Pandan Chiffon Cake

Pandan chiffon is one of those bake stuff that gives you the huge satisfaction when it is homemade. Huge. Doesn’t matter if it cost very little in the market. It is a head-inflating moment when I watched it rose to a big fat fluffy cake.

Since I have abundant access to pandan leaves (or screwpine leaves), I used fresh pandan as flavoring and coloring agent. They grow wild, almost too wild at home and at the office. I choose to use medium-sized pandan leaves. The young ones smell great but the leaves aren’t green enough. The old, bigger leaves have great deep yet vibrant green hues, but the fragrance is not the best. So I settled with the ones in the middle of both. Grab a bunch of leaves and cut them up into smaller pieces. Add a bit of water and process the pandan in blender. Strain pandan pulp in fine muslin cloth or strainer. The water that comes out of it is good for coloring and flavoring.

I have to admit that I was a bit worried about using fresh leaves, as I wasn’t sure it would be green enough. The first batch I made I choose to use instant pandan paste. I went overboard and the batter turned into scary green liquid. That batch met its destiny in the trash right away. Then I made second batch with the real pandan. It was not bright green, and it was quite subtly pandan scented. At least it didn’t look like Shrek’s food.

We also use the pandan for other stuff too. Chop up a bunch of them finely, arrange them in a decorative bowl and leave them in bedroom or living room. The vanilla-like scent brightens the rooms. Mother likes to fill up these little muslin bags with chopped pandan leaves and keeps the bags under car seats. Artificial car fresheners make her sick and she prefers pandan flavors in the car. My friends say our cars smell like dessert all the time!

I used about 20 leaves for the cake. Wash them clean under running water.

Chop up the leaves into smaller bits.

Add about 1/2 cup of water or less into electric blender together with chopped pandan leaves.

Process them till smooth

As fine as possible.

Strain the liquid using strainer or muslin cloth and discard of the rest of the leaves

The green coloring is vibrant and beautiful and fragrant. Of course not as strong and as bright as artificial pandan paste. But it is better this way. If no pandan leaves available, substitute with one tablespoon of pandan paste.

Combine egg yolks, coconut milk and pandan extract in a mixing bowl.

Sift flour, baking powder and salt together and add them into the bowl. Add sugar too.

Add vegetable oil as well.

Whisk them using a wire whisk until all ingredients are mixed well.

In a separate bowl, beat egg whites and sugar together with an electric mixer on high speed till slightly stiff, about 1 – 2 minutes. Fold egg white mixture into egg yolk mixture slowly, in about 3-4 additions.

Do not over-mix.

Pour batter into a 22cm tube pan, not greased.

Bake in preheated oven for about 45 minutes, 160 degree celsius.

If you are using old-style convection oven, use lower heat only. Do not open the oven door during baking. If you want to check the cake for even baking, do so at the last 5 – 10 minutes of baking.

Turn the pan upside down or propped it against a bottle. Leave to cool for about 25-30 minutes. Do not cheat. If the cake hasn’t hold its shape properly before removed from pan, it would deflate.

Use a serrated bread knife to losen the side of pan. Pop the bottom up to release the cake. Serve warm or cold with ice lemon tea. This cake doesn’t keep well. Because of the addition of coconut milk, I think, or so I have always been told. But I am sure it will be finished within hours of baking. So now worries there.


Pandan Chiffon Cake

Makes 1 cake, 22 cm in diameter, 8 cm tall.


Ingredients A
7 egg yolks
75 g coconut milk
4 g pandan paste, or extract of 20 fresh pandan leaves
150 g flour
4 g baking powder
95 g sugar
3 g salt
83 g vegetable oil

Ingredients B
7 egg whites
100 g sugar


Preheat oven to 160 degree celsius.

(A) Combine egg yolks, coconut milk and pandan paste (or extract) in a mixing bowl.
Sift flour, baking powder and salt. Add flour mixture and sugar into the bowl.
Add vegetable oil and whisk everything to combine.
(B) In a separate and clean bowl, beat egg whites and sugar together till it forms soft peak, about 1-2 minutes.

Slowly fold egg white into egg yolk mixture in 3-4 additions.
Pour cake mixture into an ungreased tube pan.
Bake for 45 minutes.
Flip the pan upside down against a bottle on kitchen counter and let cool for 25-30 minutes.
Losen side of cake with a knife.
To be consumed within 1 day.

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27 Responses to “Pandan Chiffon Cake”

  1. 1

    pickyin @ LifeIsGreat — September 22, 2011 @ 2:43 am

    This is exactly how I make my pandan chiffon, with real leaves. The cake keeps for a few days in the fridge. Slightly chilled pandan chiffon is WIN!

    • Jun replied: — September 25th, 2011 @ 8:07 am

      We never keep ours in fridge. We have too many people living in the house. Hungry people.

  2. 2

    zenchef — September 24, 2011 @ 12:03 pm

    Ok, I love pandan and I love chiffon cake so it’s pretty safe to say I would LOVE this! No fresh pandan leaves in this part of the world but I’ve seen frozen, paste and extract. I’ll give it a try.

    • Jun replied: — September 25th, 2011 @ 8:06 am

      If no fresh pandan available, the extract and paste are great substitute :) I love chiffon with coconut milk. I think it adds a new dimension to the cake.

  3. 3

    Wendy Leow — September 24, 2011 @ 9:49 pm

    Just the thing I was looking for!! It now costs sgd10 for one at Bengawan Solo!!

    • Jun replied: — September 25th, 2011 @ 8:04 am

      Wow that’s steep! It is very easy to make one at home, but the dishes I am not that fond of.

  4. 4

    Lyndsey ~The Tiny Skillet~ — September 25, 2011 @ 3:49 pm

    Jun, this looks beautiful. I like the color of it. I don’t have fresh pandan, just some pandan extract and boy is that green! I hope to find some pandan to grow here, I think we are warm enough for it to do well.

    Thanks for your tips on my fresh turmeric. I just noticed a new sprout coming up along side it. Good to know that I can use the leaves now, and harvest the root later.

  5. 5

    adisti — September 26, 2011 @ 12:32 am

    mine is baking right now! so excited! thanks for the recipe :)
    i LOVE everything pandan. luckily it’s pretty easy to find pandan leaves in san francisco

  6. 6

    mycookinghut — September 30, 2011 @ 2:44 pm

    I love panda chiffon cake, goes nice with a cuppa!

  7. 7 — October 6, 2011 @ 1:51 pm

    Wow love the colour of this awesome cake.
    Do send it to flavours of Indonesia event.

  8. 8

    jelly — March 5, 2012 @ 4:18 pm

    hi jun,,,,thanks sooo much for ur pandan chiffon cake recepe,,i m just make now,,it’s turn out volcano,,u can see in my facebook, i take picture in oven,,:))))))))

  9. 9

    Indochine Kitchen » Pandan Chiffon Cake | Pink Laces and Caramel — March 28, 2012 @ 6:30 pm

    [...] Indochine Kitchen » Pandan Chiffon Cake. [...]

  10. 10

    the food center — April 18, 2012 @ 9:22 am

    nice article recipes…

    suitable for family meals…

  11. 11

    vivilia — May 27, 2012 @ 9:02 pm


    i am planning to make this tonite. this looks super delicious. can you advise what kind of flour did u use?

    thanks heaps

  12. 12

    Pandan Girl — July 3, 2012 @ 7:37 am


    I baked the cake at 150 degrees for 40 mins and the surface cracked. Should I use only bottom heat?

    Also after cooling the cake upside down, I noticed that it has shrunk back and the surface has wrinkled a lot. Did I overstir the mixture when adding the egg-whites?


    • Jun replied: — July 14th, 2012 @ 10:07 am

      I think bottom heat should be sufficient for the first 3/4 baking time. I usually turn on the top heat during the last 5 minutes of baking to dry off the top. That should be the culprit of cracking top.
      Over-stirring could also cause the shrinking, as well as over heating. It is annoying when it doesn’t turn out right, doesn’t it? I tried many, many times. I hope these helps!

  13. 13

    barnabas — August 26, 2012 @ 5:07 am

    Hi,i use lower heat for 35 min,only last 10 ten min i use top and bottom
    heat.but it crack though alot less than usual.can i ask which rach u use when
    u use bottom heat?i place mine at bottom rack whole time.yout last step on top heat is it only top or top and bottom heat?

    • Jun replied: — September 26th, 2012 @ 10:58 pm

      I am too lazy to switch rack, so I use bottom rack all the way. When the cake has risen enough, I turn off the lower heat and turn on the top heat to brown the top. This is important, otherwise the top will be too pale and won’t have enough strength to stay up when you get it off the pan.

  14. 14

    Subashini — August 28, 2012 @ 12:22 am

    Hi Jun, I was looking for a Pandan Chiffon Cake. Found yours. Look amazing! Love it! Would like to try. Thank you.

  15. 15

    barnabas — August 28, 2012 @ 6:44 pm

    I only have the top,middle and bottom rack.which rack sld i use?

    • Jun replied: — September 26th, 2012 @ 10:56 pm

      Use the bottom rack. When the cake has risen enough, move it to the top to brown the top of cake.

  16. 16

    gan hh — September 10, 2012 @ 11:10 am

    hi! I just bake a pandan chiffon cake using other recipe, and the cake turns out to be a bit wet, and it shrink quite alot after cooling. now only i found your website. may i know, if i do not use coconut milk, but only the pandan juice, how many ml of the juice should i add? thanks!

    • Jun replied: — September 26th, 2012 @ 10:50 pm

      You can substitute the amount of coconut milk with milk. I am not sure of pandan juice. A trial and error would be best :D But coconut milk is what makes the cake special.

      If it shrinks too much after cooling, it could be because the batter was stirred / messed with too much when mixed. Also it could be because the heat was too high and baking time too short.

  17. 17

    Michelle chan — August 29, 2014 @ 2:06 am

    Hi. Michelle here. May l ask you l only got 26cm chiffon cake pan . Or must 22cm

  18. 18

    Michelle chan — August 29, 2014 @ 2:07 am

    Can l use coconut powder

  19. 19

    Michelle chan — August 29, 2014 @ 2:12 am

    Hi.michelle here. May l ask you can l use 26cm chiffon cake pan.or must 22cm. Can l use coconut powder. I got make pandan cake but the cake no high up why thank you

  20. 20

    Michelle chan — August 31, 2014 @ 4:06 am

    Hi michelle here . I make pandan cake top wet centre cook why

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