Pancakes for Giants

All Malays love a good Apam Balik, and it has been declared a “heritage food” by the Malaysian Government. This giant-sized pancake was one of the most amazing treats I found when travelling through the country and realised that it closely resembles the Indonesian Serabi, which is another favourite of mine.


The batter of the Apam Balik is made from the mixture of flour, eggs, sugar, baking soda, coconut milk, and water. The batter is cooked upon a thick round iron frying pan in plenty of palm margarine to avoid it sticking to the pan, then other ingredients are sprinkled upon the pancake, such as sugar, peanut granules, chocolate sprinkles, sesame, or cheddar cheese. The content might be a combination of these fillings, with the most common around the night markets of Kuala Lumpur seemingly being a chocolate sprinkle and cheddar cheese combo!

Apam Balik
Apam Balik in Kuala Lumpur
Mini apam balik on sale
Mini apam balik on sale in Georgetown, Penang

Apam Balik is also named “terang bulan” because it closely resembles a full moon. This kind of shape is pretty unique in this part of the world, as far as I know. The pancake can be folded and cut into several pieces to encourage sharing among friends or courting couples. The texture of the apam balik is akin to a crispier form of crumpet (the crispier the better!), and with the delicious soft filling inside it makes for a mouth-watering snack!


Malaysia has some pretty amazing snacks, but the apam balik must surely rank as one of the finest. Occasionally, it can be rather cumbersome to hold and eat when moving around, but when you get the chance to sit down at a pasar malam you can really enjoy the goodness of the this pancake for giants!

6 thoughts on “Pancakes for Giants

  1. in indonesia we call it Martabak Manis. full of butter/margarine, condensed milk, sugar, nuts, chocolate sprinkles, and grated cheese. yup, overly sweet and addictive for many. you gotta try it when you’re back in this part fo the world again.


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