Food & Drink Magazine

Like Bengawan Solo Kek Lapis / Lapis Legit / Spekkoek/ Indonesian Layer Cake - The BEST Kek Lapis Recipe!!! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!

By Zoebakeforhappykids @bake4happykids
&version;Hi Hi 2021! And goodbye 2020.

2020 has been the most unforgettable unprecedented year that I have ever lived. This is the year that I have witnessed the most selfishness and also kindness in mankind.I'm not an anti-vaxxer. I don't panic-buy and fight for toilet paper fight. And I'm thankful to all brave healthcare, supermarket and essential workers who have been working hard at this most difficult times, exposing their lives to the erratic coronavirus while making our lives as livable as possible.I hope that we have gone through the worst and hope that 2021 is a new beginning.

I don't have a concrete new year resolution for 2021. I just love to be the same old me, running, baking and sharing my BEST and favorite recipes at my blog. I guess this is the least I can do for everyone especially at this difficult time as I hope that my recipes can bring you joy and happiness.

So here... I'm sharing the recipe that bake the BEST Super Moist Kek Lapis! Trust me. This lapis is as moist as the ones selling in Bengawan Solo Bakeries.

best super moist Bengawan Solo kek lapis lapis legit spekkoek Indonesian layer cake

Proudly presenting... My BEST Super Moist Kek Lapis
... just like the ones selling in Bengawan Solo Bakeries

Why this recipe? Oh well, this is my lapis story...My son loves kek lapis. And I love watching him savouring every single layer of his lapis.
I'm the same too! I like to eat my lapis by peeling the layers apart and enjoy the cake layer by layer.
In Melbourne, finding freshly baked kek lapis to buy can be challenging or even almost impossible. Fortunately for us, I can bake lapis. And I will bake lapis whenever my son asks me to bake one.
Yet, lately... I noticed that my son was chiong*-ing and gorging many lapis when we were back in Singapore. I wonder... why?
"Why are you eating so many lapis in Singapore if mom can bake lapis for you at home?" I asked.
"See! The Bengawan Solo lapis is moister than yours. And it contains alcohol and a lot of spices." My son replied with his slice of Bengawan Solo lapis as his reference. I must admit that it is a brutally honest reply but I like to take it positively.
"See. My lapis are made with less butter and less egg yolks and so they are less unhealthy." I tried to explain but deep inside me, I was sort of bue-song**... LOL!
"Yeah but it is still not moist enough." said son as he was asserting his point further.
Hmmm... At this point, I think I have nothing to say.
Strangely, I kind of like this feeling of being "criticized"... LOL!!! as I kind of take this criticism a challenge. For this, I'm giving myself a mission! A mission is to bake very MOIST kek lapis! So moist that my son won't say that BS lapis is better than mine... 
Ha! Guess what? I found the recipe!!!
Prior this recipe, my lapis recipes at here, here and here are often made with less butter and less egg yolks so that they are less guilty to indulge.
Then, I asked myself... Can more butter, more yolks and less flour bake a moister lapis?
I thought so and I tried baking a lapis with more butter and yolks based on the highly reviewed lapis recipes at here and here...

*chiong is a Singapore informal way of saying to rush or charge to obtain something 
** bue song is a Hokkien way of saying unhappy or angry about something

Like Bengawan Solo Kek Lapis / Lapis Legit / Spekkoek/ Indonesian Layer Cake - The BEST Kek Lapis recipe!!! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!

This is the lapis that I have baked with butter and yolks.
NOT moister!!! -_-

Why? Besides baking the lapis with the top grill only, I also baked the lapis with a tray of boiling water, placed on the rack below the lapis. This method is mentioned in some recipes in order to reduce the temperature at bottom of the oven but it didn't make any significant difference for me!
Why? Why? Why? ... I can't believe that I can't stop thinking about this! LOL!
I must have gone so psycho that I started telling my husband and son my lapis problem...
"I think you should bake the cake with a mixture of oil and butter." My husband suggested because the scientific him thought that vegetable oil and butter have very different melting point, meaning that vegetable oil will remain as liquid form in cold temperature and butter won't.
Can the addition of liquid vegetable oil make kek lapis moister?
It is a great idea but I have more ideas too, such as...
1) adding LESS flour
2) each lapis layer has to be slightly thicker because thinner and more layers require overall longer baking time, resulting the cake to dry further.
3) baking the lapis with a tray of boiling water and it has to be in contact with the boiling water.
And so, I baked the next lapis with these ideas and it worked!!!

best super moist Bengawan Solo kek lapis lapis legit spekkoek Indonesian layer cake

Yay!!! This lapis is so moist!!!
It tastes just like the ones selling at Bengawan Solo bakeries!!!

It's showing-off time! LOL! Here's my video showing I baked this moist and yummy lapis.
Music: Bensound

Before proceeding on to the recipe, I would to emphasize a few things...
1. Please use the exact weight of the ingredients listed in my recipe (especially the eggs) as any difference in the amount can produce cake with inferior texture. In order to ensure the success of your bake, I would recommend you to follow my recipe to a tee. No agak agak, please!
2. I would strongly encourage the addition of all-spices (or cloves if all-spice is unavailable) to make the lapis taste and smell more like the Bengawan solo's lapis. Without these spices, the lapis will smell more like the gingerbread. Having said that, I reckon the addition of spices can be optional if you don't like any of these spices. And you can add vanilla instead.
3. My recipe is written to bake one 17 cm square cake. If you want to use it to bake one 20 cm square cake, you will have to increase all of the ingredients to 1.4 x more. For the 20 cm square cake, you will need 210g (if you are confident, see the below point 4) to 280g to bake the first layer of cake and 140g to bake each subsequent layers.
4. For this bake, I have used 200g to bake the first layer but if you are confident and got used to this recipe, you use 150g batter to bake a thinner first layer.

5. You can bake this lapis with dried cranberries too. My version is extra "naughty" and nice because I have infused my dried cranberries with brandy so that the cranberries are moist and plumpy. Want to bake the lapis with cranberries? No worries... These additional steps are included in the below recipe.

best super moist Bengawan Solo kek lapis lapis legit spekkoek Indonesian layer cake

My second bake with 1) 150g batter for the first layer
2) generous amount of dried cranberries in every layer
And it's PERFECT!

best super moist Bengawan Solo kek lapis lapis legit spekkoek Indonesian layer cake

Happy that I can bake this perfect super moist lapis ^-^

best super moist Bengawan Solo kek lapis lapis legit spekkoek Indonesian layer cake

My son said that this lapis is moist and yummy.
Just like the Bengawan solo's lapis!
Now, I can safely say that this recipe is officially my best lapis recipe!

While we were enjoying our lapis, my husband commented...
"Now that you have posted this recipe, you should update your previous kek lapis post that this is the BEST kek lapis recipe."
I agree.
Like my recipes? It will be really nice if you can support a hardworking blogging mom like me. Please LIKE, SHARE, FOLLOW and SUBCRIBE my Facebook at here or here or my Instagram @zoebakeforhappykids or my YouTube channel at here because every LIKE, SHARE, FOLLOW and SUBCRIBE from you indicates that I'm in the right track. And I will try my best to bake and share more. Thank you!!!
Here's the recipe.
Makes one 17 cm square cake
280g egg whites, about 8 but please use the exact weight
120g caster sugar
175g unsalted butter, very soften at room temperature
150g vegetable oil, preferably the neutral-tasting one
30ml (2 tbsp) brandy or rum, optional
200g egg yolks, about 12-13 large yolks but please use the exact weight, at room temperature
120g condensed milk, at room temperature
100g cake flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp finely ground cinnamon, plus 1/4-1/2 tsp more if desired
1/4 tsp finely ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp finely ground all-spicesFor lapis with added dried cranberries:200g dried cranberries, preferably the reduced sugar one.60ml (4 tbsp) brandy or rum or water
Note: This is a generous amount of added cranberries. You can reduce the addition to three quarter which is 150g dried cranberries plus 45ml (3 tbsp) brandy or half which 100g dried cranberries plus 30ml (2 tbsp) brandy. This is really up to your personal preference.
Combine cranberries and brandy or rum or water in a small saucepan or heat-proof bowl. Heat and stir with low heat or microwave with low power until the liquid is fully absorbed into the cranberries. The cranberries should look plump and juicy. Set aside to cool completely.
Preheat the oven to 180°C (No fan forced) at grill mode with top heating only. Place baking rack on the second highest position.
If you are using a removable bottom square pan, you can line just the bottom of pan with a baking paper cut into its exact size. If you are using a regular square pan with no removable bottom, line the bottom of the pan with one long strip of baking paper that over-hanging two sides of the pan and this will help me to remove the cake easily. IMPORTANT: Do not use too many pieces of baking paper to line the pan. The multiple layers of paper might form gaps in between layers of paper resulting for the first layer of batter to flow through and causes the bottom layer of cake to be too thin or burnt.
Wrap the outside of the pan tightly with double or triple layers of foil to stop any water seeping into the cake batter during baking. Set aside.
Using another electric mixer with whisk attachment, beat egg whites with the lowest speed for about 10 mins or until foamy. While beating, mix B and C.
Place butter and oil in a large mixing bowl. Using another electric mixer with a paddle attachment, beat butter and oil until light, smooth and creamy. Add brandy or rum and beat until combined. Add egg yolks one to two at a time, beat well to combine after each addition. Add condensed milk and continue to beat until combined. At this stage, mixture should be very smooth and creamy.
Sift flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and all-spices into the yolk mixture. Use a spatula to fold the flour mixture until combined.
Back to A, beating the egg white mixture:
Increase to the next higher beating speed. While beating, add sugar gradually. Increase to the next higher beating speed and continue to beat until stiff peaks form.
Fold in a third of the egg white mixture into the yolk mixture and fold in gently. Repeat with the rest of the mixtures until all are combined. Be sure not to deflate the egg white.
To bake the first layer, weigh out 200g batter. The first layer acts like a base that establish the shape of the cake and so it has to be slightly thicker than other subsequent layers. If you are confident and got used to this recipe, you use 150g batter instead. Spread the batter on the lined pan and place pan in a deep baking tray. Fill the baking tray with adequate boiling water and bake with the top grill only for 11-12 mins at the second highest position or until nicely browned.
To bake the second or subsequent layers, weigh out 100g batter for each layer. To make the layers more uniform, press the cake gently with the back of a metal spoon when the before layer is done.
For lapis with added dried cranberries: Divide cranberries into 8 equal portions. Sprinkle each portion of cranberries evenly on every baked layer. Spread batter on it and and bake with the top grill only for 9-10 mins at the second highest position or until nicely browned. 
Repeat pressing the baked layer (using the metal spoon), distribute each portion of cranberries (if you are baking the cake with dried cranberries) and baking the layers until the batter is completely used up. You should be able to bake at least a total of 10 layers. I always baked my first and last cake layer with no cranberries. Top the baking tray with more boiling water if the water in the tray is drying up.
After baking the last layer, remove cake from the oven. Remove the cake from the pan and remove the baking paper immediately to minimise condensation as excessive condensation will cause the cake to be wet and soggy eventually. Transfer the cake to a wire rack to cool slightly until it is cooled enough to touch. Do not set aside the cake to cool completely. While the cake is still warm, trim off the sides. Wrap it in a cling wrap, place it in an airtight container and allow it to rest in a fridge for at least a day. The cake will feel oily initially when it is freshly baked and warm but the well-chilled and well-rested cake will taste really really really moist, butter, smooth, chewy and nice, exactly like the kek lapis that we bought from Bengawan Solo bakeries.
Slice and enjoy. Store uneaten cake, preferably uncut, tightly wrapped in a cling wrap. Place the wrapped cake in an airtight container and store in a fridge for up to a week. It will stay moist and nice for a week.
Happy Baking
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