Problems with Rose's Heavenly Cakes Tres Leches recipe



I'm having trouble with my tres leches cake from Rose's Heavenly Cakes (pp 211-213).  The problem I keep having (9 attempts so far) is that it's not rising, at least not enough.  Rather than rising to (or near to) the top of my 9" springform pan, it's rising maybe 1", 2" at best.  Not enough.  It's still a brick.  Best I can tell is that while folding in the flour, my batter goes rapidly from light and airy to pancake batter.  I tried 3 times as written, to no avail.  I then tried cream of tartar (3/4 tsp), and no deal.  I tried not using the non-stick w/flour spray, and it stuck to the pan, and no luck.  I tried separating the whites and yokes, beating them separately, and no luck.  Finally, I tried separating them, adding the flour (closer to 1 cup than the prescribed 2 cups), to the yokes, but it made mortar.  And I couldn't even get the flour to fold.
I am a chemist by trade, so my cleanliness is impeccable, both with removing any grease or fat from my tools, as well as soap residue.  I live in Norfolk, VA, so it's always muggy, but it hasn't rained or anything in a week or so.  I don't open the door to the oven until it's done baking, and a wooden toothpick always comes out cleanly.  The taste is fine, but the height, and therefore the absorbancy, are all wrong. 
I'm at a loss.  I've been changing one variable at a time, trying to get something to work, but the best I've done so far is when I separated the eggs, added 1/4 of the sugar to the whites, 3/4 to the yokes, folded them together after beating, then folding in about a cup of flour.  That got me 3/4 up the side of the pan, my best results yet.
Any help is greatly appreciated.
Joined Feb 13, 2008
Some, most even, tres leches cakes are very dense.  The idea is that the soaked cake is more like a custard than a fluffy cake.  Your recipe may be intentionally dense, or could be bogus altogether.  

Maybe you could try a recipe with a lighter cake.  How does this recipe stack up against yours?



I like the recipe but not the lack of quantities.  That in mind, I stole the methods, and included the 1/2 cup of whole milk to the batter and did get more rise.  I didn't add baking powder, since my original recipe doesn't call for it, and the other recipe doesn't give amounts. 
I wonder if one of the problems I had was measuring the flour before sifting...
Anyway, I got a workable cake last night and plan on eating it tonight after dinner.  Fingers crossed.
Joined Mar 25, 2011
First, don't use a springform pan. use a regular 9 inch cake pan. Second, probably your problem is that you are overworking the batter when you fold in the flour. I have made this cake numerous times to rave reviews and always have a perfect cake. When you fold in the flour, be very gentle but firm. I find that if you follow her directions EXACTLY you should never have a problem. 
Joined Apr 6, 2010
What type of yeast are you using? dry and or active, one you do not have to bloom the other has to be bloomed. Inown this sounds wierd but double check the yeast.
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