Week 45: Kueh lapis

Okay, so the baking hermit took a break from baking and made these steamed traditional “kueh”. Thanks to a friend of mine who spent a good part of the weekend talking about “kueh lapis”. After which, that was all I wanted to eat! I know it is easy enough to buy a few slices from Bengawan Solo, who does really good ones. But, since this recipe looks straightforward enough, I thought I would give it a try.

The original recipe calls for a 7 x 7 inch tin, but the biggest container I have that fits in my steamer is a 6 x 6 inch tin. So I had to steam the remainder in a separate 3 inch round tin.

Makes a 6″ x 6″ and a 3″ round cake


350g tapioca flour

100g rice flour

500ml water

300g granulated sugar

4 pandan leaves

500ml thick coconut milk

Rose pink colouring


1) In a pot boil water, sugar and pandan leaves together until sugar is dissolved. Turn off heat, discard pandan leaves and add in coconut milk. Stir well and leave aside to cool.

2) Mix tapioca flour and rice flour together and gradually blend well into coconut liquid with a hand whisk. Then strain mixture through a sieve to ensure it is free from lumps.

3) Divide mixture in two equal portions and add desire colouring into one portion, keeping one portion white.

4) Grease your cake pan and place in steaming pot for few minutes over high heat.

5) Pour about 125ml of pink liquid into the heated pan and steam at high heat for about 4 minutes or until batter is cooked. Then add 125ml  of white liquid onto it and steam for another 4 minutes.

6) Repeat the procedure, alternating white and pink liquid until all the batter is used up. Remember to stir the batter every time before pouring out the liquid to steam each time.

7) Add a little more rose pink colour to the last layer to make it a deeper shade of pink.

8) Leave Kuih Lapis to cool completely after steamed and invert the cake pan to knock out the kuih.

9) Grease knife with little oil before cutting. You may also brush a little oil on the surface as gloss finishing.

I made a couple of mistakes:

  • I forgot to add a pinch of salt to the coconut milk, which would help to bring out the flavour even better
  • I forgot to grease the cake pan!
  • And I did not mix the colouring well enough, resulting in a few undesirable “colour spots”

But, other than that, I was quite happy with the result. As observed from the photograph, the layers came out perfectly even! And it doesn’t taste half bad too. Except, I thought it is a tad harder than I would have liked it. Oh well, looks like I would need to do quite a fair bit of experimenting if I want to fix that, as I have absolutely no idea how tapioca flour and rice flour works. Looks like it’s time to hit up Google!


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