Diana's Desserts - www.dianasdesserts.com

Pandan Chiffon Cake

Servings: Makes one (9 or 10-inch) chiffon cake
What is Pandan?

The Pandan Leaf comes from the Screwpine tree, which can be found in Madagascar, Southeast Asia, the Pacific Islands including Hawaii, and the tropical areas of Australia. The fragrant leaf is tied in a knot and used to flavor dessert and cakes. In cooking, the leaf is used in making grass green Pandan cake, which is similar to the American sponge cake. Pandan Leaf is also used in rice and making different type of curries.

Pandan is also known as Pandan Leaf, Pandanus, Daun Pandan, Umbrella Tree, Hala Tree, or Screwpine

Here is my recipe for Pandan Chiffon Cake. I hope you enjoy it.

Important Note about Cake Flour and Self-Rising Flour:
If using cake flour for this cake (not self-rising cake flour), add the baking powder and salt to the flour. If using self-rising flour for this cake, DO NOT add the baking powder or salt to the flour as self-rising flour already contains baking powder and salt in it.

8 eggs, separated
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup liquid vegetable oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 cup coconut milk
1 tbsp. ovalette sponge cake stablizer* (see note below) optional
1/4 tsp. pandan extract* (see note below)
1/4 tsp. pandan paste* (see note below) (used for flavoring and color) optional
1/4 tsp. green food coloring (use if you don't have pandan paste) optional
1 cup self-rising flour OR 1 cup cake flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder (add ONLY if using cake flour)
1/2 tsp. salt (add ONLY if using cake flour)
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar

Garnish (optional)
Confectioners' sugar
Whipped cream
Fresh fruit

1). Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).

2). In a small bowl, combine coconut milk , pandan extract and ovalette (using ovalette is optional). Add the 1/4 tsp. of pandan paste (or 1/4 tsp. green food coloring) to mixture if using (using the pandan paste or green food coloring is optional). Set aside.

3). With an electric mixer OR by hand, beat the egg yolks, sugar, vegetable oil and vanilla until well combined. Beat in coconut milk/pandan extract mixture.

4). Combine flour, baking powder and salt (If using cake flour).

*Note: Do not add baking powder or salt if you are using self-rising flour as self-rising flour already has baking powder and salt in it.

Sift the self-rising flour (or cake flour, baking powder and salt mixture, if using) three times into a large bowl. Make a well in the center of sifted dry ingredients, and whisk egg mixture into the flour mixture.

5). With an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until frothy. Add the cream of tartar and beat until firm peaks form. Fold the beaten egg whites into the flour/egg yolk mixture in two batches using a balloon whisk or rubber spatula.

6). Gently pour the batter into a 9 or 10-inch (23-25 cm) ungreased tube or angel food cake pan. With a spatula, spread batter to even out top. Bake in preheated 350 degrees F (180 C) oven for 45 minutes or until the cake feels spongy to the touch.

7). Remove cake from oven, and carefully invert the pan (upside down) onto a cooling rack. Do not remove cake from pan until completely cooled. Once cake has cooled, run a spatula around the sides and center tube of the pan to release the cake. When you are ready to slice the cake, use a thin sharp knife with serrated blade, and cut with a "sawing" action opposed to slicing through the cake.

8). If desired, dust top of cake with confectioners' sugar, and serve with whipped cream and fresh fruit.

9). Store cake at room temperature (covered with foil or plastic wrap, or cover with a glass cake dome) for up to 3 days.

Makes one (9 or 10-inch) chiffon cake.

Recipe revised and re-written by Diana Baker Woodall on April 8, 2004


Pandan Extract (also called Pandan Essence or Flavoring) and Pandan Paste may be found at Asian food stores or online at: http://www.zestyfoods.com. These items are listed under their Sweets and Chips section of their website. Coconut Milk can be purchased online at: http://www.asianwok.com, and Pandan Leaves Extract (juice) in a 14 ounce can (400 mL) may also be purchased from AsianWok.com.

Ovalette (for stablizing chiffon cake or other sponge type cakes) is difficult to find here in the USA. It is not necessary to use ovalette in this recipe for Pandan Chiffon Cake. You may leave it out if you can't find it. It won't make a big difference.

Photograph taken by Diana Baker Woodall© 2003

Source: DianasDesserts.com
Date: January 2, 2003-Revised on April 8, 2004