Sarawak cake is a layered cake, traditionally served in Sarawak, Malaysia on special occasions. In the Malay language, they are known as Kek lapis Sarawak, Kek lapis Moden Sarawak, Kek Sarawak or Kek lapis. They are often baked for religious or cultural celebrations such as Eid ul-Fitr, Christmas, Deepavali, birthdays and weddings. People in Malaysia practice an open house on festival day. A unique feature of Sarawak's open houses is the modern layered cakes.
Modern Sarawakian layered cakes were introduced to the people of Sarawak from innovation inspired by Western cake-making in early 1980s. Therefore, contrary to popular belief, it has nothing to do with Indonesian layer cakes, based on the ingredients used in making the cakes.
In 2011, the history of Sarawak layered cakes once again change by a new generation (Sarawakian) of innovative natural layer cakes evangelist named Kek lapis Qalas Qalas. By introducing modern design and traditional layer, coupled with new flavors which inspired from home-made inspiration, each layer is tastefully interlaced with various natural flavours in between the original recipe, modern taste and knowledge from their ancestor.
Sarawakian modern layered cakes can be divided into two categories: cakes with ordinary layers and cakes with patterns, motifs, or shapes. All must have at least two colours. The cake can be baked in an oven or microwave. The batter uses butter or vegetable oil, milk and eggs, and requires a strong arm or electric mixer to be properly prepared. The baked cake has a high, firm texture and the layers are fastened together with jam or a similarly sticky sweet substance. More detailed cakes often require special moulds to maintain the perfect layer thickness.