Questions about Tres Leches cake

To be exact, this is the recipe I’m using, only I’m substituting fresh strawberries instead of the maraschino cherries: Tres Leches recipe This is my first time making a Tres Leches cake…

The question I have is simple. The cake’s due on Friday, I get the Wednesday off but not Thursday. Ideally, I’d like to make all of the cake on Wednesday, but I’m guessing that it’ll be yucky by Friday if I did. So, as far as I can see, the cake is made out of 3 components: the cake, the milk mixture, and the whipped cream/strawberries.

Can I make the cake component on Wednesday, and add the milk component on Thursday evening? If the answer is “yes” – can I make the milk mixture in advance, but add it to the cake on Thursday evening, and let it store overnight?

Furthermore, should I keep the whipped cream and strawberries separate from the cake until ready to serve? Seems like that would have a high potential to soak in / get nasty otherwise.

I would add the milk mixture as late as possible – maybe an hour or two ahead of serving. I had some last year that had sat overnight, and I thought it was pretty gross.

But this seems to be the “authentic” way of making tres leches – many recipes/comments call for soaking it overnight, including Alton Brown. Of course, I am not a Mexican…

The one time I made tres leches cake, I had a similar time frame to yours. I made the cake and the syrup about two days before I was planning on serving it, but only combined them the night before; we had it for dessert at lunch, so it was soaking for about 13-15 hours. I made this recipe, which is apparently more Puerto Rican than Mexican (it uses coconut milk as one of the milks), but I don’t see why that should affect the soaking time.

ETA - it came out great, by the way, and was very well received.

I made The Pioneer Woman’s recipe at Christmas, and thought that the cake was MUCH better after soaking overnight. It was a bit too wet at first, but was divine the next day.

Got it! Sounds like it’s definitely A-OK to make the cake part 2 days in advance – there are some websites claiming that it’s even better after 2 days of soaking, but I’m not going to test that. Thanks, I’ll be making the cake part today and adding the milk tomorrow.