Monday, 9 November 2009

Kuih Lapis/Malaysian Steamed Layered Cake

Kuih Lapis is one of my favourite childhood treats. It brings back fond memories of my childhood past. I remember peeling the layers, one at a time and popping them into my mouth. It's texture should be soft, and yet a little springy. The simple flavours of coconut and pandan leaves makes such a wonderful combination, and is the essence of most Malaysian dessert. Traditionally, this steamed layered cake is made out of 2 colours: red and white, the cake is 9 layers tall, with the last layer a deep orangey red.

I have made Kuih Lapis only a handful of times, trying out different recipes and also experimenting with different colours. Aahhh... just for the fun of it!

The last few weekends have been particularly hot! And all I wanted to do was stand in front of a big hot steaming wok pouring layer after layer of sugared rice flour coconutty mixture, cooking each layer before the next. Oh, so not! Well, it wasn't too bad in an air-conditioned house, and all I wanted was some entertainment for myself, indoors. Yes, I do find it amusing!

Malaysian Kuih Lapis
(Adapted from My Kitchen Snippets)


230g rice flour
45g corn flour
840ml coconut milk, I used a 400ml can of good quality coconut cream and topped the rest up with water.
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pandan paste
A few drops yellow and pink colouring

For the syrup

280g castor sugar
250ml water
3 pandan leaves, knotted

1. Combine sugar, water and pandan leaves in a saucepan. Bring to a boil to dissolve the sugar. Set aside to cool.

2. Put rice flour, cornstarch and salt into a large mixing bowl. Pour in coconut milk mix well. Stir in syrup. Strain the batter to ensure it is free from lumps.

3. Divide batter into 3 equal portions. Add the pandan paste (green) to one of the portions, a few drops of yellow colouring in another, and a few drops of pink colouring in the third. I love the light pastel colour, so I went only lightly on the colourings.

4. Place a greased 8 inch tray in the steamer and heat up for 4–5 minutes.

5. Ladle the 1st layer of batter on the heated tray. Cover and steam over medium heat for 2-3 minutes or until set.

6. Follow by the next color and steam for 2-3 minutes and then the next layer.

7. Repeat the procedure, alternating the color until all the batter is used up.

8. After the final layer is set, steam the kuih for a further 15 minutes.

9. Cool the kuih thoroughly before cutting it into diamonds.

Verdict? Pretty good! I can't wait to savour more Malaysian delights at the end of the year! Home, here I come!
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Maria said...

honestly Grace...*sigh* :))))

Grace said...


What have I done???? :)))

Maria said...

you do a lot of neat things Grace...or should I say 'make' a lot of neat things :)))).

that morning sickness doesn't sound too bad if you end up making heaps of goodies :)

Jess said...

SO UNFORTUNATE I live quite a while away from you now otherwise I'll be religiously coming over to 'visit'! I love this Kuih Lapis!!!

Anonymous said...

Heys! When are you down in M'sia? I'm here now :)... doing nothing much other than sit in the aircon room and bum. Anyhoot, tweet me or something? I dunno. Baby#3 looks well and comin! How exciting!


Anonymous said...

yummy kuih lapis. tried it out, wah, hoh chiak. Thx

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