Heritage Tuesday · Indonesian Recipes

Martabak Manis (Indonesian Sweet Pancake)

We’re back on Heritage Tuesday! Maybe some of you didn’t realize that it wasn’t really two kitchens all this time. The kitchen has only been Rs…until today! Yes this is the first recipe from Potatato’s kitchen (that’s me). So here we go! 🙂

Indonesian Sweet Pancake? Well, just like American with their American Pancake pancake, the French with their Crepes, and the rest of the world with whatever. Indonesian has their own version of pancake, Martabak Manis (Sweet Pancake).

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Indonesians usually have Martabak for supper shared with families or friends. Trust me, you wouldn’t want to witness how they do the toppings. It’s topped with lots and lots of margarine. Buttery, sweet yet salty, and guilty pleasure (or just pleasure?). The benefits of making Martabak by your own is having control over your fate! More margarine? Less margarine? Your choice.

This recipe was modified from Dapur Signora. I scaled down the recipe and omitted the baking powder. Also special thanks to Kaskus Forum for many insightful tips. 

Selamat Makan!


Martabak Manis (Indonesian Sweet Pancake)

  • Servings: 8 small pcs (20cm frying pan)*
  • Print

Flour Mix
120gr all purpose flour
35gr caster sugar
¼ tsp salt
100ml water
1 egg at the beginning
1 egg after 1 hour

Baking Soda Mix (after 1 hour)
½ tsp baking soda*
1 tbsp water

1/8 tsp margarine
½ tbsp sugar

Condense Milk
Toppings of your choice

1. Prepare flour mix. Whisk 120gr flour, 35gr caster sugar and ¼ tsp salt in a bowl. Add 1 egg and pour 100ml water gradually. Mix together about 1 minute.

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2. Cover the bowl with cloth or plastic wrap. Leave for 1 hour.

3. After 1 hour, add 1 egg and mix until combined.

4. Heat a 20cm non-stick frying pan with 1/8 tsp margarine under medium-low heat.*

5. Meanwhile, prepare baking soda mix. Mix ½ tsp baking soda with 1 tbsp water. Add baking soda mix to flour mix. Stir until combined.

6. Pour the batter to the frying pan immediately.* Slightly turn the pan around in circular motion to thinly cover the sides of the pan. 

7. When bubbles start to appear about ¾ of the pan, spread ½ tbsp sugar. Cover the frying pan with lid.* Turn to low heat.

8. Cook for about 5 mins or until the sides brown and the center springs back when slightly pressed down.

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To Assemble:
1. Spread margarine* and drizzle condensed milk evenly. Cut into half.
2. Top with the toppings of your choice.* Drizzle again with condense milk.
3. Flip half martabak to the other half.
4. Spread some margarine on top. Cut to 8 pieces.

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1. I recommend to use small-sized non-stick frying pan. Mine is 20cm diameter. This size is smaller than what you get from your Martabak stalls, who have the special stoves to guarantee evenly-distributed heat. I’d prefer to playing it safe by sticking to a smaller-sized frying pan. You may hear about getting the special Martabak pan as well, but it is not necessary. The perfect texture is possible to achieve with ordinary non-stick frying pan.

2. Baking soda is the only leavener used in this recipe. In fact, it is also the only leavener that should be used in any Martabak recipes. No baking powder needed. No yeast needed! Yeast is the worst. It will result in a yeast-y taste and dry-cake-like texture. A good Martabak texture is fluffy, elastic, spongy, moist and airy. Yeast won’t give you this texture.

Learn from past mistakes!
3. The heat factor is extremely crucial. Heat the pan at medium-low heat (not medium heat, but medium-low, you get what I mean). Don’t overheat the pan, or else it will burn. Test by adding some sugar to the pan. If the sugar melts, you are good to go. Before pouring the batter, wipe the pan with clean cloth to clean the sugar off the pan.

4. Baking soda reacts once it is mixed with water. This is why the baking soda is added at the final stage of mixing, and not at the beginning. After mixing the batter with baking soda, immediately pour the batter to the heated pan for optimum results. So make sure by this time, the heated pan is ready. 

5. Transparent lid is recommended so you can monitor without disrupting the cooking process by opening-closing the lid.

6. Spread margarine as many as your conscience tells you right.

7. Classics toppings are chocolate, cheese and peanuts. If you like to go a little more fancy, try some KitKat Green Tea, Toblerone, Ovomaltine, etc. Nowadays, they even flavour the batter with matcha, pandan and red velvet.

8. Last but not least, never give up! Making Martabak is about patience and many, many trial-and-errors. Pay more attention to the heat. The heat is very critical! Practice, practice and practice. Once you get the hang of it, then you can conquer the world  🙂

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Never give up!! 🙂





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