Viral Sarawak kek lapis shows dedication of Malaysian bakers

Sarawak Kek Lapis
Sarawak kek lapis
Image adapted from: @ruffleseed

When it comes to traditional snacks, Malaysians will always be ready to brag about the best that our country has to offer – with Nyonya kuihs, ondeh-ondehs and batik cakes among the variety of treats available to satiate our sweet tooth.

While the taste of these delectable sweets is enough to keep our Malaysian pride flags raised high, the way they are made is pretty impressive too – as many of them have complex recipes, or require tedious steps to achieve the end result. And a netizen who shared his mother’s detailed plan for baking a traditional cake known as Sarawak Kek Lapis, just brought the complexity to a whole different level. In the process, he even attracted the attention of non-Malaysians who reached out to say that they want to try out his mum’s next-level recipe too.

Detailed plan to execute traditional Sarawak layered cake

Ken, or @ruffleseed, shared the stunning photos of his mother’s Sarawak Kek Lapis on Twitter, where it has garnered a whopping 100,000 likes at the time of writing.

According to another tweet that he posted, his mother spends half a day baking these cakes, known for their multiple layers, brilliant colours, and intricate patterns in the kitchen. And he wanted to share images and plans for her cakes because “People always ask why kek lapis Sarawak is so expensive”. Just to give some context, a loaf-sized bar of cake can cost as much as RM100.

Original Twitter post
Image adapted from: @ruffleseed

To help put the importance of these traditional cakes into perspective, there’s a Sarawak Layer Cake Manufacturers Association meant to protect the name of this cake and preserve its tradition in Sarawak. It has also been praised by British celebrity judge, Paul Hollywood, as being seriouslydifficult” to bake on an episode of The Great British Bake Off back in 2019.

Image credit: @ruffleseed

Further showing just how much care goes into baking these cakes, Ken’s mother’s plan to execute this cake leaves no room for mistakes. It includes a step-by-step plan, such as carefully baking 9 layers of cake and then precisely cutting them and rearranging them like puzzle pieces to form its geometric interior.

Sarawak Kek Lapis plan
Image credit: @ruffleseed

Ken also shared that his mother, along with the help of his sister, have been baking since 1984 from Kuching, Sarawak, where they live. More of their creative bakes can be found on their Instagram page called My Kitchen Confidante, where other patterns for Sarawak kek lapis and adorable cookies shaped like Maneki-nekos and Shiba Inus can be found.

Netizens react to viral post of kek lapis

Considering how much effort it takes to bake this layered cake, many netizens agreed with Ken over the high value of these edible art pieces. But many more were just curious and stunned with the detailed recipe plan to execute the cake, including netizen @AdikQemall, who lightheartedly asked: “Was [your mother] an architect?”

Twitter comment
Image adapted from: @AdikQemall 

Netizen @nrlshyn, who is presumably enrolled in a pastry school, also chipped in: “Speaking as a pastry student, many of my seniors failed the course because of this layered cake.”

Twitter comment
Image adapted from: @nrlshyn

The viral Twitter post has also caught the attention of non-Malaysians, including netizen @JessiSheron, an illustrator from America, who tweeted: “I would have to take a picture between each bite. It’s BEAUTIFUL. I didn’t even know this existed.”

Twitter comment

Image credit: @JessiSheron

Netizen @odithecarpenter from Australia also added, “If food could be shipped overseas,” along with a GIF of a crying character from a television series.

Twitter comment
Image adapted from: @JessiSheron & @odithecarpenter

Sarawak Kek Lapis goes viral on Twitter for its details

We now have options to easily bake a cake out of a premix box. This is why we’re more than appreciative of Ken’s mother’s efforts to continue to bake this intricate Sarawak Kek Lapis from scratch – and preserving the history of these traditional and edible-art cakes while at it.

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