Kek Lapis Sarawak, also known as Sarawak Layer Cake, is a vibrant and flavorful layered cake originating from the state of Sarawak in Malaysia. This cake is a staple in the Malaysian state of Sarawak and is often served on special occasions such as Eid ul-Fitr, Christmas, Deepavali, Gawai, birthdays, and weddings.
The Sarawak layer cake has its roots in a type of layer cake with various spices found in Indonesia called lapis legit or kek lapis Betawi. This spiced Betawi cake is believed to have been derived from a form of European spit cake, which was made by the wives of Dutch administrators in Batavia during the colonial period and served during evening tea. The Sarawak people then added new ingredients, flavor, and color that resulted in a new version of the layer cake being introduced and named as Sarawak layer cake.
In Malaysia, Kek lapis Sarawak (Sarawak layer cake) has been a protected geographical indication since 2010. This means that any product may only be called “Kek lapis Sarawak/Sarawak layer cake” if it is manufactured in Sarawak according to the specifications of the Sarawak Layer Cake Manufacturers Association. It is illegal to label a similarly-manufactured cake “Kek lapis Sarawak/Sarawak layer cake” if it is not actually made in Sarawak.
Kek Lapis Sarawak is more than just a cake. It is a symbol of the rich cultural heritage of Sarawak, Malaysia. Its vibrant layers and intricate patterns reflect the diversity and creativity of the Sarawak people. Whether it’s a festive occasion or a casual tea time, Kek Lapis Sarawak is a treat that brings joy and color to every table.