Indonesian Layer Cake

Indonesian layer cake has been a favorite of mine since I was young. My aunt who used to own a cake shop would give my mom a square of this layer cake every Chinese New Year and it would be gone in no time (thanks to me :P). This cake has a lot of eggs and butter in it and therefore it’s very rich and moist. I never thought of baking this cake until my bestie, Mei asked me if I could make it as she loves it too. She did warn me that the process is extremely tedious and truthfully, IT IS. My advise is, do not attempt this if you do not have a whole afternoon to yourself. The cake needs to be grilled layer by layer and it’ll take at least 2 hours to complete. No doubt it is very time consuming but extremely rewarding in the end. πŸ˜€ This cake not only tastes delicious, it looks impressive as well. Hence, Mr. D and I decided to bake this cake to give it to our dearest neighbor and friends as a Christmas gift.

There are many different recipes available on the internet, each using different quantities of egg yolks and egg whites. Some of the layer cake recipes have condensed milk in them. After going through all of the recipes that I’ve gathered, I finally decided on Poh’s version as hers has the least number of egg yolks. Furthermore, I’m a fan of her cooking. I love watching her cooked in MasterChef Australia Season 1 and after that, she has her own cook show which shares a lot of great recipes. Her Indonesian layer cake recipe calls for five spice powder but I was not too comfortable using it in cake as five spice powder is normally used in savory dishes especially to season meat. Hence, I replaced it with all spice powder.

Our first attempt failed as we over beat the egg whites and under beat the butter causing the layers to delaminate due to incorrect batter consistency. We tried baking it again this afternoon making sure that we followed every step carefully. And, we were glad that it worked out well this time. We were extremely pleased and proud of the end result. The cake is just stunningly good, both flavor and appearance!

IngredientsThis cake consists of 9 simple ingredients.

BatterThe cake batter

First layerMeasure and pour the batter into the base, spreading it evenly over the base.

Grilling in the ovenGrilling in the oven.

RestingThe final layer.

Final productBeautiful!

Indonesian Layer Cake (From Poh’s Kitchen)


  • 6 egg whites
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 250 g icing sugar (sifted)
  • 15 egg yolks
  • 390 g unsalted butter, room temperature (softened and beaten)
  • 120 g plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp all spice powder
  • 2 tbs brandy


  1. Whisk whites and vanilla to soft peak.
  2. Gradually add icing sugar till stiff peaks form.
  3. Add egg yolks one at a time, beating well between each yolk.
  4. Add butter and beat till well incorporated. (My batter curdled at this stage. If this happens to you, do not worry. Just add a few spoonful of flour (one spoonful at a time) from the following step and mix the mixture on low speed. The mixture will eventually become smooth.)
  5. Sift the flour, baking powder and all spice powder together.
  6. Fold in the flour, baking powder, all spice powder in three batches.
  7. Grease a 20-22 cm square cake tin with a lift-up base and line the outside of the tin with foil so batter does not leak through any gaps. (I used 23 cm x 13 cm non-stick loaf pan.)
  8. Turn the oven to grill function.
  9. Put about a third of a cup of the cake mixture onto the base of the cake tin and spread it evenly over the base. (Adjust the measurement according to your cake tin size.)
  10. Put the tin under the grill for about five minutes or the top is a golden brown.
  11. Remove from oven and scoop the same amount of batter for the second layer. There is no need to wait for the cake to cool between layers.
  12. Repeat the same process. Keep going until you have finished all the batter.

Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , ,

One thought on “Indonesian Layer Cake

  1. Fae's Twist & Tango 04/01/2013 at 4:46 AM Reply

    Love the post! This is very similar to German baumkuchen (tree cake)! It is usually made cylinderical like a log, but for the home version, this is how it is made. Your aunt. the confectioner’s version is excellent!!! Japanese love baumkuchen and you do see it everywhere! It is in the queue of recipes I want to post. Too many things to write about… 24 hours a day is not enough. πŸ˜€ Fae.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: