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Surabaya Layer Cake Recipe: Create a Delightful Indonesian Dessert

Surabaya Layer Cake

Are you ready to embark on a delightful culinary adventure? Today, we’re diving into the world of Indonesian confectionery with a mouthwatering recipe for Surabaya Layer Cake. This intricate and irresistibly delicious cake has been captivating taste buds for generations in Indonesia. Don your apron and let’s whisk up this masterpiece together!



Delving into the origins of the Surabaya Layer Cake is like embarking on a captivating voyage through time. This delectable Indonesian delight, with its intricate layers and harmonious flavors, has a history as rich and vibrant as the cake itself. So, let’s rewind the clock and trace the footsteps of this culinary masterpiece.

Early Origins and Cultural Fusion

The story begins in Surabaya, Indonesia’s second-largest city, where cultures, traditions, and flavors converge. The genesis of the Surabaya Layer Cake can be traced back to the late 19th century, during the colonial period. Indonesian culinary heritage was influenced by a tapestry of cultures, including Dutch, Chinese, and Malay.

Local bakers and confectioners, with a penchant for experimentation, started blending traditional ingredients like rice flour and coconut with European baking techniques. This fusion bore the first traces of layer cakes that would eventually become synonymous with celebration and indulgence.

Colonial Influences and Transformation

As Indonesia underwent Dutch colonial rule, the Surabaya Layer Cake underwent a transformation. Dutch culinary traditions left an indelible mark on local cuisine. The use of butter, sugar, and intricate layering techniques became more refined, giving birth to a cake that resonated with both colonial and indigenous palates.

With its mesmerizing layers and heavenly flavors, the cake quickly gained popularity in local households and special occasions. It became a symbol of unity, blending traditional Indonesian flavors with European sophistication.

Post-Independence Revival

The mid-20th century marked a pivotal era in Indonesia’s history, as the nation gained independence. This period also saw a resurgence of cultural pride, and the Surabaya Layer Cake was poised for a revival. As Indonesians celebrated their heritage, this cake emerged as a cultural emblem, cherished not only for its taste but also for its role in commemorating important events.

Grandmothers passed down recipes, whispered secrets of layering techniques, and shared stories of how this cake had witnessed decades of change. Families and friends gathered around tables adorned with these delicacies, forging bonds over shared slices of nostalgia.

Modern Reinvention and Global Reach

In the 21st century, the Surabaya Layer Cake has transcended its local roots and journeyed into the global culinary landscape. The advent of technology and international communication brought this confectionary gem to a wider audience. Food enthusiasts and bakers from around the world marveled at the cake’s intricate design, challenging themselves to recreate the layers of history in their own kitchens.

Food bloggers, chefs, and cooking shows further propelled the cake into the limelight, sparking a wave of interest and appreciation. With the rise of social media, pictures of vibrant Surabaya Layer Cakes flooded screens, inspiring a new generation of bakers to embrace this timeless tradition.

Preserving Tradition in the Modern Era

As the Surabaya Layer Cake continues to evolve and adapt, a strong undercurrent of tradition remains. Bakers and culinary artisans honor the legacy of this cake by staying true to its roots while adding contemporary twists. Innovative flavors, organic ingredients, and artistic presentations pay homage to the cake’s historical journey, preserving the connection between past and present.

In Surabaya today, bakeries and patisseries stand as testament to the enduring legacy of this cake. Whether enjoyed during festive occasions, family gatherings, or simply as a way to savor life’s sweet moments, the Surabaya Layer Cake serves as a reminder of the intricate tapestry that weaves together culture, history, and flavor.

As we slice into the multilayered masterpiece, we are not just savoring a cake; we are partaking in a culinary odyssey that spans generations, cultures, and continents. The Surabaya Layer Cake stands as a living testament to the art of blending flavors, traditions, and stories into a single, harmonious creation that brings joy to all who partake in its delicious legacy.


StepTime Required
Preparation and Gathering Ingredients30 minutes
Preparing Baking Pan and Parchment Paper10 minutes
Making Vanilla Batter15 minutes
Baking Vanilla Layer15 minutes
Making Chocolate Batter15 minutes
Baking Chocolate Layer15 minutes
Making Pandan Batter15 minutes
Baking Pandan Layer15 minutes
Layering the Cake20 minutes
Making Buttercream and Frosting20 minutes
Drizzling Chocolate10 minutes
Cooling and Setting1 hour
Slicing and Serving15 minutes
TotalAbout 4.5 hours

Remember, while time is an essential ingredient in this recipe, the result is a slice of culinary heaven that’s well worth the patience and effort. Enjoy the journey, and savor the layers of flavor!


Granulated sugar1/2 cup
Unsalted butter1/4 cup
Sweetened condensed milk1/4 cup
Vanilla extract1/2 teaspoon
Cake flour3/4 cup
Baking powder1/2 teaspoon
Salt1/4 teaspoon
Cocoa powder2 tablespoons
Pandan paste1/2 teaspoon
Food coloring (assorted)As desired

This scaled-down version ensures you and your partner can relish the layered marvel without overwhelming portions. Prepare to create an unforgettable culinary memory for two with the Surabaya Layer Cake!


Step 1: Preparation and Gathering Ingredients

Gather all the necessary ingredients for this culinary adventure. Having everything ready ensures a smooth baking process.

Step 2: Preparing Baking Pan and Parchment Paper

  1. Line a square baking pan with parchment paper, ensuring the paper extends over the edges for easy removal later.

Step 3: Making Vanilla Batter

  1. In a mixing bowl, beat 1 egg until frothy.
  2. Add 1/4 cup of granulated sugar and 1/8 cup of unsalted butter. Mix until well combined.
  3. Pour in 1/8 cup of sweetened condensed milk and 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Mix thoroughly.
  4. Gradually fold in 1/4 cup of cake flour and 1/4 teaspoon of baking powder. Mix until the batter is smooth.

Step 4: Baking Vanilla Layer

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Pour the vanilla batter into the prepared pan and spread it evenly.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven for about 10-12 minutes, or until the layer is set and slightly golden. Remove from the oven and let it cool.

Step 5: Making Chocolate Batter

  1. Repeat the process for the chocolate layer, using the same method as the vanilla batter but adding 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder to the mixture.

Step 6: Baking Chocolate Layer

  1. Spread the chocolate batter evenly over the cooled vanilla layer.
  2. Bake in the preheated oven for about 10-12 minutes until set. Once again, remove and let it cool.

Step 7: Making Pandan Batter

  1. Prepare the pandan layer similarly to the previous layers, but this time, add 1/4 teaspoon of pandan paste to the mixture.

Step 8: Baking Pandan Layer

  1. Spread the pandan batter evenly over the cooled chocolate layer.
  2. Bake in the preheated oven for about 10-12 minutes until set. Remove and let it cool.

Step 9: Layering the Cake

  1. Gently place the pandan layer on top of the chocolate layer.
  2. Place the chocolate layer on top of the pandan layer.
  3. Finally, place the vanilla layer on top. Press down gently to ensure even layers.

Step 10: Making Buttercream and Frosting

  1. In a mixing bowl, cream together 1/8 cup of unsalted butter and 1/8 cup of sweetened condensed milk until smooth.
  2. Spread the buttercream over the top layer of the cake, creating a smooth surface.

Step 11: Drizzling Chocolate

  1. Melt a small amount of chocolate and drizzle it over the buttercream, creating an elegant pattern.

Step 12: Cooling and Setting

  1. Allow the cake to cool and set in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. This enhances the flavors and makes slicing easier.

Step 13: Slicing and Serving

  1. Once the cake is chilled, carefully lift it out of the pan using the parchment paper.
  2. Place it on a cutting board and slice into neat squares.
  3. Serve and enjoy your masterpiece of flavors!

With these detailed directions, you’re all set to create your very own Surabaya Layer Cake. Each step is a brushstroke of creativity and love, resulting in a dessert that’s not only visually stunning but also a true delight for the taste buds. Enjoy every moment of this sweet journey!

Equipment Required

Nutrition Information

NutrientAmount per Serving
Serving Size1 slice (approx. 1/8 of cake)
Total Fat9g
– Saturated Fat5g
Total Carbohydrates29g
– Dietary Fiber1g
– Sugars16g

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

This information provides a snapshot of the nutritional content of each serving of the Surabaya Layer Cake. Remember, indulgence in moderation is key to savoring every layer of this delectable delight. Enjoy the experience while keeping an eye on your nutritional intake.


  • Egg Temperature: Use eggs at room temperature for better incorporation into the batter.
  • Parchment Precision: When lining the baking pan with parchment paper, ensure it’s snug against the sides and bottom for easy cake removal.
  • Layer Thickness: Spread each batter thinly and evenly to achieve uniform layers.
  • Oven Watch: Keep a close eye on the oven timer as layers bake quickly. Remove them when they’re set but not overly browned.
  • Layer Bonding: Gently press each layer as you stack to help them adhere to each other.
  • Cooling Calm: Allow the layers to cool completely before assembly. This prevents melting of the buttercream.
  • Buttercream Bliss: Whip the buttercream until it’s light and fluffy for a smooth, velvety texture.
  • Artistic Drizzle: Drizzle the melted chocolate gracefully for an artistic touch, using a fork or piping bag.
  • Chilling Perfection: Let the cake chill sufficiently before slicing to ensure clean, neat cuts.
  • Sharing Joy: This cake is perfect for sharing, so invite friends and family to savor the layers of flavor together.

Pros & Cons

✔️ Aesthetic Delight❌ Time-Intensive Process
✔️ Harmonious Flavors❌ High Caloric Content
✔️ Cultural Fusion❌ Requires Baking Expertise
✔️ Showstopper Dessert❌ Potential for Uneven Layers
✔️ Customizable Variations❌ Contains Saturated Fat


As we reach the final chapter of our Surabaya Layer Cake culinary saga, we’re left with a masterpiece that transcends the boundaries of taste and tradition. This delightful Indonesian creation, with its intricate layers and harmonious fusion of flavors, is more than just a cake; it’s an invitation to embark on a culinary adventure like no other.

With every brushstroke of batter and every swirl of buttercream, you’ll be crafting not just a dessert, but a memory to cherish. The Surabaya Layer Cake embodies the spirit of creativity, patience, and passion, woven together with the threads of tradition and innovation. Each slice holds within it a symphony of tastes, an ode to the artistry that can be achieved in the kitchen.

So, whether you’re a seasoned baker looking to elevate your skills or an aspiring kitchen explorer seeking a delectable challenge, the Surabaya Layer Cake beckons you to roll up your sleeves, don your apron, and dive into the realm of flavors waiting to be discovered.

The layers of this cake are more than just flour and sugar; they’re a testament to the rich tapestry of culinary heritage that has woven its way through generations. As you slice through the layers, you’re not just indulging in a dessert; you’re partaking in a tradition that has stood the test of time, a tradition that has been passed down through the ages, and now, to you.

So, gather your ingredients, don your chef’s hat, and let your creativity run wild. Whether you’re enjoying it with a loved one, sharing it with friends, or simply savoring it on your own, the Surabaya Layer Cake promises to be a rewarding experience that tantalizes the senses and warms the heart.

As you take that first bite, remember that you’re not just tasting a cake; you’re savoring a piece of history, a labor of love, and a symphony of flavor that’s waiting to be enjoyed. Bon appétit and happy baking! 🍰🎉


  • Fact 1: A Sweet Tapestry of Flavors 🎨
    • Did you know that the vibrant layers of the Surabaya Layer Cake aren’t just about looks? Each layer tells a unique flavor story, from the elegance of vanilla to the enchantment of chocolate and the exotic allure of pandan. It’s like a symphony of tastes that dance on your taste buds!
  • Fact 2: Colonial Connection 🏰
    • The Surabaya Layer Cake isn’t just a treat; it’s a tasty testament to history! With its Dutch colonial origins, this cake is a delightful fusion of Indonesian traditions and European baking techniques. It’s like a scrumptious time machine that takes your palate on a flavorful journey through the past.
  • Fact 3: Layer by Layer, Patience Pays Off
    • Creating the Surabaya Layer Cake is a true test of patience, and each layer is a labor of love. The process of patiently alternating between batters and baking layers might seem like a culinary ballet, but trust us, the final masterpiece is worth every moment of anticipation!
  • Fact 4: Indonesian Culture in Every Bite 🇮🇩
    • This cake isn’t just about taste—it’s a celebration of Indonesian culture. The Surabaya Layer Cake is a beloved confection that brings families and friends together during special occasions, forging bonds and creating memories with every slice. It’s not just a dessert; it’s a cultural tradition that’s as heartwarming as it is delicious.
  • Fact 5: Customize and Create Your Masterpiece 🎨✨
    • Think you’re limited by tradition? Think again! The Surabaya Layer Cake is a canvas waiting for your creative touch. Experiment with different fillings, flavors, and artistic drizzles to make it uniquely yours. It’s like baking with a dash of imagination and a sprinkle of innovation!


Can I use whole wheat flour instead of cake flour?

While whole wheat flour can be used, it may result in a denser texture. For best results, stick to cake flour for its finer consistency.

Can I make this cake without an electric mixer?

Absolutely! A whisk and some elbow grease will work just fine. The electric mixer simply speeds up the process.

How long can I store Surabaya Layer Cake?

Stored in an airtight container, it can last up to 3 days at room temperature or up to a week in the refrigerator.

Is there an alternative to sweetened condensed milk?

You can substitute with evaporated milk and adjust the sugar accordingly, but the rich creaminess of sweetened condensed milk enhances the flavor.

Can I use natural food coloring for the vibrant layers?

Absolutely! Beetroot powder, spirulina, and turmeric are great options for a natural twist.

Can I make smaller individual cakes instead of one large cake?

Certainly! Use smaller pans or molds and adjust baking times accordingly for adorable individual servings.

Can I freeze Surabaya Layer Cake?

Yes, you can. Slice the cake and wrap individual pieces tightly before freezing for up to 2 months.

My layers are uneven. Any tips?

Make sure to spread the batter evenly in each layer. Gentle pressing during stacking helps even them out.

How can I prevent the layers from separating?

Press the layers gently as you stack them and use a good binding agent like sweetened condensed milk and butter.

Can I reduce the sugar content without affecting the taste?

You can slightly reduce the sugar, but keep in mind it might impact the cake’s texture and flavor balance. Experiment cautiously.