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Kue Sarang Semut - Caramel "Ants Nest" Cake

This unique and delicious cake has a chewy texture, a dark brown color that comes from caramelizes sugar, and the appearance of a honeycomb/ants nest.

If you love a bouncy and chewy cake with a strong caramel flavor, then this ants nest cake will be your new favorite cake. The cross-section of this cake resembles the look of an ants nest, which gives the cake its fun and quirky name.

Kue Sarang Semut - Caramel "Ants Nest" Cake

Kue Sarang Semut - Caramel "Ants Nest" Cake

Ingredients for the cake

There are two parts to this cake: the caramel syrup, and the cake batter.

Sugar and water are the only ingredients for the caramel syrup.

For the cake batter, we will need all-purpose flour, baking soda, salt, unsalted butter, eggs, vanilla extract, and sweetened condensed milk.

Prepare the caramel syrup

The signature dark brown color of this cake comes from the caramel syrup, and it is very important to follow the steps to prepare the perfect syrup.

If you cook the sugar too short, you end up with a pale color cake and a lack of caramel flavor. If you cook it too long, you end up with burnt caramel and a bitter cake.

Here is how to prepare the caramel syrup:

  1. Boil sugar and 100 ml water in a saucepot over medium heat. Continue cooking until the sugar melts and the color is light amber.
  2. Reduce the heat to low and continue cooking until it starts to caramelize. The syrup will bubble rapidly and the color turns darker.
  3. Immediately take the pot off the heat. After 30 seconds, pour the remaining 250 ml water into the pot. Wait 5 minutes, then stir until all the caramel dissolves.
  4. Transfer the syrup to a bowl and cover with a saran wrap. Let it cool in a fridge.

You can make the caramel syrup one day ahead before baking the cake.

Prepare the cake batter

First, preheat the oven to 180 Celsius (350 Fahrenheit). Grease and flour an 8”x8” square cake pan and set aside.

Sift together all-purpose flour, baking soda, and salt in a mixing bowl. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, cream butter with a mixer with medium speed. Add egg yolks, one at a time, and beat until well combined. Add 13 of the egg whites (2 egg whites) and continue mixing until well combined, then add the rest of the egg whites (4 egg whites) and continue mixing until well combined.

Add vanilla extract into the batter and mix until well combined.

Set the mixer to low speed. Add the flour mixture in two batches, beating each addition until well combined. Add sweetened condensed milk, mix until well combined.

Finally, pour the cooled caramel syrup into the batter. Fold with a spatula until well combined.

Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan. Bake the cake on the lower third of an oven for one hour, or until a cake tester comes out clean.

Kue Sarang Semut - Caramel "Ants Nest" Cake

Author: Anita Jacobson

Categories:

Cuisine:

Prep Time: 30 mins

Cook Time: 1 hour 15 mins

Total Time: 1 hour 45 mins

Serves: 16

Print Recipe

Ingredients

  • Caramel syrup
  • 280 gram (1 cup + 6 tablespoon) sugar
  • 100 ml water + 250 ml water
  • Cake
  • 145 gram (1 cup + 3 tablespoon) all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 115 gram (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 6 egg whites
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 200 gram (1/2 can) sweetened condensed milk

Instructions

  • Caramel syrup
    1. Boil sugar and 100 ml water in a saucepot over medium heat. Continue cooking until the sugar melts and the color is light amber.
    2. Reduce the heat to low and continue cooking until it starts to caramelize. The syrup will bubble rapidly and the color turns darker.
    3. Immediately take the pot off the heat. After 30 seconds, pour the remaining 250 ml water into the pot. Wait 5 minutes, then stir until all the caramel dissolves.
    4. Transfer the syrup to a bowl and cover with a saran wrap. Let it cool in a fridge. (*)
  • Cake
    1. Preheat the oven to 180 Celsius (350 Fahrenheit). Grease and flour an 8"x8" square cake pan and set aside.
    2. Sift together all-purpose flour, baking soda, and salt in a mixing bowl. Set aside.
    3. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter with a mixer with medium speed. Add egg yolks, one at a time, and beat until well combined. Add 1⁄3 of the egg whites (2 egg whites) and continue mixing until well combined, then add the rest of the egg whites (4 egg whites) and continue mixing until well combined.
    4. Add vanilla extract into the batter and mix until well combined.
    5. Set the mixer to low speed. Add the flour mixture in two batches, beating each addition until well combined. Add sweetened condensed milk, mix until well combined.
    6. Pour the cooled caramel syrup into the batter. Fold with a spatula until well combined.
    7. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan. Bake the cake on the lower third of an oven for one hour, or until a cake tester comes out clean.
    8. Cool the cake in the pan, then cut into serving slices and serve at room temperature.

Notes

  • (*) Make sure the syrup is cool, at least room temperature, before adding it to the batter.
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