Kids and adults will love this sweet and creamy treat! This decadent dessert is traditional to most of Latin America. It takes its name from the three different kinds of milk that drench the spongecake. Topped with sweet whipped cream and maraschino cherries, this cake is perfect for a special celebration.

For the spongecake:

  • 6 eggs, separated
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • 3 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract

For the cream:

  • 8 oz. sour cream
  • 1 can (12 oz.) of evaporated milk
  • 1 can (14 oz) of sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

For the topping:

  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup honey
  • ½ cup water
  • A few drops lime juice
  • Maraschino cherries (for decoration)

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Separate the egg whites and set aside yolks for later.  In a mixing bowl, beat the egg whites first at low speed and then increase the speed to high until soft peaks form. Add the sugar gradually, letting it dissolve well before adding more, and beat until firm. Add the egg yolks one by one, beating well after each addition.
  3. Mix the flour with the baking powder and add to the mixture, alternating with adding the milk. This operation has to be done quickly or the batter will lose its lightness. Finally, add the vanilla.
  4. Grease and flour a 9- by 13-inch glass baking dish. Pour the batter in the dish and bake for 35 minutes (45 minutes if you are using a metal pan). It’s done when a fork or toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  5. While the cake is baking, prepare the cream by mixing all the ingredients together in a blender on low speed.
  6. When the cake is finished baking, stab it with a fork all over. (This process will make the cream soak in more thoroughly.) While the sponge cake is still warm, pour the cream over it.
  7. In a small saucepan bring the sugar, water, and lemon to boil until it starts to caramelize (You can test this by taking a little bit of the sugar water and dropping it in a cup of cold water. It’s done if it solidifies).
  8. For the frosting, beat the egg whites until they form peaks. Continue beating the egg whites while slowly pouring in the caramelized mixture. Add the honey. The frosting should have a soft marshmallow consistency and appearance.
  9. Once the soaked spongecake is at room temperature, let it cool in the refrigerator. Once cool, spread frosting onto cake and decorate with maraschino cherries.
  10. Refrigerate finished cake and serve very cold.

Makes 24 servings.

Family Cooking Tips:
Much of this recipe is best suited for adults and some older kids since making the spongecake requires quick, precise actions. However, older kids may be able separate the egg yolks, but this can be tricky. Have them try one or two and see how it goes.

For the cream, kids can pour all the ingredients in blender bowl to be beaten. Kids should stay away from the hot saucepan while the caramelized mixture is being made, but they can add the honey and help decide when the frosting has the right consistency.

Younger kids will enjoy stabbing the cake with a fork so the cream can soak in. However, make sure they are gentle so the cake isn’t destroyed. Kids of all ages can frost the cooled cake and decorate it with cherries.


- - -

Tu puedes hacerlo, Sam (Spanish)
by Amy Hest, illustrated by Anita Jeram, translated by Alberto Jimenez Rioja
When Mrs. Bear and little Sam deliver the cakes they have made for their friends in the neighborhood, Sam carries the cakes all by himself, through the snow and up to the front doors. 

La visita del Sr. Azucar (Spanish)
by Harriet Rohmer, illustrated by Enrique Chagoya
Mr. Sugar uses his truck of sweet goodies to lure Alicia and Alfredo away from nutritious foods, but Grandma Lupe is not fooled by him. 

El autobus magico dentro de un pastel: un libro sobre cocina / Magic School Bus Gets Baked In A Cake: A Book About Kitchen Chemistry  (English or Spanish)
Created by Joanna Cole, Created by Bruce Degen
When the class tries to bake a cake for Ms. Frizzle's birthday, they wind up inside it and have some delicious fun learning all about mixtures and reactions that occur when ingredients are combined. 

Happy Mother's Day, Mami! (Dora the Explorer Series)
by Leslie Valdes, illustrated by Jason Fruchter 
"It's Mother's Day! Dora has decided to make a special cake for her mami, but first she must gather all the ingredients..."

How Nanita Learned to Make Flan (English)
by Campbell Geeslin, illustrated by Petra Mathers
Tale of a young girl who makes magic shoes for herself since her cobbler father is too busy to make her any shoes and the adventures the shoes bring to her. 

Eight Animals Bake A Cake (English)
by Susan Elya, illustrated by Lee Chapman
Humorous story in rhyme of eight animals that decide to bake a cake.

Thunder Cake (English only)
by Patricia Polacco
When the air gets heavy and dark clouds drift low over the fields of Grandma's farm, her frightened granddaughter hides under the bed. But Grandma insists that this is Thunder Cake baking weather and the two are soon scrambling to gather the ingredients to make the cake — and get it into the oven before the storm arrives.