Annika Eats

Thandai Tres Leches

This eggless milk cake is based on a traditional Indian drink called Thandai that is filled with cardamom, saffron, nuts, rose petals, poppy seeds, fennel seeds and turmeric. The cake is soaked in a mixture of three milks making it tender and delicious for Holi.

I loved Thandai growing up and this Thandai Tres Leches Cake is so simple to make but extremely satisfying. The sponge is eggless cake sponge is the perfect bed to soak up all that lovely milk mixture. Tres leches translated to English means three milks. 

The recipe has 4 parts to it, homemade Thandai powder, the cake, the soak and the whipped with garnish on top. To make the homemade Thandai powder you will need a blender or a spice grinder. The cake it self is eggless and simple to make, a one bowl and whisk situation. While the the soak is a combination of 3 milks mixed together with the Thandai powder, that is poured over the baked Thandai cake. While the whipped cream and garnish goes on top of the cake once it is cooled down. 

How to make the Thandai Powder?

To make your Thandai powder at home you will need almonds, pistachios, cashew nuts, walnuts, sugar, fennel seeds, cardamom pods, cinnamon powder, poppy seeds, turmeric powder, pepper corns and rose petals. All of which are added into a blender or spice grinder and mixed until combined into a fine powder. The leftover mixture can be stored in a box for months in the fridge. Spoon it over ice cream, in your milk or even over your morning oats for a kick of flavor. 

If you are allergic to any of the ingredients mention above, you could leave that ingredient out and continue with the rest to make the Thandai mixture. This is my version of the classic and I am positive some traditionalists would argue with me on this however I love this recipe and have been using it for so long now. 

How the make the Thandai soaking milk mixture?

To make the soak we literally whisk together milk, whipping cream and condensed milk until it is smooth and combined. We add the Thandai mixture into the milk and stir it around. To ensure there are no lumps. Set it aside until ready to use. I like making extra milk as we do need to reserve some for serving as well. 

How to make the garnish?

To garnish the cake I use whipped cream that is not sweetened as there is enough sugar in the cake and the Thandai milk soak. I like to flavor the cream with vanilla but it is not essential. Also I like to top the cake slices with chopped nuts from the Thandai mixture hence I use almonds, walnuts, pistachios and cashew nuts. A little sprinkle of the Thandai powder on top and a few rose petals adds color but more flavor too. 

How to make the Cake?

We don’t need much to make the cake, as it is eggless we start by mixing out yogurt, baking powder and baking soda together and setting it aside for a couple of mins. We then add our vegetable oil and whisk again. Add the sugar and whisk again. As you can tell the recipe is fairly easy to come together. We then add all our dry ingredients, i.e. the flour, salt, Thandai powder vanilla, turmeric powder and whisk until combined. We end with some rose water and stir it all together. 

This batter is poured into an 8×8 inch square tin that is lined well with baking spray and the cake is baked at 180℃ for 20-25 mins until a tooth pick inserted into the center comes out clean. While the cake is still hot, poke the cake everywhere with a fork and pour the milk mixture on top, leave at least half the mixture back so you have enough leftover for serving later. The cake is then placed in the fridge to cool down completely before garnishing. 

Once the cake has cooled completely we portion it up by slicing into squares, pipe over the whipped cream, add the nuts, more Thandai powder and a few rose petals. Serve each slice with more Thandai milk poured on top. This dessert is best served cold and keeps well for 3 days in the fridge. I would recommend using an air tight container to store the cake slices as it will dry out otherwise. 

This eggless cake is a crowd pleasing dessert that is delicious and simple to make. The flavors are perfect for the festival of Holi and if you are looking for more Thandai recipes then check out my Thandai Misthi Doi recipe as well. 

Now that we have covered how to make this cake and discussed all the details, let us make some cake. Happy Holi Ninjas!

Thandai Tres Leches

This eggless milk cake is based on a traditional Indian drink called Thandai that is filled with cardamom, saffron, nuts, rose petals, poppy seeds, fennel seeds and turmeric. The cake is soaked in a mixture of three milks making it tender and delicious for Holi.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Chill time 30 mins
Course Dessert, Sweet tooth, Cake, tea time, Celebration
Cuisine Indian, Mexican, Latin America
Servings 9 people

Equipment

  • Large mixing bowl
  • Whisk
  • Spatula
  • Electric beater
  • 8x8 inch Square tin
  • Piping bag
  • Blender

Ingredients
  

Thandai Powder

  • 1/4 cup Almonds
  • 1/4 cup Pistachios
  • 1/4 cup Walnuts
  • 1/4 cup Cashews
  • 4 tbsp Sugar
  • 1 tsp Fennel seeds
  • 2-4 Cardamom pods
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon powder
  • 2 tbsp Poppy seeds optional
  • 1 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 6-8 Peppercorns
  • 6-8 Rose petals dry

Cake

  • 1 1/2 cup Flour
  • 1 tsp Baking powder
  • 1 cup Yogurt
  • 1/2 tsp Baking soda
  • 3/4 cup Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Oil
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 1 tsp Rose water
  • 1 tbsp Thandai powder
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder

Thandai Milk

  • 1 cup Milk
  • 1 cup Whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup condensed milk
  • 4 tbsp Thandai powder

Garnish

  • Assorted nuts
  • Thandai powder
  • Rose petals

Instructions
 

To make the Thandai Powder:

  • Add all the ingredients into a blender or spice grinder and mix until combined into a fine powder. The leftover mixture can be stored in a box for months in the fridge.
  • To make the Thandai soaking milk mixture:
  • Whisk together milk, whipping cream and condensed milk until it is smooth and combined. We add the Thandai mixture into the milk and stir it around. To ensure there are no lumps. Set it aside until ready to use.

To make the Garnish:

  • In a large bowl, whisk the whipping cream with vanilla and no sugar until stiff peaks.
  • Chop some almonds, pistachios, cashew nuts and walnuts. Keep the Thandai powder and rose petals ready.

To make the Cake:

  • Preheat the oven to 180℃ and line an 8x8 inch square tin.
  • In a mixing bowl we start by mixing our yogurt, baking powder and baking soda together and setting it aside for a couple of mins.
  • We then add our vegetable oil and whisk again. Add the sugar and whisk again. We then add all our dry ingredients, i.e. the flour, salt, Thandai powder vanilla, turmeric powder and whisk until combined. We end with some rose water and stir it all together.
  • This batter is poured into the prepared tin and the cake is baked for 20-25 mins until a tooth pick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Assembly:

  • While the cake is still hot, poke the cake everywhere with a fork and pour the milk mixture on top, leave at least half the mixture back so you have enough leftover for serving later.
  • The cake is then placed in the fridge to cool down completely before garnishing.
  • Once the cake has cooled completely we portion it up by slicing into squares, pipe over the whipped cream, add the nuts, more Thandai powder and a few rose petals.
  • Serve each slice with more Thandai milk poured on top. This dessert is best served cold.

Notes

  • While making the cake do not skip the first step as it is the reaction of the yogurt, baking powder and baking soda and makes for a very light and fluffy cake later.
  • Do not over mix the batter once all the ingredients as combined as this will make the cake tough

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