Opps… My 9-Layered Cake has only 8 Layers !

Why does it has to be a nine layered cake ? Couldn’t it be the lucky 7 or even ten, eleven, twelve layers? Seriously, I tried to google for the answer, and apparently there’s no specific reason for it. The reason it being 9 layered simply implied that it is made of many layers, need not specifically be nine. So as long as you can establish the layers by steaming each layer in a different color, yes..you are there.

Anyway making this was quite a last minute thing. I was browsing through an outdated Epicure magazine, where the old school delights kept me fascinated for the longest time. Well, how could I resist any recipes of such traditional snacks which we grew up on. Especially when I have quite all the ingredients on hand, and a perfect opportunity to use up the balance flour from the previous kuehs making.

The recipe calls for a tray size which I have issues fitting into the steamer. So I use a smaller tray than stipulated and got an eight layers kueh instead. Oh well, just to mention, the recipe uses a 35 by 20 cm tray which comes up to a 6 layers cake. So jokingly, I told the old folks at home to try their hands on lucky lottery number 9898.

Freshly steamed, the kueh was indeed soft and chewy, quite up to expectations. Looks how pliable the texture is. And the fun of eating this is surely peeling it layer by layer and devouring it like a hungry man ! Haha !

However, the setback remains upon the fact that after leaving it aside for more than half a day, the kueh turns tough and less than chewy as compared to when it was freshly steamed. And needless to say, leaving it overnight in the fridge renders the texture hard and requires additional steaming to be consumable.

So conclusion : best eaten within 6 hours after making it and please allow for natural cooling process. I was pretty impatient and allow the fan to blow directly at it to speed up the cooling process. And boy, it was a mistake which caused the texture to turn tough faster too!

And well, coming back to the lottery joke, there was no strike of course. If not, I would long be dreaming my mind off and won’t be drafting this post at this time. Haha! Anyway, mum was even more amusing when she learnt that 9669 came out on Sunday 4d. She started to Reiterate why I make 8 layers instead of 6, if not she would be laughing her heads off with a windfall. But well…. when I told her the original recipe uses a much bigger steaming tray which resulted in 6 layers, she exclaimed in bewilderment and ask why I never let her know earlier and let out a sigh thereafter. I find it all too amusing for words. Hahah, look how the lottery can do to these old folks !!

Anyway this recipe is indeed worth a try as the taste and texture are notably good for a first attempt.

Nine Layers Cake

By Eat What Tonight Published: October 8, 2012

  • Yield: one 30cm by 25cm tray worth (20 Servings)
  • Prep: 8 mins
  • Cook: 35 mins
  • Ready In: 43 mins

Source : Epicure Magazine August 2012 Issue



  1. To make the syrup mix, heat sugar, water and pandan leaves together in a pot over low heat. Keep stirring until sugar is dissolved. Set aside to cool.
  2. To make the batter mix, place rice flour, tapioca flour, coconut milk and salt in a whisking bowl and mix well. Add in syrup mix, mix well and strain to remove any lumps.
  3. Divide any batter into 2 or more equal portions. Leave one portion white and mix the other portion with a drop of food colouring as desired.
  4. Prepare the tray oiled in a steamer over boiling water.
  5. Gently pour a 1cm thick layer of white batter into the tray. Steam over high heat for 3-5 minutes. Then pour a 1cm thick layer of food coloured batter and steam for a further 5 minutes.
  6. Repeat the process of pouring and steaming the different coloured batters until the tray is filled. Steam the final layer at medium heat for another 10-15 minutes.

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