Photograph by Gentl and Hyers Food Styling by Maggie Ruggiero Prop Styling by Kim Ficaro


Gingerbread “Milky Way” Tres Leches

Desserts from Issue 8 – Winter 2016 – Origin

The wildly beautiful Milky Way is the swirling galaxy that we call our own, a vast spectrum boasting hundreds of billions of stars that, on the darkest nights (and far away from the lights and pollution of our major cities) can be glimpsed. Our moist, gingery tres leches cake nods both to its moniker and its banded milky appearance; use your favorite nebula (Rosette? Carina?) as a visual guide for the glittery stardust topping.

serves 6 to 8

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • 2 tsp ground ginger, divided
  • 5 large eggs
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 stick (8 Tbsp) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 Tbsp finely grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup sweetened condensed milk
  • ½ cup evaporated milk
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • 1 Tbsp molasses
  • 1 ½ cups heavy creams
  • edible glitter dust in black, purple, light pink, light blue, and silver

  • 1

    Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly oil an 11 x 7-inch baking pan, then line with parchment paper running the length and width of sides with slight overlap.

  • 2

    In a small bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, baking powder, cloves, 1½ tsp ground ginger, and ¾ tsp salt.

  • 3

    In a large bowl, beat eggs and sugar on medium with electric beaters until pale and doubled in volume, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in butter, fresh ginger, and vanilla. Alternating between the two, stir in flour mixture and egg mixture, beginning and ending with flour. Pour batter into pan and bake until cake is firm to the touch and a toothpick comes out clean, 17 to 20 minutes.

  • 4

    While cake is baking, whisk milks with molasses and remaining ½ tsp ground ginger. Poke warm cake all over with a wooden skewer and drizzle milk mixture over top. Chill at least one hour or, preferably, overnight.

  • 5

    Whip cream to soft peaks and spread over top and sides of cake. Scooping black glitter dust onto a small offset spatula or spoon, gently blow onto cake until lightly covered. Beginning in the center and swirling outwards, gently tap small amounts of glitter dust onto cake in a circular motion. Repeat with multiple colors to make a galaxy ring. Decorated cake can be frozen. Defrost 45 minutes before serving.