Pandan Chiffon Cake

40 comments All Recipes, Cake Recipes, Snacks & Treats
An easy-to-follow recipe for pandan chiffon cake which makes a rich, moist, just perfectly sweet chiffon that’s cotton-soft light and fluffy, and wonderful aromatic!

Pandan_Chiffon_Cake_3

You’ve just got your chiffon cake batter into the oven. You’ve followed every measurement and instruction to a ‘T’, and now with anticipated breath, you’re watching the cake do it’s magic.

It’s starting to rise beautifully – you’re getting excited and feeling your confidence soar. As the minutes and seconds tick by (and they will feel like the longest minutes ever!), the cake rises ever so steadily and gracefully, as it should. By the halfway mark, the top starts to brown lightly, the first signs of fissures appear, and you get your first peek into that gorgeous, sponge-like texture. Ooooh…


You’re clapping your hands gleefully. Everything is going perfectly. The cake continues its unabated, dome-shaped rise. Then, just as suddenly, it stops rising, as it also should. But no, wait – oh nooo! It’s starting to deflate! ‘Wait!’, you find yourself shrieking, except there’s no one around to hear your frightful panic. It’s too soon! That shouldn’t be happening – there’s still time on the clock. No, no, no! What’s happening?

Your heart drops with such a thump, you think you actually hear a stone drop on your kitchen floor. Disappointment and frustration sets in as you see the downward spiral unfolding in your oven. The cake sinks further into a plateau. And you feel yourself sinking right with it.



Pandan_Chiffon_Cake_4Pandan_Chiffon_Cake_5

You really are not alone if this has been happening with your attempts to make the perfect chiffon cake. I have been through every imaginable misadventure with pandan chiffon cakes. I’ve had chiffon cakes turn out beautifully, but the perfect pandan chiffon eluded me for, well … too long. To me, this was the queen of chiffon cakes. My queen. And I finally became Empress Dowager.

I’ve tested too many pandan chiffon cake recipes to count and spent many eventful hours ‘de-bugging’ every aspect of baking – anything and everything from ingredient combinations and proportions, baking techniques, baking temperatures, right down to baking times – you name it, I’ve tried it all! And I’m happy (and hugely relieved!) to tell you that it’s all paid off. I am now able to make the perfect pandan chiffon cake that is velvety smooth, moist and just perfectly sweet, with that cotton soft lightness and fluff.


In the end, there was no secret or mystery to it – it was just about finding a winning recipe (many thanks to Prima Flour) and getting all the basics right – ensuring that the all important meringue (whipped egg white and sugar mixture) is whipped to the perfect stage of stiffness is critical. Just as important, the meringue needs to be carefully introduced into the egg and flour batter by folding gently until just combined, so as to retain as much of the trapped air bubbles as possible. And finally, I have found that baking at a lower than expected temperature between 160 to 165 deg C (320 to 325 deg F), and on the lowest rack in the oven, is the most optimal. Now, you can make that perfect pandan chiffon cake too!

Pandan_Chiffon_Cake_9Pandan_Chiffon_Cake_7Pandan_Chiffon_Cake_11

4.44 from 23 votes
Print Recipe

Pandan Chiffon Cake

An easy-to-follow recipe for pandan chiffon cake which makes a rich, moist, just perfectly sweet chiffon that's cotton-soft light and fluffy, and wonderful aromatic!
Celia Lim
Course: Breakfast, Cakes, Dessert, Snack, Snacks and Treats, Tea
Cuisine: Asian, Chinese
Servings :1 (One) 20-cm chiffon cake
Prep Time: 30 mins
Cook Time: 40 mins
Total Time: 1 hr 10 mins
Pin This Recipe Tried this? Leave a comment

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 100 g top flour or cake flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp pandan juice* (if unavailable, read notes below)
  • 100 ml coconut milk
  • 50 ml canola oil or safflower oil
  • 1/4 tsp pandan paste
  • 5 egg whites
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 90 - 100 g caster sugar

To make pandan juice:

  • 10 pandanus or screwpine leaves
  • 6 tbsp water

INSTRUCTIONS

  • To extract pandan juice, wash the leaves thoroughly to remove all grit and sand. Gather the leaves together into a tight bunch, and chop roughly into 5 mm-thin sections. Place the chopped leaves into a food blender or food processor, add the water, and blitz into as fine a pulp as possible. Press the pulp with the back of a metal spoon through a fine metal sieve to obtain the juice. Use the amount required.
  • Preheat oven to 165 deg C.
  • In a clean bowl or jug, mix together the wet ingredients as follows: canola oil (or safflower oil), coconut milk, pandan juice and pandan paste. Stir thoroughly to combine well.
  • In an electric mixer, using the whisk attachment, whisk egg yolks with half the sugar, on high speed (speed 4 on my Kitchen Aid mixer) till light and fluffy. Lower speed to medium, and add the salt. Then slowly pour in the mixture from step (3) above. Whisk until just combined.
  • Sift flour and baking powder together into the mixture. Fold in the flour using a hand whisk or spatula. If using the mixer, mix on low speed just long enough for most of the flour to blend into the mixture. Then remove the bowl from the mixer, and finish folding manually, scraping all flour off the sides of the bowl, and folding into the mixture until smooth. This will help prevent over-folding or over-mixing. Transfer to a clean deep bowl (if you only have one mixer bowl that comes with your electric mixer) and set aside. Wash the whisk attachment and mixer bowl, and dry thoroughly. Important: The whisk and bowl must be absolutely dry and grease-free to whisk the meringue.
  • Place egg whites into the cleaned mixer bowl. Using the whisk attachment, beat egg whites at high speed (speed 4 to 5 on my Kitchen Aid). When the egg whites just begin to foam, add the cream of tartar while whisking. A few seconds later, add the remaining sugar in a slow and steady stream. Continue to whisk egg whites until stiff peak stage. Important: Do not over-beat the egg whites, otherwise the cake will turn out dry.
  • Add 1/3 beaten egg white to the yolk mixture and fold using a spatula. Gently fold in the next 1/3, and then the last remaining 1/3 of beaten egg whites, ensuring that the egg whites are well incorporated at each stage of folding. Be careful not to overfold.
  • Gently tap the bowl on the counter top to eliminate air pockets. Pour the batter into an ungreased 20 cm chiffon tube pan and gently run a thin spatula in an 'S' motion throughout the batter as air pockets may be trapped while pouring batter into the pan. Ensure that the batter reaches the same height all around the pan, and smooth the surface evenly.
  • Bake at the lowest rack in the oven for 40 to 45 mins or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. When done, remove from the oven and immediately invert the tube pan onto a cake rack to cool for at least 30 minutes before loosening the cake. Note: It is perfectly normal for the surface of the batter to crack during baking; however, if it starts to crack before the first 15 mins of baking has passed, it may indicate that the oven temp is too high.
  • To loosen the cake, turn it up again so that the surface of the cake is now facing up. Insert a flat blade in between the cake and pan and run the blade around the circumference of the pan, pressing against the pan as much as possible. Then invert the pan again so that the bottom of the pan is now facing up. Gently tap or push the pan's base to loosen the cake from the sides of the pan. Then run the blade between the base and the bottom of the cake to loosen it from the base of the pan.

NOTES

#1. The unused pandan juice can be stored in an airtight container and will keep well for up to 5 days, if stored in a refrigerator. If pandan juice is unavailable, this imgredient may be omitted. Alternatively, you may use 3/8 tsp of pandan paste, in place of 1/4 tsp pandan paste, in the recipe.
Did you make this? Share it on Instagram!I'd love to see! Don't forget to mention @foodelicacy or tag #foodelicacy so we can drool with you!

40 Comments

  1. Hi Celia,

    Thanks for the flavourful recipe ! I love the taste but I was not successful even after 2 attempts. Both occassion, the cake raised after baking. The first time, I did not flip over and it shrunk. Second time, I inverted the cake tin immediately after taking out from the oven. The whole cake fall off after like 5 minutes. What could have gone wrong? Over whisking of egg white or the folding was not complete and thorough?

  2. Hi Celia,

    I have forgotten to mention that I used a 23cm cake tin with your recipe for 100g flour. Could the tin be oversize?

  3. Hi Catherine, it sounds like the egg whites might have been over-whipped if the cake rose and then sank after cooling, and also if texture turned out dry. Try whipping to stiff peak stage – this is when you lift the whisk and turn it upside down, the egg whites on the whisk should hold its shape straight up, and maybe droop just a little at the tip. Also, another readon that the cake could sink is if the egg whites were not folded evenly or well enough into the batter. Hope you keep trying – chiffon cakes are a little tricky and takes practise to get it right, but you will get there!??

  4. my pandan cake rises but it sink after over turn to cool. texture dry. surprisingly top did not crack.

  5. Hi Celia, aw..bummer, sorry to hear that?. It’s hard to say without seeing it first hand. When you say it didn’t rise straight, did you mean it was lopsided? It could be that the batter wasn’t made level all around in the pan before baking. If it was level, then the next issue could be that it might not have been baked long enough. You also need to invert the cake pan immediately when it’s done baking and out of the oven, and let it cool completely inverted. If you did all that, then the usual issues with chiffon cafe could likely be that the egg whites were not beaten sufficiently to just stiff peaks, or over folding the batter which could cause the cake to lose volume and become denser. It’ll help a lot if you could tell me what the texture was like.

  6. I tried your recipe and it didn’t turned out right, my chiffon cake, doesn’t look good. It’s not raise straight. What you think, cause of this? Please help.

  7. You’re most welcome, Fenni! I wish you success! Do feel free to ask me anything, I’m happy to help!

  8. Thanks for your prompt reply. This is certainly helpful. Happy baking! =D

  9. Hi Fennie, sounds like you’ve got a 24-cm chiffon tin – it’s the wider base of the chiffon tin, which also becomes the base or bottom of your cake when turned over, that’s considered as the size of the chiffon tin. This is usually the standard size of chiffon tins widely available in Singapore, so if you’re baking a chiffon cake that calls for a 20-cm chiffon tin, I usually use 1.5 times the amount of ingredients, to make enough cake batter for a 24-cm tin. Hope this helps you! Happy baking, Fennie!

  10. Hi Celia. I got a newbie question. I have a chiffon tin: 20cm diameter for the shorter side (top part of the cake) and 24cm diameter for the longer side (bottom part of the cake). Therefore, my question would be, is this a 20 cm or 24 cm tin? I cannot seem to find the answer online. =( Thanks.

  11. Your welcome, Yvonne! Please feel free to ask me anything. Thank you!

  12. Thank you so much celia!

  13. Hi Yvonne,
    You could try using 1.5 times the portions stated. For example, in place of 100 gm top flour, use 150 gm, in place of 4 eggs, use 6 eggs, and so on. That should make enough batter for a 23-cm chiffon cake tin. If you do end up with some extra batter, what I usually do is bake the rest in paper muffin cups, but do these after you have finished baking the larger chiffon. Hope it works out for you! Do let me know how it turns out. Happy baking!

  14. Hi, may i know how To adjust the ingredients’ mEasurements for a 23-cm chiFfon tin?

  15. Hi, may i know how to adjust the ingredients measurement for a 23cm chiffon tin? Sorry for all cAps cos the comment box only allow all caps..

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Subscribe