Lapis Surabaya with Meringue Butter Cream

2009 September 21

Lapis Surabaya is a three layered cake with a mocha/chocolate middle layer and stacked together with a strawberry jam or butter cream filling in between. I know what you all thinking, Oh God… look how many egg yolks are used for this cake. Wait till you hear Lapis Legit (multi-layered cake) that use 40 egg yolks. It is just like walking one step closer to the heart attack every time you bite them. However it is really worth to try though. Just don’t eat them to often.

Lapis Surabaya is a tricky cake for me to bake. When I first tried to bake it with my old oven few years ago, I couldn’t even start to tell you how many failures I had. The cake always looked nice while still being bake in the oven, and would collapsed or had like a concave uneven surface after you took them out of the oven. I had so many heartbreaks and failures but I eventually managed to receive some orders from my loyal customers. They didn’t even care about the surface as this cake taste great. I figure the oven here somehow has different heat circulation or some sort in comparison to the one used for baking in Indonesia. I know people use to bake with charcoal heat oven traditionally and now they have a big upgrade oven with gas.

Anyway, I never feel discourage to bake them over and over again. Every time I know that one of my relatives have a birthday coming up, I usually give them the cake so I could practice to play with my oven heat, setting and temperature. And this time, the cake is for my auntie (from my husband’s side actually). I should say that this cake is still not that perfect. There are still few improvements that I would do next time I bake them. I guess the oven need to be really hot before the cake is bake, but I was just to worry that it would speed up the browning over the top of the cake before the cake is cooked. Another thing is that my temperature is a little bit too low, so next time I would bake them at 190 or 200 C. You need to adjust according to your oven though as the heat in every ovens vary.

For the butter cream, I usually used the one with sugar cane syrup, but it is too much hassle as I need to steam the rock sugar which took me ages. So I found this great website about cupcakes and various frosting and decided to try the Meringue Butter Cream as I have an unlimited access to egg whites. So here is the link if you would like to know how exactly the butter cream done step by step (

I found that this Meringue Butter Cream tastes great and easy to work with. The only thing I learn is that to put enough butter cream about 5 minutes worth of piping in your bag, or otherwise it would melt and turn watery. You could see the evidence from my rose buds. They have a thick and bulky petals as I would like mine to look more crisp and pointy. Next time I will try royal icing for the roses, but the Meringue Butter Cream recipe is definitely a keeper.

Lapis Surabaya with Meringue Butter Cream

Here is the cake with the candle on, followed by a slice of Lapis Surabaya before it went in to my tummy ;)

Lapis Surabaya - with the candle on

A Slice of Lapis Surabaya

Ingredients for Lapis Surabaya

  • 20 egg yolks
  • 1 egg whites
  • 230 gr butter, whipped with mixer until stiff (I used 80 gr butter Wisman brand and 150 gr margarine Blue Band brand)
  • 80 gr plain flour
  • 165 gr caster sugar
  • 12 gr milk powder
  • chocolate pasta (I used Cadbury ddrinking chocolate powder for about 3 tbsp)
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence (I used Queens brand.. try not to use the imitation one)
  • 1 tsp rhum (I used “Rhum Bakar” Toffieco brand.. I think it is only sold in Indonesia)
  • strawberry jam for sticking the layers.

Ingredients for Meringue Butter Cream

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 large egg whites (I used 150 ml egg whites)
  • 340 gr unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (I didn’t use this)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Instructions for Lapis Surabaya

  1. Beat the egg yolks, egg whites and caster sugar on medium to high speed for about 20 minutes or until its pale in colour
  2. Add the plain flour and milk powder, mix for another 1-2 minutes.
  3. Add  the whip butter and mix for another 1-2 minutes.
  4. Add the vanilla essence and rhum, and mix for another 1 – 2minutes.
  5. Divide the mixture into 2 parts. Mix one part with chocolate pasta.
  6. Bake them in separate baking tins at 170-180C for about 20minutes or until the skewer inserted comes out clean.
  7. Stack the two layers together with strawberry jam.

Instructions for Meringue Butter Cream

  1. Boil a water and put it in a large heatproof bowl. Top it with another bowl containing sugar and egg whites and whisk constantly for about 8 minutes.
  2. Remove the bowl from heat. Using a mixer, beat them on medium speed for about 5 minutes.
  3. Add butter 1/4 parts at the time and beat them until thick and smooth. Once all the butter is in, beat them for another 6 to 10 minutes.
  4. Add vanilla extract and beat for another 1 -2 minutes.

Preparation time (duration): 60

Culinary tradition: Indonesian

Please leave your comment/suggestion if you find this recipe useful. Can’t wait to hear from you and Thank You!!!

Share and Enjoy:
  • Print this article!
  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google Bookmarks
17 Responses leave one →
  1. 2010 April 30
    Helen permalink

    Hi Linda,

    I’d like to try this recipe but noticed that my oven is a fan forced oven which will generate more heat. Have you ever experienced baking any cake using fan forced oven? Should i set it in lower temperature. My first attemp making this cake was dissater.
    any advice will be very appreciated.


    • 2010 May 1
      linda permalink

      My previous oven was a fan forced one. I guess it is ok, just lower the temperature by 10-15 degree. You need to experiment though because each oven has different setting, if you know what I mean. My new oven now has a cake mode, so I don’t really need to worry about upper heat, lower heat or both.
      What is the size off your oven? Is it a small one or a standard fix oven for a household?
      Just remember that you need to preheat the oven for at least 30 minutes before you put the cake in. And do not open the door of the oven while it is baking.
      Hope this info help you. Let me know the outcomes and good luck

      • 2010 May 1
        Helen permalink

        Hi Linda,

        Thanks for your reply, i made this cake this morning without checking your reply first – silly me. So here is the result, the edges are cooked very well, but the center is uncooked. My oven is the standard one, i set the temperature 170 degree just 5 minutes before i put them in the oven.
        Next time I’ll follow your advice to preheat the oven longer so the heat is even and set the temperature to 160 degree or i should probably just give it up.
        Anyway, i tried the black sesame dumplings last night, yummy….

        Thanks – Helen

        • 2010 May 2
          linda permalink

          You wouldn’t believe how many time I failed baking cakes if I told you .. I guess practice makes perfect. Just remember before you make this particular tricky cake:
          1. You whipped the butter really fluffy, that is when you flip the bowl upside down, the butter should stay intact.
          2. Make sure your bowl to mix the sugar and egg is completely oil free. When you mix the egg mixture, they should be really thick and pale in colour and also almost triple in amount.
          3. When mixing the butter and egg mixture, mix it really well or otherwise they will not cook evenly and will go harden. However, do not overmix.
          4. Preheat your oven at least 30 minutes before the cake in.
          So, good luck on your next trial and hope it turns out OK

  2. 2010 August 9

    wow, how did you do the icing roses? do you have a rose nail? i’ve been looking to buy one in sydney but i have no idea where to find it..

    love the icing border and around the sides of the cake… i find those sooo difficult to do, but yours look perfect! how did you learn to do it so well?

    oh and how did you do the leaves?

    thanks :)

    • 2010 August 14
      linda permalink

      Hi Christine, sorry it took me a long time to answer your questions. I have been thinking how to answer your question so you could understand what I mean ;)

      Well.. to do the roses you have to use a rose nozzle. You don’t have to use a rose nail but it will make your life so much easier with a rose nail. Rose nail helps to turn your rose around while you are piping them. As for myself, I use the back of a small flat plate. Same as rose nail, you turn the plate around as you pipe the rose.

      All the piping techniques will get better the more you practice, so keep practicing ;)

      Same as roses, leaves have a special nozzle as well. If you have one, it is super easy to make the leaves.

  3. 2011 May 18
    irene permalink

    Hi Linda,

    Thank you for sharing this recipe and definitely i would like to try it and what size of your baking pan and can i use square pan. thanks.

    • 2011 May 18
      linda permalink

      Hi Irene,

      I used 9″ round tin, you can use 19x 19 cm square pan. Don’t forget to line them with the baking paper :) Good luck :)
      Another think that I found during my holiday at Indo, the cake rise really well when the heat of the oven come from the bottom. So, if you have the mode that allows you to only use the heat from the bottom part, then it will be great. The best temperature is around 170-180. It only takes about 20 minutes (could be a bit longer or less). But it is best to not open the oven door in the first 15 minutes. When the cake is ready, change the mode into grill (he heat from above) to brown the surface and you’re done.

  4. 2011 December 14
    vonny permalink

    Hi Linda, i want to ask you the size of the egg, are you use a large eggs for lapis surabaya.
    Thanks Linda

  5. 2011 December 17
    vonny permalink

    Thank u Linda for your answer, i make this cake once, and the cake kind lumpy, and the second, it’s not lumpy but not to high, so i want to ask you, how to expanding the heights ? Thanks Linda

    • 2011 December 18
      linda permalink

      Your question is kinda hard to be answered. I dont know… it is rising by itself hahaha.. I didn’t really do anything :) Maybe some of the advices I could give are:
      1. Make sure you preheated your oven for at least 20-30 minutes. (I usually do 15 if I am rushing)
      2. Make sure all the utensils used in whisking the egg yolks are oil free.
      3. When you beat your egg yolks and sugar. Beat them for along time until it thickens and turned pale. maybe 20 minutes (sorry I never notice the time)
      4. Do not be tempted to open your oven door in the first 15 minutes.
      Good luck

  6. 2011 December 22
    vonny permalink

    Thank you for your advices, next time i follow your advices…;)

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Pandan Cake Vla Pandan with Swiss Meringue Buttercream | My Kitchen Produce
  2. Nathan’s Birthday – Part 1 | My Kitchen Produce
  3. Nathan Birthday – Part 2 | My Kitchen Produce
  4. Nathan Birthday – Part 3 | My Kitchen Produce

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.