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rasmalai tres leches cake
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4.16 from 79 votes

Rasmalai Tres Leches Cake

Cardamom scented creamy ricotta whipped cream slathered on a sponge cake that is soaked in saffron infused milks! Rasmalai Tres Leches cake is the ultimate dessert mashup of Indian rasmalai and Mexican Tres Leches cake. 
Prep Time1 hr
Cook Time25 mins
Resting time1 d
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: rasmalai cake, rasmalai tres leches cake
Servings: 12
Author: Maria Doss


Cardamom Cake

  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 and ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • teaspoon cream of tarter
  • ¾ cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
  • cup milk

Saffron milk

  • 2 healthy pinches saffron threads
  • 1 and ½ cups whole milk
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • 7 ounces sweetened condensed milk (about ½ of 14 ounce can)

Ricotta cream

  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1 and ½ cups heavy cream
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 and ¼ tablespoons white vinegar

Ricotta cardamom whipped cream

  • 1 and ½ cups heavy cream
  • ½ cup + 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 and ½ teaspoons cardamom powder

Additional ingredient (optional)

  • chopped raw pistachios



    Make cardamom cake

    • Seperate eggs and place egg whites in a medium bowl and yolks in a large bowl and let come to room temperature, for about 1-2 hours.  (Eggs straight of out of the refrigerator are easier to to seperate when compared to room temperature eggs)
    • Pre heat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9 x 13 inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray and set aside. 
    • Whisk together all purpose flour, baking powder, cardamom powder and salt together in a small bowl and set aside. 
    • Using a hand held electric beater, beat eggs whites and cream of tarter for about 2 minutes, until soft peaks form. Set bowl aside, Rinse and dry beaters thoroughly. 
    • Using the hand held electric beater, beat egg yolks for about 2 minutes, until thick. Add sugar in 3 batches and continue to beat for about 4 more minutes, until thick and falls back as ribbons when beater is lifted. Add milk and beat for a few seconds, until mixed well. 
    • Switch to a rubber spatula and fold in flour mixture in 2 additions. 
      Then, fold in beaten egg whites in 3 additions. (be gentle while folding the whites we don't want to loose all that air). 
    • Pour batter into prepared pan. Spread batter into an even layer. 
      Bake for about 20 minutes, until slightly golden on top and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes clean. 
    • Place pan on a wire rack to cool completely. 

    Make saffron milk

    • When the cake is baking, make safron milk.
    • Let milk come to a boil (either on a stove top or microwave). Take off heat and stir in saffron. Let cool to room temperature. 
    • Mix cooled saffron milk, heavy cream and sweetened condensed milk together until thoroughly combined. 

    Soak cake with saffron milk

    • When cake has cooled completely,  poke holes all over the cake with a toothpick (this will help in the milk seeping into the cake and make it ultra moist).
    • Gently pour saffron milk, all over the cake making sure it is even (else, the cake some part of the cake might be dry when another part is dripping with too much milk). 
      Cover pan with a foil or plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for about 8 hours or overnight. 

    Make ricotta cream

    • Combine milk, cream and salt in a non-stick sauce pan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Turn off stove immediately. Stir in vinegar and let stand for exactly 5 minutes. 
    • Meanwhile, spread cheesecloth or thin kitchen towel on a strainer and place over a bowl. After 5 minutes, pour curdled milk into the cheesecloth lined strainer and let stand for 2 hours, until all whey is separated. Transfer ricotta into a covered container and store in the refrigerator overnight. 


      Make ricotta cardamom whipped cream

      • Place ricotta in a large bowl and beat with a hand held electric beater for about 2 minutes on high to make it creamy (the beater might struggle a little since the ricotta is thick, but just keep it moving around). 
      • Add heavy cream, sugar and cardamom powder and continue to beat until thick frosting consistency. 

      Finish rasmalai tres leches cake

      • Spread ricotta cardamom whipped cream on top of the cake and spread evenly. You can leave as is or swirl around with a clean spoon (to make it like the pictures) or use your favorite method of decorating. 
      • Sprinkle chopped pistachios on top, if required. 
      • Cover pan with a plastic wrap or foil and store in refrgearator. 
      • Rasmalai Tres Leches Cake needs to be always stored in the refrigeartor. 


      • Room temperature eggs - room temperature eggs whip to full volume when compared to cold eggs. But, eggs are easier to be separated when cold. So seperate cold eggs and leave at room temperature for 1-2 hours before making cake. 
      • Use freshly ground cardamom powder. It makes a huge difference! Grind about ¼ cup green cardamoms in a dry grinder, until finely ground. Excess cardamom powder can be stored in a zip lock bag and placed in the freezer for months. 
      • Try to fold egg whites without loosing much of the air. We need all those tine air bubbles intact to soak up the sweet saffron milk. 
      • Make a creamy ricotta - please follow instructions to the dot, to get a smooth, creamy ricotta. 
      • Can you substitute store bought ricotta instead ? NO. This ricotta is made with lots of cream and uses a very gently separation method to produce a fresh ricotta. Store bought ones will never come close.