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Pandan cake

Pandan cake
Sifon pandan.JPG
Pandan Cake.jpg
Top: Indonesian pandan cake
Bottom: Filipino buko pandan cake with the typical frosting of cream and a filling of macapuno strips
Alternative namesPandan chiffon
Place of originIndonesia
Region or stateSoutheast Asia
Main ingredientsJuice of pandan leaves or Pandanus extract, flour, eggs, sugar, butter or margarine

Pandan cake is a light, fluffy, green-colored sponge cake[1] ("kue"; of Indonesian origin) flavored with the juices of Pandanus amaryllifolius leaves.[2][3] It is also known as pandan chiffon. The cake is popular in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Hong Kong, China, and also the Netherlands, especially among the Indo community, due to its historical colonial ties with Indonesia.[4][5][6][7]


The cake shares common ingredients with other cakes, which includes flour, eggs, butter or margarine, and sugar. However, the distinct ingredient is the use of pandan leaf, which give the cake its distinct green coloration. The cakes are light green in tone[8] due to the chlorophyll in the leaf juice. It sometimes contains green food coloring to further enhance its coloration. The cakes are not always made with the leaf juice, as they can be flavored with Pandanus extract, in which case coloring is only added if a green coloration is desired.[9]

In the Philippines, pandan cakes are rarely made with pandan alone, but are made as a buko pandan cake (or coconut pandan cake), from "buko pandan", a traditional pairing of young coconut (buko) and pandan flavors used in various desserts. Philippine pandan cakes generally have strips of coconut meat and/or macapuno as toppings or fillings as a result.[10][11][12] In contrast, pandan cakes in neighboring countries are traditionally served plain.[13]

History and origin

The exact origin of the cake is unclear. In Southeast Asia, cake-making techniques were brought into the region through European colonization. In the past, Indonesia was a Dutch colony and the Philippines a Spanish colony, while Malaysia and Singapore were British possessions. Naturally, the European colonists brought their cuisine along with them, with the most obvious impact occurring in bread, cake and pastry-making techniques.[14] In Southeast Asian cuisine, the pandan leaf is a beloved flavoring agent employed to give off a pleasant aroma, and added to various dishes ranging from fragrant coconut rice, traditional cakes, to sweet desserts and drinks.[15] It was the fusion of European cake-making techniques with locally grown ingredients that created the pandan-flavored cake.

Names in different languages

Pandan cakes in Hong Kong
  • Indonesian: bolu pandan
  • Malay: kek pandan
  • Filipino: pandan cake
  • Khmer: Num Sleok Touy
  • Vietnamese: Bánh pho sĩ, "bánh lá dứa"
  • Cantonese: Chinese: 班蘭蛋糕; Cantonese Yale: baan1 laan4 daan6 gou1
  • Thai: เค้กใบเตย

See also


  1. ^ "What Herb Is That?". p. 127. Retrieved 29 December 2014.
  2. ^ "The World Cookbook". p. 615. Retrieved 29 December 2014.
  3. ^ "Cheap Sweets: Pandan Chiffon". LA Weekly. 22 December 2014. Retrieved 29 December 2014.
  4. ^ Jeff Keasberry (18 March 2015). "Pandan Cake Pops".
  5. ^ "Pandan Chiffon Cake". Asian Inspirations.
  6. ^ "Pandan Chiffon Cake". Asian recipe.
  7. ^ Zoe Li; Maggie Hiufu Wong (2 April 2017). "Cakes of the world: Tiramisu, baklava, cheesecake and more national treats". CNN.
  8. ^ "A World of Cake". p. 288. Retrieved 29 December 2014.
  9. ^ "Recipe: Pandan chiffon cake with coconut glaze". Los Angeles Times. May 5, 2011. Retrieved November 5, 2011.
  10. ^ Besa-Quirino, Betty Ann. "How to bake a Pandan – Macapuno Cake". Asian in America. Retrieved 22 April 2019.
  11. ^ Anastacio, Aileen. "Buko Pandan Cake Recipe". Retrieved 22 April 2019.
  12. ^ "Buko Pandan Confetti Cake". Kawaling Pinoy Tasty Recipes. Retrieved 22 April 2019.
  13. ^ Tay, Leslie. "How to make a pandan chiffon cake: Almost everything you need to know". ieatishootipost. Retrieved 24 April 2019.
  14. ^ Luke Nguyen (5 December 2016). "Crocodile bread and spekkoek: the tasty intersection of Dutch-Indo food". SBS.
  15. ^ Jeanne Jacob; Michael Ashkenazi (2014). The World Cookbook: The Greatest Recipes from Around the Globe, 2nd Edition (4 Volumes): The Greatest Recipes from Around the Globe. ABC-CLIO. p. 615. ISBN 9781610694698.