Bahulu Lapis

by Lisa K. on Fri, June 08, 2018

A kuih like Bahulu but in layers! Originating from Johor, this layered cake is so fragrant from the use of freshly grounded spices. It takes a lot of time and effort to make but it is so worth it. Plus this is a great gift to give during the festive season for your loved ones.

A wonderful gift for your loved ones

Serves 12 - 15 people

Use a fine sift to sift grounded spices. You don't want to have hard pieces of spices in the kuih.

Do not get even a drop of water into the batter. It will spoil the whole batch. The bahulu will become very dense.

Foodster's Verdict

Bahulu Lapis


  • Preparation
  • Total
    2hour 40minutes
    8 whole eggs, Grade B
    2 egg yolks
    320g sugar
    4 tbsp. condensed milk
    1 ½ tsp. vanilla essence
    2 ½ tsp. rempah
    240g flour
    1 ½ block of salted butter melted
    4 tbsp. strawberry jam loosen with a little hot water
    40g raisins, chopped
    5 red cherries, chopped
    5 green cherries, chopped

    2 cinnamon sticks, break into smaller pieces
    5 star anise
    5 cloves
    1 tbsp. cumin seeds
    1 tbsp. fennel seeds
    3 cardamom pods, pods removed, use seeds only

    All the spices need to be dry-fried in a pan and grounded until powder fine

1. Preheat oven at 180°c on convection mode. Grease a 8" x 8" cake tin with melted butter and line with baking parchment. Grease baking parchment as well. Set aside.

2. Beat eggs, egg yolks and sugar in a mixer on medium speed until pale and really fluffy. When batter is really fluffy, add in condensed milk 1 tablespoon at a time and pour in vanilla essence.

Left: Adding condensed milk. Right: Adding vanilla essence

3. Give it a final mix and use a weighing scale to divide it equally into 2 batches. Now you have Batter A and Batter B.

4. Sift flour and use a weighing scale to divide it equally into 2 batches. Now you have Flour A and Flour B

5. Fold in half of Flour A into Batter A. Once it is well combined, fold in the rest of Flour A into Batter A. The batter should form light ribbons on the surface.

6. Repeat process with Flour B and Batter B. Fold in spices only into Batter B. Mix well.

Left: Batter A (flour). Right: Batter B (flour & spices)

7. Preheat greased cake tin in oven for 2 minutes.

8. Remove preheated cake tin from oven and scoop in 1 ladleful of Batter A. Spread it out evenly and bake for 9 minutes.

9. After 9 minutes, switch oven mode to top grill. When first Bahulu layer is golden brown, remove from oven and spread melted butter generously.

10. Put cake tin back in oven for 1 minute to let butter seep into the Bahulu.

11. Remove cake tin from oven and spread strawberry jam evenly.

12. Spoon in a ladleful of Batter B and spread it out evenly. Sprinkle in some raisins.

13. Put cake tin back in the oven and bake for 8 minutes. Take it out when it is golden brown.

14. Lightly press down the Bahulu layers with a pastry presser or a flat potato masher. This is to press down the layers of Bahulu so you will get neat lines.

15. Spread butter evenly and bake again for another 1 minute.

16. Spoon in a ladle of Batter A, sprinkle in chopped cherries and bake for 8 minutes.

17. Lightly press down Bahulu again and spread another layer of butter.

18. Repeat steps 11 to 18 all over again until all the batter are used up.

19. Let Bahulu Lapis cool down for at least 2 hours before cutting. Ideally, let it rest overnight so the flavours can develop.