Travel Guide Kuching

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Kek Lapis Sarawak – A kaleidescope of Sarawak’s cake

Posted by James on October - 5 - 2012

If you are a cake lover, you will definitely notice, when you walk along the five-foot-way of the Main Bazaar of Kuching, that there are many colourful multi-layer cake packed in rectangle see-through plastic packing on sale by many vendors there. What’s so special about these cakes that make them such a hot sellers among many visitors to Kuching, you will be wondering.

Kek Lapis Sarawak

This is the famous “kek lapis Sarawak”,  Malay for Sarawak Layer Cake, and the main reason why they’re so popular besides, of course the great taste, is the intricate colours, patterns and layers that make up the cake, so much so that visitors are seen to be so fascinated by the designs that they couldn’t bear to eat it!

Sarawak Layer Cakes are traditionally made by the Malays of Kuching, who have over the years mastered the intricacies of baking them, a process so time-consuming, tiring and fortunately, very rewarding, that it has since evolved into an art in itself.



There are by now many master bakers of kek lapis, but two names come to mind immediately – Dayang Salhah and Mira Cake House – this is because of their huge presence across the Sarawak River. Take a tambang, or the quaint river taxi across the river from the Kuching Waterfront (right opposite the Hilton Hotel and Riverside Majestic Hotel) and disembark on the Malay kampung. Upon walking up the jetty and behind the modern food court is the venerable Kek Lapis Sarawak Dayang Salhah*, a humble Malay kampong house which has been converted into a showcase of cake par excellence.  (*As of writing, a new mosque is almost completed right right next to this house, so it’s very easy to locate it.)

According to the assistant there, there are no less than two dozen types of kek lapis, ranging from flavours in cheese, chocolate, coffee, to fruits and many others. And the best part is, visitors are welcome to try out the sample of each and every flavour to his or her heart’s content, and better still, the sample pieces are not stingy tiny wedges but full bite size cubes. Unfortunately coffee and tea are not served, or else most would opt for a free high tea!

A stone throw away is the more garish and brash Mira Cake House, apparently a successful upstart after seeing the runaway popularity of Dayang Salhah. Mira had just been established recently but there is no doubt its founders had thoroughly mastered the art of baking kek lapis to a sublime level. Walking into this cake house is like Hansel and Gretel entering the candy store. There are so many varieties of colourful cakes that it just boggle the mind. And Mira does not skimp on free sampling too.

For more info on these cakes go to

Free sampling at Mira Cake House

Apparently the success of kek lapis Sarawak is the ubiquitous words-of-mouth among satisfied customers, as evidenced by the return of customers, especially visitors from Peninsular Malaysia. It is not unusual to see them carting off dozens of these rectangular cakes at RM10 – RM20 per piece to give to friends and relatives back home. So if you are a new to kek lapis, take a short detour to buy some of these wonderful pastries and find out why people are so crazy about them!


Categories: Places & Attractions

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