Lapis Surabaya – Layer Cake

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This is a traditional old-time butter cake from Indonesia, called Lapis Surabaya. It has 3 layers of moist and fluffy cake, stick together with strawberry jam.

lapis surabaya
Lapis Surabaya

Lapis Surabaya in Indonesia is very popular. It is basically butter cake with lots of egg yolk and lots of butter. There are 3 layers of cake, stacked into one with strawberry jam or buttercream.

This cake is so loved by many generations and many ethnics in Indonesia. It is in high demand during Idul Fitri, Chinese New Year and also Christmas. It is served when guests come and also sent as a gift.

Nicknames for Lapis Surabaya

Kue Lapis Surabaya was first introduced during the Dutch colonial era in Indonesia. The name ‘spekoek’ or later becomes ‘spiku’ comes from the Dutch language meaning layer cake.

Spek means pork belly fat and koek means cake. The cake itself doesn’t use any pork fat or lard. It refers to the layer that reminds people of belly fat layers.  

There are many names given to this premium cake. Spiku is the most popular one. It is very familiar in Surabaya, East Java.

Chinese people developed the recipe and used it as a symbol of good luck and prosperity in Chinese New Year celebration. The more layers it has, the more luck it brings.

The same applies to Indonesian Layered Cake or Lapis Legit which has more thin layers. The layers represent luck and prosperity.  

In Malang, some stores sell only 2 layers the yellow and chocolate and call it Spiku Malang.

The authentic recipe calls for layers. It is up to your preference if you want to make it into 2 layers or 3 layers.

Lots of Eggs and Butter

If you have a glimpse of the recipe below, you might feel reluctant to try because of the amount of eggs and butter needed. Trust me, I also had the same doubt! I was afraid to fail, having used that much butter and eggs.

I summoned my courage and I finally tried it successfully. The texture of the cake is just like how I wanted it to be. I gave it out to family and friends and they all loved it!

Pros and Cons

I know some of you may think twice or still feel reluctant to use up that much butter and that many eggs.

One thing that motivates me to make this my own is because of the price. This is a premium cake. Of course there are cheaper ones. But it is really nothing compared to the recipe I shared down below.

If you use the right amount of butter and eggs plus the right mixing, you will have the moistest butter cake ever. You will not choke on it. It will slide so easily down your throat!

So here now I will share the recipe, tips and tricks for you to make it successfully at home. It is super worth it! This is definitely the recipe for keep!

Essential Ingredients

Eggs

Use organic, omega or range chicken eggs. You will be using the egg yolks mostly. Do not discard the egg whites. Keep it in a closed container in the fridge. You can use it to make other good bakery products, like Cat Tongue Cookies (Lidah Kucing).

Butter

The more premium the butter, the better the outcome. If you have been baking for some time, you must know which brand is the best in your area.

I can recommend President, Kerrygold, or Elle Vire butter. It is best that you use the brand that you have used for baking.

I would strongly recommend using Wijsman canned butter if you can find it. This is the best for Lapis Surabaya cake. Mix it with other brand of unsalted butter with the ratio of 6:4, the latter is for other brand.

wijsman butter brand

The cake will be excellent and super moist. Indonesian people are so hyped about this Wijsman butter. Most of the premium baking products use this brand and the result has never been disappointing.

Lapis Surabaya Recipe

  • 800 gr of egg yolk (around 53-55 eggs)
  • 200 gr whole egg (4 eggs)
  • 380 gr confectionery sugar
  • 40 gr cornstarch
  • 40 gr milk powder
  • 100 gr flour
  • 600 gr butter

Instructions

  1. Prepare the butter in room temperature. When it softens, mix it with low speed for a while, gradually turn it up to high speed until pale and light.
  2. In another mixing bowl, Mix the egg yolk, whole eggs, and powdered sugar with low speed, gradually to high speed for 10-15 minutes.
  3. Put the mixer to low speed. Pour in the dry ingredients: corn starch, milk powder, cake flour. Sieve the dry ingredients first.
  4. Mix the butter into the egg mixture with a spatula. Fold the batter and make sure you see the pale butter blend well with the egg batter.
  5. Once you are done mixing and folding, divide the whole batter into 3 parts.
  6. Keep 2 parts as they are (yellow), put in cocoa powder and 1 tsp of chocolate paste in the other one. Mix well.
  7. Pour the batter in the greased 24×24 cm pan, already lined with baking paper.
  8. Bake in the preheated oven 180°C for 20 minutes.
  9. Take out the pan from the oven, and take out the cake from the pan. Let it cool on the cooling rack.
  10. Spread some jam on one side of the yellow cake and 2 sides on the chocolate cake. Assemble the cake together, yellow, chocolate, yellow accordingly.
  11. You can slice the cake and wrap each slices with a nice packaging.
  12. Enjoy!

Note

This type of butter cake will even be moister the next day. Keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

When mixing the butter mixture and the egg mixture, you need to fold very swiftly. Not too fast and not too slow, either.

Remember to beat the egg mixture until pale and light. Check if it leaves trail. It will be around 10-15 minutes, to be safe.

You may divide the recipe into 3 batches. The first and second batch is for the yellow part and can be processed together. The third batch is for the chocolate part. The chocolate powder tends to be  heavier so sometimes the time needed to fold has to be super quick.

FAQs

Q: Can I replace some of the egg yolks with egg white?

A: Yes, you can. Some people are afraid of the amount of egg yolks used. You can substitute some of the egg yolks with egg white. Just follow the amount in the recipe. However, this will reduce the moistness and make the cake more spongy.

Q: Can I use margarine in the butter?

A: Yes, you can.The best combination for the butter to margarine ratio is 3:1.

Q: Can I use peanut butter to stick the cakes altogether?

A: Yes, you can. You can assemble the cakes with any jam and peanut butter if you like.

Other Indonesian cakes that has been popular since Dutch colonization:

lapis surabaya

LAPIS SURABAYA

Yield: 1
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

This is a traditional and original recipe for Surabaya Layer Cake, a famous old-time cake from Indonesia. It uses lots of eggs and butter, making it very moist and soft!

Ingredients

  • 800 gr of egg yolk (around 53-55 eggs)
  • 200 gr whole egg (4 eggs)
  • 380 gr confectionery sugar
  • 40 gr cornstarch
  • 40 gr milk powder
  • 100 gr flour
  • 600 gr butter
  • Strawberry jam or Chocolate jam

Instructions

    1. Prepare the butter in room temperature. When it softens, mix it
      with low speed for a while, gradually turn it up to high speed until pale and light.
    2. In another mixing bowl, Mix the egg yolk, whole eggs, and powdered sugar with low speed, gradually to high speed for 10-15 minutes.
    3. Put the mixer to low speed. Pour in the dry ingredients: corn starch, milk powder, cake flour. Sieve the dry ingredients first.
    4. Mix the butter into the egg mixture with a spatula. Fold the
      batter and make sure you see the pale butter blend well with the egg batter.
    5. Once you are done mixing and folding, divide the whole batter into 3 parts.
    6. Keep 2 parts as they are (yellow), put in cocoa powder and 1 tsp
      of chocolate paste in the other one. Mix well.
    7. Pour the batter in the greased 24x24 cm pan, already lined with
      baking paper.
    8. Bake in the preheated oven 180°C for 20 minutes.
    9. Take out the pan from the oven, and take out the cake from the
      pan. Let it cool on the cooling rack.
    10. Spread some jam on one side of the yellow cake and 2 sides on the chocolate cake. Assemble the cake together, yellow, chocolate, yellow accordingly.
    11. You can slice the cake and wrap each slices with a nice packaging.
    12. Enjoy!



 



Notes

  • This type of butter cake will even be moister the next day. Keep
    in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
  • When mixing the butter mixture and the egg mixture, you need to fold very swiftly. Not too fast and not too slow, either.
  • Remember to beat the egg mixture until pale and light. Check if it
    leaves trail. It will be around 10-15 minutes, to be safe.
  • You may divide the recipe into 3 batches. The first and second
    batch is for the yellow part and can be processed together. The third batch is for the chocolate part. The chocolate powder tends to be  heavier so sometimes the time needed to fold has to be super quick.  

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