The Original Pandan Cake
Let me share with you the original soft and fluffy Pandan cake that Indonesians make. This pandan chiffon cake recipe has been my family recipe for as long as I can remember, so it’s been tried and tasted countless times over decades.
My mom used to make the cake long before the variations of pandan cake were discovered. And she used to steam the cake as well as bake it. It’s a versatile recipe that you can’t go wrong with the result.
The best thing is that the recipe is very simple and easy. Yet, it makes a fluffy cake with a delicious pandan flavor and soft and fluffy sponge texture. It is so soft it is almost like chiffon. Hence, it is also known as pandan chiffon cake.
This cake makes a nice companion to a good cup of coffee or tea.
I remember Mom used to make this cake for our afternoon tea. Because when I was growing up, late afternoon after 4-5 pm was the time when Indonesians had their afternoon coffee or tea. And we always had some savory or sweet snacks to go along with the coffee or tea.
What Is Pandan Cake
It’s a simple sponge cake that uses coconut milk and pandan essence in its ingredients. It is one of the traditional cakes in Indonesia, and the cake is so popular all over the country that it’s a national cake now
Unlike ordinary sponge cake, this cake has a denser texture yet the cake is soft, light, and fluffy. No wonder it is considered a fluffy chiffon cake.
And the coconut milk makes the taste of the cake delightful to enjoy.
Although in this recipe, I use a cake bundt tin-like chiffon pan, you can always use any cake pan you like. Especially if you want to use the cake for celebrations such as birthday cake. You may want to bake in a regular round cake pan and probably make the cake layers
Where Can You Get Pandan Leaves
Pandan is a tropical plant that doesn’t grow (easily) in subtropical areas like the UK. So, I get mine from Asian shops in Chinatown. But I understand that nowadays, you can also get the leaves online.
So, if you can get fresh leaves, you can always keep them in the freezer to prolong their life of usage. You can always use fresh or frozen pandan leaves in your cooking with the same result anyway.
In Indonesia, this leaf is not that long. Mostly, it is about 15 inches. But here in the UK, the leaves come from Thailand and are quite long, about 30 inches. So, a few leaves are more than enough for this recipe.
What Do You Need To Make Pandan Cake
There are ten ingredients you need to make this fluffy pandan cake recipe.
Pandan leaves, water, eggs, granulated sugar, coconut milk, margarine, all-purpose flour, salt, baking powder, and pandan extract.
Although most ingredients are self-explanatory, you might wonder why you need to use pandan extract, too. This is optional and only needed if you would like your cake to be greener. Or, if you want to replace the pandan juice in case you can not obtain pandan leaf.
Because this leaf only gives the cake a strong aroma and fragrance, but not color. In Indonesia, they use Daun Suji/ Suji leaf to give a green color to the food. This leaf has a stronger intensity for coloring but a milder aroma than the pandan. I have never come across these Suji leaves outside Indonesia, therefore I sometimes would add a little pandan paste so the cake will be greener.
Feel free to opt out of this extract if you don’t want to use it and use natural pandan juice.
As for the cake pan, you can use any pan that holds 6 cups/ 1.5 liters of liquid for one recipe. I use a cake bundt tin, but you can use a chiffon cake pan or an angel food cake pan. Just make sure you grease and flour the pan beforehand.
How Do You Make A Pandan Chiffon Cake
Firstly, you want to make pandan juice. Place chopped pandan leaves and water in a food chopper or a small food processor. Then, blitz it until it turns into pandan paste. Sieve its juice and discard the pulp.
Next, you want to whisk the eggs and sugar until pale, fluffy, and rather stiff peak before adding the dry ingredients such as flour, baking powder, and salt. Fold them gently but quickly. You don’t want to knock and deflate the air too much.
Then, add the melted margarine, followed by coconut milk. Again, you want to work quickly here and ensure you don’t overmix. Else, the cake will deflate.
Pour the cake batter into the prepared cake pan, and bake the cake in a preheated oven at 180°C/ 356°F or at gas mark 4 for about 35 minutes. Until the top of the cake is firm to the touch and the surface of the cake looks golden brown.
You can test it with a toothpick. If it comes out clean, your cake is done. Let the cake cool slightly in the pan for about a minute. Use a knife inserted along the sides of the cake so it will be easy for you to release the cake from the pan.
Tips To Make The Best Pandan Cake
- Needless to say, fresh ingredients always make a difference in cooking or baking. This applies to this pandan cake, too.
- Beat the eggs and sugar until it reaches their stiff peak before adding the dry ingredients. You can use either a handheld or stand mixer.
- Work gently but quickly when folding the batter, and do not overmix. Overmixing can prevent the cake from rising.
- Once the cake is cooked, leave it in a pan for a few minutes before attempting to turn the cake upside down. Because it needs to rest a bit, the bottom of the cake gets sticky to the pan.
More Recipes With Pandan Leaves
Thank you for checking this pandan cake recipe. Please try it out and let me know your thoughts in the comments below. I’ll really appreciate it.
And don’t forget to check my other recipes with pandan leaves that you may like.
- Dadar gulung: Rolled Pancake With Coconut Filling.
- Cendol: Green Rice Flour Jellies With Palm Sugar And Coconut Milk.
- Klepon: Indonesian Glutinous Rice Balls.
- Mung Bean Dessert: Bubur Kacang Ijo.
Take care and all the best.
Pandan cake recipe
- Food chopper
- Mixing bowl
- 2.6 pt/ 1.5 ltr cake bundt
- 2 pandan leaves
- ¼ cup water
- 2 eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ⅓ cup margarine melted
- ¼ cup coconut milk
- ¼ teaspoon pandan extract
- Slice the pandan leaves and place them in a food chopper. Add ¼ cup of water and blitz until the leaves turn into a paste.
- Strain the mixture. You should get about 2 tablespoons of pandan water. Set it aside.
- Prepare your cake bundt, grease it with margarine or butter, and flour it. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/ 356°F or at gas mark 4.
- Place the eggs and egg yolks in a mixing bowl. Add the sugar.
- Using a handheld mixer or a stand mixer, beat the egg and sugar until you get a nice thick cake batter. It takes approximately 3-5 minutes.
- In a small mixing bowl, put the all-purpose flour, salt, and baking powder. Stir well and fold this flour mixture into the egg mixture until all is combined.
- Add the melted butter followed by coconut milk, and quickly mix the batter.
- Then add the pandan extract and gently stir the mixture. Take care not to overmix. Otherwise, you will deflate the batter.
- Pour the batter into the prepared cake bundt tin and bake for 30-40 minutes until it springs back to the touch. If you want, you can test the cake with a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake. Your cake is ready if the toothpick comes out clean.
- You can omit the pandan extract if it is not available to you. Just double the pandan leaves to get more flavor of pandan. Likewise, for some of you, it may be difficult to get pandan leaf. In this case, you can just use pandan extract. You can increase the extract up to ½ teaspoon.
- I appreciate that some people prefer butter, so if you’re one of them, you can use melted butter instead of melted margarine. The difference is that the cake with butter tends to have a harder texture, whilst the margarine makes the cake softer.
Nutritional info in this recipe is only estimate using online calculator. You should refer to it as a guide only. Please verify with your own data if you seek an accurate info.