Culinary Tourism: Tracing the Best Local Desserts from Various Cities in Indonesia


A trip wouldn’t feel complete without bringing back souvenirs, right, mom & sis? Not only mementos, but food also tends to be the most sought-after souvenir to take home. Well, it turns out that various cities in Indonesia have their own signature local desserts. Just like the 5 cities in Indonesia below.

  1. Klappertaart from Manado
    Klappertaart comes from the Dutch word ‘klapper’, meaning coconut, and ‘taart’, meaning tart. This iconic dessert from Manado was originally made by Dutch colonialists living in the Minahasa region during the colonial era. It has a texture similar to dense pudding with young coconut meat filling and a distinctive aroma of rum, yet it feels soft on the tongue like custard. Klappertaart is best served chilled.
  1. Maksubah from Palembang
    Not just Pempek, Palembang also has its own signature dessert called Maksubah. Maksubah looks similar to Layer Cake (‘Lapis Legit’). The difference is, Maksubah uses less flour compared to Layer Cake and tends to use duck eggs instead of chicken eggs. The taste is softer, savory, and not overly rich.
  2. Bika Ambon from Medan
    Although named Bika Ambon, this cake actually didn’t originate from Ambon! Although it’s unclear why this cake is called Bika Ambon, the fragrant and moist yellow cake with many air pockets has been known and popular in Medan as a local souvenir since the 1970s. Delicious Bika Ambon usually uses thick coconut milk. This can be seen from the cake’s oily and non-stale texture, as well as its fragrant aroma.
  1. Lapis Surabaya
    Lapis Surabaya cake is a modification of the ancient Spikoe cake recipe, also known as Layer Cake. Lapis Surabaya cake is said to have been first made by Chinese residents living in Surabaya, and it later became popular and even a signature souvenir of Surabaya. Compared to Spikoe Cake, which consists of dozens of layers, Lapis Surabaya cake only consists of 2-3 layers. Classic Lapis Surabaya cake usually uses spices like cinnamon and dried fruit pieces like raisins or prunes. However, now there are many variations of Lapis Surabaya such as chocolate, cream cheese, vanilla, and even durian flavors.
  1. Steamed Brownies from Bandung
    Although brownies didn’t originate from Indonesia, who would have thought that the innovation of steamed brownies would become an iconic souvenir from Bandung? Brownies Kukus Amanda made by Mrs. Hj. Sumiwiludjeng, one of the brands of steamed brownies in Bandung, was the first to popularize this sweet treat as a signature souvenir of the ‘City of Flowers’ in the early 2000s. Not only chocolate flavor, now there are many creations of steamed brownies that you can find such as pandan, tiramisu, strawberry, and even cream cheese flavors.

They all look delicious, don’t they, mom & sis? Hopefully, the above reviews can add to your references in starting a bakery & cake business.

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