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Blog » Cakes » Lapis Surabaya Indonesian Sponge Cake Recipe

Lapis Surabaya Indonesian Sponge Cake Recipe

Surabaya layer cake or in Indonesia we call them Lapis Surabaya..  This is one of Indonesia’s signature cakes. There’s a story behind the name of this cake. “Surabaya” is the name of a city in Indonesia. But the term “Lapis Surabaya” is only known by people outside Surabaya, while people in Surabaya don’t even know that name. It is popular by the name of “Spiku”. So, most of the people in Surabaya won’t even know what Lapis Surabaya cake is.

Whether it’s a birthday or wedding in Jakarta, they always have this cake.  I remember my mum always bought me this cake every year for my birthday. It brings back lots of memories. I always took this cake for granted because almost everyone in Jakarta (where I come from) can make it.  Once I started running Ma’ cake I became curious and fascinated about this cake not as a consumer but as a baker.  Not many places in Sydney sell this cake or should I say not many people know how to make it. There are quite a lot of things that can go wrong when making this cake. If it does go wrong the result is horrible, but when it goes right it is amazing. It took me a few times to get this cake right but once I did, my husband just can’t get enough.  My son loves the yellow layer but for some reason he just won’t eat the chocolate layer.  Anyway the cake tastes like sponge cake, but lighter and smoother… it just melts in your mouth.

There are two versions of this cake.  One that need lots and lots of egg yolk (you’ll see in the minute why I said lots) and the other one is the economic version, which uses less egg yolk.  I’ve tried them both but if you use the first recipe with lots of egg yolk, you can tell the difference – it is smoother, more velvety and has a richer taste, although the second recipe is excellent too. However I prefer the economic version since less egg yolk meaning less calories..  (thinking about my diet…lol)  So it’s your choice which one you prefer…

Yellow Layers (make 2 layers of yellow layers) :

  • 20 egg yolks
  • 200 g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp emulsifier* (Please see note)
  • 100 g plain flour
  • 250 g melted butter

Choclate Layer :

  • 10 egg yolks
  • 125 g caster sugar
  • 1tsp emulsifier* (Please see note)
  • 30 g plain flour
  • 25 g cocoa powder
  • 125 g melted butter

Strawberry jam or raspberry jam or whatever jam that suited to your liking (the indonesian recipe use strawberry jam)

1.Grease and line 3 x 8 inch baking tins

2.Pre heat oven to 175C (fan forced)

3.Prepare the yellow cake mix : Beat together sugar, egg yolks, sifted flour and emulsifier until pale and thick. The cake mix will expand to around three times the original volume.  Put the melted butter in to the cake mix and fold in thoroughly.

4.Pour the mix into the cake tins and bake for about 10 – 15 minutes until springy to the touch.

5.Place cake tin on a wire rack and leave to cool for 10 minutes.

6.Carefully remove cake from tin and place on rack to cool completely.

7.Prepare the chocolate layer in the same way as the yellow layer except beat the sifted cocoa powder together with the other ingredients.

8.To assemble the cake place one yellow layer on a cake board and spread the top of the cake with thin layer of strawberry jam to stick the layers together.  You can put as much or as little jam you like.

9.Place the chocolate layer on top.  Spread with jam

10.Place yellow layer on top

You can eat the cake as is or you can use any type of buttercream frosting surrounding the cake

Now for the economic version :

Yellow layers : (You need two of this recipe to make 2 yellow layers)

  • 5 egg yolk
  • 3 egg white
  • 75 g caster sugar
  • 35 g plain flour
  • 15 g milk powder
  • 100 g melted butter
  • 1 tsp emulsifier* (Please see note)

Chocolate layer :

  • 5 egg yolk
  • 3 egg white
  • 75 g caster sugar
  • 25 g plain flour
  • 15 g cocoa powder
  • ¼ tsp chocolate paste
  • 10 g milk powder
  • 100 g melted butter
  • 1 tsp emulsifier* (Please see note)

1.Grease and line 3 of 8 inch baking tins

2.Pre heat oven to 175C (fan forced)

3.Prepare the yellow cake mix : Beat the egg whites to until stiff peaks form and set aside. Beat together sugar, egg yolks, sifted flour, milk powder and emulsifier until pale and thick. The cake mix will expand to around three times the original volume.  Put the melted butter into the cake mix and fold in thoroughly. Finally fold in the egg whites.

4.Pour the mix into the cake tins and bake for about 10 – 15 minutes until springy to the touch.

5.Place cake tin on a wire rack and leave to cool for 10 minutes.

6.Carefully remove cake from tin and place on rack to cool completely.

7.Prepare the chocolate layer in the same way as the yellow layer except beat the sifted cocoa powder together with the other ingredients.   Put the melted butter and chocolate paste into the cake mix and fold in thoroughly. Finally fold in the egg whites.

8.To assemble the cake place one yellow layer on a cake board and spread the top of the cake with thin layer of strawberry jam to stick the layers together.  You can put as much or as little jam you like.

9.Place the chocolate layer on top.  Spread with jam

10.Place yellow layer on top

Note : I normally buy the emulsifier from asian grocery store or go to Randwick Oriental supermarket in Randwick, NSW.  I don’t know where to get them in another state. It comes in a little yellow tub and has the letters SP on it.

Enjoy and happy baking… Don’t forget to let me know how you go with this recipe…

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Comments

  1. Penny

    hehe… lots of egg yolks!!

  2. Nancy

    Thanks for the recipe n will try:)

  3. lia

    i tried this. but it give me uneven cake.so when i combine all together…you can see it, it doesnt give me the smooth n even look.
    then it doesnt so “sponge” cake…after an hour i can see the colour at the bottom is darker yellow

    how long do you mix the egg mixture? half an hour?

  4. Lia, when you put the mixture into the tin, you have to make sure that the mixture is even in the tin. Otherwise you won’t get the even cake. Did you put the bottom griller on so the bottom is darker than the top? If not, I normally put my tin in the middle of the oven so it’ll rise better. I normally mix the egg mixture until they go white and the mixture go multiples.. Does this make sense??

  5. lia

    Hi Macake ,

    thank you for your kind reply.
    Hmm i try to mix the egg about half an hour (10yellow egg+sugar) but i cannot get white mixture. it only turned pale yellow. how long do you normally mix it?is half an hour enough?

    oh that is great idea. i just out the batter into the tin, but i dont make sure about the batter is even..well i need to try it nexttime. i will take photos and i let you know how i goes.
    thanks ma cake

  6. Lia, You have to mix the emulsifier with the egg and sugar so the mixture will turned white. Hope this help..:)

  7. Yuni

    I was thinking about this cake for quite sometimes and I come across your blog. I love to see the design of your cakes. I will try to make one. Hopefully it will be as nice as yours.. :)

  8. Keziah

    I tried this recipe twice. No doubt it is a good one. However, the side of my cake went down (shrink). It looks great when I just took it our from oven but the side was shrink after it cool down. Apart from that the cake taste good.

    Another question, why the chocolate color is not even (darker at the bottom)? Again, the taste is good.
    I beat the cocoa powder together with sugar, egg, flour and emulsifier. Is this correct?

    Please advice me.

    Thanks Ma Cake!

  9. HI Keziah,

    You have to make sure that the mixture is completely level before you put them in the oven. It normally will shrink just a little bit due to the temperature shock. Especially during winter but not much.

    For the chocolate one, you have to make sure that they’re mix properly. The chocolate paste is a bit tricky. You have to fold all the way from the bottom to the top so the chocolate paste doesn’t sink on the bottom. Does this make sense?

    Hope this help.

    Leony

  10. Christine

    Ma Cake,

    How much of melted butter do I need for the chocolate layer? I don’t see it in the recipe…perhaps the same amount as the yellow layer?

    Thanks,
    Christine

  11. esther upa gapa

    I’m going to try this recipe.it will be my first atttempt hope it turns out right. i will give you me feedback soon. Thank you.

    esther.

  12. tibb

    Thank you for your share recipe . i will try it

  13. smailey00

    Hi Ma’cake
    The cake looks so delicious and like to try if I have time. However, I just wonder if I am reading it right that the flour is mixed/beaten together with the yolks and sugar. Wouldn’t it make the dough heavy? I did try other asian cakes but the flour normally come last. Your cake decoration is so beautiful.

    cheers

  14. Hi there,

    Appreciate your comment very much.. :) As for the recipe, it will not make the dough heavy since it only need a small amount of flour. Give it ago and see how you go.

    Leony

  15. smailey00

    Thank you for your response. Also, is there any difference whether beat the eggs white separately or mix with the egg yolks?. I am still trying to get the grip on how to make this cake as it needs lots of eggs…hehehe.

  16. Brockies

    Hello Ma,
    Thanks for the recipe. What is emulsifier, i live in england and never heard it before. is it some kind of baking powder or something..really love to try this recipe. Thank you.

  17. Brockies

    Dear Ma’cake,
    I tried this recipe and it was a total success..it looked gorgeous, soft and taste so delicious..thanks a lotxxxx

  18. sherly

    I tried your economic version. it’s delicious!
    Thanks for sharing!

  19. Ninik

    Thank you for delicious recipes I loved.

  20. seth

    can you also use TBM ( a yellow cake stabilizer)

  21. Hi there,

    You can certainly use TBM.

    Leony

  22. Diana

    I tried your recip and red velvetn cupcake and its DELICIOUS!!
    The instructions are easy to follow!

    Thanks for sharing leony :)

  23. Totally05

    What if theres no milk powder?just what if… :p

  24. I never tried it without the milk powder so I don’t know. Having said that, milk powder is very easy to find. You can use pretty much any milk powder. xxLeonyxx

  25. Rini

    Hi Leony,

    I am eager to try your recipe…I tried make this cake (the original egg yolk) using other recipe From femina indo magazine) but similar with yours last night but without emulsifier and using softened butter beaten separately. The taste is great but the texture is still too dense and not soft especially after you put in the refrigerator.. Can you advise anything I missed?..thanks and happy holidays!

  26. Rini

    Happy New Year 2012!

    I made the one with the economic one…When it was out from the oven..it tasted good and the texture was great, soft and not too dense..but after cooling time..somehow..the texture is not good as the frest from the oven..it’s hard and dense..could please what is wrong with that?…
    Do we need to add cream of tartar for the egg whites?
    Thanks!

  27. Hi Rini, I’ve never experience that before so I’m afraid I can’t help you. Leonyxx

  28. Bee Lee

    Hi macake,
    I have looked for this cake recipe for a long long time and finally found it here. I am going to try it.
    Thank you for your sharing.

    God bless! :)

  29. angel

    The economic recipe failed twice. It separated into spongey upper part from egg whites, and the thick solid bottom part from egg yolks. Taste like an egg pie.

  30. Hi Angel,

    You probably over mix the egg white meringue mixture with the egg yolks mixture. It happened to me at the very first time when I tried baking this. However, I persevere and manage to get it right. Hopefully it’ll be a successful one next time.

    Leonyxx

  31. Hi Rini,

    Any cake that contain butter will always be a bit dense after you put it in the fridge since the butter firm up in the cake in the refrigerator. So you have to leave the cake out in the room temperature and in due course, the cake will soften and ready to be eaten. If you don’t want your cake texture too dense then make sure that you’re using the melted butter. If you don’t melt the butter then you’ll end up with a dense texture. I hope this help.

    Leonyxx

  32. Niz

    I tink it’s called ovalett from where I come from….

  33. Niz

    What I mean is the emulsifier.. It’s called ovalett

  34. grace

    Hi macake, i tried both more than three times, top very soft but bottom layer for both like rubber, what is wrong. please help. Thanks and God Bless

  35. Nana

    Hi leony,

    Just a quick question,Can I use ovalet instead of SP?
    Thank you

  36. Hi Nana,

    Yes, you can use ovalet instead of SP

    Leonyxx

  37. Hi Grace,

    It looks like that you haven’t beat the batter long enough. Try to beat the batter until the batter become very white.

    Leonyxx

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