We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Spekkoek?

By H.R. Childress
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGEEK is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGEEK, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Spekkoek is a dense spice cake made in many layers. It is a dessert most commonly served in the Netherlands and Indonesia. The cake is usually reserved for special occasions since the process of creating the layers is time-consuming and labor intensive.

History suggests that spekkoek was developed by Dutch colonists in Indonesia and the East Indies. The cake was an adaptation of Dutch baking using native spices from the area. It may be related to the German baumkuchen or the Hungarian dobos torte, which are both cakes containing many layers.

The term spekkoek translates literally as pork belly — or bacon — cake, a name derived from the appearance of the dark and light layers. Its Indonesian name is lapis legit, or layer cake. The English translation is often given as thousand layer cake, or thousand layer spice cake. In some parts of Indonesia, the cake is known as spiku.

Lapis legit contains several different spices, generally including cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, and cloves. It may also contain ginger or aniseed, and sometimes vanilla extract is also used for flavoring. A spice mix called spekkoek powder, which contains the common spices used in the cake, may be available in grocery markets in Indonesia and the Netherlands.

The cake batter is similar to that of a sponge cake. It contains many eggs — usually at least 10, and sometimes up to 45 or more. Some versions of the cake incorporate both egg yolks and whites, though some use more yolks than whites, and some contain only the yolks.

Butter or margarine is beaten together with sugar and the egg yolks to make the cake. Some recipes also include condensed milk, which is added to this mixture. The egg whites, if they are used, are beaten separately until they form stiff peaks. They are then folded into the mixture of butter, sugar, and egg yolks.

Flour is sifted and folded into the batter. The spices used in the cake are mixed together separately. The batter is divided equally into two bowls, then the spices are folded into one bowl of batter.

Spekkoek is usually baked in a round cake pan or a springform pan. The oven broiler is turned on so that each layer cooks from the top. A thin layer of one of the batter mixtures is spread into the cake pan and baked for just a few minutes. Then a layer of the other batter mixture is added and the cake is put into the oven again. This procedure is repeated until all the batter is gone. Lapis legit usually has at least a dozen and up to as many as 40 layers.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

WiseGEEK, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGEEK, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.