History of Spekkoek Cake

Spekkoek cake, also known as lapis legit, is a delicious Dutch-Indonesian layered cake that is a popular dessert in both Indonesia and the Netherlands. This article will explore the history of this unique cake and how it has become a beloved dessert in both cultures.

Spekkoek Cake
Spekkoek Cake

1. Origin of Spekkoek Cake

Spekkoek cake originated in Indonesia during the Dutch colonial period. The word “spekkoek” translates to “bacon cake” in Dutch, as the layers of cake resemble the layers of fat and meat in bacon. The cake was first created by the Indo community, a group of people of mixed Dutch and Indonesian descent. It was served as a special occasion cake, such as at weddings and religious ceremonies.

2. Ingredients

Spekkoek cake is made with a variety of spices, including cinnamon, cardamom, and nutmeg. It also contains flour, eggs, sugar, butter, and milk. The cake is flavored with vanilla and almond extracts, and some recipes call for the addition of brandy or rum.

3. How to Make Spekkoek Cake

Making spekkoek cake is a labor-intensive process that involves making multiple thin layers of cake batter, which are baked one at a time. The layers are then stacked on top of each other, with each layer being spread with a thin layer of batter before being baked. The process is repeated until the cake has over a dozen layers.

4. Serving Suggestions

Spekkoek cake is traditionally served at room temperature, sliced thinly and served with tea or coffee. It is a popular dessert during the holiday season, and many families have their own recipe for the cake that has been passed down through generations.

5. The Significance of Spekkoek Cake in Indonesian and Dutch Culture

Spekkoek cake is an important part of both Indonesian and Dutch cultures. In Indonesia, the cake is a symbol of the country’s colonial past, as it was created during the Dutch colonial period. It is also a popular dessert during the holiday season and is often served at special occasions such as weddings and religious ceremonies.

In the Netherlands, spekkoek cake is a popular dessert that is enjoyed year-round. It is especially popular during the holiday season, and many Dutch families have their own recipe for the cake that has been passed down through generations.

6. Spekkoek Cake Around the World

Spekkoek cake has gained popularity around the world, and it can now be found in many countries outside of Indonesia and the Netherlands. In the United States, it is commonly sold in Dutch specialty shops and Indonesian restaurants. It has also gained popularity in countries such as Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

7. Health Benefits of Spekkoek Cake

While spekkoek cake is a delicious dessert, it is important to note that it is also high in calories, sugar, and fat. However, it does contain a number of beneficial spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg, which have been linked to a range of health benefits, including improved digestion and reduced inflammation.

8. Variations of Spekkoek Cake

While traditional spekkoek cake is made with a blend of spices and a rich, buttery batter, there are many variations of the cake that incorporate different flavors and ingredients. Some recipes use chocolate, coffee, or citrus flavors, while others incorporate fruit such as apples or bananas.

9. Where to Find Spekkoek Cake

If you’re interested in trying spekkoek cake, there are a number of places where you can find it. In the Netherlands, it can be found in most bakeries and specialty shops. In Indonesia, it is commonly sold in markets and specialty food shops. Outside of these countries, you can often find it in Dutch specialty shops or Indonesian restaurants.


Is spekkoek cake difficult to make?

Making spekkoek cake can be time-consuming and requires a lot of patience, but it is not necessarily difficult. With the right recipe and technique, anyone can make a delicious spekkoek cake.

What is the significance of the layers in spekkoek cake?

The layers in spekkoek cake represent the diverse cultures and influences that have shaped the cake’s history. They also make for a beautiful presentation when the cake is sliced.

Can I freeze spekkoek cake?

Yes, you can freeze spekkoek cake. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and store it in the freezer for up to 3 months.

What is the texture of spekkoek cake?

Spekkoek cake has a moist and tender texture, thanks to the rich batter and layers of spices and flavorings.

How many calories are in a slice of spekkoek cake?

The number of calories in a slice of spekkoek cake can vary depending on the recipe and serving size, but it typically ranges from 200-300 calories per slice.


Spekkoek cake is a unique and delicious dessert that has become a beloved part of both Indonesian and Dutch cultures. Its fascinating history and intricate layering make it a dessert that is both beautiful and delicious. Whether you’re enjoying it as a special occasion dessert or as a treat during the holiday season, spekkoek cake is sure to satisfy your sweet tooth.

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!

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