Monday, June 20, 2011

Pandan Chiffon Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Hi Everyone,

Beginning of this year, I promised myself I would feature more Indonesian delicacies. Yeah right, my resolution somehow almost disappeared in just a couple of months! The turning point was when I looked under labels, I only posted 3 Indonesian dishes for the entire year. I felt so ashamed!

This time,  I have to make it up, for real! They were so many ideas floating around my head at the moment, and to narrow the options down was a bit challenging. Masterchef Australia once again inspired me to bake this lovely cake, when one of the challenge was to recreate chiffon cake as part of the dish, I was quickly transferred back to my childhood, where I used to have this every time I went to doctor for check ups (really!) or my dad bought it for my breakfast.

This cake is so ravishing and gorgeously scented with pandan which I think can be called as asian vanilla. In Asia, they tend to pulverise the pandan leaves and strain them to extract their lovely juices. Since I am so far away from home, pandan paste is very much the only choice I have got. I have a confession to make,   I was too overwhelmed with this pandan paste that I used not 1, not 2, and yes 3 tsp of pandan essence, yes, another continuation of my lack of obedience. Although, you may get better pandan taste, but I think the green colour might be off putting for some people, but not me as you can see. 

Since this cake has a special place in my culinary heart, I adorned it with a layer of cream cheese frosting and scattered some grated cheddar cheese liberally. I think this additional measure actually elevates the taste of the cake itself. It gives a nice cheesey bite which complements the sweet and pandan-ey taste. I adore it, and my special someone is one of  its biggest fan too. So, try it!

Here is the recipe :

Pandan Chiffon Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Adapted from NCC Indonesia

For egg yolk mixture:
50 g Caster sugar
20 g Full cream milk powder
20 g Corn starch
140 g Plain flour
1 tsp Baking powder
100 ml   vegetable/canole oil (don't use olive oil)
100 ml coconut milk
140 g egg yolks
2 tsp pandan paste (3 tsp if you live dangerously!, buy cap koepoe koepoe)

For egg white mixtures
300 ml Egg whites
150 gr Caster sugar
1/2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Cream of tartar

Cream Cheese Frosting:
100 g Cream cheese
180 g Butter, soften
1/4 cup icing sugar, sifted
2 tbsp water
250 g Processed cheddar cheese, grated

  1. Heat up the oven to 150C
  2. For egg yolk mixture:  Sift and combine plain flour, corn starch, baking powder, and milk powder, set aside
  3. Mix oil, coconut milk and pandan paste, until just combine
  4. In another bowl, mix egg yolk, sugar, add  1/3 flour mixture, and add 1/3 coconut milk mixture, repeat the flour and coconut milk addition, mix until they are combined, set aside.
  5. For egg whites mixture: Combine egg whites, salt, and cream of tartar, beat them at high speed until reach soft peak, and start adding sugar spoonful by spoonful, beat until medium peak.
  6.  Add 1/3 of egg white mixture into the yolk mixture and fold them gently to loosen up the yolk mixture.
  7. Tip the yolk mixture into the remaining egg whites and fold them gently, make sure they are incorporated well.
  8. Pour the batter into 20 cm (measure from the bottom of the pan) angel food cake tin (has to be non-stick and don't brush the tin with butter or oil, see my explanation later).
  9. Let it bake for 45 minutes or until the skewer inserted comes out clean. 
  10. Invert the cake tin straightway for cooling (don't un-mould the cake from the tin yet).
  11. Once cooled, run knife around the edge of the cake, remove side of the tin and run knife under bottom of cake and around center tube to loosen cake and invert cake onto a rack.
  12. For cream cheese frosting: Beat butter until soft, add cream cheese beat until they are smooth.
  13. Add icing sugar, and water, beat until they are incorporated.
  14. Spread 1/3 of the icing on top of the cake, use spatula to spread it evenly, use the remaining frosting for the side of the cake.
  15. Scatter the grated cheese all over the cake.
n.b. Non-stick tin or greasing the tin with butter or oil will cause the cake to collapse while cooling, because this cake rises by sticking on the surface of the tin. Although, after cooling, the cake might stick on the surface of the tin, don't worry! just run knife to carefully un-mould it. Inverting the cake tin during cooling is important in maintaining the lightness of the cake, otherwise the cake might collapse too.

Happy Baking!




  1. I like the deep green color...I did make pandan cake before but never with the cheese topping. Got to try it someday. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Hi... no worries :D I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. :D:D