post-ramadhan baking: kek batik marie & biskut keju

Over the last weekend, Muslims all over the world celebrated Eid to mark the end of the blessed fasting month of Ramadhan, and the beginning of the new month of Syawal. Muslim families of various cultures celebrate Eid in their own distinct way. Here in Singapore, besides Eid prayers and the visiting of relatives on the day itself, I personally find that celebrations here start on the eve of Hari Raya Puasa (the Malay name for Eid), with last-minute flurry of activities that last till the wee hours of the morning. The home is given a fresh makeover with an intensive bout of spring-cleaning, new curtains and house decorations are bought, festive chasing lights (pictured above) are placed by the window or within the house, ethnic clothes are purchased or tailor-made months in advance, and of course, as with any other festivity, the ladies busy themselves in the kitchen to prepare exquisite dishes for Hari Raya.

Intricate leave-woven dumplings containing packed rice, or ketupat (shown above), seen to be almost synonymous with Hari Raya celebrations, are either handmade or bought, alongside its rice counterpart called lontong, to be served with Malay signature dishes like beef rendang, kuah lodeh, ayam masak merah and serondeng. Little jars or containers will be filled to the brim with colourful festive cookies (both traditional and modern), and placed on the table to be served to guests over the coming days and weeks. For some, the eve of Hari Raya will also be the time to send bottles of cookies, or prepared dishes to family members or parents as a sign of good will.

Others will also find it the most apt time to visit homes of relatives and home bakers to collect their ordered rolls of traditional cakes  such as the kek lapis (layered cake), kek lapis Sarawak, kaya-filled swiss rolls, along with popular cake choices such as marble cake and chocolate cake. And then there are people like yours truly, who would remember last minute to stock up on graham crackers and sweetened condensed milk;– apart from the essentials, of course;– to prepare the non-bake Kek batik marie (pictured below, posted here last year, but recipe reprinted below for easy reference) in case of emergency, i.e. guests expected to visit over the next few days exceed the depleting supply of cake(s) on the table.

The ease of preparing kek batik marie makes it not only a perfect last-minute addition to the table, but also a simple gift to bring along while visiting your friend or relative, who I’m pretty sure would not mind another dessert on the table. And of course if you have that extra time on your hands, and that special person is a cookie monster who coincidentally loves cheese, and as much as you abhor it and don’t eat cheese, you can’t resist but to tweet one of your friends, asking for her much sought-after biskut keju (cheese cookies) recipe. Big shoutout to my tweep, @sugarspunsista;– the mister loves the cheese cookies!

And much love to all of my Muslim readers, subscribers, clients and twitter followers. I wish you all a blessed and most joyous Eid-ul’fitri. Selamat Hari Raya, Eid Mubarak!

Batik Marie Cake
(adapted from here)

100g milo (any sweet chocolate malt powder will do)
25g cocoa powder
125ml boiling water
190g butter
200ml sweetened condensed milk
90g white granulated sugar
5 eggs, lightly beaten
250g Marie biscuits (any graham crackers will do), broken into rough quarters

  1. Grease and line a 23cm x 9cm x 7cm deep loaf tin (or other loaf tin with a capacity of at least 5 cups or 1.25L) with baking paper, extending paper 2-3cm above edge of tin.
  2. In a deep saucepan, slowly add boiling water to milo and cocoa, stirring vigorously until it is smooth. Add butter, sweetened condensed milk, sugar, and eggs to the mixture.
  3. Place the saucepan over moderate heat and cook, stirring all the time with a whisk or a spoon, until you feel the bottom starts to thicken, about 5 minutes.
  4. Turn heat down to low, and continue to cook, stirring without stopping, for about another 20-25 minutes until a thick custard forms. (refer to recipe notes)
  5. Turn off the heat, and stir in the quartered biscuits. Mix until all the biscuits are coated with the custard.
  6. Transfer mixture to the prepared tin. Press down firmly so there are no air pockets in the mixture. Fold the paper extensions over the top and press down to even the surface. Then let cool to the touch.
  7. Cover with cling film, and refrigerate overnight.
  8. When the cake is firm, use the paper extension as handle to pull the cake out of the tin. Slice and serve chilled.

Recipe Notes:
It may look like the custard will never thicken, and when it already has, you may feel like it has thickened enough. I’ve found that the best way to gauge is when the mixture is reduced to about half of its original amount, and when stirring, you can actually see the mixture coagulate together, scraping off the sides of the pan perfectly; i.e. you don’t see any liquid remnants at the sides of the pan.

Biskut Keju (Cheese Cookies)
(recipe courtesy of Yanni @sugarspunsista)

250g plain flour
125g butter
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese

1/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 egg yolk for brushing

  1. Combine the main ingredients until a soft dough forms. Pat the dough out to a circle, and chill in the fridge for about 30 – 45 mins.
  2. Remove from the fridge, gently roll out to your desired thickness and cut out using your cookie cutter.
  3. Brush the surface of the cookies with egg yolk, and sprinkle grated cheese.
  4. Bake at 180°C for 15mins, or until golden brown.

Previously on Ramadhan Baking:
Brown Butter Buttons

Kuih Bakar

Rainbow Star Cookies

77 thoughts on “post-ramadhan baking: kek batik marie & biskut keju

  1. the mister

    Selamat Hari Raya!!!! 😀

    Ah lurves me da cheese cookies (dah setengah botol abis dah!) and the kek batik tastes luvly too! 😛

    Such lovely pictures to go with such a lovely post, dear!

    Next year will be our first Raya together, insya Allah! So excitingggg! Can’t wait!

    1. ovenhaven Post author

      InsyaAllah! I’m glad you like the mooties, love. Next year boleh buat lagik! And I still have yet to pass you your kek batik ~hurhur. Cya soon, mister!

  2. thecoffeesnob

    I spy the little doggies in the photos of your treat-filled jars- they sure look adorable all piled up like that!

    Anyway I love the rustic look of batik marie cake- would never have guessed it was no bake!

    Selemat (belated) Hari Raya Puasa babe!

    1. ovenhaven Post author

      Thanks, sweetz! I love piling them facing out, imagining them going ‘Eat Me!!’ to anyone who sees 😛 And yes, super easy no-bake cake ftw!

  3. dancingbeastie

    This lovely description of Hari Raya Puasa festivities makes me very nostalgic. I am a Scot who grew up in Singapore in the Seventies and early Eighties. At the end of Ramadhan, my amah would bring me delicious Hari Raya cookies from her home. Her English was limited and my Malay was even more limited, so I am pleased to learn a little more from you about the other aspects of the celebrations. Those cookies were delicious….:)
    Selamat Hari Raya!

    1. ovenhaven Post author

      dancingbeastie: Thanks for the wish! So nice to hear that this post brought back memories for you. Thanks for dropping by 🙂

      lifeintheboomerlane: No problem! Thanks for dropping by 🙂

  4. Rivki

    Yum! Everything looks beautiful and delicious! It sounds like a wonderful holiday.

    I’m going to try my hand at the Kek batik marie for our break-fast after Yom Kippur this Saturday. Thanks for sharing, and congrats on being Fresh Pressed!

    1. ovenhaven Post author

      Rivki: Thanks! Hope you’ll like it as much as I did 🙂 The cooking of the custard takes a pretty long time (and can get tiring!), but it’s definitely worth the effort.

      boomkaboom2608: Thanks for dropping by.

    1. ovenhaven Post author

      Wish I could send some your way! I think after a couple of days, everyone kinda gets sick of eating goodies already. Well, except for the kids I guess 😛

    1. ovenhaven Post author

      Hope you’ll like it! You can play around with the milo – cocoa powder amount to suit your citarasa. If you want it to be sweet, can just omit cocoa powder and use 125g milo 🙂

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  7. tokyo24

    Wow the biscuits and cakes sound yummy! I so wish we would bake more and share them for eid..south asian families like the one I come from tend to stick to the usual Indian desserts and food which to be honest I’m bored of after 24 yrs! It’s interesting to hear how other Muslim families celebrate eid and opens up a lot more dialogue, I’ll be pestering my mum to bake come eid-ul-adha!
    P.s just joined and this is my first comment:-)

  8. Amnah

    Eid Mubarak!!! Inshallah you and yours had a wonderful Eid. I love reading about how each culture celebrates Eid. Everything looks amazing. The picture of all the cookies in jars is awesome. What a sweet gift.

    1. ovenhaven Post author

      Thank you all for your kind comments, and for dropping by! For those who are going to give these recipes a try, I hope you’ll like them as much as we did over here 🙂 And Eid Mubarak to all my Muslim readers!

  9. yuvita

    Eid Mubarak
    Selamat Hari Raya Idul Fitri 1431 H
    Wow… ketupat, lontong, In Inodnesia we usually add opor (chicken) and Tauco, u know?
    Eid Mubaraaaak!!!

  10. Anna and Her Biro

    Wow – Love these Batik Marie Cakes. I have pretty much all of that in my cupboard!! More recipes like that please. It’s so good when you can spot a recipe and just make it straight up – no hauls out to the supermarket.

    I’m a new blogger – so these will be fab to munch on whilst writing my new post xx
    Check me out on

    1. ovenhaven Post author

      Cherine, custompaperpoint, Photographer: Thanks!

      Anna and her Biro: I hope you’ll give it a try! It’s similar to the Australian hedgehog slice, which is so simple yet so yummy too 🙂

      Joanna: Thanks for your kind words, Joanna 🙂 And thank you for dropping by so I can discover your blog! 🙂

    1. ovenhaven Post author

      Hi Alice, no they’re very much different. Milo is chocolate malt powder, whereas cocoa powder is derived straight from cocoa solids. Milo is sweetened, hence you can even eat it on its own, but cocoa powder is bitter!

  11. Zainab Khawaja

    Eid Mubarak!
    Congratulations on being freshly pressed!
    I baked lemon bars and butter biscuits for my family this eid but your mouthwatering pictures make me wish i had stumbled across these recipes sooner!

    Do check out my blog sometime 🙂

  12. lampoondish

    Congrats on being freshly pressed!
    oh biskit keju… i love how baking your own treats is such a tradition, and everyone’s usually so willing to share and feed one another.. it’s a nice warm feeling, sort of like being freshly baked 🙂

  13. siti

    Assalam Sis n Selamat Hari Raya to you n family.
    Nice marie cake n cheese cookies. But i more interested in yr cookie bottle…hehehe.
    May i know where can i buy the set of bottle with basket in singapore.
    Tqvm n Assalam.

  14. zurin

    selamat hari raya Ovenhaven. I am goingto try these kuih batik. my sons are havingtheir friends over this sunday and our raya cookies have been wiped out…waaa… so this does indeed come in easy to make it seems.

    hope you had and have a wonderful raya with your family and loved ones. Maaf zahir batin. 🙂

  15. wirinna

    Selamat Hari Raya Sis….
    My new home is still without an oven, so this kek batik marie is really a saviour…plus it’s yummy too!
    Rem I ever asked you how was the taste suppose to be…?
    You know what, so long as it tasted somewhere along chocolatey line…who cares…hehe

    It just seems inappropriate that my kuih table is without cakes that I bake…..:)

    1. ovenhaven Post author

      lampoondish: Precisely! I love the communal spirit we have here, even during Ramadhan when neighbours would exchange dishes for breaking fast. Nothing beats the solidarity Ramadhan / Eid brings 🙂

      siti: Salam Siti, thanks for dropping by 🙂 Unfortunately, this set of cookie jars were bought more than 5 years ago, I think! So I really can’t remember where they were from 😛 Sorry, sis!

      koshercookies: Thanks!

      zurin: Hehe, this recipe always comes in handy when all the nice kuih2 are wiped out! Selamat Hari Raya to you too, sweetie. Maaf zahir batin!

      wirinna: I know what you mean! If you don’t bake at least one type of cake / cookies for Raya, macam tak sah gitu 😛 Oh yes, be sure to cook the custard until it’s thick, okay? The first time I revisited the recipe this year the cake became too soft after being out of the fridge for like 20mins. Which is actually not a problem since people prefer having them cold, but if you want to leave them out, then be sure to cook the custard long, so it will really set. Selamat Hari Raya, sweetz!

  16. mudhooks

    Do you know anything about the history of this dessert?

    The reason I ask is that I have a very similar recipe which was given to my grandmother during WWII by the wife of the leader of the Free Norwegian Army in Dumfries, Scotland, where they were stationed. My grandmother was told that this is a traditional Norwegian recipe but I can’t find any reference to it anywhere.

    There is very little difference in the recipe. Ours does not include water or condensed (or evaporated milk) as in the Kek Marie or Kek Batik recipes I have just seen. I can see that this is a common recipe in Indonesia I just wonder where the recipe originates from!

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  18. fati's recipes

    You’ve SUCH a wonderful blog, masha Allah, I enjoyed every last bit of it! 🙂

    Can’t wait for Ramadan this year…. will be here in a blink of an eye! 😀


  19. Pingback: Cheddar Cookies « EAT

    1. ovenhaven Post author

      Hi there, in recipes where the salt amount is not listed, it means I’ve used salted. It’s purely personal preference for each recipe, so feel free to tweak to your taste. 🙂

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