Desserts with a Secret Touch

Chocolate Tres Leches Cake

(Family Features) There is no denying that Mom's baking is the best because of her secret ingredient - love. In addition to what comes from the heart, Mom and other home bakers add other secret touches to their recipes to truly make them their own.

Simple ingredients like cinnamon, vanilla and sweetened condensed milk can help anyone make sweet creations that can turn every day occasions into special ones. Here are some quick and simple tips to help you take a favorite dessert, add your own secret touch and serve it in a unique and special way:

  • Top it off. For a quick and delicious topping for family favorites like pies, cheesecakes or ice cream, heat Eagle Brand® Sweetened Condensed Milk on the stovetop (or even in the microwave), to create a delicious dulce de leche. Follow heating instructions on the label.

  • Stylize desserts. Toasted nuts, pumpkin seeds and coconut are traditional staples in Latin cooking; they add texture, flavor and enhance almost any recipe. To toast, spread chopped nuts or coconut in a single layer in a shallow baking pan and toast in a pre-heated oven at 350F for 10 minutes until lightly browned. Add to flan for an unexpected crunch.

  • Liven up leftover filling, batter and dough. Great bakers never let leftovers go to waste. Repurpose extra pie crust to roll out churrisimos or turn-over style empanadas with leftover pumpkin or apple pie filling. Top with a combination of cinnamon and sugar or drizzle with Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk.

Now through December 7, 2011, visit to enter the Eagle Brand Sweet Secret Recipe and Essay Contest. Home cooks who enter an original dessert recipe in one of five categories and submit an essay (100 words or less) describing how Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk is the "sweet secret" in their recipe will have a chance to win the $10,000 grand prize. Open to legal residents of the 50 United States and D.C., age 18 or older. Void where prohibited. Visit or for complete Official Rules.

For more family-favorite recipes, visit or

Chocolate Tres Leches Cake


  • 1 18.25-ounce package Pillsbury® Devil's Food Cake Mix
  • 1/2 cup Crisco® Pure Vegetable Oil
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 3 large eggs
Milk Mixture
  • 1 14-ounce can Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 3/4 cup half and half
  • 3/4 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups frozen chocolate whipped topping, thawed
  • Chocolate decorator sprinkles


  1. Prepare and bake cake mix according to package directions for 13 x 9-inch cake using oil, water and eggs. While cake is baking, prepare topping.
  2. Combine sweetened condensed milk, cream, evaporated milk and vanilla in large bowl. Slowly whisk in cocoa and cinnamon. Whisk until cocoa is blended into milk.
  3. Remove cake from oven. Cool 10 minutes. Using a meat fork or skewer, pierce surface of cake several dozen times. While cake is still warm, pour half the milk mixture over top. Let soak for 1 minute. Pour remainder over cake. Cover. Chill 1 hour. Spread with whipped topping. Top with chocolate sprinkles.

Serves: Yield: 16 servings

Notes, Tips & Suggestions
©/®The J.M. Smucker Company. Pillsbury is a trademark of The Pillsbury Company, LLC, used under license.

Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes


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