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+ servings
Lead image of a stack of 3 Tres Leches Cake Donuts in a bed of rainbow sprinkles.

Tres Leches Cake Donuts

Course: Breakfast, Brunch, Dessert
Cuisine: Hispanic
Keyword: cake donuts, tres leches
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 12 donuts
Calories: 331kcal
Author: Marta Rivera
The flavors you love from Tres Leches Cake in an easy-to-make breakfast food.
Recipe time doesn't include making the Easy Cake Donuts recipe.
Print Recipe


  • whisk


  • 3 cups (330 grams) powdered sugar (icing sugar)
  • 6 tablespoons (85 grams) salted butter melted and slightly cooled
  • 2 tablespoons (60 milliliters) half and half
  • 2 tablespoons (60 milliliters) evaporated milk (plus more to then as needed)
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract or vanilla extract
  • 12 Easy Cake Donuts
  • rainbow sprinkles for topping, optional


Prepare the Tres Leches Glaze (may be done up to 2 months ahead and frozen or a week ahead and stored in the fridge)

  • Sift the powdered sugar into a mixing bowl to eliminate large clumps.
    Add the half-and-half, evaporated milk, the melted, salted butter, and the pure almond extract to the bowl.
  • Whisk these ingredients together in the bowl until they form a smooth, thick glaze. The glaze's consistency should be between loose ketchup and maple syrup.
    If the glaze is too runny- like milk- sift a 1/4-cup of sugar into it to thicken it up. 
    If the glaze is thicker than frosting, heat the glaze in the microwave for 15 seconds, then whisk the glaze until it's smooth again. You can also thin it with the evaporated milk a teaspoon at a time, whisking, until it reaches that loose ketchup consistency.
    If you're a fan of thick, spreadable frosting on your donut, you can leave it thick like it is and use a spatula to smooth it on the donuts instead.

Dip, then Decorate the Tres Leches Cake Donuts

  • Dip the cake donuts into the glaze, allowing the excess glaze to run off for 2-3 seconds before flipping the donut over and transferring it to a platter or rack to set up.
    Once the glaze has set, or 1-2 minutes, you can re-dip the donuts to add more glaze.
  • Allow the glaze to set up for 1 minute before dipping the donuts into the sprinkles.
    If you wait too long after glazing, the glaze will form a crust that won't accept the sprinkles. But don't sprinkle them on right after dipping or the weight of the sprinkles will cause the glaze to ooze down the sides of donut. 
  • Serve these glazed and topped tres leches cake donuts with your next glass of milk or coffee. They're not only great for breakfast, but also for brunch, snacks, or as a dessert.


Swaps and Substitutions:

  • Use freshly-made, plain cake donuts from a local donut shop instead of making yours from scratch.
  • If you can't get donuts from a local donut shop, pick up a box of cake donuts from the bakery section at your grocery store. 
  • Replace the half-and-half with 1 tablespoon of whole milk and 1 tablespoon of heavy cream.
  • Substitute more heavy cream for the evaporated milk. Or, for a different flavor use canned, evaporated goat milk.
  • Use vanilla extract, rum extract, fresh citrus juice (lemon or lime) or brandy in place of almond extract.
  • Replace the salted butter with unsalted butter and add a pinch of salt or omit the salt altogether.
  • Use chocolate sprinkles, toasted coconut, toasted nuts, or crushed freeze-dried fruits in place of the rainbow sprinkles (nonpareils).

Storage Instructions:

Store the tres leches cake donuts in an air-tight container for 1 day on the countertop in a cool area of the kitchen. Eat them within 1 day.
If you don't think you will eat them all within a day, you can store them in the fridge for up to 3 days. Storing any bread product in the fridge will cause them to go stale faster, so try to eat them as soon as you can. 
To make them taste fresh after storing, you can heat them in the microwave for 10-15 seconds. 

Freezing Instructions:

Freezing the donuts after sprinkling them is not recommended because, as they thaw, the moisture causes the colors on the sprinkles to bleed and run onto the glaze on the donuts. 
To Freeze the Glazed Donuts
  1. Allow the glaze to set up for 1-2 minutes.
  2. Transfer the donuts to a lined sheet pan and freeze them for 1-2 hours, or until solid.
  3. Put the frozen donuts in a freezer storage bag.
  4. Freeze for 2 months.
  5. Remove the donuts you want to eat from the bag and allow them to thaw at room temperature.
To Freeze the Tres Leches Glaze
  1. Prepare the glaze as instructed. Scoop the tres leches glaze into a freezer storage bag or freezer-safe container.
  2. Press out any air, then seal the bag. Freeze the glaze lying flat. Once frozen, you can stand the bag up, so it takes up less space.
  3. Freeze for 2 months.
  4. When you're ready to use, thaw the glaze in the fridge.


Calories: 331kcal | Carbohydrates: 67g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 22mg | Sodium: 97mg | Potassium: 25mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 60g | Vitamin A: 225IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 25mg | Iron: 1mg