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Kue Lapis

Updated: Feb 11

In my family, the Lunar New Year heralds a time-honored tradition of baking Kue Lapis, a culinary craft that connects us to our Indonesian heritage and the rich tapestry of its origins. This storied dessert, conceived from the fusion of Dutch and Indonesian influences during the colonial period, is a celebration of meticulous technique and heritage.

While the Dutch Spekkoek is often recognized for its alternating light and dark spice-infused layers, the Indonesian Kue Lapis, in its uniform spiced layers, is a homage to the archipelago's bold and complex flavors, distinguished by the use of local spices.

Just out of the oven...

The artistry behind Kue Lapis lies in its creation, where the choice of ingredients is paramount. The use of high-quality butter, preferably from grass-fed cows, and the richness of egg yolks are not just details but essentials that determine the cake’s luxurious texture and depth of flavor.

As I carefully add each layer, the importance of these premium ingredients becomes evident, turning simple components into an exquisite cake that's rich, decadent, and full of history. It's a practice that reflects the dedication of Indonesian bakers past and present who understood that the quality of each element is what makes the final product truly stand out.

As we gather to celebrate the Lunar New Year, the Kue Lapis takes its place at the center of our feast, a sumptuous symbol of prosperity and the sweet complexity of life's journey. Each slice, infused with the finest butter and egg yolks, is not merely a treat but an echo of generations past—a layered story of resilience, tradition, and the beauty of sharing.

It’s in this spirit that I invite friends and family to savor this rich, flavorful dessert, each bite a reminder of the enduring legacy of our Indonesian culture and the new memories we create as we step into the new year. Let's dive into this recipe.



(Make one 8 X 8 square inch cake)

  • High Quality Unsalted Butter Softened Preferably Grass Fed, 550g + More For Greasing & Brushing

  • Demerara Sugar, 125g + 120g

  • Full Cream Condensed Milk, 60g

  • High Quality Egg Yolks, 20

  • Spiced Rum, 2 TBSP or Pure Vanilla Paste, 1 TSP

  • Cake Flour, 90g

  • Cookie Spice Blend Homemade, 2 TSP

  • Sea Salt, Pinch

  • Almond Meal, 30g

  • Egg Whites, 8



  • Oven

  • 8 X 8 Inch Square Cake Pan

  • Stand Mixer / Hand Mixer



  1. Please visit my "Cookie Spice Blend" page for the recipe.

  2. Grease the cake pan with butter, on the sides as well as the bottom.

  3. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper.

  4. Preheat oven to 200 degree celsius or 400 fahrenheit.

  5. ​*Set the heat only from the top or broil setting.*

  6. *Make sure all the ingredients are at room temperature and prepare your mise en place.*

  7. Using a hand or stand mixer, cream butter until mayo consistency.

  8. Add 125g of sugar and continue creaming until light and fluffy.

  9. Add in condensed milk and whip until well combined.

  10. Whip in egg yolks, 1/2 portion at a time, until fully incorporated.

  11. Followed by rum (or vanilla paste), cake flour, cookie spice blend, salt and almond meal.

  12. In another bowl, whip egg whites with a pinch of salt until fluffy.

  13. Add in the remaining 120g of sugar and continue whipping until soft peaks form.

  14. Fold the egg whites mixture into the butter mixture, 1/3 portion at a time, until homogenous.

  15. Wack the prepared cake pan into the oven until heated through.

  16. Remove the cake pan from the oven, measure 150g of the cake batter and pour it into the cake pan.

  17. Use an offset spatula to spread the batter. Swirl for even distribution.

  18. Give the cake pan a few taps on the countertop to remove any excess bubbles.

  19. Wack into the oven and bake until the top turns golden brown. It should take about 2 to 3 mins. It can go from golden brown to burn very fast. Keep a close watch.

  20. Remove from oven and press the cake with a cake smoother to compact it.

  21. If there are air pockets, gently poke it with a skewer and press with the cake smoother to flatten.

  22. Brush the cake gently with some butter.

  23. Lay another 100g of the cake batter onto the baked cake layer.

  24. The pan and cake are hot enuff to allow the batter to melt.

  25. Swirl the pan around to spread the batter evenly.

  26. Before wacking into the oven, give it a few taps on the countertop to remove any excess bubbles.

  27. Repeat the process until all the cake batter is baked.

  28. Remove from the oven.

  29. Press and compact the cake with a cake smoother.

  30. Brush the top generously with some butter.

  31. Set aside to cool down completely.

  32. As the cake cools, the sides will pull away from the pan.

  33. Run an offset spatula along the edges.

  34. Carefully flip the cake pan onto a serving plate and unmold the cake.

  35. It should come right off. Give it a few taps if it doesn’t.

  36. It will taste better the next day.

  37. The kue lapis can keep in cool dry room temperature for up to 5 days.

Never disappoint...


Recipe Video:

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