The most basic traditional serabi only employs batter made from the mixture of rice flour, coconut milk and coconut sugar, cooked upon small earthenware frying pan on charcoal fire. Sometimes pandan leaves juice might be added into this batter mixture to add aroma as well as greenish colour. During the cooking process, sometimes toppings are added upon the batter.
Today there are large variants of serabi toppings; from simple sprinkle of sugar, grated coconut flesh, sprinkles of coarsely ground peanuts, slices of banana or jackfruit, chocolate sprinkles, black glutinous rice, and oncom, to new recipes using grated cheddar cheese, corned beef, shredded chicken, slices of fresh strawberry or sausage, or even strawberry ice cream. The sauce (or more precisely syrup) to accompany serabi also varies; from traditional sweet kinca (golden coloured coconut sugar syrup) sometimes creamed with coconut milk, to modern recipes using chocolate, strawberry or durian syrup, and mayonnaise or cream cheese for a savoury western twist.
Both the cities of Bandung and Solo are famous for their version of serabi. Bandung surabi is dryer and firmer with a pancake-like consistency, and today are well known for their rich variant of toppings, most are recently developed fusion recipes. The serabi from Solo however, are more traditional with a little bit half cooked with thin crispy crust and watery centre with rich coconut milk taste. Famous serabi variant from Solo is called serabi notosuman.