Martabak Manis is the Indonesian version of sweet and thick pancakes with chocolate and peanuts filling.
This sweet street food was introduced by the Arab traders and very popular in the Arab peninsula and South-East Asian countries such as Yemeni, Saudi Arabia, India, Indonesia, Brunei, Malaysia, Thailand, etc. The food is called Murtabak – from the word Mutabbaq, that means folding. And there are two types of Martabak, sweet and savoury.
Here, I’m sharing with you the recipe of Indonesian sweet Martabak.
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After countless trials and feeling unsatisfactoriness, I finally found the recipe that I will be happily making again and again.
This recipe gives Martabak with the right fluffiness and texture that not only is it soft, but it is also a bit elastically chewy. It reminds me of my favourite Martabak Bangka that I used to get when I studied at Uni in Bandung.
The toppings variety
Traditionally, Indonesians used to put plenty of butter, lots of chocolate sprinkles, chopped peanuts and generous drizzles of condensed milk as the toppings.
However, now you can find all sorts of topping varieties for Martabak Manis.
Here are some of the combos that you may want to try. I promise you they’re all such a delight to have.
- Chopped peanuts, chocolate (chopped or sprinkles), and condensed milk.
- Banana slices, chocolate and condensed milk.
- Banana slices, grated cheddar cheese and condensed milk.
- Chocolate spread, strawberry slices and condensed milk.
- Chocolate (chopped or sprinkles), raspberries and condensed milk.
- Peanut butter and chocolate spread.
- Peanut butter and jam/jelly.
How to make a thick pancake
Just like making any pancake, firstly, you mix all the ingredients except raising agents into a smooth batter. You can use a hand whisk, a handheld blender, a hand mixer, or stand mixer to get your mixture well blended.
Top tip: once your batter is smooth, you would want to keep working on it by mixing and stirring it using a big spoon. It takes me about 5-7 minutes to do it. But please don’t skip this. Because this helps the batter to develop gluten better that it will work nicely with the raising agent. So your Martabak will have hundreds of bubbles, and it will have a fluffy yet elastically chewy texture.
When you finish mixing the mixture, you let it rest for at least one hour. I often do it for almost two hours. And once I stretched it nearly three hours just because I was too busy to attend to the batter. This resting period is needed for the gluten to develop. So don’t miss this out.
You can get your toppings/ fillings ready while you wait for your flour mixture to rest.
Once you are ready to cook your Martabak, divide the batter into equal three portions and get your 20 cm/7.87-inch frying pan and its lid ready.
Ideally, you use a heavy bottom pan. But you can use your non-stick pan like mine too. Just make sure you don’t overheat the pan before cooking and keep turning the heat up and down as you cook your pancake.
Then you heat your frying pan at moderate-low heat using the smallest ring of fire/ cooker. At the same time, you mix ¼ teaspoon of baking powder and ¼ teaspoon of baking soda with 1 tablespoon of water. And quickly and carefully stir this raising agent mixture into one portion of the batter.
Check your pan with a drop of water. If the water evaporates quickly, you can pour your pancake mixture into the pan.
Slowly rotate the pan so that the edges are covered with the batter half-way. Then let it cook at moderate-high heat.
Top tips for cooking Martabak: keep moving your pan around the heat as you turn the heat higher and lower. The reason is you want to make sure the pan is not overheated and have enough heat for the raising agents in the batter to react. Never leave the pancake unattended. Otherwise, your pancake won’t rise evenly high, and it won’t be evenly cooked.
When the surface is fully covered with bubbles, and it is more than half-way cooked, sprinkle one teaspoon of sugar over the pancake. And put the lid on the pan then turn the heat down.
It takes me about a couple of minutes until my thick pancake is fully cooked and ready.
Using a spatula, tease the edge of your Martabak and take it off the pan. Place it on a chopping board.
Then spread a generous butter on the pancake and put any toppings that you like. I mostly use chopped roasted peanuts, chopped milk chocolate and plenty of condensed milk drizzles.
Once you are happy with your toppings, cut the pancake in the middle and carefully folded into a half-circle. Again, spread a generous butter on both sides of your folded thick pancake. Last but not least, cut it into small pieces. Mine gives about 5 portions.
Enjoy your Martabak Manis with your cup of tea or coffee.
Indonesian sweet Martabak recipe
Thank you for reading this post. I hope you’re now intrigued to try this Martabak Manis recipe. I’ve tried many times and had many failures. So I truly hope you won’t fail and will succeed right from the first try.
It will be great if you share what you think about the recipe in the comments below. And you can also share the picture of your Martabak at the same. Or tag me @soyummyrecipesbydevy if you share it on IG or Pinterest.
Before you go, don’t forget to check out my other recipes that you may love.
- Bubur Kacang Hijau – Indonesian mung bean dessert.
- Crispy and fluffy Potato Donuts.
- Serabi Kuah – Indonesian pancakes with palm sugar syrup and coconut milk.
- Kolak Biji Salak – Indonesian sweet potato balls in palm sugar and coconut milk.
- Klepon – Indonesian glutinous rice balls with palm sugar filling and coconut.
- Gemblong – Indonesian sweet treat made of glutinous rice and coated with brown sugar.
Thank you and all the best.