This gorgeous light vanilla sponge cake and tres leche mixture gets a makeover. With subtle hints of saffron and cardamom infused into the sweet milky syrup this cake is heaven on a platter.

I used mini bundt cake moulds for the cake but even baking on a sheet pan would be just fine.

Here’s how you can make it.

Chai Tres leche cake


For the Sponge Cake

1 cup flour

1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

5 eggs, yolks separated

1/2 cup of sugar, divided

2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/3 cup full cream milk

For the Three Milks mixture

1 cup evaporated milk

1 can sweetened condensed milk

1/4 cup Cream

1/4 cup full cream milk Milk

1 teaspoon crushed cardamom

Tiny pinch of saffron


Pistachios, chopped or slivered


1. Preheat your oven to 175 °C. Generously grease a large square or moulds.

2. In a bowl, combine flour, salt and baking powder, whisk and set aside.

3. In a large bowl, beat egg yolks and ¼ cup sugar until frothy and pale yellow. Stir in the milk and vanilla extract. Add in the flour mixture to the egg yolk mixture and stir until just combined.

4. Beat egg whites on high speed. When soft peaks begin to form, add in the sugar while simultaneously beating the mixture. Beat the egg whites until stiff, glossy peaks are formed.

5. Gently fold the egg whites into the batter. Pour batter into the prepared cake tin/mould and even out the surface. Bake for 35 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes and then turn it over on to a rimmed platter/ storage container. Leave to cool.

For the tres leche mixture

1. While the cake is baking, bring the cream, evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk and whole milk to a slow boil. Take it off the heat.

2. Use about two tablespoons of hot milk to soak the saffron strands for 10 minutes. Then add the saffron back to the milk mixture.

3. Add in the crushed cardamom, cover the pot and allow the flavours of saffron and cardamom to infuse into the milks as the mixture cools.

How to assemble

Once the cake has cooled completely, use a skewer or fork to pierce the cake surface all over. Then, slowly drizzle the three milks mixture on top of the cake, Leave aside for 30 minutes to set.

2. You could also beat whipping cream and sugar on high speed until soft peaks form and the cream is of frosting consistency and smooth over the surface of the cake after pouring over the mixture.

3. Finish off with pistachios. Chill for a few hours.

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