Thursday, 16 June 2011

pandan cake...two way

I made two pandan cakes this week. The two ingredient lists were almost identical but the preparation method differs slightly.

I wouldn't call this a pandan chiffon cake. Although it was made using separate eggs method, the texture was closer to a sponge cake instead. The preparation method is slightly different from making a chiffon cake. To make this cake, the egg whites are first beaten still close to stiff peak. The yolks are then added directly to the meringue, followed by vegetable oil, coconut milk, vanilla extract and pandan paste...all dump in together. The mixture is then combined with a balloon whisk. The last step is to fold in the flour with a spatula. The cake is baked in a bundt pan or a tube pan...which has to be well greased and floured. After baking, the cake pan is inverted and the cake will slip off from the pan right away.

This pandan cake didn't rise too much upon baking. Either I have deflated the batter when trying to fold in the flour, or it could be due to the smaller sized eggs that I used...the cake pan was only half filled. I didn't do a good job in preparing the pan either...there was a thin layer of flour on the surface of the cake :(

Once the cake was released from the pan, I cut a slice to taste it. The crust is quite crisp and the crumb tasted moist and soft. The cake didn't taste as moist upon cooling but I still find it delicious.

With some left over coconut milk, I made another pandan cake...this time, it is a real chiffon cake. The cake rose quite well during baking despite the fact that I must have deflated the batter since the finished batter was not as thick as I would expect.

Closer to the end of the baking, the cake started to sink a little. Fortunately it managed to stay well above the rim upon cooling. I am quite satisfied with the height of the finished cake. I have deliberately omitted cream of tar tar and baking powder which are called for in the original recipe. Apparently this didn't cause any damage.

I really like the airy texture of this cake! It is cottony soft, moist, light and fluffy.  This recipe is certainly a keeper. The only thing I need to improve upon is to enhance the flavour. I have left out the pandan juice since I do not have a blender or a mortar and pestle to extract the juice from pandan leaves. I will have to think of a way to get around this problem before I could make the perfect pandan cake.

(I will be leaving for a short trip and will not be able to access blogger during the time I am away. You may leave your comments and questions and I will respond to them when I return.)

Pandan Chiffon Cake

(for 7" tube pan)

3 egg yolks (use large eggs, 60g without shell)
35g caster sugar
70g coconut milk
55g vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon pandan paste
1 tablespoon pandan juice  
pinch of salt
100g cake flour

4 egg whites (use large eggs, 60g without shell)
50g caster sugar
(Note: I omitted the baking powder and cream of tar tar which is called for in the original recipe.)

  1. Sieve flour and set aside.
  2. Place egg yolks in a mixing bowl. With a manual hand whisk, whisk the yolks a little. Add in sugar and whisk till the mixture turns pale and thick. Add coconut milk gradually, stir to combine. Add vegetable oil gradually, stir to combine. Add vanilla extract, pandan paste, pandan juice (I replaced with water) and salt. Stir to combine. Sieve over the flour and whisk till the flour is fully incorporated. Do not over mix. Set aside.
  3. In a clean, dry mixing bowl, beat egg whites with a handheld electric mixer on low speed until mixture becomes frothy and foamy.  Add half of the sugar amount and turn to high speed and beat the mixture. Continue to add in the remaining sugar and beat until the egg whites reaches the soft peak stage.The soft peak stage is reached when the peaks of the whites curl over and droop slightly. The egg whites should appear smooth and glossy. (Do not over beat the whites still stiff, it is better to beat the whites still soft peaks for easy folding with the yolk batter.)
  4. Add the beaten egg white into the egg yolk batter in 3 separate additions, each time folding gently with a spatula until just blended.
  5. Pour batter into a 17cm tube pan (do not grease the pan). Tap the pan lightly on a table top to get rid of any trapped air bubbles in the batter.
  6. Bake in pre-heated oven at 170 degC for 35 mins, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean, when lightly pressed the cake will spring back. Invert the pan immediately and let cool completely before unmould. To remove the cake from the pan, run a thin-bladed knife around the inside of the pan and the center core. Release the cake and run the knife along the base of the pan to remove the cake.
Recipe source: adapted from ieatishootipost


  1. i just wanted to grab them from the screen, the cake looks so lovely...

  2. 作品真漂亮,很诱人,看了很喜欢^^

  3. I like the way you bake the cake in a bundt pan. Something different and yet its still somehow a chiffon as you can call. Actually I've thought of using a bundt pan for my chiffon but worry it may be a disaster..;p Seeing your nice picture here, I'll give it a try and we'll see what happen to mine..hehe!

  4. I just baked pandan chiffon too, but the color not as green as yours ^_^

  5. Oh... I didn;t know it would still work without baking powder, I must give it a try now.

    reese, I was told conventional chiffon cake cannot be baked in a bundt pan cos it'd be impossible to release.

  6. both of it look so lovely. nice shade of green and it look so soft and yummy! (:

  7. I am tempted to try this! Yum!!

  8. this looks sooo good!! like storebought!

  9. Oh man. Whenever you make your chiffon cakes, and especially when you make pandan flavors, I honestly wish I were you. You are simply my heroin. I see your cakes and can only fantasize about taking a bit into one of your fluffy, sweet creations. Definitely, I have to make one of your chiffon cakes one day. They are just so tempting!

  10. I love the colour of the chiffon cake! Never made anything with pandan before...never heard of it...*off to google pandan* lol...great site, I shall add it to my favourites!

  11. Love how fluffy the cake looks! I've never tried making chiffon cakes (too many horror stories of deflating the batter), but if I were to ever muster the courage, this would be the first one I'll give a go :) Thanks for sharing!

  12. Looks good esp when it's baked in a bundt cake pan.

  13. Hi Happy Home Baking,

    Your pandan chiffon cake looks delicious! I am Teresa, one of your reader. I've just created a blog and coincidentally my first post is also a chiffon cake. Please drop by my blog and have a look. Please leave a comment too. Thanks :) my blog is

  14. great post!

  15. Hi HHB, I tried this and it's delicious... Thks!

    Here is the link to my cake I bake..:

  16. This cake was divine. I added a bit more sugar for my liking. Thanks!
    Can't wait to try more of your other recipes.

  17. Hi HHB, I know you always knead by hand. :) I would like to ask you, do you have any good tutorial / video that teach how to knead bread by hand? :) V tempted to bake bread these days.

  18. Hi hanushi, I am sorry I dont have any video on bread making...I am no professional baker. but I am sure you can find many professional video demo on the youtube. I am not able to make bread nowadays as I am having some problem with my left arm :(

  19. hi HHB, the cake looks so delicious!
    is the pandan paste homemade or bought? how do i get either? :)

  20. Hi Joanna, I used store bought pandan paste, Koepoe Koepoe brand. Just do a google search and you can get an image of it. You can get it from Sun Lik or Sheng Shiong supermart.

  21. No worries, get well soon on your arm.

  22. I love pandan cake and would take either of the gorgeous ones you made in a heartbeat. Especially love the gorgeous golden brown crust on the chiffon cake - I can never get it off the pan.

    Have fun on your trip!

  23. what a difference! goes to show some techniques must not be missed in making a chiffon cake! it looks gorgeous!

  24. the green color is just like it. the cake looks great =)

  25. May I know which function did you use whenever you bake? Fan or top & bottom heat? Tks

  26. Hi fleekk, I use the top & bottom heat for baking cakes including chiffon cakes. I only use the fan plus top & bottom heat for baking two trays of cookies or pizza. Hope this helps :)

  27. Oh wow - this cake looks amazing. Reminds me of my childhood in Singapore, we used to get this cake with a cream filling, I still dream about it to this day!

  28. hi,assistant needed :

    70g coconut milk - can use canned coconut milk, if yes, cream or the normal type?

    pandan juice - can't get..what can i do?


  29. mmmyen, u can use canned ones...the normal type. u can use 1/2 teaspoon of pandan paste instead.

  30. hi,assistant needed:

    This is a lovely cake recipe but i think my cake baking procedure might have gone wrong. Can anyone please advise.

    Closer to the end of the baking, the cake started to sink from the side. After cooling, my chiffon cake top sink from the side and bottom is concave. When i cut the cake, it seems top and bottom is dense and center seem can be rise further. I am baking the chiffon at 170 degC for 35 mins.


  31. This looks great - I'll definitely be keeping an eye out for pandan paste in my local 'asian supermarket'. I'd never heard of pandan paste but now I'll be able to make pandan-flavoured, vibrant-coloured treats all the time. Thanks!!

  32. Hi, there are a few possible causes...based from what I have read so far...

    likely due to the beating of the egg whites(either over or under beat), or you could have deflated the whites during the folding of the whites to the yolk batter. as a result the structure of the cake was not able to support the cake and it started to sink closer to baking time.

    Did you invert the cake to cool? also what type of pan did you use? Did u use a chiffon pan with a tube? or just a normal pan? did you grease the sides (no suppose to)? or did you use a non stick pan?

    The other possible cause could be the oven temperature? Do you use a oven thermometer to make sure that your oven is preheated to the right temperature? Did you open the oven door during baking? it may cause the temperature to drop...

  33. Hi there, could u kindly advise on the measurements of ingredients for a 20cm pan? Thanks! :)

  34. Hi, I am sorry I do not know the ingredients amount for a 20cm pan, I adapted the original recipe which is meant for a 25cm pan to fit my 7" pan. You may google for similar recipes I am sure many other bloggers have tried making it with a 20cm pan.

  35. any idea why the middle of the cake comes out a little mushy? it does seem like its cooked through

  36. Hi, I think you could have under baked the cake or it could be due to your oven temperature.

  37. Dear,
    I used a non-stick pan and then grease and floured before I pour the mixture in. Is that the reason why I don't hv those nice brown crumbs like yours?

    I used a balloon whisk to whisk manually in step 1. Is that ok or I'm supposed to stir gently?

    I find baking technique and tools are really vital as it can give different result with the same ingredients and steps!!

  38. hi Fi Fi

    As mentioned in my reply to your comment over at the cranberry chiffon cake post, it is best not to use a non stick pan for baking chiffon cake. Do not grease or line the sides of the pan...

    yes, I use a balloon hand whisk for step 1 as well.

    using the correct type and size of baking pans, the oven temperature and adopting the right preparation techniques are key to prevent any baking failures, but doesnt guarantee a 100% success rate ;) we all learn through mistakes, keep practising and experimenting to hone your baking skills. It is the process that makes baking fun :)

    happy baking!

  39. Hi Dear,

    As I still can't find a 7" traditional tube, I continue to use my existing 6" non-stick pan. I made 2 pandan chiffon on the same day, putting the remaining batter in a normal round pan. I'm happy with the result and this was the first time I gave this to chiffon cakes to my aunts. The comment was positive - "Like buy from supermarket"! :)

    However, I am still puzzle that my cake is not as fluffy as it should be. I thought I did a good job in beating the egg whites to triple the volume and mixed into the yolks batter. But somehow I might have deflated it in pouring into the pan, could this be possible?

    I have shared with you 2 pics, as you see in pic named "panda cake"which was from a normal round pan, the middle portion was darker in colour, was it due to the oven time is not long enough?

    1) pandan (
    2) pandan 1(
    3) pandan 2 ( - The crumbs is not very nice

    For pic named "pandan 1"and pandan 2", they looked ok but not as crispy as yours, I did wait till completely cool till unmould. The crumbs still stick and not enough crumbs on the cake to make it nice.

    Overall, I'm still very happy with my this trial of baking pandan chiffon cakes which like many, it also a "to-do" list probably due to our Asian upbringing - eating pandan cake from young!

    Thanks for your blog, it really inspired me.

  40. Hi, the dense layer is likely due to the folding of the egg whites to the yolk. The two mixture was not thoroughly blended...the denser yolk batter was not fully incorporated into the egg need to scrape all the way down to the bottom of the bowl to lift up the batter to make sure even blending. The dense layer is likely the result of denser yolk batter.
    You won't deflate the batter by pouring into the pan.

  41. Hi, I just try baking tis pandan chiffon cake yesterday n my mum says it's bit moist. How do it make it less moist?

  42. Hi, I could only think of extending the baking time to make it less moist, not sure whether it will work though.

  43. Hi, can I add more flour to it?

  44. Hi, I don't think it is advisable to add more flour...

  45. Is it okay to make the egg whites just 3?

  46. Hi Kaygiene, it is best to use 4 whites for this recipe as more egg whites is need to lighten the yolk batter.