History of Klepon Cake

Klepon Cake, also known as Onde-onde, is a popular Indonesian dessert that has been around for centuries. This sweet and sticky treat is made with glutinous rice flour, coconut, and palm sugar, and is often flavored with pandan leaves.

Klepon Cake is a beloved dessert across Indonesia and has become a popular export to other countries. In this article, we will delve into the fascinating history of Klepon Cake and explore its cultural significance.

Origin of Klepon Cake: Klepon Cake is believed to have originated in Java, Indonesia, where it is still a popular treat today. The earliest written references to the dessert date back to the 12th century, during the time of the Majapahit Empire. At that time, the dessert was known as “ronde,” and it was made with different ingredients, including sweet potato and banana. The dessert was often served during special occasions and religious festivals.

Ingredients: The primary ingredients in Klepon Cake are glutinous rice flour, coconut, and palm sugar. Pandan leaves are also commonly used to flavor the dessert and give it a green hue. To make Klepon Cake, the rice flour is mixed with water to create a dough, which is then filled with palm sugar and rolled into small balls. The balls are then boiled in water until they float to the surface, indicating that they are cooked. Finally, the Klepon Cake is rolled in shredded coconut and served.

Cultural Significance: Klepon Cake is more than just a sweet treat; it is an integral part of Indonesian culture. The dessert is often served during religious festivals and special occasions, such as weddings and birthdays. In some parts of Indonesia, Klepon Cake is also believed to have medicinal properties and is used to treat various ailments. The dessert is also a popular snack, enjoyed by people of all ages.

Variations: While the basic recipe for Klepon Cake remains the same, there are many variations of the dessert across Indonesia. Some regions use different types of flour, while others add additional flavors, such as chocolate or fruit. In Bali, for example, Klepon Cake is made with a mixture of rice flour and mashed sweet potato, while in Sumatra, the dessert is known as “putu bambu” and is made with bamboo molds.


Is Klepon Cake gluten-free?

No, Klepon Cake is made with glutinous rice flour, which contains gluten.

Can Klepon Cake be made without palm sugar?

While palm sugar is the traditional sweetener used in Klepon Cake, other types of sugar can be substituted.

How long does Klepon Cake last?

Klepon Cake is best eaten fresh but can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two days.


Klepon Cake is a delicious and beloved dessert that has been enjoyed in Indonesia for centuries. Its rich history and cultural significance make it an essential part of Indonesian cuisine. Whether you are enjoying it during a religious festival or as a simple snack, Klepon Cake is sure to delight your taste buds and leave you craving more.

I'm Jennifer Tirrell, a self-taught baker, and founder of CakeRe. As an experienced baker and recipe publisher, I have spent over a decade working in the kitchen and have tried and tested countless baking tools and products. From classic cakes to creative twists, I've got you covered. So grab your apron and let's get baking!

Leave a Comment