Steamed Layer Cake

Origin: Java Island


  • 250 g tapioca flour, sifted
  • 100 g rice flour, sifted
  • 800 ml medium thickness coconut milk
  • 300 g sugar
  • 50 g dark chocholate powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla sugar
  • 1 tsp salt

Steamed Layer Cake

Lapis Pengantin is one among the popular snacks & desserts in Indonesia, especially in rural villages of Java island. In my childhood time, I've seen this sweet dessert everywhere, homemade by my grandmother, by the street vendor in traditional markets or special cake & dessert shops.
Lapis Pengantin means literally "Bride's layer cake". I am not sure why they call it so. Maybe because it uses pair of colours or maybe this dessert is usually served for the guest in a wedding's party. I don't really know but one thing I know for sure. This sweet dessert taste good. I remember as a child, I used to separate each layer while eating it. It gave a good feeling, like children's play 😉


  • Mix tapioca flour, rice flour and salt in a large bowl.
  • Add sugar and vanilla sugar. Stir to mix.
  • Add the coconut milk little at times and stir it throughly to provide a smooth batter.
  • Divide the batter into 2 measuring glass or cups equally. Add the chocolate powder onto one of the batters, stir until it becomes smooth and the colour distributed evenly. Let the other batter uncoloured.
  • Boiled enough water in a steamer or deeply pan/boiler over high heat until it boils and steams. If you don't have a proper steamer, please use any deep saucepan which available in your kitchen and put something such a sieve or steamer container of rice cooker in the bottom of the pan. See foto below for example).
  • Prepare a small backing pan or heat-proof plastic container with a approx. size of 18x18x8cm(7inx7inx3in, brush each wall with vegetable oil.
  • Heat the above mentioned container in a steamer until it is hot. (approximately 5 minutes).
  • Adjust the temperature of the stove into medium heat to prevent the broken steamed cake due to overheating. Pour 100 ml of chocolate batter, cover the pan, steam for 5 minutes.
  • Pour 100 ml the white batter, steam for 5 minutes until the layer is cooked & hardened. You don't have to measure precisely each time you pour the batter, just notice when the surface of previous layer is completely covered with the new batter, it means the amount is sufficient. The important thing is : try to have the same amount/thickness for each layer.
  • Perform the same steps repeatedly until the batter is done.
  • Finally after the top part is solid, steam again for 20 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and let it cold.
  • Service Methode: Transfer the layer cake into a flat plate, brush the sharp knife with a bit of vegetable oil and cut the layer cake in any form you're prefered.

Important Note

  • Instead of choco powder you can also use food colour. Take a pair of colours for example : white-red, white-green, red-green etc.
  • Attention: Tapioca flour makes a firm and chewy texture once it's cooked. If you don't want to have your steamed layer cake too chewy, then switch the amount of flour used in this recipe. More for rice flour and less amount for tapioca flour. The taste is simply the same, but the texture of layer cake will be moist and not so firm.
Keyword Indonesia, layer cake

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