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Pandan Chiffon Cake

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Pandan cake or pandan chiffon cake also called sponge cake or chiffon cake, is a very light and fluffy soft textured cake made from vegetable oil, sugar, flour, baking powder and eggs plus flavourings. It is originated from Malaysia and Indonesia. Most well-liked Asian flavour is pandan and coconut and other popular flavours include lemon, orange, vanilla, chocolate and even durian. Pandan chiffon cake is no doubt my childhood favourite dessert and still is up until today. It is very popular in Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia. For my gluten free version of pandan chiffon cake, I am using gluten free self-raising flour (Orgran), eggs, extra virgin olive oil, baking powder, xanthan gum, cream of tartar and concentrated pandan juice from fresh or frozen pandan leaves. The gluten free version works really well because chiffon cake does not rely on gluten to help it rise, similar to angel cakes, it attains its soft and fluffy texture by beating egg whites until stiff and firm peak and folding egg whites into the batter before baking. But unlike angel cake, chiffon cake uses the whole eggs not just egg whites. This gluten free recipe is also  dairy free, nut free and soy free.

Pandan Chiffon Cake

Chiffon cake was originally invented in 1927 by an American named Harry Baker, a Californian based insurance salesman turned baker. He maintained the recipe as top secret for 20 years until he sold the recipe to General Mills Company in 1948. Chiffon cake has gained a cult following since then. Pandan chiffon cake is a Southeast Asian cake that has adopted the home-grown and very much adored pandan flavour into an American chiffon cake, a fusion of Asian and American cake, at the sane time also making the cake lighter and more fluffy. The green colour is due to high amount of chlorophyll found in the leaves juices. Many commercially available pandan chiffon cakes use pandan extract which has colouring, pandan extract and emulsifier, to give it the bright neon green colour. Pandan extract is often referred to as vanilla of the east or simply as Asian vanilla.

Gluten Free Pandan Chiffon Cake

Pandan plant, scientific name Pandanus amaryllifolius is a tropical plant native to Southeast Asia. They are extensively farmed in Asia and tropical parts of Australia and have long, narrow and blade like fan-shaped leaves. Also called screwpine leaves, it is widely used as flavouring in Southeast Asian cooking.  Pandan leaves are used to add flavour to rice, soups, curries, bread, cakes, puddings, desserts, and drinks. Their intense flavour and natural green colour provide foods with natural colouring, giving a green tint to the dishes prepared.

In addition to using pandan leaves in cooking, they also have many health and medicinal benefits. Pandan leaves are rich in essential oils like tannin, glycosides and alkaloids. They are alleged to be an excellent pain reliever for headache, arthritis, ear pain and chest pain. They also ease stomach cramps and spasms. The leaves may reduce effects of toxins and prevent cancer. Eating pandan leaves may also help diminish fever, improve skin, treats leprosy, wounds and smallpox. In addition, pandan leaves may help accelerate convalescence of women during their post-natal period.

Gluten Free Pandan Cake

Disclosure Statement: I am NOT paid by Orgran for this post!

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8 Responses

  1. Gracijela Tan
    | Reply

    The best chiffon I’ve ever made

    Rating: 5 / 5

    • daphnegoh
      | Reply

      Thanks Gracijela for leaving such an fantastic feedback. :)

  2. Wai
    | Reply

    I am new to gf baking and am a lazy baker. I try to bake the way I cook which often doesn’t end well for my bakes! It’s all my fault, I read recipes too quickly, miss steps or get the order wrong. So I was delighted that following a father’s day request for a pandan cake, this cake turned out amazingly and has already been requested again! The recipe is easy to follow and really doesn’t take long.

    My family are pandan cake fanatics so I can say with great confidence that this cake is just as good if not better than it’s gluten cousin.

    Thank you Daphne for sharing your work!

    Rating: 5 / 5

    • daphnegoh
      | Reply

      Hi Wai,

      Thank you so much for your excellent feedback for my pandan chiffon cake recipe!

      I am so glad that your baking result was better than expected and that you and your family really enjoyed the cake.

      I have perfected this recipe after many attempts. :)

  3. Nevi
    | Reply

    Hi how do we tweak this to suit someone on a ketogenic diet as they can only do nut and coconut flour.

    • daphnegoh
      | Reply

      Hi Nevi, I have not tried coconut flour or nut meal for this recipe. Suggest to try finding similar ketogenic recipes for chiffon cakes online.

  4. Contessa
    | Reply

    Thank you for this recipe. My nieces have fond memories of their grandmother buying Pandan Cake for them . I will definitely be baking it for them now. I just have to hunt up those leaves. Now I can finally taste it too with your gf version.

    • daphnegoh
      | Reply

      Thanks Contessa. Hope you and your nieces enjoy this gf recipe. :)

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