Ssshh … don’t tell anyone, but the town 
of Harbor Springs has an addiction—to the Tres Leches cake that Lauretta Reiss served to around 100 people at a fundraiser in the town last fall. Now Lauretta can’t make enough of it at her bakery Small Batch in Harbor Springs! The former designer for Rocket Dog shoes opened the downtown gem as her retirement project just over a year ago.

Small Batch took off in a big way and now Lauretta is set to open a second location, Small Batch at the Cupola—a full-service restaurant located in the recently shuttered Harbor Springs restaurant of the same name. Good news for the sweet tooths of Traverse City, Lauretta is partnering with Georgina’s Anthony Craig to provide the baked goods for his new Elsie’s coffee shop on East Front Street.

For those times when you find yourself between the two towns and just plain gotta’ have a piece of Tres Leches, her recipe is below.

Tres Leches Cake


  • 2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 6 eggs, separated
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1  (12 ounce) can evaporated milk
  • 2  ( 14 ounce) cans sweetened 
Condensed milk
  • 4 cups heavy cream, divided
  • 1/2 cup confectioners sugar


Preheat oven to 350. Butter a 9-by-11-inch pan, sprinkle with flour and shake out excess. Sift flour and baking powder into a bowl and set aside. In 
a separate bowl, with clean dry beaters, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar, beating until stiff peaks form. Add egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the flour mixture to the batter in stages alternating with the whole milk. Begin and end with the flour mixture. Add vanilla. Pour into prepared pan. Bake 35 to 45 minutes. Remove from oven and cool 10 minutes.

In a blender, combine evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk and two cups of whipping cream. Reserve half the mixture for sauce on the side
 of the cake. Poke holes in cake and pour the remaining sauce over the cake while still warm.

Cool the cake completely and refrigerate overnight. In a chilled bowl, whip the remaining two cups of heavy cream with confectioners sugar until peaks form. Cover the entire cake in whipped cream. Garnish with fresh fruit and enjoy!

Find more local dessert recipes in MyNorth’s recipe directory!

More Northern Michigan Food & Drink

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Photo(s) by Dave Weidner