HomeBlogs Spekkoek (Spiku) Spekkoek (also called Spiku in some cities in Indonesia) or more
popularly called Lapis Legit in Indonesia is a Dutch-Indonesian layered
cake. It was developed during colonial times in the Dutch East Indies
and may have been based on Dutch cake recipes using local
ingredients. The cake may be connected to a type of
Dutch biscuit called speculaas and the mixture of spices is similar to
kek lapis, with the pepper being replaced with mace and anise. In
Indonesia, the cake is very popularly known as Lapis Legit which
literally means (very) sweet layer-cake.
The name of the cake is derived from the typical bi-coloured layered
structure which is reminiscent of bacon (lit. bacon-cake). This layered
structured is achieved by using two colours of batter, dark and light,
which are poured on top of the cured layer consecutively. This makes the
baking of spekkoek a very labour long intensive process. The product is
therefore a rather expensive delicacy: about EUR 20 per kg in 2010. In
Indonesia, a 20x20cm-sized spekkoek (or lapis legit) costs IDR 150,000
(approx. EUR 12.5).
In Indonesia, spekkoek is enjoyed during Chinese New Year, Eid
ul-Fitr and Christmas celebrations. It is also served or given as gifts
in many local festivities, sometimes in a birthday party and wedding. In
the Netherlands, the sliced cake is traditionally served as dessert in
rijsttafel. The cake has a firm texture, similar to that of a
Baumkuchen in a baking plate but without a chocolate or sugar shell.
Baking the cake requires much patience. Each thin layer is made by
pouring a small amount of the batter from a small cup, baked one layer
after another in the oven until golden with heat from the top. Cake
baked in gas ovens usually have a better aroma compared to cakes baked
in electric oven, but Dutch ovens with charcoal fire on top of the lid
produces the best results. In some cases where clove buds or cardamon
seeds are difficult to find, bakers use spekkoek powder as a
replacement. Milling and mixing the spice before baking produces a cake
with an excellent aroma.
In Indonesia, spekkoek varieties are even greater, including the
addition of cheese, almonds, prunes, raisins, cashews and even in
different flavors (such as chocolate and pandan).