Ants’ Nest Cake

I love condensed milk and sugar; what can I say? I have a sweet tooth. My parents always used to joke about me having an extra dessert stomach…

This cake is thus supremely suited to me, and very fun to make. Apart from my love of sugar, I’m a bit of a pyromaniac. Sort of. I like to experiment with applying heat to things, such as sugar. Yes.

Sorry about the picture quality: it’s really difficult to take a picture at the stove without steam fogging everything up ^_^”

It’s wonderful playing with the sugar… First you melt it and it looks liquid, but then you pour on the water, and all the sugar surges up like a wave – the water is cool, though, so it hardens the sugar and you end up with an amber wave, frozen in time. At least, until it melts in the water again.


Also, if you end up having lumps of butter like this, never fear! This is precisely what gives the cake its name. When it cooks, the butter melts, creating pockets and tunnels in your cake, just like… you guessed it! An ants’ nest. Now try to not imagine all those tiny black bodies with their stings and feet crawling all through your mouth, going crunch. Ever eaten ants before? I have accidentally, in bread and milk and cereal; somehow they manage to worm themselves into everything in Summer… pun not intended 😛

Ants' Nest Cake

  • Servings: 10
  • Difficulty: very easy
  • Print

Recipe from Adam Liaw’s Two Asian Kitchens

220g sugar
250mL water, room temperature to warm
85g butter, softened
1/2 tsp vanilla
4 eggs, room temperature
125mL condensed milk
150g plain flour
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

In a medium saucepan, heat sugar gently, swirling occasionally, until the sugar has melted to a dark caramel.
Reduce the heat to low, and add water. BE CAREFUL.
Continue to stir the caramel until all lumps disappear.
Set aside to cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally.
Cream butter and vanilla until butter is slightly pale.
In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs.
Add eggs, condensed milk and caramel to butter. Whisk to combine.
Sift in flour and bicarbonate soda. Fold together.
Pour cake into 18cm tin and leave for a minute or two. Preheat oven to 170°C.
Bake 50 minutes or until cake is springy.
Leave to cool in tin, and then turn out.
Serve with Malaysian coffee 😀

To the person who answered that an ant bit them on the lip: sure that counts! XD


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