Layer Cake

In Malaysia, this is called 9 layers cake (Kuih Lapis) as it should have 9 alternate white and pink layers. This cake is very common in the morning or night market.


Each layer of the layer cake is separable and that’s how we eat it, layer by layer. This recipe is from my friend Jessica. I have another recipe which turned out too soft. Perhaps it’s the flour that caused it. I used all-purpose flour as the recipe only says flour. Jessica’s recipe uses rice flour instead.


White layer:

  • 1/2 cup rice flour
  • 3 to 3 1/2 tablespoons tapioca flour
  • 200ml rooster brand coconut milk (which is more liquidy)
  • 1/2 cup + 3 tablespoons castor sugar
  • 100ml water

Red layer:

  • 1/2 cup rice flour
  • 3 to 3 1/2 tablespoons tapioca flour
  • remaining of the coconut milk from a 398ml can
  • 100ml pandan flavour water
  • red food coloring


Click on the link below for the instructions.


layercake02-300x200To make the pandan flavoured water, boil the water (150ml, slightly more so that you will have 100ml at the end of the process) with 4 to 6 pandan leaves, knotted for a few minutes.

You may find pandan (screwpine) leaves from stores which carry Filipino products like Great One Supermarket in Richmond. They are found in the freezer section.

layercake03-300x200Mix all the ingredients for the white layer and red layer in separate bowls. Pass the mixture through a sieve to remove lumps.
layercake05-300x200Use a ladle which measure about 1/2 cup of liquid for placing each layer into a steaming plate.
layercake04-300x200Start with the white layer, steam for 2 to 3 minutes for the first few layers and gradually add more time to 5 – 6 layers when you have more layers done.If the measurement is correct, you should be able to get 9 layers, with the red layer on top. Add a drop or two more red coloring to the top layer to make it more outstanding.

Steam for another 15 minutes after the last layer. You might want to lift the cover slightly at the end of the last 5 minutes to prevent the top from cracking due to drastic temperature changes.

layercake07-300x200Allow the cake to cool completely before slicing them in diamond shape.

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  1. angel van

    this is very similar to the vietnamese verison called banh da lon. but the colors are different and a small twist on the layers. it can either be green and white or green and yellow. when it is green and white, it is usually just pandan and the coconut. but the green and yellow is pandan and mung bean for the yellow layer. some also make it pandan and durian.

    1. xee xiong

      Do you have the receipe for the vietnamese banh da lon? I would like to learn how to make it, especially the mung bean (yellow) layer.

        1. xee xiong

          Thanks for getting me the receipe Suanne!

  2. Ms._________!

    I want to make this kind of cake, find them very colorful.

  3. Nancie

    hi Suanne, do u mind telling me where can i find the pandan flavour water? thanks for telling me.

    1. Suanne

      Hi Nancie, the pandan extract I used is from Malaysia. But, I managed to find out from a friend that you can get pandan paste from a shop in Chinatown, Vancouver. The name of the store is Wong Xin and the address is 747 Gore Avenue.

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