9 Layer Cake – 九层糕

Well known for its nine distinctive colours, this popular steamed cake also known as ‘Jiu Ceng Gao’ in Chinese or ‘Kueh Lapis’ in Malay, is a pleasure to both the eyes and palate. Smooth rich texture accompanied by the delicious blend of coconut and pandan flavour, this old time favourite is sure to get your taste buds beckoning for the next bite.

You can now recreate your very own version of this traditional 9 Layer Cake! Don’t be put off by the multiple layers; making this colourful treat is not tedious at all. But rather, it’s a process that requires patience. Each layer needs to be treated with tender care and delicacy to make it extra special. Nothing beats seeing layer after layer of brightly coloured hue set on top one another till it forms that striking block of chewy sweet goodness.

The uniqueness of this recipe is its flexibility – get your inner artist working and personalize each layer of colour to your own liking. Enjoy this classic snack in one bite, or have a little fun savouring layer by layer of that soft chewiness. This vibrant layered cake is a nostalgic treat for both the little ones and the young at heart to enjoy.

#themeatmensg #simple #delicious

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  • Servings:

  • Time: 2 hrs

  • Skill: Easy


  1. 160g tapioca flour

  2. 150g rice flour

  3. 300g sugar

  4. ¼ tsp salt

  5. 1 litre coconut milk

  6. 5 pandan leaves (knotted)

  7. Food coloring (red, blue, green and pink)

  8. 7 inch square tin

Pandan oil:

  1. 4 tbsp oil

  2. 1 pandan leaf ( cut into 3cm lengths)


  1. Place 4 tbsp oil and pandan in a small pot. Bring it up to heat. Switch off fire. Leave pandan to steep in the oil. Set aside.

  2. In a pot, add in 300g sugar, 1 litre coconut milk and pandan leaves to scalding point. Stir until all the sugar is dissolved. Turn off heat. Set aside to cool.

  3. Sift 160g tapioca flour, 150g rice flour and ¼ tsp salt in a mixing bowl.

  4. Stir in the coconut milk mixture. Whisk to combine. Strain to ensure the batter is smooth and free of lumps.

  5. Divide it into 4 portions of 1½ cups and 1 portion of ¾ cup. Colour each of the 1½ cups with blue, pink and green colour and leaving the fourth portion plain. For the last ¾ cup portion, colour it with red. (you can divide it into more/less portions, depending on what colours you prefer. You can even do a rainbow steamed 9 layers cake).

  6. Grease the 7 inch square tin with the pandan oil. Heat it up in the steamer.

  7. Pour in the red batter as first layer into the heated tin.

  8. Steam it for 4 minutes until it’s cooked.

  9. Repeat the process with other colours (blue,pink,green and plain), each layer half of the batter. Total 9 layers including the first red layer

  10. The last layer steaming time should be 15 to 20 minutes.

  11. Whilst steaming, make sure you wipe the steamer cover dry. If the water drops onto the batter,as it will cause pockmarks.

  12. Leave the steamed cake to cool completely in the pan.

  13. Invert pan to knock out the steamed layer cake.

  14. Coat the cutting knife with the pandan oil, cut the steamed layer cake into small rectangles.

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