Arequipe Cake (Milk Jam Cake) Recipe

Treat yourself to a luscious Arequipe Cake, also known as Milk Jam Cake, that will melt in your mouth. With the perfect balance of sweetness and creaminess, this cake will become your new guilty pleasure.

Indulge in the rich, creamy, and utterly delightful world of Arequipe Cake, a dessert that effortlessly combines a moist cake with the velvety sweetness of arequipe (dulce de leche). This delectable treat is a celebration of flavor, bringing together the warm notes of vanilla, the subtle nuttiness of walnuts, and the heavenly creaminess of arequipe. Whether you’re a seasoned baker or a kitchen newbie, this Arequipe Cake recipe will guide you to sweet success. So, preheat your oven, grab your apron, and let’s embark on this culinary journey to create a dessert that’s sure to impress.

How to Make Fruit Pizza

Before we dive into the scrumptious details of creating the Arequipe Cake, let’s first discuss the history and origins of this delightful treat.

History and Origins

Arequipe Cake, also known as Tres Leches Cake in some Latin American countries, is a beloved dessert with its roots deeply embedded in Latin American cuisine. The star of this cake, « arequipe, » is a sweet, caramel-like sauce made from condensed milk, and it is a staple ingredient in many Latin American sweets.

The exact origins of Arequipe Cake are disputed among Latin American countries, with both Mexico and various South American nations claiming it as their own. However, what’s clear is that the recipe has evolved and adapted over time to suit local tastes, resulting in various regional versions of this delectable cake.

Today, Arequipe Cake is a cherished dessert across many Latin American households and is also gaining popularity around the world for its unique combination of flavors and textures.

Now that you know a bit about the history of this delicious treat, let’s move on to the practical aspects.

Tools Needed and Serving Size

To create this Arequipe Cake, you’ll need the following tools and equipment:

  • 9-inch round cake pan
  • Mixing bowls
  • Whisk
  • Electric mixer (hand or stand mixer)
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Wire rack for cooling
  • Spatula or knife for spreading the arequipe and whipped cream

This recipe serves approximately 10-12 people, making it a fantastic choice for gatherings, celebrations, or a special dessert for your family.

Cooking Time and Number of People

The preparation and cooking time for this Arequipe Cake may vary, but you can expect it to take around 1.5 to 2 hours from start to finish. The cake itself bakes for 25 to 30 minutes, and the rest of the time involves preparation and assembly.


Now, let’s delve into the list of ingredients you’ll need for your Arequipe Cake. We’ll provide the quantities in American units of food measurement.

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup arequipe (dulce de leche)
  • 1 cup whipped cream
  • ½ cup chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans)

Ingredient Substitutions:

  • All-purpose flour: You can substitute it with cake flour for a slightly different texture.
  • Unsalted butter: If you only have salted butter, simply reduce the added salt in the recipe.
  • Arequipe (dulce de leche): If you can’t find arequipe, you can make your own by slowly heating sweetened condensed milk until it thickens and caramelizes. There are also commercial alternatives available.
  • Chopped nuts: Walnuts or pecans work wonderfully in this recipe, but you can experiment with other nuts like almonds or hazelnuts.

The ingredient list is fairly straightforward, and you might already have most of these items in your kitchen.

Steps to Create Arequipe Cake

Now, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty of making your Arequipe Cake. We’ll break down the steps into manageable parts to ensure you achieve a perfect result.

Step 1: Preparing the Cake

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease and flour a 9-inch round cake pan. This will prevent the cake from sticking to the pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt. These dry ingredients will form the foundation of your cake.
  3. In a separate mixing bowl, cream the softened butter and sugar until the mixture becomes light and fluffy. This step ensures the cake’s moisture and structure. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla extract to infuse a delightful aroma.
  4. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture, alternating with the milk. This alternating process ensures a smooth and well-mixed batter. Continue mixing until the batter is perfectly smooth.
  5. Pour the cake batter into the prepared 9-inch round cake pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. This baking time may vary slightly depending on your oven, so keep a close eye on the cake.
  6. Once the cake is baked to perfection, allow it to cool completely on a wire rack. This step is crucial as it prevents the whipped cream from melting when you add it to the cake.

Step 2: Assembling the Arequipe Cake

  1. Once your cake has cooled completely, it’s time to give it a luscious makeover. Spread a generous layer of arequipe (dulce de leche) over the top of the cake. This layer adds a creamy and sweet depth of flavor that complements the cake’s sponge.
  2. In a separate bowl, whip the cream until stiff peaks form. The whipped cream adds an airy and delightful texture to the cake, balancing the sweetness of the arequipe.
  3. Spread the whipped cream over the layer of arequipe, ensuring even coverage. This will be the crowning glory of your cake.
  4. Finally, sprinkle the chopped nuts over the whipped cream. Nuts provide a satisfying crunch and a subtle nuttiness that complements the cake’s sweetness.

Step 3: Serving and Savoring

  1. Your Arequipe Cake is now ready to be devoured. Carefully slice it into portions and serve it to your guests. The combination of flavors and textures will delight their taste buds.
  2. As a finishing touch, you can optionally add a drizzle of extra arequipe or a few extra chopped nuts for a touch of elegance.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

While making Arequipe Cake is relatively simple, there are a few common mistakes to watch out for:

1. Overbaking the Cake

Overbaking can lead to a dry cake. To avoid this, use a toothpick to check for doneness. If it comes out clean, your cake is ready.

2. Rushing the Cooling Process

Allow the cake to cool completely before adding the arequipe and whipped cream. A warm cake can cause the whipped cream to melt and lose its shape.

3. Using Stale Ingredients

Freshness matters in baking. Make sure your ingredients, especially the baking powder, are not expired.

4. Not Whipping the Cream Enough

For the whipped cream, ensure you whip it until stiff peaks form. Under-whipped cream can make the cake too soft and less enjoyable.

FAQ for Arequipe Cake

1. Can I make Arequipe Cake in advance?

Yes, you can make the cake in advance. However, it’s best to add the whipped cream and nuts just before serving to maintain their freshness and texture.

2. How do I store leftover Arequipe Cake?

If you have any leftover cake, store it in the refrigerator. Cover it with plastic wrap or place it in an airtight container to keep it fresh.

3. Can I use store-bought arequipe?

Certainly. You can use store-bought arequipe (dulce de leche) to save time. Be sure to choose a high-quality brand for the best flavor.

4. Can I use a different type of nut?

Yes, you can experiment with various nuts like almonds, pecans, or hazelnuts based on your preferences. Just make sure to chop them finely for even distribution.

5. Can I use a different size of cake pan?

You can use a different size, but it may affect the baking time. Adjust the time accordingly to ensure the cake is thoroughly baked in the center.


The Arequipe Cake, also known as Milk Jam Cake, is a dessert that bridges cultures and palates with its heavenly combination of flavors. Whether you’re hosting a special gathering or simply want to treat yourself to a delightful dessert, this cake is the perfect choice. Follow the steps, avoid common mistakes, and feel free to get creative with your own variations. Share this irresistible Arequipe Cake with your loved ones, and watch their faces light up with delight. It’s time to enjoy this sweet masterpiece that’s just a slice away from perfection.

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