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Thursday, January 17, 2013

Kueh Lapis

    Not quite a 1000 layer lapis but the journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step
    2013 has been good  because I have achieved yet another first : baking my first ever kueh lapis or Indonesian layered cake. Though the list of ingredients looked daunting , not to mention the lengthy procedure, the process was actually rather easy because it was repetitive. All in all, you need 30 minutes of preparation time and another hour to bake/grill the lapis, not any more demanding than baking bread.

    The only thing I had to ward off was the temptation to make thick layers as I grew impatient into the hour. Considering that it took me only an hour to bake this, I acknowledge that I was lacking in patience.

    Of course the time spent  was all worth it as I saw the beautiful cross section of the kueh lapis. Deciding and adhering to the color and pattern scheme took some effort as I am a ' very spontaneous' person and prone to random last minute changes. Indeed , making this was a training of self control and discipline, which I sorely lacked.

    If there is one thing I would want to change, it would be to use all the egg whites ( instead of 5 yolks and 4 whites ). It gives a lighter texture to the lapis and fools the mind that it was not as fattening as it should be.

    The lapis shown here was 'shorter' than I had hoped for because I  alternated by using 2 trays to reduce waiting time in between grills. Other wise, one tray for the portion listed below will suffice.

    Makes a 10 by 3.5 by 2.5  inch lapis.

    Ingredients :

    A :
    112g unsalted butter
    1 tbsp condensed milk
    40g fine sugar
    5 egg yolks

    B :
    80g cake flour
    1/4 tsp baking powder

    C :
    Pinch of mixed spices
    1/4 tsp rum

    D :
    4 egg whites
    1/8 tsp cream of tartar
    30g fine sugar

    D :
    Red food coloring

    Others :
    Greased surface to compact each cooked layer eg a fondant press. I foiled the end of a thick book to do this.
    Brush and softened butter

    10x3.5x2.5 inch tray, bottom greased and lined

    Method :
  1. Cream butter, milk  and sugar until pale and fluffy.
  2. Add egg yolks, whisking one at a time.
  3. Whisk  (B) cake flour, baking powder,spices in 4 batches until light and fluffy.
  4. Whisk in the rum.
  5. Set the butter mix aside.

  6. Whisk egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks.
  7. In 4 batches, whisk in fine sugar until stiff peaks. This is your meringue mix.

  8. Combine the butter and meringue mixture.
  9. In 4 batches, fold in the meringue mix to the butter mix. This is your final batter.

  10. Divide the batter into 2 portions.
  11. Set the first portion aside.
  12. Stir red coloring into the second portion.

  13. At this stage, prepare the oven by turning on the top grill to heat up the oven.

  14. Pour 40g of batter ( with no color ) into the prepared tray. Use a spatula to spread the batter evenly. ( I measured  off each portion by placing the tray on a measuring scale )
  15. On a high rack, grill the batter, 5-7 minutes until it is brown.  When you can smell the egg, it is about done.
  16. Retrieve the tray, prick any air pockets and compact the surface with foiled and greased ' compacter '
  17. To alternate the color, repeat the process now using the colored batter until all the batter is used up.

  18. For the last layer, grill until the surface is deep brown.

  19. Remove the lapis by running a thin knife around the tray.
  20. Invert the tray and peel off the grease paper.
  21. Turn the lapis right side up and cool completely before cutting.

  22. Note :
    As the layers grows and gets nearer the griller, reduce the cooking  time to avoid scorching the batter.


  1. Looks so pretty! We are doing Kueh lapis for this month's aspiring bakers. Do submit it. :)

  2. Hi your kek lapis is a small cake looking at the small portion ingredients. Though it might not look good, but I am sure it taste real yummy, right.

  3. Small Small Baker,
    Thank you for the invite!

    Yes, I scaled down because I was worried that I would not be successful. Thankfully, it was. And yes, it tasted great! :)

  4. I can't wait to try it out.
    It looks so yummy and I think the change in color compare to the traditional Kueh Lapis is good.
    It makes it beautiful but does not change the taste.