Pandan chiffon cake or pandan cake also called sponge cake or chiffon cake, is a soft and fluffy textured cake. Made with vegetable oil, sugar, flour, baking powder and eggs plus flavourings. Likewise, pandan chiffon cake 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.
Gluten Free Pandan Chiffon Cake
For my gluten free version of pandan chiffon cake. I am using gluten free self-raising flour, eggs, extra virgin and olive oil. Plus 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. Then folding the egg whites into the batter before baking. But unlike angel cake, chiffon cake uses the whole eggs not just egg whites. This gluten free pandan chiffon cake recipe is also low carb, dairy free, nut free and soy free.
You may also like my other gluten free cake recipes:
- Ma Lai Gao (Chinese Steamed Sponge Cake);
- Chinese Black Sesame Cake; and
- Steamed Sweet Corn Cake (Jagung Kuih).
Brief History of Chiffon Cake
An American named Harry Baker invented the first chiffon cake in 1927. He was 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.
About Pandan Chiffon Cake
Pandan chiffon cake is a Southeast Asian cake. It has adopted the home-grown and very much adored pandan flavour into an American chiffon cake. Resulting in 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. Besides, they often refer to pandan extract as vanilla of the east or simply as Asian vanilla.
What is Pandan Leaves?
Pandan plant, scientific name Pandanus amaryllifolius, is a tropical plant native to Southeast Asia. Besides, they also call pandan leaves as screwpine leaves. Likewise, they extensively farm pandan plant in Asia and tropical parts of Australia. Pandan leaves have long, narrow and blade like fan-shaped leaves. Moreover, they widely use pandan leaves as flavouring in Southeast Asian cooking. They use pandan leaves 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.
Nutritional Values and Health Benefits of Pandan Leaves
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 use pandan leaves as 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.
Pandan Chiffon Cake Gluten Free
Pandan Juice: 250ml
- 20 pandan leaves (fresh or frozen) pandan leaves, wash thoroughly and cut into 1 inch lengthwise
- 350 ml water
For separating the eggs:
- It is easier to separate the eggs when cold and set aside on bench top for the eggs to warm up to room temperature. Use an egg separator for easier separation as the egg whites must not have any egg yolks in them.
For the pandan juice:
- Add the cut pandan leaves and water to a NutriBullet or food processor, blend until you get a thick puree paste. Strain through a fine sieve, using a tablespoon to press on the pandan paste to release more juice. You need 250ml of pandan juice.
For the cake mixture:
- Sift and combine all the dry ingredients and mix well in a large mixing bowl.
- In another large mixing bowl, combine all the wet ingredients and pandan juice, whisk and mix well. Then add in the mixed dry ingredients in step 3 gradually and whisk until you get a thick and smooth paste.
For the meringue:
- Mix together the sugar and the corn starch in a small bowl.
- In a large mixing bowl of an electric stand mixer, add in all the egg whites, cream of tartar and add half the sugar and corn starch and whisk for 5 minutes.
- Then add in the remaining sugar and corn starch, whisk and combine until you get a stiff and firm peak form. You can also use a hand mixer preferably with a powerful motor on high speed.
For combining the cake mixture and the meringue:
- Gently fold 1/3 of the meringue into the cake mixture, then add the remaining meringue 1/4 at a time, fold lightly until all the egg whites are combined completely, with no dark green or white stripes remaining. Taking care not to deflate the batter. If not, the cake will not rise properly.
For baking the chiffon cake:
- Position the oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the fan-forced oven to 160C or 325F.
- Pour the batter into a dry and ungreased angel cake pan, rotating the cake pan as you pour and use a spatula to lightly even out the batter. Then tap the cake pan on the benchtop counter a few times to even the batter and to remove large bubbles. It is important that you do not grease the angel cake pan, otherwise the cake will not rise well.
- Bake in the preheated oven for around 55 minutes to 1 hour. Do not open the oven door to check until the cake has been cooking for 55 minutes time, otherwise the cake will sink.
- Remove from oven and immediately invert the cake pan either onto legs or an unopened wine bottle. Allow cake to cool completely in the cake pan upside down. Otherwise the cake will sink.
To remove and serve the cake:
- Once the cake has cooled down completely, gently run an icing spatula or spreader or a sharp knife around the sides of the cake and around the tube. Using the center tube, pull the cake out of the pan. Then using the icing spatula or spreader or a sharp knife cut around the bottom of the cake to remove it out of the tube pan. Turn cake upside down onto a serving plate, dust with some gluten free icing mixture, cut and serve.