5-Ingredient Recipe: Indonesian Street-Style Sweet Pancake (Martabak Manis)

The martabak manis (sweet Indonesian pancake) is a warm, chewy, soft, sweet, and gooey street snack that’s to die for.

By Stef Sancianco

I remember the first time I visited Jakarta, I tried the popular martabak manis (sweet Indonesian thick pancake).  I totally fell in love with it on the first bite!  Warm, chewy yet soft, sweet and gooey – this street snack was to die for!

Since the martabak manis I ate was freshly made, the chocolate sprinkles in between the fluffy and warm pancake melted perfectly with the crushed peanuts and whatever was inside there.  It was truly delightful that I almost finished the entire box in a single seating.

One night, while my husband and I were at a local market, he pointed at this popular martabak manis shop.  Just our luck, they were making one as someone ordered.

An order of a martabak manis starts off with pre-made batter which was ladled generously on a thick steel pan and slowly cooked on low heat.  Once the pancake is cooked, they set it on the table and spread a tennis ball size of margarine (I kid you not!).

Then they proceeded with sprinkling the pancake with chocolate, grated cheese, crushed peanuts, and sesame seeds. And boy, they weren’t shy about it! After an equally generous drizzling of condensed milk, they sliced and flipped the pancake in half and I thought the madness was over. But wait, there’s more—they brushed the entire thing with more margarine.

I was floored after having witness all that. Definitely not for the faint-hearted, I understood why my sweet tooth went crazy the first time I tried it. And I’m keeping it a strictly “cheat day” or “once in a blue moon” kind of treat for me.

There’s a lot of variation on the martabak manis here in Indonesia.  From the classic filling of chocolate, crushed peanuts, and grated cheese to the more modern Ovomaltine, Toblerone pieces, Nutella, and crushed Oreos.  They even came up with red velvet cake, tiramisu, and black forest flavor versions.

Now here’s a simple yet equally sinful recipe of the classic martabak manis.  My advice is to be generous on the filling and make this to complete your cheat day.  Best to be eaten warm and shared with family & friends. Enjoy! 🙂

Martabak manis is a fun snack to make so don’t be afraid to go crazy on the filling! Other suggestions to put are candy sprinkles, sliced bananas, your favorite peanut butter spread or chocolate spread, crushed cookies etc. Go crazy with it!

5-Ingredient Recipe: Indonesian Street-Style Sweet Pancake (Martabak Manis)

5-Ingredient Recipe: Indonesian Street-Style Sweet Pancake (Martabak Manis)


Classic Fillings - Margarine or unsalted butter (*) - Condensed Milk (*) - Chocolate Sprinkles - Crushed Peanuts - Sesame Seeds - Grated Cheese (*) - a must!
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