Indo-Dutch Spekkoek Recipe—Lapis Legit— Layered Spice Cake
This spiced multi-layered cake is an example of the fusion between Dutch and Indonesian traditions, and a popular delicacy in the Netherlands today.
- Serves: 16 persons
- 1cup/250 g butter (soft)
- 1cup/200 g superfine sugar (caster)
- 5eggs (separated)
- 1tsp. vanilla extract
- 1cup/125 g all-purpose flour
- ¼tsp. salt
- 1tsp. cinnamon (ground)
- ½tsp. cardamom (ground)
- ⅛tsp. cloves (ground)
- ⅛tsp. nutmeg (freshly grated)
- ¼cup/50 g butter (melted, for brushing)
Step 1Gather the ingredients.
Step 2Beat the butter until smooth, preferably with an electric hand- or stand mixer.
Step 3Add half of sugar and beat until the mixture is light and fluffy.
Step 4Add the egg yolks and vanilla extract and beat thoroughly.
Step 5Whisk the egg whites in a spotless, grease-free bowl until light and frothy. Remember that the whisk should also be clean and free of the merest trace of grease, otherwise you will not get the desired volume from your egg whites.
Step 6Gradually add the other half of the sugar to the foamy egg whites, while continuing to whip the egg whites slowly and steadily.
Step 7Once you've added all the sugar, set the mixer setting higher and beat until the egg whites form stiff peaks that do not collapse when you pull out the whisk.
Step 8Add a generous tablespoon of the egg whites to the butter mixture and mix well.
Step 9Using a spatula, gently fold in one-third of the flour mixture into the butter batter, followed by a third of the remaining egg whites.
Step 10Repeat twice, each time folding in a third of the flour mixture and then a third of the egg whites. Do not overmix; stop folding once the batter becomes uniform in color.
Step 11Place half of the batter into another bowl.
Step 12Carefully but thoroughly whisk the spices into the batter of one of the bowls.
Step 13Heat the oven to broil, until it's nice and hot. Grease the 8-inch spring form pan.
Step 14Using a plastic dough scraper, spread a quarter of the unspiced batter over the bottom of the pan, ensuring a flat, smooth layer. The batter should be evenly distributed, without thick or thin spots and the side of the mold should be kept clean.
Step 15Place the spring form pan under the broiler until the batter becomes puffed, golden and cooked. The first layer will take longer than the rest, because it is slightly lower in the pan and therefore further from the heat source. It should take about 5 minutes to cook, but make sure the layer is cooked before adding the next layer of batter. Remove the pan from the oven.
Step 16Brush the top of the cake layer with melted butter.
Step 17Spread a quarter of the spiced batter on top. Again, spread the batter out evenly and smoothly, and place the pan back under the broiler.
Step 18Once this layer is cooked (after about 3 minutes), remove the pan from the oven and brush with butter.
Step 19Again, spread a quarter of the unspiced batter over the cooked layer and keep repeating this process using contrasting layers of spiced and unspiced batter until all the batter and butter are used up. You should end up with eight cake layers with alternating light and dark colors.
Step 20When the last layer has been cooked and removed from under the broiler, carefully loosen the cake from the side of the spring form pan.
Step 21Release the clamp of the spring form, remove the cake and allow to cool on a wire cooling rack.
Step 22Once the cake has cooled down, wrap it up in a few layers of plastic wrap and store in a cool place outside of the refrigerator. Serve spekkoek in thin slices.