The Dutch call Indonesian lapis legit “bacon cake.” In English, the sweet goes by “thousand-layer cake.” Though both names are hyperbolic, they are a testament to this treat’s decadence. The Indonesian-Dutch fusion dessert features 18 to 30 individually baked layers of spiced butter, sugar, and egg yolk.
Colonialists from the Netherlands arrived in Indonesia in the 15th century. With them came their version of German baumkuchen, a cake made by coating a spit with rings of batter. Indonesians and spice traders added local flavors—cinnamon, clove, mace, and nutmeg—to the buttery, eggy batter. Rather than use a cylindrical spit, bakers across the islands prepared the dessert in a square pan, broiling each delicate layer before adding the next. The…
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