DIY Recipes

Make a Colorful Malaysian Layer Cake


These lovely cakes are created with intricate layers of alternate color, flavor and texture. The name, which is Malaysian, translates to layer cakes. These cakes are not always sweet and many times have very creative flavor combinations.

The bases of these cakes are usually made from rice flour, glutinous rice flour, tapioca flour and green bean flour. These flours give the cakes a firm pudding-like texture.

If you do take the Kueh Lapis feat and bake a layer cake, please submit a photo and it will be added here~

Kueh Lapis


1. Boil 225ml coconut milk with sugar & pandan leave until sugar dissolves
2. Separate mixture into two portions
3. Add red coloring to one portion
4. Pour a thin layer of batter into aluminium tray and steam till set
5. Pour into a bamboo steamer
6. Alternate the colors and steam until batter almost finished
7. When last layer is to be poured in, add a little more coloring into batter to give it a deep red color, pour this over as the last layer and steam


160g rice flour
20g green bean flour (lek tau hoon)
150ml water


190g powdered sugar
300ml water
2-3 pandan leaves (if none, green food coloring)
250ml thick coconut milk
1/4 tsp salt
A few drops red coloring


Combine sugar, water and pandan leaves (food coloring) in a saucepan. Bring to a boil to dissolve the sugar. Strain and set aside to cool.

Put rice flour and green bean flour into a large mixing bowl. Pour in water gradually and leave aside to soak for 40–45 minutes.

Add coconut milk and salt to the rice flour and mix well. Stir in syrup. Strain the batter to ensure it is free from lumps.

Divide batter into two. Leave half a portion white and add coloring to the other half.

Place a greased 20cm tray in the steamer and heat up for 4–5 minutes. Pour half cup of the white batter on the heated tray.

Cover and steam over medium heat for 5–6 minutes or until set.

Pour half cup of the pink batter over the white layer and steam covered for 5 minutes.

Repeat the procedure, alternating white and pink batter until all the batter is used up.

To the very last layer add a little more color to make it a deeper shade of pink.

After the final layer is set, steam the kuih for a further 12–15 minutes. Halfway through open the lid to release the steam, then cover again until the end of the steaming process.


Make sure the kuih lapis cools completely before attempting to cut (will break apart if cut when warm); cut into diamond shapes.

You Might Also Like


  • Reply Crystal 11/22/2008 at 7:20 am

    How pretty and color those cakes are! Looks kind of like soap!

    Crystal’s last blog post..Must have all…

  • Reply Kathryn 05/13/2009 at 2:42 pm

    Very lovely lapis cake in the picture. I have one question. how do you attach / tile up the multi-colour lapis layers so that they won’t break down into several pieces after slicing them?

  • Reply amberrenee 05/13/2009 at 3:57 pm

    These should stay together after being steamed as they have adhered to each other~ let me know if you experience any problems!

  • Reply Ophelia 03/25/2010 at 6:31 pm

    Hi there!

    Can I ask how you steam it exactly? I have a wok and a bamboo steamer, but my loaf pans and such won’t fit. Any advice?



  • Reply Goldiloks 03/29/2010 at 2:25 pm

    hi! im a pastry chef so i SHOULD BE able to translate the grams and ml to ounces but its been so long ;[ do you have a recipe with ounces? id love to make these and take pics as well.. also im trying to find the recipe for it, is it under the first part and half in the serve section? -confused- ;[

  • Reply Amber Renée 03/29/2010 at 7:12 pm

    Try this, Goldiloks!

    also — thanks for the comment! fixing the recipe now — it’s actually the ‘method’ area!

    Ohpelia, If your pan wont fit try a larger steamer? There are large ones available online or you could steam the pan covered in a large wok with water…

  • Leave a Reply