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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Malaysian Honeycomb Cake Recipe

Updated February 25, 2008

Originally posted December 7, 2006

No, this is not a section of an ant colony. This delectable item is a cake that you simply must try!

Malaysian Honeycomb Cake

Malaysian Honeycomb Cake

In Malaysia, this is called a “honeycomb cake”. It gets its name from the interesting honeycomb-like patterns caused by bubble trails baked into the cake. The texture is like a sponge cake, with more bounce and less crumble.

Malaysian Honeycomb Cake is similar to the Indonesian Bika Ambon but the Malaysian recipe calls for the sugar to be caramelized first, giving it a darker color. The cake is sweet with a hint of bitterness from the caramel. That’s one of the reasons I like this honeycomb cake so much.

The other thing I like about it is, it doesn’t call for a lot of ingredients, and is fairly easy to make. The only hard part is making the caramel sauce. Other than that, it’s a piece of, well, cake!

This Malaysian Honeycomb Cake recipe comes from Jo’s Deli Bakery, an excellent site for baking enthusiasts.

Malaysian Honeycomb Cake Recipe


210g sugar
240g water
80g butter
6 eggs
160g condensed milk
180g all-purpose flour
2½ tsp baking soda

(What’s that? Still haven’t gotten that digital kitchen scale yet? Tsk tsk!)


1. In a saucepan over low heat, caramelize the sugar until it turns a dark golden brown.

Making Caramel Sauce for Malaysian Honeycomb Cake

 Making Caramel Sauce for Honeycomb Cake

2. Slowly and carefully pour the water into the caramel. CAUTION! The caramel is very hot and the water will quickly boil and steam. Stir until the caramel is dissolved in the water and it becomes a thin syrup. Remove from heat.

Pouring Water Into Caramel Sauce for Malaysian Honeycomb Cake

Pouring Water Into Caramel Sauce for Malaysian Honeycomb Cake

3. Add the butter and set the pan aside to cool.

Melting Butter in Caramel Sauce for Malaysian Honeycomb Cake

 Melting Butter in Caramel Sauce for Malaysian Honeycomb Cake

4. Preheat oven to 350*F.

5. Mix together the egg and condensed milk in a bowl.

6. Sift the flour and baking soda together into the egg and milk. Mix well.

7. Pour the caramel butter sauce into the batter and mix well.

Pouring Caramel Butter Sauce in to Malaysian Honeycomb Cake Batter

 Pouring Caramel Butter Sauce in to Malaysian Honeycomb Cake Batter

8. Pour the batter into a greased, 9-inch round cake pan. Let it sit for 5 minutes for the bubbles to begin developing.

9. Bake at 350*F with bottom heat only (no convection!) for 1 hour or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.

10. When the cake is cool,turn it out onto a plate. Slice and serve.

Malaysian Honeycomb Cake

 Malaysian Honeycomb Cake

Here’s a video I did a couple years ago of the whole process of making the Malaysian Honeycomb Cake:

I’d like to see you readers out there try this Malaysian Honeycomb Cake recipe out for yourselves. You won’t be disappointed!

Aloha, Nate

If you enjoyed this recipe, we would really appreciate it if you shared it on social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, or StumbleUpon!

Hungry for more cake recipes? Click below:

Our Favorite Layer Cake Recipe

Pandan Chiffon Cake

Rolling Out the Red Velvet Cupcakes

Third Aunt's Butter Cake


Esmeralda said...

Hi Ann..
It's me again. I'm also a fan of honeycomb cake. Do u mind to post the recipe here? Thanks.

Nate @ House of Annie said...

Hi Esmerelda,

Go to our YouTube video. It has the ingredients and instructions.

Sophie Sportende Foodie said...

Hello, this looks so delicious!!! MMMMM.... Can I have a piece right now with my morning coffee? Thanks!!!

Tina said...

Hi there! Thanks for visiting my site - I can look at your posts on Foodbuzz but can not get to this site during hours. Frustrating because I love looking at food and recipes.

I'll visit you on Foodbuzz today!


Zue Murphy said...

Beautiful honeycomb cake. I love this cake. Thank you for sharing.

kk 稼稼 said...

I'm not sure whether there is any fruit pies. (I'm not cake lover). You can visit Secret Recipe website @ to check it out.

I love the way you take picture on your food!

sandrine said...

Hi Annie & Nate,
I have been craving this cake for years. Last year when I stumbled upon your youtube video of this recipe, I was ecstatic!! I made it on the same day. It came out really good - the taste. However, I didn't get as much 'honeycomb' only 1/3 of the cake instead of half. Any idea?

Thank you so much again for your wonderful postings.


Pearl said...

goodness - that honeycomb cake looks like a piece of chocolate cake!

Laura said...

This looks sooooo good! I'm tempted to leave work early just so I can make some :)

Anonymous said...

Oh, I bet this would go perfect with a demitasse chaser of espresso. The bitter coffee flavor would probably compliment the bitter caramel flavor of the cake. I predict a match made in heaven.

Anonymous said...

wow. i am going to have to make this very, VERY soon. thank you very much!

Jennifer said...

Ive never had honeycomb cake before! It sounds amazing!

Sippity Sup said...

I LOVE this cake. I'll say it again. I love it. The photos are so tempting and the write-up so precise. I know I am making this soon. I love reading you guys. I never comment cause I don't know what to say in comments in general. But sometimes, I must honor greatness. Thanks GREG

YCT said...

Looks delish! Thanks for sharing your recipe

Hayley said...

Beautiful pictures, as always. Thanks for sharing!

Muneeba said...

Your pics for this post are INCREDIBLE! I was hooked the minute I saw the first one up top - never heard of honeycomb cake, but holy geez I wish I could have a big chunk of it right now! Thks for stopping by my blog, btw :)

JennBunny said...

OMG, I miss this alot.

Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

I must sound damn ignorant here but..err..I've not heard of it. So, wondering, you happen to know its Malaysian name? Heheheh...maybe I know it by its local name...or I've really not tried this cake before. **blush..and to think I've been in Malaysia all my life...**

Lingzie said...

although i'm malaysian, i hardly ever eat this cake (though i do see the stalls selling them, its a lighter shade of brown though)~shame on me~
the step-by-step photos are great!

Anonymous said...

Bah-dah-bing! Thanks for a great recipe--especially since I've got everything I need right here in the house. I have to make a dessert for my partner's knitting group (don't ask), so here's what I'll make this afternoon for sure.

xxx said...

this used to be one of my mom's favourite.. she'd make it every xmas.. we call it 'sarang semut' cake.. or directly translated as 'ant's nest @hive' cake.. hahah.. nice one.. love this so much esp if u add loads of burnt brown sugar..

Nate @ House of Annie said...

@all - thank you so much for your comments!

@Sophie - you'll have to make it first ;-)

@Tina - welcome, fellow Foodbuzzer!

@Zue - you're welcome!

@KK - thanks!

@sandrine - only thing I can think of is that the cake cooked too quickly for the tracks to go higher. Do you use convection?

@Pearl - dare I say, *better* than chocolate?

@Laura - well, let us know how it turns out!

@Carolyn - that gives me an idea. I wonder how well this would do as a cupcake?

@treasureboxkitchen - do tell us how you like it!

@Sippity Sup - wow, thanks for the compliment! I think your site is the bomb.

@Muneeba - thanks!

@JennBunny - you're welcome!

@Foong - does "kek gula hangus" ring a bell?

@Lingzie - would you try this recipe?

@Mark - would love to know if they all liked it!

Anonymous said...

oh my gosh! That is a ridiculously amazing looking honeycomb cake. WOW!! it looks just like a honeycomb...makes me want to try some desperately!!!

Sara said...

That looks amazing, I've never seen anything like it before!

Sweet Cheeks said...

Is that as moist and dense as it looks? I want this now!

Anonymous said...

Oooh, that does look delicious but awfully sweet. I'll have to cut small slices when (not if) I try this.

sandrine said...

I have a regualr GE oven which has a stovetop.

I will try it again. Hopefully it will have more lubang/honeycomb.

Thanks Annie!

Anonymous said...

One word. WOW!

never seen this method before! Have bookmarked to try :D

Anonymous said...

I have never had one of these cakes, but I love the "ant colony" what a great cake to serve at a tea party...spring fling...or just to family.. :)

My comfort food network said...

Your cake looks so delicious. My mouth is watering. I have to try this one. I have such a sweet tooth. Lovely recipe and for a second it did look like an ant colony - not to me, but to my 5 year old. Lol!

Anonymous said...

Oh it looks absolutely delicious! I'm drooling right now, lol.

By the way, I have added you to my links, I hope you can add me too. Thanks.

You two have a great weekend. :D

Anonymous said...

Nice! When I first read the title I thought it was a recipe for a cake featuring actual honeycombs. I have two and I'm not sure what to do with them except save them for snacking. This looks delicious though.

Beachlover said...

i didn't this cake called honeycomb cake until today! thanks for the step to step! maybe I eat this cake in but don't bother to find out the name or maybe was told in chinese name!! this cake really look good!

Anonymous said...

This looks absolutely delicious! i am saving the recipe right away. A must try. Thank you so much for sharing the recipe with us.

Sonia ~ Nasi Lemak Lover said...

I'm Malaysian but hardly eat honeycomb cake, but after see this post, I think I will give a try and bake it myself. Thanks for kind sharing.

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to let you know that i baked this cake for my guests on Sunday and everybody loved it! It turned exactly like in your picture. The only frustrating part was waiting for the sugar to caramelize, and right when I was ready to give up, it started to change its color and made me happy:) I will definitely make this cake again and again. thank you for sharing the recipe!

Nate @ House of Annie said...

@Mommy Gourmet - it's not a super moist cake, but it is dense.

@ella - you may start with small pieces but you'll want more, trust me!

@sandrine - good luck! Hope it comes out better the next time.

@Trinigourmet - let us know how it turns out for you!

@dabooklady - I bet it would go real well at a tea party.

@liza - thanks!

@Emile - go for it! I'd love to know how it comes out.

@farida - now that is the kind of comment we love!

Anonymous said...

I am definitely going to have to try this!

Unknown said...

Hi Annie, this "kue sarang semut" or "caramel cake", as it is called in Indonesia, is delicious! I thought it would be very difficult to make, but the way it was shown in your video looks very easy. I am now motivated to try to make it soon..:-)

Nate @ House of Annie said...

@jackie - thanks for the info! Let us know how it turns out for you.

SimpleAnn said...

Hi Annie

I hv eaten this cake (not the Bengawan Solo version) before and have been searching for this recipe for ions. Thanks for sharing.

Your fellow M'sian

M-Dot said...

OMG. I have been looking for this recipe FOREVER. I stumbled upon this blog by accident and now I can't thank you enough.
I made the cake yesterday and it looks EXACTLY like yours does and tastes just as I remember it.
I cannot wait to share this cake with everyone I know.
Thank you Thank you Thank you!!!

Nate @ House of Annie said...

@annie, M-dot - you're welcome, you're welcome, you're welcome! :D

Kathy-M said...

I used to eat this cake all the time in my childhood days. Ohhhh yummy!! Wish me luck as I try out this recipe for the first time today :D

Kathy-M said...

The cake was divine....Mmmm :) Thanks to your clear instructions, this was indeed the easiest cake to make!

Nate @ House of Annie said...

@Kathy - thanks for telling us about your results. Now go and tell your friends about us ;-)

Anonymous said...

I'm from malaysia and just returned from a trip there a week ago. I miss the food already. I googled for this recipe and came across your video. My mum was quite impressed having nailed the recipie on the first try. Thanks for posting the video.

M from AB, Canada.

Erica's Gossip Zone said...

Hi!!! I just tried to bake this cake, and I can make it!!! hm... this is the first time i can bake a cake... So happy!! Thanks!!

Nate @ House of Annie said...

@Erica - wow, first time you bake a cake, and it's our Honeycomb Cake? Awesome!