Traditional Layer Cake (Kek Lapis)

Have you ever heard of Traditional Layer Cake? How about Kek Lapis, Indonesian Layer Cake, or Lapis Legit? These terms refer to only one – that soft, fluffy, moist, and full of flavor layered cake that is quite popular in Malaysia as well as in Indonesia.

It is often served during special occasions such as Christmas, Eid ul-Fitr, Gawai, and Deepavali. It is also an excellent dessert during birthdays and weddings.

This type of cake is thought to have derived from a form of European spit cake. It has its origin in a form of layer cake with various spices. Trust me, it’s a mouth-watering and decadent dessert recipe that you can proudly serve whatever the celebration is. It has this delicious, exotic taste, not to mention its inviting aroma.

Kek Lapis is perfect for tea parties as it has the right balance of ingredients. Who wouldn’t love the combination of moist vanilla layers and dark mocha layers? It is irresistible!

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Traditional Layer Cake (Kek Lapis)

  • Author: Myles
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: 8 to 10 servings 1x


This cake is as good as it appears. The combination of vanilla and mocha flavors is so good and irresistible. It is also moist and light, plus it has a creamy aftertaste. It is worth the effort, indeed!



1 cup of salted butter (at room temperature)

2/3 cup caster sugar (divided)

10 egg yolks

3 egg whites

2/3 cup all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons condensed milk

pinch of cream of tartar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

mocha paste


  1. Beat egg whites and a pinch of cream of tartar in a bowl. Add 1/3 cup of caster sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine the egg yolks, butter, and the remaining 1/3 cup of caster sugar. Beat well until light and fluffy.
  3. Add the condensed milk and continue beating.
  4. Add the flour and mix well. Combine with the egg white mixture and mix well.
  5. Divide the batter into 2 equal parts. Add the mocha paste in one part and vanilla extract in the other. Mix each part well.
  6. Place about 1/3 cup of the vanilla batter into a baking dish lined with parchment paper. Spread evenly and bake for about 7 minutes on grill mode until the top of the cake turns light brown and the cake layer feels firm.
  7. Remove the cake from the oven. Brush some butter onto this layer. Pour the batter to form the next layer.
  8. Continue baking 2 layers of vanilla batter followed by 2 layers of mocha batter until you consume all the batter. Once you get to the last layer, set the oven to bake mode (top and bottom). Continue baking the cake for about 10 minutes.
  9. Let cool completely before slicing.


  • If you can see extra bubbles, use a toothpick to remove them. You can also utilize a cake smoothener or smaller baking dish to make sure that the cake won’t rise anymore.
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour

This cake is rich so it is usually served in small slices. You can have it when you are having a cup of tea or coffee.

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