"Kusina" = Kitchen; "Manang" = older sister

A Filipina's unabashed chronicle of her adaptations in the American kitchen. Includes step-by-step photos on how to make pan de sal, ensaymada, pan de coco, siopao, hopia, pandelimon, pianono, atsara, crema de fruta,etc., and if you are lucky, you will find videos too!

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Monday, October 12, 2009

Pandan Chiffon Cake

Pandan Cake
Before I start, may I please request for one of my readers to please send me some more of pandan paste (as in the slide show below) or the canned pandan extract (that I used in buco pandan salad)? I would gladly pay for them (just could not find them here). My previous supply was sent by a co-blogger, stel of babyrambutan.net, and my present pandan and buco-pandan extracts were sent to me by Deb from California. Thanks to them, but I do not feel like requesting from them again. Dyahe....

The pandan chiffon cake recipe I have below is courtesy of my online friend Helen in Australia. I made it for the first time last Friday to bring to my friend Fe's birthday celebration last Saturday.

Helen cuts the sugar and coconut milk in half per her preference. I used the exact amounts stated in the procedure and still found the cake a bit less sweet than I had anticipated, although the sweet frosting made up for it. Fe, however, is like Helen in that she always cuts her sugars in half whenever she makes cakes, rolls, or kakanin. It is a matter of preference, so feel free to experiment with yours.

The pandan butter-coco-cream frosting was something I made up basing on some online recipes I found.

(The chocolate writing on the frosting was melted semi-sweet morsels that I piped out to write onto a parchment paper then cooled. Too bad it broke when I was trying to stand it up on the cake, so we just laid it down.)

Just this afternoon, Fe called me to ask whether I had posted the recipe yet, because she only had a slice of our leftover (We had two cakes, a white cake from my friend Ana, and this one, so Fe ended up with leftover of both. She had half of pandan cake left that Saturday). Then her son had finished the rest of the leftover, so now she wants to bake one.

Thanks, Helen, for this delightful pandan chiffon cake recipe!

2 cups cake flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 cup sugar or to taste
1/3 cup oil
6 egg yolks
1 cup coconut milk
1 tsp pandan extract (I used paste)

6 egg whites
1 tsp lemon (or vinegar)
1/2 cup sugar

-Pandan Butter-Coco-Cream Frosting-
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 tsp buco pandan extract (McCormick)
2-4 cups confectioner's sugar (depends on how sweet you want it)

Sift dry ingredients together (up to 3 times, ideally). Mix well.
Make a well at the center then add oil, yolks, coconut milk and pandan paste. Mix well.
Beat egg whites with vinegar until soft peak forms. Add sugar slowly while beating, beat until stiff but still glossy (do not overbeat).
Add a little of the meringue to batter mixture and blend well, before slowly folding in the rest of the batter into the beaten whites.
Pour into an UNGREASED bundt pan or angel food cake pan (no grease apparently helps keep the volume fluffed up by helping the cake cling onto the walls).
Bake at 350 deg F for 45-50 minutes.
After baking, invert onto a wire rack WITHOUT REMOVING THE PAN. Let the cake COOL COMPLETELY before easing it out of the pan. You may use spatula to let the cake loose. (Again, these apparently help keep the chiffon cottony fluffy.)

Note: The emphasis I made in the procedures were tips I read about AFTER I made the cake. My chiffon cake was quite dense but still of satiny texture, and maybe I should have read more on those tips to maximize its volume and make it lighter.

For the icing, heat up the coconut milk on medium, stirring constantly until creamy. Let cool.
Cream the softened butter with 2 cups confectioner's sugar and pandan flavor, and add the coconut milk gradually. Taste if you like the sweetness already. If not, add some more sugar to taste. If it becomes to thick, you can thin to your desired spreading consistency by adding a little (about 1 tbsp increments) of regular milk or cream (if you have run out of heated coconut milk).

Let cake cool completely before spreading the pandan icing/frosting.


  1. mali ung paggawa ng merigue mo dapat cream of tartar...pwede naman ang lemon wag ang vinegar!!much better kung cream of tartar na lang...

    1. haler! to Anonymous, I am also an experienced baker at home. cream of tartar can be substituted with LEMON, VINEGAR and also CORNSTARCH. subukan mo muna gumamit ng vinegar for the meringue bago ka magCOMMENT. "Dont judge a book by its cover" get it?.. nakakahiya po itong comment mo na mali si Manang.

      To Manang, just be happy and never look at negative comments. Just enjoy what you have. Good luck on your blogsite, many are learning more from your site. GOD bless,dear Manang. from Philippines (sorry po I dont have an account so..)

    2. Thanks, Anonymous! Don't worry...sometimes when I do get such annoying comments, I let my steam off muna then I start laughing at them. :)

  2. HI Anonymous,
    I have tried this recipe 3 times and it always came out perfect, and the tasters liked it very well. I have no reason to tell "mali ka" to my friend who generously shared her recipe with me. Have you actually tried this recipe that you came up with that conclusion?
    Cream of tartar (which contains tartaric acid) can be substituted with vinegar (acetic acid in chemistry lingo). Both are weak acids that react with the weak bases (alkaline) in the mixture that is activated when in contact with liquids (forming a salt solution) and further activated at times with the application of heat (by baking) that adds to the volume. {I hate talking in scientific terms because lecturing is not the purpose of this foodblog, but I hope you get it].
    You probably will learn more if your read this link.
    My motto has been "There is no one right way to live." As a corollary to that, there is no one right way to do things. If all people think like you do, we probably would not have ideas for substitutions. If I think like you, and not thinking outside of the box, I would not have developed techniques here that many readers find useful and recipes that many readers highly recommend to their friends and relatives.
    So if I were you, unless you are an expert in the field where you are trying to make a point, make sure you understand and know what you are talking about. If not, your ignorance just shines...you don't make a good impression, especially that you stated your opinion so strongly as if it were a fact. Grow up and do research before you leave a comment. And yeah, teach yourself some basic (high school) chemistry. You know, like NaOH + HCl = NaCl + H2O...Do you recognize these chemical symbols?

  3. Hi Manang,

    I go with what you said.
    This blog is open to everyone to share ideas and to help those who are good and struggling with baking and cooking as well. And I thank you for spending time in doing that.
    Ms Mali Ka, baka ikaw ang mali, go get yourself a degree on these fields before you leave such comment.

  4. hello po... love your recipes... pwde po mag ask kung saan po ba nabibili ang pandan paste? meron akong nakita na pandan extract sa regular grocery store namin pro not sure sa paste...

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. Hello! Thank you so much for this recipe! I have made this several times & I always feel at home again! I do have one question...I used pandan paste also & I was wondering, if I want to change the flavor to almond, would I have to replace the pandan paste with almond paste or can I just use almond extract in place of pandan paste? Everytime I've made this, it came out PERFECT! So I'm afraid that changing something in the equation from a paste to a liquid might actually change its perfect-ness! (Totally failed high school chemistry!) But I'm really interested in the scientific side of baking! :o) Thanks again!

  7. Hazel,sorry for my late reply. My pandan paste were sent to me by online friends. I don't know where to find it.

  8. Hi eavey, thanks for your super-inspiring comment! For the pandan paste, you can sub almond extract. Pandan paste is just some concentrate and highly-colored green pandan extract. Almond paste, on the other hand, seems to me to be ground almond nuts that released oil, so it is not parallel to the pandan paste in flavor strength. I suggest you use almond extract itself, which is quite strong too. :)

  9. Hello Manang..the best ka talaga, na try ko tong recipe mo for the _th times already..the best ang recipe mo..THANK YOU TALAGA..the best ang recipe mo..mali talaga yung nag comment na di puede yung vinegar..GOD BLESS you and your Family <3

  10. pandan paste nabili ko sa Asian store for $.99 cents lang..kagaya mong ginamit mo manang..

  11. manang, ask lang ako, anong klasing vinegar..puede po ba yun apple cider vinegar? thank po

  12. Perfect pandan chiffon recipe. i just baked it now. turned out really well. Some adjustments: I reduced BP to 2 tsp (bec I don't like the aftertaste), and reduced sugar in batter to 3/4 C plus 1 Tbsp (bec I dont like it too sweet). Tnx Manang.

  13. hi manang,can i use the white vinegar?and what kind of sugar to use for the batter,because i search for other pandan recipe and they all say it should be caster sugar?can i just use regular sugar or icing sugar instead?thanks,planning to try this one on xmas!,godbless

  14. Hi Anonymous, yes you can use white vinegar (I used cider vinegar here). I also used the regular sugar. Merry Christmas!

  15. Hello Manang, in my place where I live now here in Europe, I cannot find cream of tartar, and I used cider vinegar and it turned out perfect.

    1. HI Anonymous, Thanks for sharing your experience. One more testimonial that "Ms. Mali Ka" could learn from. :)

  16. If you cannot find Pandan paste, you can use the fresh or frozen leaves you find at Asian stores(in the Frozen aisle for frozen kind typically from the Thai products section). Thaw(if frozen) and Wash the leaves thoroughly with cold water. Use 6-10 leaves depends how strong the Pandan flavor you wish. Chop the leaves and add to the 1 cup coconut milk using for the cake. Process in a blender then sieve(using a fine strainer, separate any lumps). Press with spoon to extract more flavor from the strained pandan. Viola, you have pandan flavored milk. I prefer this process because i know i am getting the most out of the Pandan and the flavor seems to be more authentic. This yields a lighter green cake but no artificial color whatsoever.

  17. hi..i really love your recipes, i just want to know if pwede ko po ba gamitin ung round pan lang?kasi po wala pa akong bundt pan or angel food cake pan eh, gusto ko po kasi i-try recipe mo this coming week.

  18. hello manang, this is really perfect...i just baked it... my kids said it's very delicious...thank you for sharing your recipe, you are the best...before, i don't know how to bake but i found you manang, i tried all your techniques, finally i made it...thank you again for sharing your ideas & secrets in baking...it is very useful to me. keep up manang & God bless us all.

    1. Thanks, Marissa. It is so motivating to hear that... :)


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