Spekkoek (Thousand Layer Spice Cake)

Total Time
1hr 15mins
Prep 15 mins
Cook 1 hr

A Dutch/Indonesian butter cake, best-known for being served with coffee after the ever-popular Dutch/Indonesian rijsttaffel. A good Spekkoek will have at least 12 layers or more. The heat of the grill browns the top of each layer, giving the cut cake its neat horizontal striped look. Spekkoek will keep moist and fresh in a cake tin or in the fridge for a week, well wrapped in a greaseproof paper. It can also be frozen if wrapped in a layer of aluminium foil. Because of the richness of the cake, it tends to be served in very small pieces, usually thin slices.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Cream butter and sugar together with an electric mixer. Beat in egg yolks. In another bowl, using clean beaters, beat egg whites with salt until stiff. Fold into yolk mixture. Fold in flour.
  2. Divide batter between two bowls. Add combined spices to one bowl; stir well.
  3. Line the bottom of a buttered 9" round cake pan (or springform pan) with wax paper and butter the wax paper. Pour about 1/2 cup of the spice batter into the pan, spreading to form a thin layer. Place pan under a preheated broiler for 2 minutes, or until the layer is firm and very lightly browned. Spread 1/2 cup of the plain batter over the top and broil until firm. Repeat layering and broiling until all batter is used.
  4. Let cake cool, then remove from pan. Sprinkle top with confectioners' sugar. Serve in thin slices with strong, hot coffee.
Most Helpful

5 5

Love this cake! Super easy to make and delicious. I make it for my boyfriend....it makes me look way more talented in the kitchen than I really am! :)

5 5

DD is making this, by request, for a classmate's high school graduation party -- and getting paid for it! Her test run, pictured, has eight dense, springy, spongy layers and a delightfully balanced rich spicy flavor. It was fun to make and fun to watch and a true pleasure to eat. Thank you!

5 5

This cake was hit at a recent potluck rijsttaffel! I made it exactly according to the recipe and it worked out beautifully. My broiler seemed to be quite powerful so each layer took only about 30 seconds instead of two minutes. So keep an eye on that cake!

The layered look is so impressive - I'll definitely be making this again.