Chocolate Tres Leches Cake

This Chocolate Tres Leches Cake is a chocolate lover’s dream. This moist, tender chocolate poke cake is drenched in a rich chocolate sauce and topped with chocolate frosting for the ultimate chocolate treat.

slice of chocolate tres leches cake on a plate

If you read our site at all, you know we love our poke cakes. You also know we love to get creative with them. This time around, we combined classic tres leches cake with the equally classic poke cake process to create an ultra-moist chocolate cake that always has everyone coming back for seconds and thirds!

uncut chocolate tres leches cake in a baking dish.

❤️ Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • It uses simple baking ingredients found in your kitchen or your local grocery store.
  • It’s a super easy recipe that takes very little effort.
  • It’s a chocolate lover’s dream with chocolate cake, chocolate sauce, and chocolate frosting.
  • It’s a great weeknight dessert or addition to any party.


bowls of ingredients needed to make chocolate tres leches cake on a counter.

You’ll only need a few simple baking ingredients to make this recipe, and you’ll find them all either in your kitchen or with one quick trip to the grocery store.

Everything you need to make this cake is listed right here, but you’ll find the exact amounts in the recipe card at the end of the post.

For the Cake

  • Flour
  • Cocoa powder
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Salt
  • Oil
  • Eggs
  • Whole milk
  • Vanilla
  • Sugar

Chocolate Sauce

  • Sweetened condensed milk
  • Heavy cream
  • Chocolate milk

For the Frosting

  • Heavy cream
  • Powdered sugar
  • Vanilla
  • Cocoa powder

🔪 How to Make Chocolate Tres Leches Cake

Making this cake is a very straightforward affair. If you can mix ingredients and use the oven, you can easily make this cake!

Step 1: Prep

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9×13 baking dish with non-stick spray. Set aside.

Step 2: Combine the Dry Cake Ingredients

Whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.

Step 3: Combine the Wet Cake Ingredients

Whisk the oil, eggs, milk, vanilla, and sugar in a large bowl until well combined.

cake batter being whisked in a glass baking dish.

Step 4: Make the Cake Batter

Add the dry ingredients to the wet, mixing as you go until the batter is fully mixed.

cake batter being poured into a baking dish.

Step 5: Bake

Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish and bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Step 6: Cool

Remove the cake from the oven and place it on a wire cooling rack. Cool for 15 to 20 minutes.

Step 7: Poke

After the cake has cooled a bit, run a knife along the edge between the cake and the pan. Then, use the knife to poke holes all over the cake.

three milk being poured on top of the cake in a baking dish.

Step 8: Make the Chocolate Sauce

While the cake cools, whisk the sweetened condensed milk, heavy cream, and chocolate milk in a bowl. Pour the mixture over the entire cake after poking holes in it, and let it sit in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

cocoa powder being dusted on top of a cake.

Step 9: Make the Frosting

Beat the heavy cream, powdered sugar, vanilla, and cocoa powder until stiff peaks form. Then, spread the frosting evenly over the entire cake. Dust with cocoa powder and sprinkle chocolate chips on top, then slice and serve.


Do you want to change up this recipe and make it your own? Here are some ways that you can do that!

  • Add a bit of instant coffee to the cake mix for even deeper chocolate flavor.
  • Use dark cocoa powder for a super-deep chocolate flavor.
  • You can use Dutch-processed cocoa powder for a smoother flavor.

If you love rich chocolate cake like this one, check out our chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting.

🥄 Equipment

  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Mixing bowls
  • 9×13 baking dish
  • Wire cooling rack
  • Whisk or hand mixer
  • Knife
slice of chocolate tres leches cake on a plate with a bite missing.

🥫 Storage

Refrigerate your chocolate tres leches cake for up to 3 days in an air-tight container. For longer storage, wrap individual cake slices in plastic wrap, then freeze them for up to 3 months in an air-tight, freezer-safe container.

What to Serve with Chocolate Tres Leches Cake

Serve this cake with a glass of milk for the kiddos or a cup of coffee or tea for the grownups. Its chocolate flavor is also perfect with fresh berries, and it makes a great addition to a larger dessert spread at any gathering.

💭 Tips

  • Bring your eggs and milk to room temperature before mixing the cake batter for the best texture.
  • Keep your holes about an inch apart, and only go about halfway through the cake. This helps the cake hold its shape when it’s sliced.
  • Let your cake chill for at least 2 hours after pouring the chocolate sauce over it. This allows plenty of time for the cake to absorb the sauce and set.
  • Stop beating your frosting as soon as stiff peaks form. Overbeating the frosting can deflate it.

⁉️ FAQ

Do you have questions about this recipe? Here are the answers to the most commonly asked questions.

What is a tres leches cake?

Tres leches translates to “three milks”, which is what a tres leches cake is made with. It’ an ultra-moist sponge or poke cake made with evaporated, condensed, and whole milk.

Why did my poke cake fall apart?

Poking holes too closely together or making holes that are too deep are both the most common reasons a poke cake falls apart. If the holes are too close or deep, the cake can’t hold its shape when it’s sliced.

Why did my whipped cream collapse?

You might think more is better when it comes to beating whipped cream. However, overbeating it actually ends up deflating it. The same process that introduces air into the cream to whip it can actually whip it right out again if you overdo it.

🍽 More Recipes

Do you enjoy cake? Then try these delicious recipes:

🧾Recipe Card

Want to make this recipe? Print the recipe card below, or pin this recipe, so you can find it later.

slice of chocolate tres leches cake on a plate

Chocolate Tres Leches Cake

Chocolate tres leches cake is rich, moist, and tender chocolate poke cake soaked with rich chocolate sauce and topped with chocolate frosting.
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 12 Servings
Calories: 600kcal


  • 9×13 baking dish
  • mixing bowls
  • Whisk
  • Knife
  • Electric mixer


  • 2 cups flour
  • ¾ cup cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 ½ cups sugar

For the pour over mix

  • 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup chocolate milk

For the topping:

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • *Optional garnish: mini chocolate chips and cocoa powder for dusting


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9” x 13” pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
  • In a medium sized bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt together. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk the oil, eggs, milk, vanilla and sugar until well mixed.
  • Add in the dry ingredients to the wet, whisking as you go, until the batter is fully mixed.
  • Pour into the greased baking dish and place in the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Place the cake on a cooling rack and allow to sit for about 15-20 minutes before running a knife along the edges of the cake.
  • Using the same knife, or a small skewer, poke holes around the entire cake.
  • While the cake is cooling, whisk together the sweetened condensed milk, heavy cream and chocolate milk in a bowl. Pour over the entire cake. Place the cake in the refrigerator for up to 2+ hours to allow it to chill and absorb the liquid.
  • In a bowl, beat the heavy cream, powdered sugar, vanilla and cocoa powder until stiff peaks form.
  • Spread the topping in an even layer over the top of the cake.
  • Dust with cocoa powder and sprinkle mini chocolate chips if desired.
  • Slice into squares and enjoy! Store any leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.


Any nutritional data I provide is an approximation and actual dietary information can vary based on ingredients and proportion sizes.


Serving: 1Slice | Calories: 600kcal | Carbohydrates: 76g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 0.04g | Cholesterol: 89mg | Sodium: 497mg | Potassium: 322mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 56g | Vitamin A: 712IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 285mg | Iron: 2mg

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