapdash, prim and proper, what have you, and burn the meringue with a blowtorch to your desired level of browning. Dig in.


      • The milk crumbs will keep for 1 month in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer.
      • The cake will keep for 3 days or so in an airtight container in the fridge. 
      * The book says you should 'leave the cake to cool completely' but then later says you should soak in the cream while the cake is still hot, so I'm doing a bit of both. 
      Keyword all about cake, cake, christina tosi, dessert, margarita carrillo arronte, Mexican food, milkbar, tres leches

      Zoek je dit recept in het Nederlands? Ga dan naar vettesletten.nl voor pastel tres leches, Mexicaanse drie-melken cake.

      Banana Green Curry Cake

      My sister-in-law (not by law but let’s not get into the details here) gave me her copy of Christina Tosi’s All About Cake. As happens to all of us, she got it out of excitement for Tosi but then found she didn’t have the time to actually bake from it.

      A guy with ME written above his head, looking at a girl with "A NEW COOKBOOK" written across her and then his angry girlfriend with "THE BOOKS I ALREADY OWN" written across her

      While I side-eyed all the cookbooks (and books-books) I have that I haven’t cooked from yet, I promised I’d bake from this book. Since it is my goal to bake more this year and since I love Tosi this shouldn’t a problem (remind me of this later).

      We’ve got the funk: green curry in cake? Hell yeah!

      As someone who is more savory than sweet and a lover of funky flavors, the first thing that caught my eye was this Banana Green Curry pound cake with black pepper butter. I turned it into a Bundt cake because I don’t have a loaf pan.

      The cover of All About Cake by Christina Tosi

      This cake is not as funky as the name would have it. It’s more sweet with spicy undertones, which is perfect for people just getting into the funk. I might add a bit more green curry the next time I make this, because why the fuck not?

      Tosi says you can toast it as well, but I found my cake was gone before I could try that.

      A word on Christina Tosi recipes

      Tosi’s recipes always sound very intimidating because she uses a lot of ingredients. Beyond those ingredient lists I’ve found most of her cakes are still your basic “mix your wets and dries separately, then together and then bake”-bakes. So take a deep breath, go for a shop and dig in.

      A banana curry cake surrounded by Haribo candy bananas and the book All About Cake by Christina Tosi

      Banana curry cake from Christina Tosi's All About Cake

      Dorothy Porker
      This banana green curry cake is lush and moist with a nice little kick at the end.
      Prep Time 15 mins
      Cook Time 1 hr
      Course Birthdays, Dessert, Party snack
      Cuisine American, Fusion
      Servings 8


      • Oven
      • Bundt or loaf shape cake pan
      • Small bowl x2
      • Fork
      • Large bowls x2
      • Whisk
      • Wire rack


      • 2 medium - 280 gr ripe bananas ripe as in oozing out of their skins ripe

      Wet ingredients

      • 12 T - 170 gr butter melted
      • 3/4 c - 165 gr sour cream
      • 1 T - 18 gr Thai green curry paste
      • 1/2 t - 2 gr banana extract
      • 2 large eggs
      • 1 large egg yolk this is just the yolk from a large egg

      Dry ingredients

      • 1 c - 200 gr sugar
      • 1 c - 135 gr all purpose flour
      • 1 c - 120 gr cake flour see instructions below if you can't find this
      • 1 1/2 T - 6 gr baking powder
      • 1 t - 6 gr baking soda
      • 1 1/4 t - 5 gr salt

      For the black pepper butter, optional

      • 7 T - 95 gr butter softened
      • 3 t - 10 gr sugar
      • 1 t - 4 gr salt
      • 1 1/2 t - 3.5 gr black pepper freshly ground


      To make your own cake flour

      • If you cannot find American cake flour, you can make your own by blending together 1 c - 125 grams of plain flour with 1 T - 15 grams of corn flour. This makes little over 1 cup, so for this recipe you will need to make 4 batches of cake flour and you’ll be left with a little extra for another day.

      To make the cake

      • Preheat your oven to roughly 350° F/ 160° C. Grease and dust whichever pan you're using for this.
      • Place 2 very ripe bananas in a small bowl and mash with a fork.
      • Now whisk together the 12 T - 170 gr of melted butter, 3/4 c - 165 gr of sour cream, 1 T - 18 gr of curry paste, 1/2 t - 2 gr of banana extract, 2 large eggs and 1 large egg yolk in a large bowl. Add the bananas and stir to combine.
      • Mix together 1 c - 200 gr of sugar, 1 c - 135 gr of all purpose and 1 c - 120 gr of cake flour with 1 1/2 tsp - 5 gr of baking powder, 1 tsp - 6 gr of baking soda and 1 1/4 tsp - 5 gr of salt in another large bowl. Pour the wet ingredients in with the dry and stir to combine. Use a whisk to break up any lumps.
      • Finally pour the combined batter into your greased and dusted cake pan. Bake the cake for 60 minutes or so, until the cake rises and puffs. Tap the top of your cake with your fingertips. If the cake bounces back firmly and the center is no longer jiggly, the cake should be done. If it does not pass this test, give it another 5 to 10 minutes and then try again.
      • Let the cake cool in the pan for at least 45 minutes, before turning it over onto a wire rack and allowing it to cool completely. While you try your patience you can make the black pepper butter.

      To make the black pepper butter, optional

      • Mix together 7 T - 95 gr of softened butter with 3 t - 10 gr of sugar, 1 t - 4 gr of salt and 1 1/2 t - 3.5 gr of freshly ground black pepper until airy.


      The cake will keep in your fridge in an airtight container or wrapped in clingfilm for 1 week.
      The black pepper butter will last for roughly 1 month in the fridge, and is a great excuse to bake a second cake.
      Keyword all about cake, american cakes, christina tosi, milk bar

      Zoek je dit recept in het Nederlands? Ga dan naar VetteSletten.nl voor Christina Tosi’s bananencake met groene curry.

      Christina Tosi’s Cherry Cola Cake

      I was a huge fan of Lucky Peach, the literary food mag founded by Dave Chang and Peter Meehan, and am still upset it’s gone. Any time I’m in a bookstore I’ll literally stare at the food magazines and hope it’s there.

      When they folded I back-ordered all the issues and books I could find, and a friend donated some of the early issues she had. I’ve received another issue via Instagram, and then one more via eBay. So now I am only missing issue 1.

      The cover of the suburbs issue from Lucky Peach

      Like Playboy for food lovers

      Mind you, for all those years reading and loving LP I barely cooked any recipes from it. Not unlike Playboy I mainly read LP for the articles. The recipes just seemed too… hard? But now that it’s gone and I can’t procrastinate by reading more, I’m slowly getting into the swing of things.

      Not as hard as you think

      First up: Christina Tosi’s cherry cola Bundt cake, from the suburbs issue (#23). A recipe that I think it also a part of her new book, All About Cake. This cake is a lot easier than the long list of ingredients would have you believe. I kind of fucked up the glaze but since I’m not much of a baker to begin with, so having this cake turn out a moist treat was an achievement enough on its own.

      Unnaturally delicious

      Note that people who consider themselves fancy might find this cake a bit off putting as there is nothing natural about cherry cola. Strangely the glaze tasted faintly of stroop susu. An Indonesian rose flavored syrup I adore. So for me it’s definite keeper.

      A cherry cola Bundt cake surrounded by slices of cake, a magazine, a pink butter dish and an empty can of cherry cola

      Christina Tosi's cherry cola cake

      Dorothy Porker
      Delicious moist zingy Bundt cake, based on a recipe by Christina Tosi for Lucky Peach. Now also available in her All About Cake book.
      Prep Time 1 hr
      Cook Time 1 hr
      Course Dessert, Party snack, Treat
      Cuisine American
      Servings 10


      • Microwave
      • Microwavable bowl x 2
      • Blender
      • Oven
      • Mixing bowl x 3
      • Whisk
      • Bundt cake shape (Ø 10"/ 26 cm)
      • Wire rack
      • Baking sheet
      • Parchment or other lining


      For the cherry puree, you can also use store bought if you can find it

      • 1/4 c+ 2 T - 115 gr sugar
      • pinch salt
      • 1/4 c - 60 ml water
      • 15 oz - 450 gr cherries pitted, fresh or frozen both work
      • 1 T - 15ml lemon juice

      To prepare your cake pan

      • melted butter for coating the cake pan
      • flour for dusting the cake pan

      Wet cake ingredients

      • 16 T - 230 gr unsalted butter melted
      • 2/3 c+1 T - 150 gr cherry cola
      • 2/3 c - 150 gr cherry puree store bought is also fine
      • 1/2 c - 100 gr neutral oil
      • 2 T - 30 gr molasses I use Dutch stroop as molasses is hard to find here
      • 2 1/2 t - 10 gr vanilla extract
      • 2 1/2 t - 10 gr cola extract
      • 5 large eggs
      • 2 large egg yolks

      Dry cake ingredients

      • 2 1/4 c - 450 gr sugar
      • 1/3 c+2 T - 100 gr light brown sugar
      • 3 1/2 c - 450 gr cake flour see instructions below if you can't find this
      • 2 t - 8 gr baking powder
      • 2 t - 8 gr salt

      For the glaze

      • 2.1 oz - 60 gr cream cheese
      • 2 T - 30 gr butter
      • 1 1/2 c - 180 gr powdered sugar
      • 2 T - 30 gr cherry cola
      • 1/2 t - 2 g cola extract
      • 1/4 t - 1 g vanilla extract
      • 1/8 t - 0.5 gr salt
      • red food coloring optional


      Make the cherry puree, if not using store-bought

      • You can make this up to a week ahead of time and keep it in an airtight container in the fridge.
      • Combine 1/4 c + 2 tbsp - 115 gr of sugar, a pinch of salt and 1/4 c - 60 ml of water in a microwave proof bowl and microwave at full power for about 30 seconds.
      • Remove from the microwave stir until all the sugar and salt has dissolved.
      • Pour the mixture into a blender, adding 15 oz - 450 grams of cherries and 1 T - 15 ml of lemon juice before blending until smooth. Leave to cool.

      Make the cake

      • If you cannot find American cake flour, you can make your own by blending together 1 c - 125 grams of plain flour with 1 T - 15 grams of corn flour. For this recipe you will need to make 4 batches of cake flour and you’ll be left with a little extra for another project.
      • To make the cake preheat your oven at 180° C/ 360° F. Lightly coat the inside of your Bundt pan with melted butter and a light dusting of flour.
      • In a bowl combine 16 T - 230 gr of melted butter, 2/3 c + 1 T- 150 gr of cherry cola, 2/3 c - 150 gr of cherry puree, 1/2 c - 100 gr of neutral oil, 2 T - 30 gr of molasses, 2 1/2 t - 10 gr of cola and vanilla extracts each, 5 large eggs and 2 yolks and whisk until smooth.
      • In another bowl rub together 3 1/2 c - 450 gr of sugar with 1/3 c + 2 tbsp - 100 gr of light brown sugar until there are no more lumps. Add 3 1/2 c - 450 gr of cake flour, 2 t - 8 gr of baking powder and salt each and stir to combine.
      • Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk until smooth.
      • Pour the batter into the cake pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. This should take about 1 hour. Place the cake on a wire rack and leave to cool for 5 minutes before turning the cake over, removing the Bundt pan and allowing to cool completely.

      Make the glaze

      • Do NOT start this process until your cake is fully cooled.
      • Combine 2.1 oz - 60 gr of cream cheese with 2 T - 30 gr of butter in a microwave proof bowl and heat together in the microwave for about 30 seconds.
      • Once removed from the microwave stir together until smooth.
      • Move the cream cheese/ butter mixture to a larger bowl and whisk in 1 1/2 c - 180 gr powdered sugar, 2 T - 30 gr cherry cola, 1/2 T - 2 gr cola extract, 1/4 t - 1 gr vanilla extract, 1/4 t - 0.5 gr salt and 1 or 2 drops of red food coloring (if using).

      Combine powers

      • Place your completely cooled cake on a lined baking sheet with the rack and drizzle over the glaze.
      • There are different theories on how to properly glaze a Bundt cake. Some people think you should only let it drizzle along the crevices, others like a full coat. I’m a glutton of course but you do you.


      This cake should keep in a closed container in the fridge for 3-5 days.
      Keyword american cakes, cherry cola, christina tosi, fish cakes, lucky peach, milk bar, milkbar

      Zoek je dit recept in het Nederlands? Ga dan naar VetteSletten.nl voor Christina Tosi’s cherry cola Bundt cake.