Indonesia Eats

Kue Pepe (Lapis Sagu) Recipe – Indonesian Steamed Layered Sago Cake

Indonesian Steamed Layered Sago Cake

Selamat Hari Kemerdekaan ke 65, Indonesia!
Happy 65th Independence Day, Indonesia!
August 17 is the 65th Indonesian independence day. On that day, it’s a ritual for kids to do a parade on the street and participate in traditional games. Ooo boy, how I miss that day.

It becomes my tradition to make a traditional cake of Indonesia with red and white colour once a year to celebrate Indonesian independence day.

Speaking about the cake, this cake has two names. In the west part of Java especially the Betawinese calls it kue pepe and other regions call kue lapis sagu.

I found two different recipes, once was posted at Haramain’s Kitchen and another one was from my cookbook, The Best of Indonesian Desserts. Both recipes use the same measurement, just a different method. I decided to use a simpler method than both methods. Since sago flour is not common to be purchased, I substituted for tapioca flour. Furthermore, I added two ingredients that were stated at Haraiman’s Kitchen; they were lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves.

My recipe is quite different too as I didn’t apply any artificial red colour. Instead, I used cooked beets.

Anyway, I’d like to share with you all. From August 14 for a month, Food Network Canada would like to share the love with fellow foodies and cooking enthusiasts by giving you and your readers a chance to win a $250 William Sonoma Gift Card or 1 of 4 prize packages from foodnetwork.ca! Check this link www.fortheloveofgoodfood.ca out for the contest.

Kue Pepe – Kue Lapis Sagu
– Indonesian Steamed Layered Sago Cake –

Ingredients:
• 250 g tapioca flour (original: sago flour)
• 800 mL coconut milk from 2 coconuts (I used 600 mL coconut milk and 200 mL water)
• 225 g sugar
• 100 g rice flour
• 4 kaffir lime leaves
• 1 pandan leaf
• 1 lemongrass, take the white part
• ½ teaspoon salt
• ½ teaspoon vanilla powder
• 1 tbsp oil, for brushing
• 60 g cooked beets, for natural red colour
• 2 spice muslin bags

Methods:
• Preheat a steamer.

• In a small food processor, grind pandan leaf, kaffir lime leaves and lemongarss until smooth. In a spice muslin bag, put those leafy mixture; tied up.

• In a pot, combine coconut milk, spice in a muslin bag, sugar, and salt. Stir occasionally and bring to a boil. Set a side and take the spice bag out

• Get ready with the whisk. In a big bowl, place tapioca flour, rice flour and vanilla powder. Gradually add coconut milk mixture to the flours. If you are a right handed as I am. Use your left hand to pour the coconut milk while your right hand, keep stirring with a whisk.

• Divide the batter into two for colouring.

• Grind cooked beets and fill a clean muslin bag with the ground beets. Squeeze the juice over to colouring batter 1 and whisk. Leave another mixture with its colour, white.

• For a tin pan, you need to line the bottom part with banana leaves or plastik wrap before brushing. I didn’t need one, since I used a silicon loaf pan. Brush a loaf pan with oil. I needed 1 tbsp oil for brushing. If you use the tin pan, you will need about 2 tbsp oil.

• Place the pan in a steamer. With a laddle soup, add 2 laddle soups of red batter to the pan. Steam for 5 – 6 minutes. With the same measurement, add white batter on top of red layer. Steam again. Repeat process until all the batter is used up.

• Steam the whole contents for about 20-30 minutes until done. Allow to cool and slice a knife that is wrapped with plastic wrap or use string to slice.

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56 thoughts on “Kue Pepe (Lapis Sagu) Recipe – Indonesian Steamed Layered Sago Cake”

  1. Xiaolu @ 6 Bitterswe

    Great idea for natural coloring. So bright and pretty. I bet it tastes subtly sweet and refreshing as well.

  2. Cook with Madin

    As soon as I saw the "Sago". I am excited, because I'm familiar with it. This is looks awesome. What a great idea for using sugar beets for the red color.

  3. Cooking Gallery

    I always call it kue lapis and people often got confused when I said it because you know there is also another type of kue lapis (Surabaya) – which I don't really like – I prefer this version :). Warnanya bagus banget!

  4. Happy Independence Day. Malaysia is on 31st. We will be celebrating it here….BBQ outing…..hehe. Love your kuih lapis….my favourite.

  5. Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets

    Great idea for natural coloring. So bright and pretty. I bet it tastes subtly sweet and refreshing as well.

  6. Cook with Madin

    As soon as I saw the "Sago". I am excited, because I'm familiar with it. This is looks awesome. What a great idea for using sugar beets for the red color.

  7. Cooking Gallery

    I always call it kue lapis and people often got confused when I said it because you know there is also another type of kue lapis (Surabaya) – which I don't really like – I prefer this version :). Warnanya bagus banget!

  8. Brilliant idea for coloring. I like your using of tapioca flour as it is more convenient to me too, thanks.

  9. Sara @ CaffeIna

    I's super impressed. I didn't know this dessert before but for sure you did make it in an impressive way

  10. Love that you use the natural food coloring for your kue lapis. I love to peel it layer by layer when eat this kue hehehe 🙂

  11. Happy Independence Day. Malaysia is on 31st. We will be celebrating it here….BBQ outing…..hehe. Love your kuih lapis….my favourite.

  12. Happy independence dayThis cake is beautiful and deliciousThank you for the tip on almond milk I haven't tried before 🙂

  13. Love that you use the natural food coloring for your kue lapis. I love to peel it layer by layer when eat this kue hehehe 🙂

  14. @Christine and Xiaolu: the colur is not os so bright compare to the ones with artificial colour.@bunkycooks: nice to meet you too and thanks for visiting@Cook with Madin: yes, don't we love sago back in SE Asia?@Cooking Gallery: there are so many kue lapis in the country. Kue lapis beras , it's harder to make than kue lapis sagu. Lapis surabaya is pain in the eggs :)) need a dozen of egg yolks@Kath and Sara: Thanks@Mary: hu ooh can I go to your BBQ outing?@TasteHongkong: indeed I don't have any access to sago flour either, unless I requested from Vancouver@lia: Same here, peel layer by layer@Diah: kok ganti lagi?@torviewtoronto: thank you!@Maameemoomoo: some recipes don't call for kaffir lime leaves and lemongrass. This recipe is the Betawinese.@Foodiesathome: thanks@LCOM: I know eh! It took me at least an hour for steaming process done

    1. Do you know where I could find sago flour in Vancouver, then? I’ve been hunting for a while for another recipe without any success.

      1. Indonesia Eats

        Sago flour can be substituted for tapioca flour/starch. There is one Indonesian food supplier on Shaugnessy that carries one Indonesian brand of tapioca starch that is a higher quality and they often call it as sago flour.

  15. Happy independence day
    This cake is beautiful and delicious

    Thank you for the tip on almond milk I haven't tried before 🙂

  16. @Christine and Xiaolu: the colur is not os so bright compare to the ones with artificial colour.

    @bunkycooks: nice to meet you too and thanks for visiting

    @Cook with Madin: yes, don't we love sago back in SE Asia?

    @Cooking Gallery: there are so many kue lapis in the country. Kue lapis beras , it's harder to make than kue lapis sagu. Lapis surabaya is pain in the eggs :)) need a dozen of egg yolks

    @Kath and Sara: Thanks

    @Mary: hu ooh can I go to your BBQ outing?

    @TasteHongkong: indeed I don't have any access to sago flour either, unless I requested from Vancouver

    @lia: Same here, peel layer by layer

    @Diah: kok ganti lagi?

    @torviewtoronto: thank you!

    @Maameemoomoo: some recipes don't call for kaffir lime leaves and lemongrass. This recipe is the Betawinese.

    @Foodiesathome: thanks

    @LCOM: I know eh! It took me at least an hour for steaming process done

  17. @Tigerfish: I bet! we are a neighbour :)@blackbookkitchendiaries: thank you!@Marissa: this kind of cake is pretty common in SE Asian countries.@Ardana: thanks@mycookinghut: The layered sago cakes are common in Indonesia@Aris Munandar: salam kenal juga!

  18. This is sooooo lovely. I don't think I had this while I was in Indonesia but it reminds me of something Filipino. The colors are so vibrant. I'm sure the flavor's as vibrant as well!

  19. @Tigerfish: I bet! we are a neighbour 🙂

    @blackbookkitchendiaries: thank you!

    @Marissa: this kind of cake is pretty common in SE Asian countries.

    @Ardana: thanks

    @mycookinghut: The layered sago cakes are common in Indonesia

    @Aris Munandar: salam kenal juga!

  20. This is sooooo lovely. I don't think I had this while I was in Indonesia but it reminds me of something Filipino. The colors are so vibrant. I'm sure the flavor's as vibrant as well!

  21. Pingback: Kue Indonesia Danish's Story | Danish's Story

  22. heheh this kue lapis is different and actually there is another type of kue lapis. One of them is Lapis Surabaya which is 3 stack of cake and Lapis Legit which is layered around 15-20 layer. I’d preferly choose Lapis Surabaya and Legit because its so saaavoooryyy 🙂 Cheers!

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