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8 Popular Indonesian Traditional Cakes

by Emilia Kurniasari
Indonesian Traditional Cake

Indonesia as an archipelago country has various kinds of food, including the traditional cakes. It can be said that almost all cities have their own signature cake. Some of them are very popular, such as one of north sumatran foods, bika ambon, but all of them must be delicious! Here are 8 Indonesian traditional cakes you need to know.

  1. Onde-Onde

Onde-onde has been famous in Indonesia since Majapahit Kingdom era. It actually came from China. Onde-onde used to be consumed by the carpenters and masons who built the palace in Zhou Dynasty era.

It began popular in Indonesia after the voyage of the great admiral of Ming Dynasty, Zheng He, entered Indonesia. In Indonesia, Onde-onde has been a typical dish from Mojokerto. So if you come to Mojokerto, trying Onde-onde must be one of things to do in Mojokerto. It is usually sold right after being fired. It tastes sweet because there is brown sugar inside the glutinous rice dough. There is also sesame outside the dough. So yummy!

  1.  Serabi

Serabi is one of the popular traditional cake, especially in West Java. It is also called Surabi. ‘Sura’ itself means big. This cake has been being exist since 1920s. Some people said, Serabi is actually from India, but some others said that there is the influence of Netherlands so this cake can be popular in Indonesia.

This cake is made from rice flour, wheat flour, butter, and egg. Serabi is usually served with a sauce made from brown sugar and coconut milk, it is called kinca. Currently, there are various modifications of serabi, starting from the sweet one to the salty one. Nowadays, Serabi can also be found wherever, such as in Solo, Bandung, etc.

  1. Dodol

Indonesian people must be very familiar with dodol. This sticky cake is made from coconut milk, glutinous flour, white sugar, brown sugar, and salt. Finding Dodol can be one of the things to do in Garut. But actually Dodol has been produced all over Indonesia. It will be easier to find Dodol when it is near any feasts.

Besides the sticky texture, some people make Dodol with different colors. There are many kinds of Dodol in Indonesia, such as Sesame Dodol, Peanut Dodol, Fruit Dodol, etc. There are also some popular Dodol besides Dodol Garut, such as Dodol Betawi and Dodol Aceh. Dodol Betawi has an additional ingredient, that is pandan leaf. Dodol Aceh has another name called meusekat, it looks like sponge cake, but the texture is sticky as well as Dodol.

  1. Putu Cake
Putu Cake

If you have been familiar with a traditional cake together with the high-pitched bamboo sound in your childhood, you might know about Putu Cake. It is exactly a cake that is made by being steamed in a bamboo. Putu Cake has been exist since Ming Dynasty era in China around 1200s.

Putu Cake used to be made from rice flour with green beans as its filling, then being cooked inside a bamboo. When the steamed rice flour cooked, you will hear a high-pitch sound from the bamboo. It means Putu Cake has been ready to serve.

There are two kinds of Putu Cake that are popular in Indonesia. Besides the common Putu Bambu, there is also Putu Mayang, which is more flat but the filling is still brown sugar and the taste is also amazing!

  1. Nagasari

In Indramayu, West Java, there is a popular traditional cake called Nagasari. This cake is also popular in Jakarta and many cities in Indonesia. Nagasari is made from rice flour and there is banana slice as its filling. Once you have Nagasari, you could smell the typical aroma from banana leaf that covers the cake.

Nagasari is usually served in any ceremonies or events. One of the ceremonies that usually provides Nagasari is Kenduri which is held in Java. It is so easy to find Nagasari in any cake shops.

  1. Getuk Lindri
Getuk Lindri

If you like cassava or singkong in bahasa Indonesia, you have to try Getuk Lindri! It is made from mashed cassava which is added with some condiments, such as sugar and grated coconut. The name ‘getuk’ comes from the sound ‘tuk tuk’ when making the cassava into mashed cassava.

On the other hand, the word ‘lindri’ is the name of the roller to form the Getuk into a long-pipe shape. It is long and has a fibrous texture.

Getuk Lindri is very popular in Java, especially in Magelang. In Magelang, Getuk Lindri is also one of the staple foods. It is said that this cake has been exist since colonial era. People usually sell Getuk Lindri with also playing campur sari musics to attract buyers.

  1. Apem

Another popular cake in Java is Apem. Some people said that this cake is from India with the original name is Appam. On the other hand, some others said that it is from Saudi Arabia with the original name is Afuwan or Afuwwun which means forgiveness.

Apem is made from rice flour. This cake can be your choice what to eat in Madura, Cirebon, etc where Apem has been popular there. In Cirebon, Apem is usually eaten as a cake that represents togetherness. It is made at the second month of Hijriyah calendar.

  1. Cenil

Last but not least cake which is also from Java is Cenil. Trying Cenil can be one of interesting things to do in Pacitan Indonesia. It looks round as big as marbles with sweet and savory taste. In Central Java, Cenil is also called Cethil. It has various colors, being served with brown sugar sauce or kinca and grated coconut.

Cenil was the stapple food during colonial era in famine. The sticky and chewy textures are believed representing a close brotherhood among society.

Those are 8 delicious Indonesian traditional cakes. Do not miss to try them all!

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