Baking the thousand-layer cake from scratch is hard work, but it’s worth a try.
For many Singaporeans, a visit to Batam is not complete without making a stop to buy freshly baked kueh lapis.
The Indonesian pastry, also known as thousand-layer cake, is a popular snack in Singapore, particularly during the festive Chinese New Year period.
One popular home bakery in Batam which offers the soft, moist and buttery delight is Diana Layer Cakes. Situated in a peaceful residential area, the bakery is consistently rated 4.5 out of 5 on travel website TripAdvisor.
Ms Erdiana, 55, the owner of Diana Layer Cakes, said she takes pain to ensure the quality of her offerings. Up till now, she still insists on preparing the kueh lapis dough herself.
Making kueh lapis from scratch is very tedious, the Sumatra-born owner who started baking since she was 16 said. But to her, the process is also an enjoyable one.
“I love the baking process, especially when people enjoy the cakes I bake,” said Ms. Erdiana, who receives many tourists from Singapore and Malaysia at her home bakery daily.
“Our aspiration is to maintain the quality of our cakes so that we will still have a place in the market for years to come,” Ms. Erdiana added.
You can find Diana Layer Cakes at:
Homemade kueh lapis is also available in Singapore shops, but it often comes with a higher price tag.
If you can afford the time, why not try to bake one in your own kitchen over the Chinese New Year break?
Here’s a recipe from Mdm Satiah Tohid, 61, a Singaporean home-baker who’s been in the business for over 40 years.
Thousand Layer Cake (Kueh Lapis) – 7 x 10 inch
500g butter (Golden Churn highly recommended)
250g castor sugar
20 egg yolks
4 egg whites
3 tablespoon condense milk
3 teaspoon lapis spice
- Whip the butter and condense milk evenly. Whip the butter till it changes to a lighter color.
- Sift flour and lapis spice into the whipped butter, and whip again evenly.
- In a separate bowl, whip egg whites and sugar together. Look to see that the concoction starts foaming a little, as this is also a way to judge if your eggs are fresh.
- Pour egg yolks into egg whites one by one.
- Pour eggs into butter and whip until even.
- Preheat oven to 180 degree Celsius, with both the top and bottom grill turned on.
- Pour 1 later of batter onto the tin, and spread evenly. Bake for 4 minutes.
- Take out the tin, and switch off the bottom grill.
- Use a lapis press to lightly smoothen the baked layer. DO NOT press too hard, or the cake will be compressed.
- Repeat step 7 and 9 until the tin is filled up.
The kueh lapis tastes the best after a day or so, as this allows the butter to be fully infused into the cake.
About the authors:
Phang Jing Lin
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Isabel Vanessa Tan
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