Recipe: Merdeka cake

Merdeka day is coming (tomorrow). So to commemorate this independence day, I thought I’d make a ‘merdeka cake’ to see if I can play with the colours and experimental icing. So here it is: A vanilla cake with yogurt buttercream and lemon curd.

The cake was easy to make, nice and moist.  It is more on the dense side like a cheesecake because when I creamed the butter and sugar together for the cake, it was by hand and so not so light. I also baked the cake at a lower temperature. However, it was just as I wanted. I wasn’t too thrilled about putting so much red gel food colour to make it striking enough though. I wanted to use some natural colour, but alas could not find the right substitute. Any suggestions? The rest of the cake colour is pretty much naturally derived though. The blue colour came from blue butterfly pea flower that I extracted. More on that in a later post. The lemon curd really made the cake much better. Maybe I should have made it a lemon cake instead of vanilla in hind sight.

Hey! doesn't this look like pacman?

So for those interested, here’s the recipe:

White vanilla cake (adapted from Sweetapolia’s recipe, with modifications)

– 115g unsalted butter

– 300g caster sugar

– 390g cake flour

– 1 tsp salt

– 3 tsp baking powder

– 340g ice water (that’s 1 and half cup)

– 2 tsp vanilla extract

– 4 egg whites

– (for the red layer) 2 tsp of cocoa powder and red gel colouring


– Preheat oven to 160 degrees celsius.

– In a bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. 

– sift in dry ingredients and mix until just combined.

– Beat egg whites until you get stiff peaks (i.e. when you flip the bowl upside down, the egg white foam stays put in the bowl).

– add the vanilla extract and slowly add in the ice water in three to four aliquots, beating well after each additions.

– fold in the egg whites gently.

– Divide batter into three. Pour two portions into greased 9 inch pans and bake for about 20 minutes.

– For the third portion of batter, sift in cocoa powder and mix in the gel colouring. Make sure batter is uniformly coloured. Pour into another greased tin and bake for 20 minutes as well. Cake is done when you press the middle of the cake lightly and the surface springs back up.

– Cling film the cakes and refridgerate.

For the Yogurt Icing (this is an estimate, I actually eyeballed the amount of ingredients):

– 115g butter soften

– 50g greek strained yogurt

– 120g icing sugar (you may need more if your icing is too runny)


– Cream the butter with the icing sugar.

– Add greek strained yogurt and blend again.

– If your icing is too soft, chill it. If it is still too runny or soft, add a bit more icing.

To assemble, place one white layer on your cake board/plate. Spread some yogurt buttercream on it and add the red layer. Spread more buttercream and add the second white layer. Crumb coat the cake with more buttercream. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes and coat rest of the cake with the buttercream. Brush blue colouring into edge of cake. Top the cake with some lemon curd inside the blue circle. I made my own curd… more on that in another post as well.

So Happy Merdeka! And to those who are celebrating Eid today, have a good one as well!

– M.