Prune Kueh Lapis 黑枣千层蛋糕

Food Lover

Made with love. This luxurious Prune Kueh Lapis pastry is decadently moist, gloriously buttery and baked to perfection. Indonesian layered cakes are loved for their richly sweet and spice-infused flavours, often, spiked with dashes of liquor too!

“It tastes nicer on the next day. Less sweet and the flavours are richer!” – Celia

Its richness derives from the copious amounts of butter and sugar alongside an abundance of egg yolks. As each layer is ideally spread and baked separately, the cake extremely moist, and is really addictive.

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Preparation Time: 30 mins | Cook Time: 1 hr  | Total Time: 1hr 30 mins

No. of Servings: 8-inch square pan


  • 125g seedless prunes, cut into halves
  • 1 ½ tbsp brandy

[A] Ingredients

  • 125g self-rising flour
  • ½ tsp mixed spice

[B] Ingredients

  • 500g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 tbsp condensed milk

[C] Ingredients

  • 150g whole eggs
  • 420g egg yolks
  • 230g caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp sponge gel (Ovalette)

Cooking Directions

Step 1: Prepare Ingredient B

  • Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment beat Ingredient (B) at medium speed till light and fluffy for about 10 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a bowl, set aside. Clean the mixing bowl and use it for the next step.

Step 2: Prepare the batter

  • Attach the whisk attachment to the stand mixer, add Ingredients (C) into the clean mixing bowl. Whisk the ingredients at high speed, until the mixture turns pale, become thick and fluffy for about 7 – 8 minutes.
  • Once it is ready, stop the mixer. Sieve in Ingredient (A). Remove the whisk attachment and switch it to the dry and clean paddle attachment.
  • Beat the mixture at low speed and beat till just combined. Maintaining at low speed, add butter in 3 batches, beat well after each addition.

Step 3: Heat the cake pan in the oven

  • Grease the sides and base of an 8-inch square cake pan and line the base with greaseproof paper. Set your oven rack in the centre of the oven, preheat oven to upper heat at 200°C for 20 mins.
  • Transfer the greased pan into the oven, heat it up for 1 min.

Step 4: Bake the cake layer by layer (Approximately: 12 – 14 layers)

  • Remove pan from oven.
  • Use a ladle, scoop 1 ½ batter and spread evenly onto the bottom of the pan. Using the back of the ladle to level the surface. Bake for about 5 to 6 minutes, or until the layer is cooked and nicely browned.
  • Remove pan from the oven. Prick a few holes lightly with a fork. Scoop 1 ladle of batter and spread it on the 1st Level the surface, and bake for 8 – 10 mins till it turns slightly dark brown. Repeat until all the batter is used up.
  • For each layer, only use upper heat to bake until the final layer.
  • Scatter some prunes on the uncooked batter on every 4th layer (i.e. 4th, 8th, 12th layer, etc) and bake.
  • As the layers build up and get closer to the top heating element, baking time will reduce. Hence, keep a careful watch so as to avoid burning any layer. For the last 2 to 3 layers, move oven rack one level down.
  • On the final layer, scatter the top with the reserved prunes. Set the oven to 180°C and switch to upper and lower heat. Bake the cake for another 10 minutes before removing from the oven.

Step 5: Let the cake cool down and ready to serve

  • When it is done, allow the cake to rest in the pan for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and allow the cake to cool completely. Trim all around the sides to reveal the layered (lapis) pattern. Slice thinly and serve. Enjoy!


Recipe adapted from Lynn Lee

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