Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Indonesian Layer Cake

Updated February 10, 2009 : With the addition of milk per my mom’s suggestion, the cake turn out very moist!!

Indonesian Layer Cake or better known as Kuih Lapis or Spekkeok to my Indonesian friends is one of my favorite cake. This cake although can be found in bakeries, it is more commonly made during Chinese New Year. It’s a special occasion cake because it is VERY tedious / labor intensive to make. If you were to buy this cake from the bakery, they do charge you quite a bit for it. Hence, this cake is always served thinly sliced. It is also usually baked in a square cake pan.

The Indonesian Layer Cake is formed by baking/grilling one layer of batter at a time until you get the desired height for the cake. It takes a bit of practice to get the layers just right; not to thick, not to thin and even throughout. Also, you really have to keep a watchful eye on the cake as it does burn easily.

Since CNY is just around the corner, I decided to make some. After googling around for a recipe, I decided to settle with THIS. The reason I tried this recipe was the use of equal amount of egg yolks vs egg whites. Most of the recipes I see out there uses more egg yolks than egg white. It’s not for health reasons why I did not choose the recipe with probably a higher cholesterol and is definitely richer…..it was just simply coz I did not want to be wasteful or think of something to do with 12 egg whites!! Of course I could bake some Meringues, Pavlova or French Macarons….but I already have a plethora of Chinese New Year goodies to bake.

The cake came out light and not as oily as some recipes I’ve tried in the past. I was at first hesitant to share the recipe as I thought the cake was a little dry…but now I think the cake actually tasted better the next day or two as I felt it became a little more moist after that. I baked about 1-1/2 portion of the recipe and ended up with 2 x 7” square cake. I only have a quarter left. Instead of hunting down another recipe, I think I’ll stick with this one for my next batch of Indonesian Layer Cake. Here’s the recipe extracted from Li of Kitchen Musings with my slight modification.  Yums! Hubby and I like to peel the layers and eat it savor it slowly……….




  • 14 Large Eggs
  • 300 gm Granulated Sugar
  • 2 Tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 3 Tbsp Brandy
  • 5 Tbsp Milk
  • 300 gm Butter, Diced and Softened
  • 180 gm All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 Tsp Mixed Spice


Preheat oven to 350F @ grill setting, place rack in the top shelf of the oven. Sift flour and mixed spice and set aside.

Line the base of a 8x8 square baking pan with parchment paper. Do not grease the sides of the cake pan. Separate egg yolks from the egg whites. Beat egg yolks, 200 gm of sugar, vanilla and brandy until mixture is very thick and pale.

Gradually add softened butter and beat until well combined. Fold flour and spice into this mixture. Add in milk, combine and set aside.

Whisk egg whites in a separate clean and dry bowl gradually adding remaining sugar until soft shiny peaks form. Fold egg whites into the buttery mixture gently knocking as little air out of the mixture as possible.

Preheat cake pan in the oven for 1 minute. Remove pre-heated tin from the oven and spread cake batter evenly. You may tap the cake pan on the kitchen counter to help distribute the batter evenly. Cook until the top of the layer is golden brown. This takes around 5-7 minutes. Keep a close eye on it! Remove cake pan when the surface of the layer is brown, poke holes with skewer and spread another layer of cake batter on top of this. Repeat until all the cake batter is used up.

Run a knife along the edges of the cake and invert the cake onto a wire rack to cool. Remove the parchment paper on the base of the cake before the cake has cooled completely.

June’s Comments: I deviated a little from the original recipe…What’s new? =) I substituted brandy with whiskey coz that was what I have. Since I did not have mixed spice in my pantry, I use about 1 tsp of Pumpkin Spice instead.

My butter somehow wasn’t soft enough even though I’ve already left it out at room temperature for HOURS! After beating in the butter, I ended up with annoying lumps of butter. I therefore blended the mixture so that the mixture is smooth before I added the egg whites. Oh yeah, I pour about 1/2 cup of batter for each layer.

My oven does not allow me to set the temperature for the grill (broiler) function. All it had was a high and low for the broiler function. I set mine to high and place the rack second from top. Baked the cake and rotate it once. I did not time how long I baked it for and just remove the cake when it’s golden brown. I sometimes lost track of time and hence ended up with some darker layers.

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