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Pandan Cake Recipe: A Delightful and Easy-to-Make Treat

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Pandan Cake Recipe

Are you ready to try something new and delicious? Pandan cake, a delightful dessert from Southeast Asia, will surprise you with its unique flavor and light, fluffy texture. This recipe uses pandan juice, coconut milk, and cake flour to create a soft and pillowy chiffon cake that’s easy to make and delicious to eat.

You’ll love how the natural pandan flavor, derived from pandan leaves, gives the cake a subtle, herbal taste and a beautiful green color. The blend of coconut milk and cake flour ensures that each bite is moist and airy. Whether you’re a novice or a seasoned baker, this pandan cake will be a hit at any gathering.

Exact Ingredients (+ Possible Substitutes)

To make pandan cake, you’ll need these exact ingredients:

  • Pandan Leaves: Fresh, if possible. Substitute with pandan extract or pandan paste if you can’t find fresh leaves.

  • Eggs: Large ones, separated. The yolks and whites are used in different steps.

  • Sugar: Granulated white sugar is preferred. If you’re out, you can use caster sugar for a finer texture.

  • Flour: Use cake flour for a lighter texture. Alternatively, substitute with a mix of all-purpose flour and cornstarch.

  • Baking Powder: Ensures the cake rises properly. No good substitutes here; stick with the real thing.

  • Coconut Milk: Adds richness. If you don’t have it, use regular whole milk or even soy milk in a pinch.

  • Vegetable Oil: Keeps the cake moist. Use any neutral oil like canola or grapeseed oil.

  • Cream of Tartar: Helps stabilize the egg whites. You can use lemon juice or vinegar as alternatives.

Here’s a list in table format for easy reference:

IngredientsPossible Substitutes
Pandan LeavesPandan extract, Pandan paste
SugarCaster sugar
Cake FlourAll-purpose flour + cornstarch
Baking PowderNone
Coconut MilkWhole milk, Soy milk
Vegetable OilCanola oil, Grapeseed oil
Cream of TartarLemon juice, Vinegar

These substitutes can help you adapt the recipe based on what’s available in your kitchen.


  1. Preheat your oven to 170°C (340°F). Grease and line your cake pan with parchment paper.

  2. Prepare the batter:

    • In a large bowl, whisk egg yolks and sugar until thick.
    • Stir in coconut milk, corn oil, pandan juice, and pandan paste until combined.
    • Gradually add sifted low-gluten flour and mix until smooth.
  3. Whisk the egg whites:

    • In another bowl, use a whisk attachment to beat the egg whites and lemon juice (or cream of tartar) until frothy.
    • Slowly add sugar in three batches, beating on high speed until stiff peaks form.
  4. Combine mixtures:

    • Gently fold the egg white mixture into the pandan batter in three parts. Use a spatula to fold until no white streaks remain.

  5. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan. Level the top with a spatula.

  6. Bake for about 40 minutes. Test for doneness by inserting a skewer into the center; it should come out clean.

  7. Cool the cake:

    • Once baked, remove the cake from the oven and let it cool in the pan for 10 minutes.
    • Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before slicing.

Tips, Tricks & Storing

Use fresh pandan leaves or quality pandan extract: Fresh pandan juice gives the best flavor. If you can’t find fresh leaves, a good quality extract works too.

Egg whites are key: Make sure your egg whites are at room temperature before whipping. Add a bit of lemon juice or cream of tartar to stabilize them.

Mixing gently: When folding in the egg whites into the batter, be gentle. Overmixing can deflate the batter, resulting in a dense cake.

Sieve the flour: Always sift your flour to avoid lumps in the batter.

Bake low and slow: Preheat your oven and place the rack in the lower third. Bake at 325°F (163°C) to prevent the cake from rising too fast and cracking.

Cooling the cake: Remove the cake from the oven and turn it upside down in its pan to cool. This helps maintain its height and prevents it from collapsing.

Storing: Wrap the cake in plastic wrap and store it at room temperature for up to 3 days. For longer storage, keep it in the fridge for up to a week. The cake can also be frozen for up to 2 months.

Reheating: To refresh the cake’s texture, microwave a slice for about 10 seconds.

Serving suggestions: Serve your pandan cake plain or with a light dusting of powdered sugar. It pairs well with tea or coffee. For a special touch, add whipped cream and fresh fruits.

Recipe Variations & Serving Suggestions

You can try different approaches to making pandan cake. Each tweak brings a unique flavor and texture.

Pandan Honeycomb Cake (Bánh Bò Nướng): This Vietnamese version has a spongy, soft texture with a nutty flavor from pandan leaf extract. Add coconut milk for extra richness.

Light & Fluffy Pandan Cake: Use pandan powder in a batter made with low-gluten flour, corn oil, egg yolk, and coconut milk. Whisk egg whites with lemon juice and sugar for a light, fluffy texture.

Pandan Pound Cake: This variation is a bit denser. Mix the pandan extract into the batter. Bake in a loaf pan until a skewer comes out clean.

Serving Suggestions

Coconut Shavings: Sprinkle fresh or toasted coconut shavings on top for extra flavor.

Custard Sauce: A drizzle of custard or coconut sauce enhances the cake’s moistness.

Fruit Toppings: Fresh fruits like mango or kiwi pair well and add a refreshing touch.

Ice Cream: Serve warm slices with a scoop of vanilla or coconut ice cream on the side for a delightful treat.

Benjamin Happy Muncher

Hi, I'm Benjamin. I love cooking, long walks, and my girlfriend! Here you’ll find simple and delicious recipes that you can make in 30 minutes or less.