Iron Chef Shellie

Pandan Chiffon Cake

“Thanks again to the lovely Penny for hosting the International Incident Party. I forgot about the cooking party for a while there, but I’m hopefully back for good. Ahhhhh nostalgia! I managed to fill a whole page with meals I loved growing up. I always think back to eating noodles at my aunty/godmother’s house. She...”

March 20, 2011

Thanks again to the lovely Penny for hosting the International Incident Party. I forgot about the cooking party for a while there, but I’m hopefully back for good.

Ahhhhh nostalgia! I managed to fill a whole page with meals I loved growing up. I always think back to eating noodles at my aunty/godmother’s house. She makes the best noodles, and boy have I eaten a lot at her house. She can even make amazing bee hoon with just a microwave, so I found out when we were in Rockhampton.

Learning to use chopsticks at a very early age; I have a better photo somewhere but couldn’t find it.

Celebrated my first birthday with a fruit cake, somewhere in the Flinders Ranges on one of our many camping trips. How cute does my mum look?

Still love eating sweet corn from the cob. I don’t sit on the floor to eat them these days. Perhaps I should, for old time’s sake.

However, pandan chiffon cake was a clear winner. When mum used to drag take me along to the Chinese grocery store, I always looked forward to getting a chiffon cake. We always called it sponge cake, and I remember loving the green one! Sadly these days, I never seen them in the stores, you’d probably have to go to an Asian bakery to find one.

After cruising the internet for some recipes I dug up Poh’s cookbook to see if she had a recipe. It is very similar to her orange chiffon cake which I’ve had much success with, so I gave it ago. The main difference is using the pandan paste instead of the orange juice and zest, and some measurements are varied. Unable to find pandan paste, I used pandan essence and some green food colouring.

Overall result? I was transported back to childhood immediately! After finally taking time to analyse, the only difference was the ones we used to buy were more light, but I think I can still achieve this if I beat the egg yolk and sugar more than I did.  My Non-Asian Hamsley LOVED it, and now loves pandan flavour (the Asian vanilla as Poh refers to it). I was super impressed with the height and texture and will definitely not be my last time baking it.

Pandan Chiffon Cake

Poh Ling Yeow

10 egg whites (at room temperature)
1 teaspoon cream of tartar, sifted
2/3 cup (145g) caster sugar
10 egg yolks
210ml coconut milk
90ml (4.5 tablespoons) vegetable oil
145g caster sugar
1 teaspoon pandan paste
300g plain flour, sifted
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, sifted
pinch of salt

1. Preheat oven at 160°C fan forced/180°C regular.

2. Beat egg whites and cream of tartar with an electric mixer till soft peaks. Add sugar one tablespoon at a time a beat thoroughly after each addition till you achieve stiff peaks. Set aside.

3. In a separate bowl whisk egg yolks with caster sugar till fluffy. Add coconut milk, vegetable oil, pandan paste and self raising flour and whisk until combined. Gently fold the egg whites into the yolk mixture 3 batches.

4. Pour into a 22cm baba cake tin (do not use non-stick and do not grease). Bake 25 mins at 160°C fan forced or 30 mins at 180°C, or till skewer comes out clean. .

5. When cake is out of the oven, immediately invert the cake still in the tin, and place on a cooling rack and leave to cool completely (about 1 1/2 hours).

Serves 8-10.

*edit 18/05/11 – I made this again a few weeks ago and beat the egg yolks and sugar extra well and the result was SO light and fluffy, just like the ones you used to be able to buy at the store!

To see what everyone else got nostalgic about check out their posts:


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52 comments on “Pandan Chiffon Cake
  1. Mez - March 20, 2011 at 11:09 am

    That looks beautiful, I saw it on Twitter and thought it looked amazing.

    Can’t wait to give this a go!


  2. Mez - March 20, 2011 at 11:09 am

    SHIT your Aunty can make vermicelli with a freaking MICROWAVE?!!?

    Holy Moly!

  3. msihua - March 20, 2011 at 11:10 am

    I must admit.. when people say chiffon cake, I always only think of orange or pandan cake… so I grew up thinking it was always that! Love the colours.. so vibrant… save some for me!!!

  4. Martyna (Wholesome Cook) - March 20, 2011 at 11:16 am

    Wow, Shellie! The cake looks delicious and the pictures of the little you are so cute! “I don’t sit on the floor to eat them these days. Perhaps I should, for old time’s sake.” – I used to do this too, but not sure I’d be flexible enough nowadays to sit in that particular fashion for fonger than 10 seconds. Heh heh

  5. kristy @ ksayerphotography - March 20, 2011 at 11:45 am

    I love the colour of this!
    Your photos are too cute! I love going through old photo albums

  6. penny aka jeroxie - March 20, 2011 at 11:56 am

    Ha… love the old photos! And I love that pandan is Asian vanilla. how how true!

  7. Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite - March 20, 2011 at 12:04 pm

    You – and your mum – are adorable and that cake? WOW!

  8. ck - March 20, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    The cake looks gorgeous, I love the green and it does look light and airy. Your childhood photos are lovely and yes, your Mum looks very cute. Camping in the Flinders, that brings back many memories…

  9. Hannah - March 20, 2011 at 2:56 pm

    Gorgeous photos!! I would give so much to try a slice of this, as I’ve been intrigued by pandan and by chiffon cakes for years now, but have yet to come across an opportunity to try either. I’m scared of making such a light cake, too!

  10. Michelle - March 20, 2011 at 6:04 pm

    I love pandan chiffon cake too! I’ve visited several blogs doing the IIP nostalgic thing and I realized how many things can be so darn nostalgic!

  11. Jasmine - March 20, 2011 at 8:24 pm

    I have been thinking of baking this for awhile as I got Poh’s cookbook for xmas and have not tried anything yet.
    I couldn’t find pandan paste either but picked up the essence…do you think you could use olive oil instead of veg oil, or do you think it will affect the flavour?

    • Iron Chef Shellie - March 20, 2011 at 9:23 pm

      Hi Jasmine,
      Olive oil will make there be an olive oil taste, you need a neutral oil like vegetable or rice bran oil for this one :)

  12. Quay Po Cooks - March 20, 2011 at 8:53 pm

    When it cones to chiffon cakes, I only want pandan. Yours looks yummy! Your little precious is so adorable. I wantbto give herba hug.

  13. Erin@TheFoodMentalist - March 20, 2011 at 9:21 pm

    I love the colour! I didnt know that Pandan was the asian version of vanilla? wow thats so cool. I will have to investigate :)

  14. leaf (the indolent cook) - March 20, 2011 at 10:10 pm

    Oh, lovely! I haven’t had this for awhile, and how I do miss it!

  15. Soy @ honeyandsoy - March 20, 2011 at 10:40 pm

    I love pandan chiffon cake too! Note to self- do not visit food blogs with a nostalgic theme in the middle of the night as it causes massive cravings!

  16. Alana - March 20, 2011 at 11:03 pm

    This looks really interesting, I’ve never eaten green cake before! One day I’ll have to try it (with an extra boost of insulin haha) xx

  17. Biren @ Roti n Rice - March 21, 2011 at 1:25 am

    First time here and you have a lovely blog. You remind of a school friend whos is alsoMalaysian/Swiss and lives in Melbourne now.

    Your pandan cake looks wonderfully soft and light. I am impressed with the height. Very cute childhood pictures!

  18. Trix - March 21, 2011 at 6:24 am

    I have only been introduced to pandan in the last few years, and it is absolutely fabulous. It has the clear advantage over vanilla thanks to its fun color!! And yes, your mom is adorable, and so are you!

  19. Heidi - Apples Under My Bed - March 21, 2011 at 8:20 am

    I love that you grew up eating this. It seems so exotic to me! I am fascinated with other cultures. & you’re right, your mum is so sweet in that photo. But you are possibly the cutest kid EVER. Seriously, it’s ridiculous haha. Thanks for the recipe :)
    Heidi xo

  20. Nancy/SpicieFoodie - March 21, 2011 at 11:02 am

    Your childhood photos are adorable! I love your pandan chiffon cake, looks perfect and delicious.

  21. Shirley - March 21, 2011 at 7:55 pm

    Cute pictures. Love the green cake.

  22. tinytearoom - March 21, 2011 at 8:28 pm

    this definitely brings back a lot of memories from my childhood. This cake looks exactly like the one I use to eat. Well done!

  23. Jackie - March 21, 2011 at 9:30 pm

    I stumbled upon pandan essence the other day (in a RANDOM shop that I also stumbled upon), I think I now have a use for it!

  24. A Canadian Foodie - March 22, 2011 at 2:37 am

    I love pandan and this is a perfect St. Patrick’s Day cake!!!
    Love chiffon cakes and the colour is gorgeous!
    (Such a cutie eating your corn!)

  25. angie - March 22, 2011 at 1:47 pm

    Have not had a pandan chiffon in years! It sure does bring back nostalgia 😉
    What a cutie you were when you were little! (Not saying you’re any different now =p ). Have been meaning to try and bake my own one day, thanks for reminding me about it.

  26. Kayla @ Fitter Than Choc - March 22, 2011 at 8:15 pm

    Ooohh, you look like a total angel. Great job on the pandan cake. I don’t think I’d have the courage to bake a cake as light and fluffy as this. At least not for now. It’s just beyond my baking abilities. I’d be saving this recipe though, lest any of my friends need a pandan cake recipe. I wish I could have a taste of it!

  27. Susan - March 23, 2011 at 12:24 pm

    I see this cake at bread top all the time and I must buy one next time I am there. Yours looks delicious!

  28. kirbie - March 24, 2011 at 8:21 am

    I love pandan chiffon cakes. Yours came out beautifully.

  29. Karly - March 24, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    Oh my goodness, your pandan cake looks beautiful!! I’ve got to try this recipe out.

  30. carine - March 24, 2011 at 8:12 pm

    Your pandan chiffon looks really greeny-pretty..I love eating pandan chiffon since I was 3…my mum bought them as my birthday cake..(it’s cheap), she was so happy that year…hahaz

  31. Agnes - March 27, 2011 at 11:39 am

    YAY cute baby pictures! 😀 God, I love chiffon cake.

  32. muppy - June 6, 2011 at 9:09 pm

    Looks great, I have Poh’s book too, i’ll have to look. Have you used coconut flour? How much coconut flour do you think i could get away with using in this recipe, maybe 75g coconut 225g plain?

  33. Raymond - July 25, 2011 at 5:42 pm

    That looks absolutely fantastic!!! I am definitely looking forward to try it! Do you know what does the cream of tar tar does to the meringue mixture? Is it very important?

  34. cHrIstInA_YY - August 3, 2011 at 11:06 pm

    Woah!~ Thank you very much for the recipe! I really miss pandan chiffon cake so so much xD

  35. Tess - March 28, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    Really looks yummy!thanks for sharing your recipe.i will definetely try this one but would like to use pandan juice .How could i inconcorporate the pandan juice in your recipe?i cant find pandan paste in my area just pandan essence.

    • Iron Chef Shellie - March 28, 2012 at 3:51 pm

      Hi Tess, thanks for your comment. I’m not sure, as I’ve never worked with pandan juice. I only used Pandan essence instead of the paste when making this recipe. I substitute it and use green food colouring to get the colour.

  36. mfsa - April 1, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    hi,im making it right now,but its in the oven for close to 2 hrs already and it is still liquidy.i used cake flour since i didnt have self raising and all purpose flour.did that mess it up?the color and texture outside of the cake right now is just so pretty.i just wish it be done already.

    • Iron Chef Shellie - April 1, 2012 at 6:44 pm

      I’m not sure, did you beat your egg whites till they were stiff? Did you add baking powder/soda to make the plain all purpose flour have a raising agent?

  37. Mel - May 26, 2012 at 12:30 am


    For the baking powder, is it supposed to be teaspoon or tablespoon?

    I’ve made the cake before, it was amazing however I didn’t add so much baking powder.

    Thanks for the recipe. :)

  38. sandy sevilla - November 12, 2012 at 12:34 am

    Hi, did you use cake flour or all purpose flour? How many tsp of pandan essence did you use? Thank you!

  39. Mary @ Fit and Fed - January 20, 2013 at 1:49 am

    The pandan has me intrigued, I’ll have to see what I can find at my local Asian grocery!

  40. Becky pepper - April 8, 2013 at 5:41 pm

    I just ordered pandan paste on Amazon. Saw a cake on Australian Masterchef program and wanted to try it.

  41. Joan Carroll - March 29, 2014 at 2:49 pm

    The cake us so good but why did it stick to the pan? Do I have to grease the pan?

Shellie Froidevaux

All content on this site by Shellie Froidevaux, otherwise known as Iron Chef Shellie. Her skills include food styling in her kitchen studio, lifestyle and travel photography across Australia, restaurant photography on location, styling and shooting social media for her clients, recipe development with love and photography workshops for people with discerning tastes :)

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