Memories from Malaysia: Pandan Chiffon Cake


I’ve always said I’m not a big fan of cakes, nor do I crave for any Asian desserts.

However, oddly enough if there was anything more contradictory than that very statement is that I do like pandan cakes.

“What is a pandan cake?”, I hear you innocently ask?

Well, it’s a cake made out of screwpine leaves (also known as Asian Vanilla) to some. The leaves have many uses but are most popular in South East Asian cooking, both sweet and savoury.

The pandan cake is ubiquitous to South East Asia and in particular to Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia. How or where the cake originated from isn’t very concrete but my guess is that it is an evolution of more traditional chiffon and Angel cakes influenced by both the Dutch and English occupations of these lands.

For one reason or another, I’ve started baking. I’ve always said that I hated baking as well.

Well, I guess I’m happy to be proven wrong on both these vehement statements: P

Part of my newfound baking bonanza love (no, I am NOT nesting), has been motivated by the available ingredients in my fridge and pantry. The second part for my baking is the idea that I will not let baking get the better of me. I am a stronger woman than that! Hell yeah!

With that in mind, I got out my Bundt cake mould (I don’t have the appropriate bakeware) and jumped onto both April’s and Thanh’s blogs to look up how to bake like a master 😛

Here is my version as adapted from April and Thanh :)

Pandan Chiffon Cake


  • 6 egg whites
  • 125 g caster sugar
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 80 g caster sugar (additional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla essence
  • 165 ml coconut milk (the smallest can)
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon pandan essence
  • 120 g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • a pinch of salt


  1. Heat the oven up to 160 degrees Celcius.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the egg whites until foamy. Slowly add in the (125g) sugar until you get stiff peaks.
  3. You should be able to hold the whisked egg whites over your head without it falling out.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks, sugar (80g) and vanilla essence until it forms a pale and creamy mixture (it should triple in size).
  5. In a small bowl, mix the coconut milk, vegetable oil and pandan essence.
  6. Add this to the egg yolk mixture, whilst whisking at a slower speed. As I used a hand mixer, I had to stop, pour in the entire green mixture and start again.
  7. Once it is througly mixed through, sift in the flour, baking powder and salt and gently fold through.
  8. Add one third of the egg whites to the now green mixture. You can beat it as much as you like to loosen up the batter.
  9. Add the remaining egg white and fold gently into the mixture, taking care to not overwork it.
  10. Pour the batter into an ungreased ring tin (as I didn't have one, I used a greased Bundt tin).
  11. Bang the tin on the counter top a few times to release any air bubbles that may have been trapped.
  12. Bake for around 45-50 minutes. Insert a skewer into the middle to check if it has been cooked.
  13. Garnish with some toasted desiccated coconut and serve with your preferred choice of beverage.


Adapted from My Food Trail & I Eat Therefore I Am's Pandan Chiffon Cake Recipes


I eliminated Thanh’s green frosting, as it didn’t resemble the Pandan Chiffon cake served in Malaysia. However, I have tried his version and can vouch that it works as well and is quite tasty.

So would you be making this green alien cake soon for your friends and family?


  1. I’ve never really liked cake, but I adore chiffon cake. Angle Babe contradiction FTW!

    • Aww thank you!

  2. WOW!! This is most gorgeously amazing colour of green I have ever seen in a pandan cake. it’s so light and fluffy looking, I want some:)

    Thanks for sharing, beautiful images :)
    Gourmet Getaways recently posted…Kambrook Sunny Hunny Waffle Maker Review

    • The beauty of pandan paste 😛

  3. Oh so delicious! I adore pandan and keep a stash of the leaves in the freezer. The essence has such an incredibly bright colour and your cake looks gorgeous. I would happily serve this up to my friends- if I didn’t eat it all first! :)
    InTolerant Chef recently posted…Tasty Thai Fish Cakes

    • I keep stashes too! Love the fresh ones as well.

    • Bahahaha! We’re just gonna keep repeating that forever!

    • I’m going to try and perfect it. It’s still a little too dense for my liking!

  4. Any hints on where I might find pandan essence? Although looking at the rest of the ingredients I’m guessing this would make a pretty tasty cake even without it. I’ve been off my baking for the past year or so but am very much looking forward to getting back into it.
    Keren recently posted…This is not the greatest song in the world …

    • Oh most Asian groceries would have it. Try Laguna.. they usually have more South East Asian flavours :)

  5. NESTING!!!

    I use Poh’s recipe, and don’t use a frosting either. I like to have it like I did when we bought it from the Asian grocer 😀

    Looks amazeballs girl! x
    Iron Chef Shellie recently posted…Baci Cookies

    • Aww thanks chickee dee!

    • Haha! Thanks guys!

  6. I have been so so curious about this cake (the flavor! so curious! what does it meeeeeeean?!) ever since the globalization of food blogging. I keep seeing it, but I never get to taste it!

    Must remedy….. somehow.
    Emma recently posted…cranberry and cadbury mini egg energy bites

    • Quick! Make some Malaysian food blogger friends who live near you and get them to make you one!

  7. My first attempt at a pandan cake was a bit of a fail – it tasted delicious but it was denser than an airhead and not at all airy. Haha going to give it another go and use your recipe – I’ll definitely make sure the peaks are hard as though! (cos I’m pretty sure I didn’t beat them hard enough, lol… rookie)
    Libby recently posted…Hakataya Ramen Surfers Paradise (Gold Coast, QLD)

    • Hahahaha, try it again. This recipe seems pretty easy to follow!

  8. What a simple recipe! i’ve seen others that use 10 eggs, and a lot of other ingredients like cream of tartar! will be eager to try yours soon!
    Jo recently posted…Demitri’s Feast

    • Really? 10? Yikes!

    • Aww thank you :)

  9. Oh that looks really interesting. I’ve never heard of pandan essence, but it sounds like it may be worth looking up. Thanks for sharing.
    Mama B @ My Edible Journey recently posted…We interrupt this blog

    • You can get pandan essence from most Asian groceries :)

    • I’m awesome.. totes

  10. You had me at green alien cake lol. Being a sci-fi junkie to the extreme, that’s definitely the kind of cake I’d want for a party. 😉 Really though this looks very interesting and tastey. I’d never heard of pandan essence. Kudos by the way for not letting baking get the better of you! I feel the same way lately. No more shying away from my cook books and favorite blogs (like your own 😉 ). I will definitely be making this soon (once I find where I can buy pandan here xD).
    Deana recently posted…10 Reasons to Join BingoAustralia

    • Hahaha hooray. Love that you love it and that we have a common sci-fi theme.. although I’m much more of a fantasy person.

      • Oh I’m Big on Fantasy as well, Labyrinth (Yes, yes, and yes to David Bowie!), Dark Crystal, Princess Bride (yes I’m very old school in my fantasy), many more, and of course Game of Thrones which is my current obsession and therefore definitely deserves it’s own category lol. What’s your favorite out of curiousity?
        Deana recently posted…May -Tuesday Pokies Tournament Winners

        • It varies but my favourites range from Terry Pratchett to Piers Anthony; Neil Gaiman, David Eddings; Robin Hobb, Trudi Canavan… as you can tell very epic fantasy tales

          • :O I adore Neil Gaiman! Stardust, the Graveyard Book, he’s an absolute genius! Terry Pratchett is rather good as well though I’m not familiar with all the works, only a few like Reaper Man, Wyrd Sisters, The Color of Magic of course, Hogfather (personal favorite so far), and a few and between. I hadn’t actually read from Trudi Canavan, but I will definitely check her out. :) Thanks!

          • You should start also with Eoin Colfer.. it’s a YA series but great fun for adults too!

  11. Hi,
    I absolutely lo’ve pandan cake and yours looks great. I can’t wait to bake it. Just a quick question – is the oven on fan forced or without?

    • Hi Melanie, thanks for visiting :) It’s a fan forced oven which I use!

  12. I LOVE this cake. I was wondering if its a requirement to use an angle cake tin? or can you use any? is also possible to use this recipe but make it as a chiffon type cupcakes?

    • Well I didn’t if you saw.. I used a Bundt Cake tin as I didn’t have an Angel Cake tin.. now that I’ve used both, I highly recommend the Angel Cake, the end result is definitely more fluffier!


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