Pumpkin Tres Leches


If you’re a fan of traditional tres leches, you’re going to absolutely LOVE this fall version! Soft, moist, and loaded with spiced pumpkin flavor, this pumpkin tres leches is the perfect dessert switch-up for the holidays!

I’m a sucker for pumpkin desserts. I mean, who can blame me? They’re rich, luscious and perfectly spiced! A few more recipes you’ve got to try out this season are pumpkin pudding cake, mini pumpkin cheesecakes, and of course- some classic pumpkin pie! My grandma’s recipe is to die for.


Pumpkin Tres Leches With Spiced Whipped Cream Topping

Tres leches is one of the best desserts out there. I mean, it’s soaked in condensed milk. How could it not be? It’s the textbook definition of rich and indulgent. To be honest, I didn’t think that tres leches could get any better but adding pumpkin really kicks it up a notch.

If you’re looking for a tasty dessert to bring to the holiday dessert table this year, this is it! Pumpkin tres leches is such a fun twist on a classic Mexican dessert. It has the perfect fall flavor! The rich pumpkin cake and spiced whipped cream topping will have you hooked. Because it’s so delicious, I don’t blame you if you want to keep the pan for yourself.

Ingredients You’ll Need

Don’t let this list scare you! Pumpkin tres leches uses a lot of basic baking ingredients to make your life a little easier. Most of them you’ll already have in your pantry! It’s just another reason to make this tasty spiced dessert for the holidays. If you’re looking for measurements, they can all be found below in the recipe card.

Pumpkin Cake Base

  • Flour: All-purpose flour works great here because it has a low protein content. This will make your cake light and fluffy!
  • Baking Powder and Baking Soda: Both are necessary for the perfect rise.
  • Salt: Enhances all of the delicious flavors!
  • Pumpkin Pie Spice: I love adding pumpkin pie spice because it instantly gives desserts that perfect fall flavor. If you’re like me and love making spiced desserts for the holidays, try making your own blend to use in all of your favorite recipes! You can find my full recipe here. (Psst– I also have a great recipe for apple pie spice!)
  • Sugar: I use granulated sugar as well as brown sugar here for some rich, smoky sweetness.
  • Vegetable Oil: Makes the cake nice and moist!
  • Large Eggs: Bind everything together.
  • Vanilla Extract: Use pure vanilla extract if you can because it adds the best flavor!
  • Pumpkin Puree: Because pumpkin is the main flavor here, I recommend making your own puree for best results. If you choose to use canned instead, be sure it’s pure pumpkin puree and not pumpkin pie filling.

Leches Mix

  • Whole Milk: As much as I wish it was, tres leches isn’t the healthiest. You’re going to want all of your dairy to be full-fat for best results.
  • Heavy Cream: For rich flavor and a creamy texture!
  • Sweetened Condensed Milk: If a dessert has condensed milk in it, you know it has to be good.
  • Evaporated Milk: Adds extra creamy goodness!

Spiced Whipped Cream Topping

  • Heavy Whipping Cream: This acts as the base of the topping.
  • Powdered Sugar: Adds sweetness and a silky smooth texture!
  • Vanilla: Another place to use pure vanilla extract if you have it!
  • Spices: I used a little allspice and nutmeg in the topping.

How to Make Pumpkin Tres Leches

You’re going to love making this pumpkin tres leches recipe because it’s so easy! Soft, moist, and loaded with spiced pumpkin flavor, it’s another great thing to add to your holiday dessert lineup.

  1. Preheat Oven, Prep Pan: Preheat oven to 350℉ and grease a 9×13” cake pan.
  2. Mix Dry Ingredients: Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin pie spice. Set aside.
  3. Pumpkin Puree Mixture: In a separate bowl whisk granulated sugar, brown sugar, oil, eggs, and pumpkin puree.
  4. Combine: Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet and whisk to combine.
  5. Bake: Spread your batter into the cake pan evenly and bake for 25-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  6. Poke Holes: Allow the cake to cool for 20-30 minutes and afterward, poke with a fork across the surface of the cake. This will allow the leches mixture to soak in.
  7. Add Tres Leches Mixture: Whisk together all the ingredients for the leches mixture until well combined. Pour the mixture slowly and evenly over your cake, allowing it to seep in completely.
  8. Chill: Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before topping your pumpkin tres leches with spiced whipped cream.

Making the Spiced Whipped Cream

  1. Combine: Using a hand mixer, beat the heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar, vanilla, and spices until stiff peaks form.
  2. Add to Cake: Spread evenly across your cooled cake and dust with cinnamon.

Tips for Making the Best Tres Leches

Here are a couple of simple tips to keep in mind as you make this tasty fall dessert! I know you’re going to love pumpkin tres leches as much as I do. It’s absolutely divine!

  • Add Tres Leches Mixture Slowly: Pouring the leches mixture over your cake should be a slow process. You want to pour it slowly about ¼ cup at a time, allowing it to soak in completely before adding more on. I actually ended up using a syringe to inject it into the cake with half of the leches mixture, so it was a combination of pouring and injecting.
  • Let it Rest: I know it’s so hard to resist having a slice once this tasty cake is made, but it needs plenty of time to rest and chill before it’s ready to eat. I recommend refrigerating your pumpkin tres leches for at least 2 hours before you dig in. This will allow the tasty milk mixture to completely saturate, giving your tres leches its signature moist texture.


Storing Leftovers

Once you have a pan of this scrumptious cake made, it’s likely going to be devoured in an instant. If you’re lucky enough to have some leftovers, here’s how you can keep your pumpkin tres leches tasting fresh and delicious!

  • In the Refrigerator: Store in an airtight container or wrapped with plastic wrap. Pumpkin tres leches will stay good for 4-5 days.