Have you ever felt like you want something more to eat after dinner? I have.. Plenty of times. And in times like that, martabak is often the answer.

In Indonesia, there are two types of martabak. The salty martabak: made with eggs, spices, and wrapped in some thin dough, then fried; and the sweet martabak: made from batter and cooked in pan, then topped with various sweet topping.

salty (egg) martabak. Source: rumahmesin.com


I don’t know why two very different dishes can have the same name, but they are sold at the same stall. Martabak stall is abundant here in Java. In Jakarta and cities around it, you can find martabak stalls everywhere. I know there are 7 martabak stalls near my home, less than 3 km radius.

To buy some martabak, we have to wait until nightfall. Guys who sold martabak only come out at night. Maybe because they sold martabak on the street and at night they don’t have to worry about the heat? Or maybe because people like to eat martabak at night? Or maybe they all are vampires? Who knows.. [not really, some open from afternoon. đŸ˜‰ ]

This recipe is for the sweet martabak. I call it Indonesian style pancake because it cooked from batter and in a pan. Sweet martabak is told to be originated from Bangka Belitung (islands in South Sumatra). Sweet martabak also called Terang Bulan which literally means “Bright Moon”. Perhaps because the round shape like the moon and the fact that they come out at night.

Red velvet martabak with 8 different topping, new martabak trend. Source: reresepan.com


Originally, sweet martabak are topped with toasted sesame and sugar. But now, we can buy martabak topped with chocolate, cheddar cheese, sweet corn, coconut, etc. There are even a new trend of high end martabak, topped with toblerone, nutella, kit kat (the salty martabak topped with mozzarella and pepperoni which are rare products in Indonesia).

That’s what I love about martabak, it’s like a blank canvas that you can put anything you like on it.

When my friend from Switzerland came to visit me, we bought some sweet martabak, and she was so happy to know that the batter was made without using milk, make it safe for lactose intolerant people (with note that the topping also don’t use milk). So I thought I have to share the recipe.

Indonesian style pancake (martabak) with cocolate and peanut


I made martabak topped with fruits (mango, banana, strawberry and strawberry sauce). You can’t find that in martabak stall. It turned out delicious. Plus I don’t have to feel to guilty about the calories, at least I get nutrition too. I am not to proud to say I eat more than half of the fruity martabak by myself. Hehehe…For my brother and husband, I made chocolate with peanut martabak.

Martabak topped with fruits, healthier choice.


First, make the batter by mixing all purose flour, sugar, baking powder, water, and instant yeast. Whisk well until all incorporated. And then we must wait for the yeast to work for two to three hours. Next, mix in eggs, baking soda, salt, and melted margarine.


I found that it best to wait another ten minutes before start cooking the batter. I cooked the batter right away and it did not fluff-up as I wished.

Another thing to do is to use the smallest heat possible. If the fire is too big, the batter would not cooked through while the outer part already brown. Use pan with lid and cover the pan while cooking. I cooked using 21 cm pan, two cups (around 400 ml) batter each, and it took around eight minute. The cooking time could varies. Watch the pan and when the edges turned brown and the middle of the batter dried with tiny holes on it, it’s ready.

While still warm, slather some margarine on top of the pancake to prevent dry out. Then put any topping you like.

At martabak stall, after they put topping, they cut the martabak in the middle and stack it. Then they put another slather of margarine and cut it into smaller pieces. All of these, margarine, sweet topping, make martabak quite decadent snack. It usually not for eating alone, except you are very hungry or want to gain some weight.


Indonesian Style Pancake (Martabak)

Indonesian Style Pancake (Martabak)


  • 250 gr all purpose flour
  • 80 gr sugar
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 300 ml water
  • 1/2 tsp instant yeast
  • 3 eggs + 1 egg yolk
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 sdt salt
  • 50 g margarine (melted) + more for spread
  • Any topping you like


  1. Mix together in large mixing bowl: flour, baking powder, sugar, and yeast
  2. Add water slowly while whisking until all incorporated well
  3. Wait 2 hours
  4. In other bowl, whisk loosely eggs and egg yolk
  5. Mix in the egg, margarine, salt, baking soda to the flour batter
  6. Wait another 10 minutes
  7. Pour some of the batter into a non-stick pan until about 3 cm thick, cover, and use low heat
  8. Cook until the batter dry out in the surface and the edges are brown
  9. Remove from heat and spread some margarine on top of the pancake
  10. Repeat for the rest of the batter
  11. Topped with any topping you like