Pandan cake

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Pandan cake
Sifon pandan.JPG
Alternative names Pandan chiffon
Type Cake
Region or state Southeast Asia
Associated national cuisine Malaysia and Singapore[1]
Main ingredients Juice of pandan leaves or Pandanus extract, flour, eggs, sugar, butter or margarine
  •   Media: Pandan cake

Pandan cake is a light, fluffy, green-colored sponge cake[2] of Southeast Asian origin, flavoured with the juice of Pandanus amaryllifolius leaves.[3][4]

It is also known as pandan chiffon. The cake is popular in Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Hong Kong, China, and also the Netherlands, especially among Indo community, due to its historical colonial ties with Indonesia.[5][6][7]

In 2017, CNN named pandan cake as the national cake of Malaysia and Singapore, one of favorite cakes from around the world.[1]


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 green hue. The cakes are light green in tone[8] due to the chlorophyll in the leaf juice. It also sometimes contains green food colouring to further enhance its colour. The cakes are not always made with the leaf juice but rather flavored with Pandanus extract, in which case colouring is added if a green colour is desired.[9]

History and origin

In Southeast Asia, the cake-making technique was brought into the region through European colonisation. In the past, Indonesia was a Dutch colony, while Malaysia and Singapore were British possessions. Naturally, the European colonists brought their cuisine along with them, with the most obvious impact in bread, cake and pastry-making techniques.[10] In Southeast Asian cuisine, the pandan leaf is a much loved flavouring agent employed to give a pleasant aroma, and added to various dishes, from fragrant coconut rice, traditional cakes, to sweet desserts and drinks.[11] It was the fusion of European cake-making techniques with locally grown ingredients that created the pandan flavoured cake.

The exact origin of the cake is unclear. However, the pandan cake was probably of Indonesian or Malaysian origins with Dutch influence.[5]

Names in different languages

  • Indonesian: bolu pandan
  • Malay: kek pandan
  • Filipino: pandan keyk
  • Khmer: Num Sleok Touy
  • Vietnamese: Bánh pho sĩ, "bánh lá dứa"
  • Cantonese: 班蘭蛋糕-baan1 laan4 daan6 gou1
  • Thai: เค้กใบเตย


  1. ^ a b Zoe Li; Maggie Hiufu Wong (2 April 2017). "Cakes of the world: Tiramisu, baklava, cheesecake and more national treats". CNN.
  2. ^ "What Herb Is That?". p. 127. Retrieved 29 December 2014.
  3. ^ "The World Cookbook". p. 615. Retrieved 29 December 2014.
  4. ^ "Cheap Sweets: Pandan Chiffon". LA Weekly. 22 December 2014. Retrieved 29 December 2014.
  5. ^ a b Jeff Keasberry (18 March 2015). "Pandan Cake Pops".
  6. ^ "Pandan Chiffon Cake". Asian Inspirations.
  7. ^ "Pandan Chiffon Cake". Asian recipe.
  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. ^ Luke Nguyen (5 December 2016). "Crocodile bread and spekkoek: the tasty intersection of Dutch-Indo food". SBS.
  11. ^ 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.

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