Day 365: Kek Lapis Sarawak

Yay, I made it to 365 days! A year has passed since I started this blog, and I'm incredibly grateful for all your support. It feels like like I just started yesterday, but it's been a year!

Jump to recipe!

I will be continuing the blog, but in a different form. Baking every day is super fun, but on busy days it's hard to fit everything in. So now I've created a new challenge. Every week, I'm going to bake a dessert from one of the 50 American states! If you have any suggestions, you can contact me here! I'll go by alphabetical order, so we will start with Alabama this Sunday.

Many people think I started baking when I started this blog, but that's actually not true. I've been baking ever since I was small, but to tell you the truth I was horrible at it! I didn't know how to even frost a cupcake or make cookies. Over the past year, I've gotten so much better at baking than I could ever imagine! But I've made a lot of mistakes as well! My greatest baking mistake was when I made a black forest cake. Here's what happened:

I wanted to make a black forest cake. All was going well, I had my cake layers perfectly baked, my whipped cream fluffy, and my cherries prepared. The only thing left to do was to assemble everything. I frosted my cake and stepped out of the room to get the phone to take pictures. When I came back, the cake decided it would be fun to lean over to the right. I quickly pushed it back so it wouldn't fall and placed it in the fridge thinking that it may stabilize in there. Photos on hold, I went on a walk and didn't come home until 30 minutes. I opened the fridge to see the status of the cake, and as I pushed open the door, the cake fell into my hands. I was covered in frosting but tried to fix it anyhow. I placed it on the counter to wash my hands. When I came back, surprise surprise it fell over on the floor. 🤦🏽‍♀️ I believe that the cake layers couldn't hold all that whipped cream so it wanted to fall. Finally with it totally destroyed we had to scrap the cake. I think the main lesson for this story is to never let your cake go unsupervised. 😆

Another time I was holding a back of flour when the bottom decided to burst. Out fell cups and cups of flour.

Okay, onto the cake! A kek lapis Sarawak is a Malaysian cake that's unique because instead of baking each cake layered separately, they are all broiled on top of each other. Their vibrant colors and layers are then placed onto each other in different ways to have a geometric pattern in the end.

I first learned about this cake in The Great British Bake Off when they made it for the showstopper challenge. It looked so amazing, but didn't think I would ever be able to make it! It seemed so hard! Funny to think, a year later I would be making it for my 365th day!

Making a kek lapis Sarawak takes some time, so it's a good weekend baking project. Make sure to broil and not bake your cake layers because they are two very different things. When you look at the recipe, it may seem like the cake layers don't get cooked because they are only baking for 3-5 minutes. Yet, because they are broiled, it's done super fast. That being said, you have to keep a close eye all the time. One minute off, and you'll have burnt cake. It should be quite brown (though it is hard to tell with the colors), but not totally black.

Make sure to use a lot of food coloring for your cake. I recommend using colors that are not close in shade. Otherwise, you can't see the lines very well. As well as the colored cake batter, you'll also leave some plain for the outer edge of the cake. Once you finish the outer edge, I found that it helps to roll up the parchment into a log while it cools. When you have to assemble, unroll it and place your main cake in the middle to be wrapped. Once you finish your cake layers, it's time to assemble everything together.

What I love about this dessert is that you don't have to wait hours for your cakes to cool. Instead, you just have to wait 5 minutes, and then you can pull the cake out of its pan and start assembling. With that said, let's talk about assembling. First, measure the height of the cake. Slice the cake into strips using the measurement of the height that you just took. This is a very important step, so don't skip it!!! You will end up with some scraps, so find your favorite six strips. Here is a diagram showing how to make the design of the kek lapis Sarawak:

First, arrange one slice of your cake so that the lines are horizontal. Then next to it, place a cake strip with vertical lines that are going up. On the first block, you put (which lines were horizontal) add another strip on top with vertical lines. On the second block with vertical lines, place another block with horizontal lines. Repeat one more layer on top with your two remaining strips.

Phew, that was a long post! Thank you all to those who have supported me in my baking journey. It's really motivated me to keep baking every day! I'll see you on Sunday with my first dessert for the 50 State Challenge!

|Level:👩🏽‍🍳👩🏽‍🍳👩🏽‍🍳|Time: 3 hours|Serves: 4|



  • 6 egg whites

  • 1 cup granulated sugar, divided

  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tarter

  • 1 1/2 cups butter

  • 1/3 cup condensed milk

  • 12 egg yolks

  • 1 tablespoon orange zest

  • 1 1/4 cup cak