Baking Tips

Toddler Recipes


Steamed Kueh Lapis

I had been seeing quite a few food booths in shopping centres, selling kueh kueh. I had wanted to eat this for quite a while, but stopped short when I was reminded of the high sugar content and food coloring hahaha.

Steamed Kueh Lapis had been a popular snack locally, ever since I was little! While making the coconut milk mixture, the fragrance reminded me of my childhood days. Really love the fragrance and taste of the kueh!

Lapis meant "layers", and with this recipe, you can also peel off layer by layer! I find the taste of this recipe quite close to store bought ones. I've kept this overnight in the fridge, so I could slice it easily the next morning, to serve as breakfast.

However, I find the texture softer on the day it's made! So if you have some time to spare in the morning, you could try making it for tea snack, as it needs a couple of hours to cool completely.

I have also tweaked the recipe slightly to make it great for toddlers too (no artificial coloring and less sugar).

The original recipe uses a 7" cake pan; I didn't have it, so I've used my 6" pan. I had some remaining batter which I steamed in separate smaller containers. Next time I will try to just steam it in my 6" pan, and have more than 9 layers!

I've opted out of food coloring, and used purple sweet potato powder for coloring. You could see some blobs of dark purple in the layers because I didn't manage to dissolve it very well. I probably will dissolve the powder in the warm coconut milk mixture next time!

Steamed Kueh Lapis - Recipe from Anncoo Journal
(Makes one 7-inch cake pan)

- 350g tapioca flour
- 100g rice flour
- 500ml water
- 400g sugar (I've used the same amount as Ann, 280g)
- 4 pandan leaves
- 500ml thick coconut milk
- 4 to 5 tsp purple sweet potato powder

1.   Boil together water, sugar and the pandan leaves in a medium sized pot or saucepan.

2.   When sugar has dissolved, turn off the heat on stove. Discard pandan leaves, add in the coconut milk. Stir well to combine.

3.   Divide coconut milk mixture into 2 portions. Add in sweet potato powder to 1 portion and stir well to dissolve. Set the coconut milk mixture aside to cool to room temperature.

4.   Divide tapioca flour and rice flour into 2 portions (ie. 175g tapioca flour + 50g rice flour each in 2 bowls). Mix the flour well in the respective bowls. Add the flour into respective coconut milk mixture in batches, stirring well to combine while adding. Strain the mixture through a sieve to remove lumps from the mixture.

5.   Prepare a wok or pot for steaming. Grease the cake pan. Place a piece of parchment paper at the bottom of the pan for easy release later. Place the pan into the steaming wok for a few mins over high heat.

6.   You can pour about 100ml-125ml of batter into the pan each time (I poured in 120g - it was easier for me to use weighing scale). Pour in the first layer (purple), steam at high heat for about 4 mins or until the batter is translucent and cooked through.

7.   Pour in the next layer (white), steam for another 4 mins.

8.   Repeat the process, alternating between the 2 colored batter until it is finished. After you have poured in the last layer, steam the entire cake for about 15 mins.

9.   Once finished, lift the pan out of the wok carefully and leave it to cool completely. It will usually take about 3-4 hours.

10.   To remove from pan, you can use a knife to score the sides to release the cake. Alternatively, I simply used my hands to "pull" the surface of the cake from the sides. Invert the pan and give it some knocks to release completely.

11.   Cut the cake into pieces using a well greased knife or dough scrapper.

As the recipe has reduced sugar (280g), it can be quite "bland" at first taste. I find it quite alright after a few pcs, and the best thing is, I could offer this to my toddler since it was not too sweet! :)

If you do not have purple sweet potato, or want to do the rainbow version, you can simply use food coloring.


  1. Hi Cherie

    I love steamed kueh lapis and have been making it frequently. I used the recipe from Alan of Travelling Foodie because his version yielded extremely good results. For your info, I usually will make the pandan water a day ahead and keep pandan water in the fridge. On the following day, I simply heat half of the pandan water with sugar and dilute the boiled syrup with the other half of the cold pandan water before I add the entire pandan syrup into the different flours which already mixed with the coconut milk.

    Priscilla Poh

    1. Hi Priscilla, thanks for dropping by! Thanks for the tips as well! Next time I will try Alan's recipe :) Just saw his posting a couple of days ago as well! God bless :)

  2. Hi Cherie

    I forgot to mention to you earlier the reason I usually will make the pandan water one day in advance and let it sit in the fridge overnight (pandan water can sit in the fridge more than 1 week in case you are busy the following day to prepare kueh) is because the result of the steamed kueh lapis will not turn out floury. Also, you need to half the recipe when using the version from Traveling Foodie - (Alan's version tastes close to the one sold at Bengawan Solo).

    Priscilla Poh

    1. Okie understood that! :) Wow, Bengawan Solo!! I must try it soon lol.. Thanks for sharing this Priscilla!