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Kue Lapis: Layered Rice Flour and Coconut Cake

In the world of Indonesian desserts, Kue Lapis stands out as a true masterpiece of flavors, colors, and textures. This layered rice flour and coconut cake is a visual feast with its vibrant, alternating layers, while its delicate, melt-in-your-mouth texture leaves you craving for more. Made with simple ingredients like rice flour, coconut milk, and sugar, Kue Lapis is often flavored with pandan or other natural food coloring to create a stunning presentation. Typically enjoyed during special occasions and celebrations, this delightful treat is sure to become a favorite among your dessert repertoire. Let’s delve into the ingredients and cooking steps to create your very own Kue Lapis.

Kue Lapis: Layered Rice Flour and Coconut Cake


  • 400g rice flour
  • 1.2 liters coconut milk
  • 400g granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pandan paste (or other natural food coloring)
  • Vegetable oil, for greasing the pan

Cooking Steps:

  • 1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the rice flour, coconut milk, sugar, and salt. Stir until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is smooth.
  • 2. Divide the mixture equally into two separate bowls. Stir the pandan paste (or your choice of food coloring) into one of the bowls, creating a vibrant color.
  • 3. Prepare a 9-inch round or square baking pan by greasing it with vegetable oil. Preheat a steamer with enough water for at least 45 minutes of steaming.
  • 4. Pour a thin layer of the colored batter into the greased pan, and place the pan into the steamer. Steam for 5 minutes, or until the layer is set and firm to the touch.
  • 5. Once the first layer is set, carefully pour a thin layer of the uncolored batter over it. Steam for another 5 minutes, or until the second layer is set.
  • 6. Continue alternating between the colored and uncolored batter, steaming each layer for 5 minutes, until you have used up all the batter. The final layer may take slightly longer to set, around 10-15 minutes.
  • 7. Remove the pan from the steamer and allow the Kue Lapis to cool completely. Once cooled, use a sharp knife to cut the cake into small squares or diamond shapes.
  • 8. Serve your Kue Lapis at room temperature and enjoy the delightful flavors and textures of this Indonesian dessert classic!

Creating a delicious and visually appealing Kue Lapis relies on the use of fresh and high-quality ingredients. Opt for a good-quality rice flour and coconut milk, as they form the base of your cake and will greatly impact its taste and texture. Fresh pandan paste or other natural food coloring will not only provide a vibrant hue but also enhance the flavor of your Kue Lapis. When steaming, make sure to maintain a consistent heat and steam each layer evenly to achieve that delicate, melt-in-your-mouth texture. With attention to detail and fresh ingredients, your Kue Lapis is sure to be a showstopper at any celebration or gathering. Happy cooking!

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