Pumpkin Spice Amaretto Tres Leches Cake! A light and airy pumpkin spice sponge cake soaked with three milks and amaretto, then topped with cinnamon amaretto whipped cream. A deliciously boozy cake that will warm you up on a cool Fall evening.
Tres Leches was the cake I made for my husband on the first birthday we celebrated together in 2012 and this has been a staple dessert ever since. It’s such a versatile cake because different flavors can be added to the milks or the sponge cake. Like an Oreo cake with cookies and cream milks poured over, or what about a Mexican Hot Chocolate Tres Leches; chocolate cake spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg and a pinch of cayenne and topped with spice infused chocolate milks? Oh, oh, how good would it be to do a coffee and Bailey’s Tres Leches? I think the possibilities are endless.
Time for a quick lesson that took me years to realize: One of the important aspects of Tres Leches is that you cannot use regular cake. Of course it will still taste delicious because cake and decadent milks will be good no matter how it’s served, but, a really quality Tres Leches is made with a sponge or chiffon cake that is on the airier/drier side and can absorb all the liquid you are pouring into it without becoming TOO mushy. There is a definite difference on the end result of a Tres Leches made with classic moist cake and sponge cake. After 24 hours of soaking, a regular cake would really turn to mushy, slop. Albeit delicious slop, it became a dessert you’d scoop into a bowl rather than slice.
The goal is a refreshing creamy dreamy cake that is perfectly balanced between the airy sponge cake and the moisture from the milks.
Fall inspired light and airy Tres Leches cake full of Pumpkin Spice flavor and fragrant Amaretto.
For the Tres Leches Cake:
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon Pumpkin Pie Spice
- 1 cup sugar
- ¾ cup vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 cups 100% Pumpkin puree, liquid removed through cheesecloth (one 15-ounce can Libbey’s)
- 4 large eggs, room temp
- 12 ounces evaporated milk (1 standard can)
- 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk (1 standard can)
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 2/3 cup Disaronno Amaretto (or less if preferred)
For the spiced whipped cream:
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon Disaronno Amaretto
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9×13 inch sheet pan. In a medium bowl, whisk together all of your dry ingredients for the cake. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer combine the sugar, oil, vanilla, and strained pumpkin puree. Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition.
Add the flour mixture a little at a time to the wet ingredients. Spread batter evenly onto the prepared pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.
Allow the cake to cool for 1 hour. Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, whisk together the three milks and Amaretto. Poke holes all over the surface layer of the cake with a fork (I did it about 80 times). Pour it very slowly over the cake, allowing it to seep in. Cover and refrigerate the cake overnight.
- Once you are ready to serve, prepare whipped cream by beating the cream until it begins to thicken. Add the powdered sugar, cinnamon and amaretto. Continue to beat until peaks form. Spread evenly over the cake until it looks pretty. Then sift cinnamon over the top of the cake and serve.
- Finally, prepare the spiced cream. Beat the cream, sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla in an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until peaks form. Spread evenly over the cake, slice, and serve.