Kue Lapis Legit Flavored Monkey Bread

By Mieke

I love kue lapis legit (Indonesian thousand layer cake). My grandma made the best ones, with the thinnest, most delicate layers that you could easily pull apart. But because  I am so prone to bakefails I haven’t dared try and bake my own. Instead I stick the spice mixture for kue lapis legit in pretty much every other recipe I can.

Vegan Soul Food (Signed Copy) Dutch - the indigo kitchen

Vegan monkey bread from Vegan Soul Food

Vegan Soul Food is a Dutch cookbook by Jason Tjon Affo, also known as The Indigo Kitchen. In this book you can find beautifully photographed and colorful vegan recipes, mostly inspired by the Surinamese kitchen. His recipe for vegan monkey bread seemed a prime candidate for kue lapising (yes, this is now a verb) and man, I was not wrong. Not so much a thousand layers as a couple dozen balls.

As with all baking, this is a bit of a chore. So I’ve tried to include all the things I ran into during my first attempt (which failed miserably) to ensure you get the best results on your first try. That is, if you follow the instructions.

Cake tins and kue lapis legit recommendations

If you’re wondering how I got those crisp lines, I used a chiffon cake tin rather than a Bundt cake pan. I figured more people have the latter at hand so that’s what I recommend using in the recipe.

If you want to tackle actual kue lapis legit, I can recommend Lara Lee‘s Coconut & Sambal which has done an amazing job of creating a global platform for Indonesian food, finally.

Vegan Kue Lapis Legit Flavored Monkey Bread

Dorothy Porker
This recipe combines a little bit of my grandmother's kue lapis legit (Indonesian thousand layer cake) and a little bit of The Indigo Kitchen's Vegan Soul Food to make a delicious richly spiced vegan monkey bread.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Proving time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 20 minutes
Course Birthdays, Breakfast, Dessert, Party snack, Sweets
Cuisine American, Hungarian
Servings 6 - 8 people


  • Large bowl
  • Small saucepan (for heating milk and melting butter)
  • Wooden spoon
  • Stand or handmixer
  • Dishtowel
  • A ruler (indulge me)
  • Oven dish or large bowls x2
  • Bundt cake pan, greased
  • Oven


For the dough

  • 1 1/2 c - 350 ml plant based milk lukewarm
  • 3 T - 45 g sugar
  • 1.5 t - 7 g dry yeast
  • 1/2 c - 115 g plant based butter or margarine melted
  • 5 c - 630 g plain flour
  • 1 t - 5 g salt

For the monkey bread

  • 2/3 c - 150 g plant based butter melted
  • 1 t - 5 ml vanilla extract
  • 1 c - 225 g brown sugar ground gula jawa (Javanese palm sugar) is nice if you can find it
  • 1 1/2 t - 7.5 g ground cinnamon
  • 1 t - 5 g ground aniseed
  • 1/2 t - 2.5 g ground cloves
  • 1/2 t - 2.5 g ground cardamom
  • 1/2 t - 2.5 g ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 c - 100 g mixed nuts coarsely chopped. I used a mix of almond, pecan and pistachio but use what sounds good to you


Make the dough

  • Mix 1 1/2 c - 350 ml of lukewarm milk with 3 T - 45 g of sugar and 1.5 t - 7 g of yeast in a large bowl. Leave to sit for 5 minutes until the yeast is activated and you start seeing small bubbles.
  • Once this has happened mix in 1/2 c - 115 g of melted butter and mix until everything is combined. I find these first steps of mixing are easiest achieved with a wooden spoon.
  • Continue mixing while slowly tipping in 5 c - 630 g of flour.
  • Once the dough starts coming together slightly, take your stand- or handmixer and mix at a low speed for 15 minutes.
  • Shape the dough into a ball, cover with a damp towel and leave to prove for 45 minutes in a warm place, away from any drafts.

Make the monkey bread

  • Preheat the oven at 365° F - 185° C. If you haven't already, grease your Bundt pan.
  • In a large oven dish or bowl mix 2/3 c - 150 g of butter with 1 t - 5 ml of vanilla extract. In another large oven dish or bowl mix 1 c - 225 g of brown sugar with 1 1/2 t - 7.5 g of cinnamon, 1 t - 5 g of ground aniseed and 1/2 t - 2.5 g's of ground cloves, cardamom and nutmeg. You can also do this in bowls but I found oven dishes easier to maneuver ("Oooh, it's a maneuver") and if the butter cools down too much you can easily melt it again over a low heat (provided your oven dish is fireproof).
  • Roll the dough into at least 32 balls of ⌀ 3/4" - 2 cm in diameter. The easiest way to do this is use a ruler, rolling pieces of dough into logs of ⌀ 3/4" - 2 cm thick, cutting them into ⌀ 3/4" - 2 cm pieces and rolling those into balls. The reason I use a ruler is because ⌀ 3/4" - 2 cm is smaller than you think. Any bigger and you'll end up with raw balls of dough.
  • Roll each individual ball through the butter and then the sugar mixture before plunking them into the greased Bundt pan. Add a layer of the mixed nuts between each layer of balls. I got 2 layers out of my dough, so I added 1/4 c - 50 g on top of the first, and 1/4 c - 50 g on top of the final layer.
  • If you have any butter and sugar left over, mix this together and drizzle it over the monkey bread before baking it in the oven for 35 mins until the top is golden brown.
  • Leave to cool for at least 20 minutes before taking the monkey bread out of the pan.


If vegan food upsets you, you can use dairy milk and butter for this.
I found this monkey bread keeps for about 3 days when it's kept in an airtight container. Though it's best fresh and still slightly warm.
Keyword American, monkey bread, monkeybread, vegan, vegan bakes, vegan cake

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Dorothy Porker © Copyright 2024. All rights reserved.