Kue Lapis | Gao Tang Kue| Indonesian steamed rice cake

Kue Lapis

Kue lapis is an Indonesian dessert delicacy which is basically a steamed dessert of coconut milk and rice flour and served with coconut ice cream.

Lapis means layers in Indonesian. A multilayered soft steamed rice cake is just as best with its sweetness and taste.

It is a gluten free dessert where rice flour and tapioca flour is used. It is also a vegan dish.

Gao teng kueh is made with gluten-free flour such as: rice flour, tapioca flour, cornstarch. Some people added sago (cassava) flour too.

There is also a baked version, often called Kue Lapis Surabaya or Kueh Lapis Legit. The steamed kue lapis is so much “easier” to make compared to the baked version. Most people will make it with three colors: green, red and white.

Table of Contents

Kue lapis
Kue lapis

History

Kue lapis, also known as Indonesian layer cake, is a traditional Indonesian dessert with a rich history. Here’s a brief overview of its historical background:

1. Dutch Colonial Influence: Kue lapis is believed to have originated during the Dutch colonial period in Indonesia, which lasted from the early 17th century to the mid-20th century. Dutch colonization introduced various culinary influences, including layered cakes, to Indonesian cuisine.

2. Fusion of Dutch and Indonesian Elements: Kue lapis represents a fusion of Dutch and Indonesian culinary traditions. It combines the European concept of layered cakes with indigenous Indonesian ingredients and flavors.

3. Symbolism and Tradition: Kue lapis is not just a delicious dessert but also carries cultural and symbolic significance. It is often associated with festive occasions, celebrations, and important events in Indonesian culture.

Recipe of kue lapis Legit

Kue Lapis | Gao Teng kueh |Indonesian steamed dessert

Kue lapis is an Indonesian dessert delicacy which is basically a steamed dessert of coconut milk and rice flour and served with coconut ice cream.

Prep Time 10 min Cook Time 45 min Rest Time 5 min Total Time 1 hr Difficulty: Intermediate Cooking Temp: 100  °C Servings: 4 Calories: 526 kcal Best Season: Suitable throughout the year Dietary:

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. PREPARE THE BATTER

    In a bowl add the rice flour and tapioca flour ( sieved ), add the sugar, salt and mix well

    Add the vanilla essence, coconut milk slowly and stir up nicely without any lumps.

    Add hot water slowly and stir evenly and batter should be running but sticky consistency.

  2. ADD THE COLOR

    Divide the batter into three bowls, keep one batter plain and add red and green or your preferred food coloring into other bowls.

    Rest the batter for 5 to 10 minutes before steaming.

    You can even add any flavoring like juices of vegetables but the proportion of flour will be increased. The ratio of the flour to liquid content is 1:2.5 . If you add any juices for color like beet juice add extra flour according to ratio.
  3. STEAM THE CAKE

    In a mold or any pan or cake tin add the first white layer of batter and keep for steaming for 10 minutes.

    Remove and add the second color batter and steam for more 10 minutes.

    Repeat the process until all batter is finished evenly.

    Serve hot with coconut ice cream and praline.

    Remember not to pour thick layers which will make the layer not cooked properly.
Nutrition Facts

Servings 4


Amount Per Serving
Calories 526kcal
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 18.3g29%
Saturated Fat 16.1g81%
Sodium 502mg21%
Potassium 210mg6%
Total Carbohydrate 90.8g31%
Dietary Fiber 2.4g10%
Sugars 40.2g
Protein 2.3g5%

Calcium 15 mg
Iron 1 mg

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Note

You can even add any flavoring like juices of vegetables but the proportion of flour will be increased. The ratio of the flour to liquid content is 1:2.5 . If you add any juices for color like beet juice add extra flour according to ratio.

Remember not to pour thick layers which will make the layer not cooked properly.

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Equipments and ingredients

1Our Pick
Wooden steamer

Wooden steamer has its natural flavor and even more steaming capacity .

2Recommended
Stainless steel steamer

Stainless Steel Momo Steamer with Glass Lid 24.5cm 3 Tier (Induction & Gas Stove Compatible)

3Try out
Baking tray or mold

Square Shape Cake Mould | Carbon Steel Baking pan | Can be Used Microwave Oven OTG, Cooker | Cake Making Supplies – 2 in 1 Combo Set

Tapioca flour is known to contribute to that bounciness/springy texture in food. Rice flour will give more of a softer texture. In gao teng kueh, we really want it to be springy, soft, resilient that you can peel the cake layer by layer without tearing it.
The ratio of tapioca : rice flour is 4.5:1. It is mainly tapioca flour and it’s amazing how “bendy” and springy this gao teng kueh is.

Variations of Kue Lapis

Kue, a term used in various Southeast Asian countries to refer to a wide range of traditional snacks and desserts, comes in numerous variations, each with its unique ingredients, flavors, and preparation methods. Here are some popular variations of kue:

  1. Kue Dadar (Kuih Ketayap): A popular Indonesian and Malaysian snack, kue dadar consists of green pancakes filled with a sweet coconut and palm sugar mixture. It’s often flavored with pandan leaves.
  2. Kue Lapis (Kuih Lapis): As mentioned earlier, kue lapis is a layered cake popular in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore. It comes in various flavors and colors, with each layer made from a different batter.
  3. Kue Kering: These are Indonesian crispy cookies often served during holidays and celebrations. Varieties include kue semprit (butter cookies), kue lidah kucing (cat’s tongue cookies), and kue nastar (pineapple tarts).
  4. Kue Apem: A steamed Indonesian cake made from rice flour and coconut milk, kue apem has a spongy texture and is often flavored with palm sugar.
  5. Kue Mangkok: These are Indonesian steamed cupcakes with a soft, spongy texture. They are often flavored with coconut milk and pandan.
  6. Kue Talam: A two-layered Indonesian kue, with a bottom layer made from rice flour and a top layer of green pandan-flavored coconut milk.
  7. Kue Putu: A popular Indonesian and Thai dessert, kue putu consists of cylindrical rice cakes filled with palm sugar and grated coconut.
  8. Kue Koci: These are Malaysian and Indonesian glutinous rice dumplings filled with sweet fillings like palm sugar and coconut.
  9. Kue Cucur: Indonesian and Malaysian fritters made from a batter of rice flour and coconut milk, often flavored with pandan.
  10. Kue Lumpur: A traditional Indonesian steamed cake made from rice flour, coconut milk, and palm sugar.
  11. Kue Teng Teng: Indonesian peanut brittle snacks made with roasted peanuts and a caramelized sugar mixture.
  12. Kue Lumpur Lumer: A variant of kue lumpur that features a soft, molten center.
  13. Kue Keranjang: A Chinese-Indonesian treat made from glutinous rice flour and palm sugar. It’s often served during Chinese New Year.
  14. Kue Sus: Indonesian cream puffs filled with custard or cream.
  15. Kue Pisang (Kuih Kodok): Indonesian banana fritters made by coating banana slices in a sweet batter and frying them.

These are just a few examples of the many variations of kue found in Southeast Asia. The diversity of ingredients, flavors, and cooking methods in the region has led to a wide array of delicious kue that are enjoyed in various cultural and festive contexts.

Tips and tricks

When steaming the batter will overflow, Do not worry about it. It is just the raising of cake which indicates the soft texture and your batter is correct.

Make sure each layer is perfect in thickness to avoid uneven cooking.

Tapioca flour is what makes the cake soft, and bendy, smooth texture and rice flour makes it sticky and holds the tapioca flour.

Tapioca flour can be replaced with Refined flour or corn flour but the texture is not the same. It gives grainy texture not smooth.

Sugar can be replaced with jaggery but little less than the recipe because of high sweetness in jaggery.

Frequently asked questions

What is Kue Lapis or Gao Tang Kue ?

Kue lapis or gao tang kue is an Indonesian steamed rice cake made from rice flour, tapioca flour, sugar, coconut milk and steamed by layers.

Why the texture looks coarse and hard ?

It might be for two reasons. One is rice flour to tapioca flour ratio gets wrong and other reason is over steaming also make it harder.

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