Tres Leches Cake
(courtesy of Maria Perez, co-owner, Panadería Las Palomas in Reno. Makes 1 double-layer, 12-inch round cake)
For the cake
8 ounces (1 cup) eggs
1½ cups sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 cup vegetable oil
1½ cups whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
Pinch of salt
For the icing
3 cups whipping cream
½ cup sugar
1 cup whole milk
1 cup sweetened condensed milk
Coconut flakes (for decoration)
Maraschino cherries, halved and drained
Combine sugar and eggs in a mixer for 4 minutes at medium speed. Add oil and mix for 3 more minutes. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in separate bowl and stir until distributed evenly, then add to liquid mixture with vanilla. Mix 5 more minutes.
Coat 2, 12-inch round baking pans lightly with oil and fill about ⅔ full with batter. Bake at 350 degrees F until light brown (about 30 minutes). Remove from oven and let cool completely. Turn out onto a wire rack, and place rack on top of a lined baking sheet. Using a sharp knife, slice off the rounded top from one of the layers, creating a flat disc. This will be the bottom layer. Set aside.
Whip whipping cream in a mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form (5 to 8 minutes), then add sugar and whip again into stiff peaks. Chill in refrigerator until slightly stiff (about 30 minutes).
During this time, combine whole and condensed milks, then pour over both cake layers until soaked through. Carefully transfer bottom layer (with top removed) onto a cake serving dish.
When whipped cream is fully chilled, use it to frost the bottom layer of the cake generously. Place the second layer on top and frost the entire cake, then sprinkle with coconut flakes. Top with halved maraschino cherries in any design you like.