Immensely well-loved in Latin America, a recipe for this wonderfully milky cake appeared on the label of Nestle’s sweetened condensed milk cans in the 1940s, possible explaining why its popularity has spread so widely in this part of the world.    






Skill level

Average: 3.2 (194 votes)


Sponge cake

  • 5 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp natural vanilla essence or extract
  • 220 g (1 cup) caster sugar
  • 125 g butter, melted
  • 150 g (1 cup) plain flour
  • 75 g (½ cup) self-raising flour


Milk mixture

  • 395 g tin sweetened condensed milk
  • 150 ml evaporated milk
  • 250 ml (1 cup) full-cream milk

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Chilling time 3 hours or overnight

Cooling time 2 hours

Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced). Grease a 20 cm x 30 cm (base measurement) shallow cake tin or lamington pan and line the base and two longs sides with one piece of non-stick baking paper.

Use an electric mixer with a whisk attachment, whisk the eggs and vanilla on high speed until combined. Gradually add the sugar, about ¼ cup at a time, whisking well after each addition. Once all the sugar has been added, whisk on high for a further 4 minutes or until the mixture is very thick and a ribbon trail forms when the whisk is lifted. Reduce the mixer speed to low and gradually add the melted butter, whisking until just incorporated. Sift together the plain and self-raising flours. Add to the egg mixture in three separate batches, whisking on low speed between each addition until just combined and scraping the bottom of the bowl when necessary to make sure all the flour is incorporated.

Pour batter into the prepared tin and gently tap it on the bench three times to remove any excess air bubbles. Bake in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or until the cake is firm when touched in the centre and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Just before the sponge is ready, make the Milk mixture by combining the sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk and milk in and bowl and stirring with a balloon whisk until well combined. Transfer to a jug.

Remove the sponge from the oven and stand in the tin for 3 minutes before inverting onto a tray with a lip. Use a skewer to prick holes all over the surface of the cake and all the way through. Pour the milk mixture evenly and slowly over the warm cake, allowing it to soak it up. Stand at room temperature until cool (this will take about 2 hours) and then refrigerate, uncovered, for 3 hours or overnight. Cut into pieces to serve (see Baker’s tips).


Baker’s tips

• For an extra rich cake you can top it with 375 ml (1½ cups) thickened cream that has been whisked to soft peaks with 2 tablespoons of sifted icing sugar and 1 teaspoon of natural vanilla essence or extract before serving.

• This cake will keep covered in the fridge for up to 3 days.


Anneka's mission is to connect home cooks with the magic of baking, and through this, with those they love. Read our interview with her or for hands-on baking classes and baking tips, visit her at BakeClub. Don't miss what's coming out of her oven via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest


Photography by Alan Benson. Styling by Sarah O’Brien. Food preparation by Kerrie Ray.


For more recipes, view our online column, Bakeproof: Latin American cakes.