Cempedak Butter Cake

I had never heard of cempedak butter cake before until the lady who does my facials kept asking me if I knew how to bake it. She kept talking about how it was her favourite cake from an old-fashioned bakery but lamented the fact that it was so hard to find these days. I was intrigued and thought I should figure it out so I could bake some for her.

So I did and after much trial and error, I arrived at a cake that was moist, fragrant and delicious! This butter cake not only has cempedak fruit pieces tossed into it, I’ve also pureed the flesh to get even more flavour into the cake. For the uninitiated, cempedak is an exotic fruit found mostly in South East Asia. It comes from the same family as jackfruit and breadfruit and gives off a strong smell when ripe. I love it, but I know not everyone likes its taste and texture. If you are a cempedak lover like me, then you’re going to like this cake because the buttery rich cake complements the strong aroma of the fruit. Enjoy it with a cup of hot coffee for a nostalgic afternoon treat!


(Makes one 7″ square cake)

240g unsalted butter, room temperature

200g fine sugar 

5 eggs 

210g all-purpose flour 

1/2 teaspoon baking powder 

60g milk 

1 teaspoon vanilla extract 

200g cempedak flesh


  1. Puree 100g of cempedak flesh in a food processor. For the other 100g of cempedak flesh, cut into small pieces and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, sift flour and baking powder together. Set aside.
  3. In a mixer, cream butter and sugar until fluffy and pale. 
  4. Add in eggs one at a time, until well-combined
  5. On low speed, stir in sifted flour mixture 
  6. Stir in milk, vanilla extract and cempedak puree.
  7. Fold in cempedak pieces, then transfer batter into a 7” square tin lined with parchment paper
  8. Bake in a preheated oven at 320oF/160oC for 1 hour or until skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean
  9. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely
  10. Cut into slices and serve

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