Vegan Pandan Coconut Cupcakes

These Vegan Pandan Coconut Cupcakes are simple to make and delicious treats. Likewise, these cupcakes are remake from a whole cake which often takes much longer to bake in the oven. While, for my gluten free fusion vegan pandan coconut cupcakes recipe. I am using pandan (screwpine) leaves, coconut milk and desiccated coconut as the main flavours. Resultin in these cupcakes having an intense aroma. This recipe is also dairy free, egg free, soy free and nut free.

You may also like my other gluten free cakes recipes:

Vegan Pandan Coconut Cupcakes Gluten Free

History of Cupcakes

Americans invented cupcake as a small cake in the 19th century to serve only one person. Likewise, a ground breaking creative approach due to the amount of baking time saved. Although, it is unclear how they created cupcakes. But they gave credit to “light cake baked in a small cup” in 1796. In a cook book named American Cookery by Amelia Simmons. Subsequently, they gave recognition to the term cupcake in the Receipts cookbook by Eliza Leslie in 1828.

While bakers adapted the term cupcake either from cakes baked in cups. Or according to ingredients used by bakers to make cupcake calculated by cups. In the early creation of cupcakes, they also known cupcakes as “number” (1234) cakes. Because of the number of ingredients quantified to make them. In the 20th century, bakers invented muffin tins and these tins became very popular for making cupcakes.

In majority, bakers mainly frost cupcakes with either chocolate or vanilla frostings. Which still remain as one of the most popular and typical frostings up until today. Moreover, there are now endless number of variations in colour and flavours. Not to mention the long lists of cake shops, recipe books, magazines, and blogs. Plus cafes and restaurants devoted solely to cupcakes alone. Cupcakes indeed have a pop culture craze in today’s gastronomic world. Lastly, my vegan pandan coconut cupcakes is one of the many adaptation to local tastebuds by Malaysian bakers.

Vegan Pandan Coconut Cupcakes Gluten Free

What Are Pandan Leaves?

Pandan or screwpine leaves or Pandanus (Pandanus amaryllifolius) are lengthy, thin and blade-like leaves. Likewise, they are bright green in colour and pointed at the ends. In addition, pandan leaves are native to South Asia and Southeast Asia. Moreover, they often referred to pandan as “Asian vanilla” or “Vanilla of the East”. Many people extensively use pandan leaves in both sweet and savoury Southeast Asian cooking. Because pandan leaves are extremely adaptable in culinary uses, we can use them in many recipes. Including wrapping meats like chicken, fish, prawns, calamari and red meat. Before steaming, deep frying, barbecuing, grilling or roasting.

In addition, they use pandan leaves to add flavour to coconut milk before cooking rice, stews, soups or curries. Furthermore, they use pandan leaves in many popular desserts for intense flavour. Ranging from cakes, biscuits, breads, drinks, ice cream, popsicles to agar agar, coconut jams and sweet red bean soup. Furthermore, pandan leaves add unique and intense, sweet flora like fragrance to desserts and dishes.

Vegan Pandan Coconut Cupcakes Gluten Free

Nutritional Values and Health Benefits of Pandan Leaves

Pandan leaves are abundant in plant compound and essential nutrients. Similarly, they are namely glycosides, alkaloids and tannins. Although many medical practitioners use these plant compounds in traditional medicines as well.

The many health benefits of pandan leaves may include:

  • Provide pain relief;
  • Help reduce fever;
  • Anti-inflammatory for arthritis;
  • Promote healthy skin;
  • Decrease stomach cramps;
  • Support wound healing; a
  • Aid recovery for women after child birth;
  • Heal leprosy and small pox;  
  • Reinforce strong gums; and
  • Used as laxative for children.
Vegan Pandan Coconut Cupcakes Gluten Free
Vegan Pandan Coconut Cupcakes Gluten Free
Print Recipe
5 from 8 votes

Vegan Pandan Coconut Cupcakes

Pandan (screwpine) leaves and coconut are the main flavours these cupcakes with pandan coconut Buttercream Frosting, giving them an intense aroma.
Prep Time1 hour
Cook Time25 minutes
Total Time1 hour 25 minutes
Course: Breakfast, Cupcake, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: Asian Desserts, Malaysian
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan
Keyword: Coconut, Dairy Free, Egg Free, Low Carb, Low Carb Baking, Nut Free, Pandan, Soy Free, Vegan
Servings: 20 cupcakes
Calories: 330.3kcal
Author: Daphne Goh


For the Cupcakes:

    Dry Ingredients:

    Wet Ingredients:

    For the Pandan Juice [1½ cup (375ml) plus 2 tablespoons]

    • 20 fresh or frozen pandan leaves wash thoroughly and cut into roughly 2cm lengthwise
    • 600 ml water

    For the Pandan Coconut Buttercream Frosting:

    For the Garnish:


    For the pandan juice:

    • Add the cut pandan leaves and water to a NutriBullet or food processor, process 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 375ml (1½ cups) of pandan juice plus 2 tablespoons for frostings.

    For the frosting:

    • Place cold vegan butter in a large mixing bowl and using an electric hand mixer, beat for 2 minutes. Gradually add all the icing sugar and gluten free corn starch and beat until light and fluffy.
    • Then add in the coconut milk and pandan juice, beat for another 2 minutes or until well combined. Chill in refrigerator until ready to use.

    For the cupcakes batter:

    • Mix all the wet ingredients together in a large mixing bowl, whisk by hand until combined.
    • Sift all the dry ingredients except desiccated coconut into another large mixing bowl, whisk by hand and combine well. Then add in the desiccated coconut, whisk and combine. Make a well in the centre of the mixing bowl.
    • Gradually pour the wet ingredients mixture prepare in step 1 into the well and use a spatula to mix briefly. Then whisk by hand and combine well.

    For cooking the cupcakes:

    • Pre-heat fan-forced oven to 180C or 350F.
    • Grease all the muffin pans with some vegan butter.
    • Spoon and fill each muffin pan with some batter, until about ¾ full for each pan.
    • Use a small spoon to level the top of the muffin batter.
    • Bake the muffins for 25 minutes or until golden brown and tooth pick comes out clean.
    • Cool in muffin pan for 5 minutes, then remove and place the cooked muffins on a cooling rack.

    For frosting the cupcakes:

    • Let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting.
    • Prepare piping bag fitted with star piping tip and frost the cupcakes.
    • Garnish with some desiccated coconut and shredded coconut on the frostings and serve.

    Recommended Products


    Fresh or frozen pandan leaves can be purchased from Asian groceries stores.
    Nutrition Facts
    Vegan Pandan Coconut Cupcakes
    Serving Size
    1 cupcake
    Amount per Serving
    % Daily Value*
    Saturated Fat
    Trans Fat
    Polyunsaturated Fat
    Monounsaturated Fat
    Vitamin A
    Vitamin C
    * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
    Did you make this recipe?Tag me on Instagram @healthygfasian or tag #healthygfasian!

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    4 thoughts on “Vegan Pandan Coconut Cupcakes”

    1. I tried pandan when I was visiting London some time ago and I really loved it. It’s something I’d like to experiment with more. These cupcakes sound great!


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