A delicious, rich, spiced cake that is beautiful as well.
by Ena Scheerstra
Spekkoek (also called spekuk, spiku or lapis legit) is a Dutch-Indonesian layered cake, consisting of cream coloured plain/vanilla layers and brown spiced layers. You can also find spekkoek in which the cream coloured layer is flavoured, for example with pandan, coffee, rum, or chocolate. The origin is not completely known, it may have been based on Dutch recipes made with Indonesian products, but could also be inspired on another European layer cake, Baumkuchen. It is a very rich and dense cake, containing lots of eggs, butter and sugar. That is why this cake is usually served in small slices, in the Netherlands often as a dessert (with coffee) after a rijsttafel. Sometimes slices of spekkoek are served with whipped cream.
Making spekkoek is quite labour intensive and costs time, which also makes it costly. A good spekkoek consists of at least 18 layers and the cake is build layer for layer, baking each one in the oven before another layer of batter is spread on top. This is a job in which patience is very important, if you hurry the layers will blend together, ruining the typical spekkoek look. Spekkoek literally means bacon cake, this is because the stripes of the cake resemble bacon.
Of course it is easy to buy a spekkoek, but I love to be able to prepare classics like this myself. Unfortunately, I have to gather some more patience before I bake another spekkoek…. mine had the looks of a zebra cake, but it was still very delicous!
For more information on the Dutch East Indies and the relation between the Netherlands and Indonesia, check my post about nasi goreng.
Originally Published: May 28, 2013