Cinco de Mayo is the HOTTEST celebration this spring and you won't want to miss out on all of the fiesta fun. Queso and a spicy margarita are a must and I don't think it's possible to throw a party without cake! Whether you're singing happy birthday or having a family get-together, cake is the perfect treat and this cinnamon tres leches cake with homemade whipped cream, juicy strawberries, and crisp apples is sure to become a crowd favorite.
This cake is so moist that a cup of milk is not needed. I hate when I'm at a celebration and someone is serving dry cake. I do my best to maximize my icing to cake ration but there's almost no way to finish a piece unless you've received one of the four magical corner pieces or a refreshing glass of milk. This tres leches cake stands out among any store-bought creation and if the moist cake isn't enough, there's also homemade whipped cream - yum!
The best part about this cake has to be the toppings! Blueberries and strawberries are my favorite berries to enjoy with smooth and creamy tres leches, but I'm so proud of myself for experimenting with blackberries and apples. The tartness of the blackberries and the crisp apples balance out the sweetness from the strawberries and blueberries. You have to fit cake, whipped cream, berries, and a slice of apple on your fork to create the perfect bite!
20 California Giant strawberries, stems removed, thinly sliced and fanned out
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Heat a large saute pan over medium heat and melt 4 T butter. Add cinnamon, stir, and then add diced apples and saute for 2 ½ minutes. Let cool slightly.
Use just the cake mix packet from the box, pour each packet into a large mixing bowl. Into the first bowl, whisk together with 3 eggs and ½ cup water for 1 ½ minutes until smooth (or can use an electric mixer on medium speed). Repeat with second bowl.
Spray 2 9x13 pans with nonstick spray and then lightly flour one, and line the other with parchment paper so that all sides are covered by one piece (the nonstick spray will help the parchment stick to the sides of the pan and make easier to handle)
Pour the two batters into a separate prepared pan and then divide and sprinkle cinnamon apples over top of batter.
Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick placed in the center of the cakes comes out clean.
Let cool completely.
Meanwhile, whisk together sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk until well combined.
Beat together heavy cream, powdered sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon on medium speed until soft peaks form.
Carefully remove the one cake by grabbing the sides of the parchment paper and pulling it out of pan. Using both hands, gently place the second cake on top of the other. Using a skewer or tip of knife, poke small holes all over the cake and then slowly pour the other ½ of the milk mixture over top.
Let cake cool in refrigerator for 2 hours and soak up the liquid. After 2 hours, spoon any excess liquid back over top of the cake and then spread a thick layer of whipped cream on top. Have fun with your berries and make fun designs with fanned out strawberries over top of the whipped cream and then allow the cake to chill for another 2 hours. It’s even better if you let sit overnight!
*Simple version: Bake 2 boxes together in one deep 9x13 pan and then soak with full amount of milk mixture. Top with whipped cream and strawberries.