Best kueh lapis in Singapore

This Indonesia layered cake may come in new-fangled flavours like chocolate, prunes and pandan, but we say, there’s nothing quite like the original.
By epicure
Published on Tuesday, 03 Jan 2012

BOROBUDUR SNACKS SHOP
The owners of Borobudur have faithfully followed their decades-old kueh lapis recipe (made with a secret spice concoction) to a T. You get one moist and non-greasy cake, with specks of sugar glistening on top and a dash of Martell cognac for extra oomph, which makes finding the family-owned shop with its faded shop front well-worth the trek. Blk 537 Bedok North Street 3, #01-523. Tel: 6442 7637

KUÉ [CLOSED]
We were won over by its modern packaging, but the proof of the pudding is in the eating. Kue’s moist, rich cake, which is infused with a fragrant hint of spicy liquor did not disappoint. The 20-year-old family recipe features fresh egg yolks and hand-mixed butter, and a nip of Martell VSOP (instead of cinnamon) for a more subtle and nuanced flavour. Each layer of the batter is then evenly distributed and baked in the oven for 30 to 60 seconds to achieve thin distinct layers. Wheat-free and gluten-free versions are also available. www.kue.com.sg

DELI INDO
Peel off the cling film that wraps around this ½ kg block of kueh lapis and you’ll discover how golden brown and completely smooth the surface is. Upon biting into the buttery layers, we thought we tasted a hint of tropical fruits —although we couldn’t decide if it smelled more like the essence of durian or jackfruit. It was just rich enough without being cloying and left a sweet oily stain on our fingers. www.deli-indo.com.sg

THE FULLERTON CAKE BOUTIQUE
The hotel’s signature confection came into spotlight when its two metre-long cake model was inaugurated into the Singapore Book of Records as Singapore’s Largest Kueh Lapis. Since then, we remember the confection simply for its rich buttery flavours and moist crumbly textures. Enjoy a complimentary slice at the hotel with every order of tea or coffee, or get a whole cake sealed in a customised box to savour the thick, dense slices at home. 1 Fullerton Square. Tel: 6877 8178

CAKE STORY
Known in Indonesia as spekkoek, kueh lapis is believed to have been developed during colonial times in the Dutch East Indies using local ingredients. Co-creator of Cake Story, Lie A Noi, should know. The Indonesian native stays true to her inherited recipe with warm spices from her hometown, which are blended with nutmeg, cinnamon powder and rich Golden Churn butter. A splash of Martell cognac rounds out the labour-intensive cake, whose layers are individually measured to an exact tee for even tiers. To order, email order@cakestory.com.sg or call 9645 6545

GLORY CATERING
The texture was less dense than the other we have tried, but Glory Catering’s version makes up for this with a piquant offering of rich, eggy flavours and a hint of a vanilla within its thin layers. We also like that it has a subtle fruity scent, which gives it a little tropical character. 139 East Coast Road. Tel: 6344 1749

CHINTA MANIS
This Peranakan patisserie is great for savouring creative snacks like Valrhona Ondeh Ondeh but the Kueh Lapis, a recipe by chef Philip Lee from his earlier days at Century Park Sheraton, is a longtime classic. Its rich offering of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and vanilla powder sounds heavy, but its thin-cut slices are just enough to satisfy without overwhelming the palate. #01-03 China Square Food Court, 51 Telok Ayer Street. Tel: 6225 4754

SMILING ORCHID
We are not surprised that this halal-certified bakery has managed to build up a loyal base of customers from as far as Hong Kong and Australia. The secret to their smooth, buttery kueh lapis? An insistence in using gas ovens, which ensures a moist cake, and only 100 percent butter. Blk 11 Ghim Moh Road, #01-64. Tel: 6468 4237

BENGAWAN SOLO
This household confectionery still unfailingly bakes an irresistible serving of kueh lapis the way we like it. Thanks to its unsparing use of butter, the cake is aromatic and oily, without being cloying. It also has a tender, bouncy texture, which holds up well in room temperature. Various outlets. (Ed: We bought ours at #B1-15, Tampines Mall. Tel: 6788 2811)

TECK NEO PINEAPPLE TARTS
They may be better known for pineapple tarts but their kueh lapis is clean-tasting yet richly flavoured with fragrant spices. It’s a good balance between sweet and savoury, and we loved how the layers peeled off very easily. Blk 35 Telok Blangah Rise, #01-303. Tel: 6275 1330