Thursday, December 18, 2008

Horlicks Layer Cake 好力克千层蛋糕

I'm going to post 3 layer cakes.... but am posting it one per week.
Made these as christmas gifts.

My ex colleague introduced me to Sarawak Layer cakes, or Kek Lapis Sarawak. I used to think only the Indonesians make layer cakes, I didn’t know that Sarawakians bake these too..and make it to be part of their culture.

The Sarawak version makes paterns with the cakes, to me it looks like their traditional woven cloth, pua kumbu. But I’m not going to go thru that (I’m lazy)… taste is what that matters. And I don’t like it to be a mixture of everything, Horlicks, kaya, peanut butter or whatever u can think of…. I prefer each cake to take on one flavour only.

The original Sarawak Layer cakes use 30 egg yolks in each cake, but I'm not going to do that. Luckily I found a recipe that uses 10 whole eggs *Phew*
Then I made other Layer cakes based on the 10 eggs recipe I found. This is a good site for kek lapis, but it's in Malay. Tried and tested recipes.

In Malaysia, the size of canned condensed milk is approximately 510gm each, so I adjusted the recipe to finish up one can of it. Lessened the sugar, added up the milk…

450gm butter
140gm sugar
10 medium eggs, grade C
510gm canned condensed milk
240gm superfine/cake flour
200gm Horlicks powder

1. Preheat oven on grill setting. (My oven has either 230C or 250C setting, so I used 230C)
2. Use a 9x9 inch square pan. Line bottom and grease sides. Heat up pan for step 8.
3. Beat sugar and butter until light and fluffy.
4. Add in eggs, one by one. Beating well after each addition.
5. Mix in condensed milk
6. Sift flour and Horlicks together.
7. Fold (6) into batter.
8. Spread a ladle of batter evenly onto hot pan.
9. Tilt pan left and right to level batter. Grill for 7 minutes or until golden.
10. Remove from oven and press cake layer to remove excess air. Spread another ladle of batter over the cooked layer, and repeat step 9.
11. Repeat step 10 until all batter is used up.

Pan needs to be heated up at step 2 for even distribution of batter. You can either heat up in the preheating oven or over a pot of hot water.

Switch off oven fan when u do this cake, if not, the bottom will burn at the end of the baking. If the fan cannot be turned off, like my oven, even on grill mode, bake this cake in a shallow water bath to prevent the base from over browning… I over browned at my first attempt.. the bottom was very brown and dry but after keeping the cake overnight in a tupperware, luckily the dry bottom moistened up. Not too bad, but doesn’t look nice.

Left : Layer Cake press , the one I used to press the layers.
Right: Flat bottomed whiskey glass, can be used as well


  1. I made this 2 months ago and I didn't brown the individual layers enough and it became one giant cake. This looks amazing!

  2. Thessa, thanks for the compliment.
    Hmm, could the difference be that I press the cake layers and I didn't put in baking powder that it is not as big??? Ovalette ones tend to be biger too.`

  3. mmm think I'm gonna make this one ;)

  4. In the region I'm from in the United States, layer cakes like this are considered a cultural thing too. All of the ones I have had are round, and the layers are filled and covered with a sauce made from dried apples that have been stewed with spices. We call these apple stack cakes, and they are delicious! They were a big part of my childhood, and I am glad to see that similar treats are loved in other parts of the world as well!

  5. Thanks for posting the layer cake recipes. They r simple to make n I m gonna try out.Nowadays it's a bit difficult to get condensed milk in the market...

  6. Lovely cakes you have there! I find it difficult to get the layer cake spice in UK. But am going try the pua kumbu design. Thanks for the recipes that uses only 10 eggs. Mine is 25 egg yolks and usually I tend to make a chiffon cake with the left over egg white but cant get soft a silk flour in UK.

  7. Daphne,
    I'm not sure about the contents in the spice mix, but I think "all spice" can be used.
    You don't need soft a silk to make chiffon cake. Extra fine flour or even all purpose will be good for a chiffon cake.

  8. OMG, i just baked my virgin layer excited!
    i dun have a square pan so did it in a loaf pan and used 1/3 of ur recipe. i got 12 nice even layers. ok like you i over-baked my bottom coz i switched to upper n lower fire so half way thru i switched back to upper fire. so yeah bottom layer dry and burnt a bit but is ok coz it was my first!
    woah took me 1-3/4 hours, tired but everytime i took it out i was crying with joy. i was itching to know how it turn out so cut the outer part and woohooo nicely layers and dancing with joy it to mom n she's happy and i'm happy. so now i have a reason to get a square pan and i think i'm addicted in the process of making it.
    so next, kaya layer cake coz of my homemade kaya.
    busy busy me! thx Wendy <3

  9. Lisa.L,
    Do a shallow water bath to prevent the base from burning.
    It's very rewarding when you cut through the cake. I can feel your joy :)

  10. Hi Wendy, the condense milk in s'pore is 397g so hw much sugar shld i use? I tried making the kaya layer cake, its v nice n the layer turn out beautifully but its too sweet, i was thinking of reducing the sugar n kaya by 20g each for both the layers, will it b ok?....thks....

  11. Jer,
    Layer cakes are supposed to be eaten in very small slices, say 1cm thick with 1 inch wide pieces.
    So, the sweetness won't be felt. The amount of sugar in the cake keeps it moist and long lasting. You may reduce if you prefer it this way.
    Since you wanted to reduce the sugar, why do you want to add sugar in this cake? Try it out with 397gm instead, and maybe it'll suit your tastebud.

  12. Hi Wendy, tk u for sharing the steps and recipe. Seems like easy to make. I would like to try it. Can u please advise me the below is correct, my oven can switch to bottom and upper and fan. So which setting shld I use? If I off the oven fan and switch to Bottom & Upper, do i still need to maka a shallow water path? I am a newbie in baking and excited to try it out. Cos Kuih lapis is my favorite.

  13. komiko,
    Just the upper heat.
    If it's a small oven, you won't have a burnt bottom problem, so skip the water bath.
    If it's a big oven, then use the water bath after the 2nd layer.
    but if your big oven has variable top grill elements, select the small width and skip the bath too

  14. Hi Wendy,

    Can I omit the horlicks in this recipe and follow with the rest of the ingredients?? By the way do you have cheese layered cake recipe or have you try on cheese layered cake? I wish to bake cheese layered cake but don't seems to get a reliable recipe..



  15. Asther,
    then follow the prune version 2. Omit the prunes, use 10 Grade C whole eggs instead of 30 yolks.


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