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Oil-less Pandan Chiffon Cake

Thursday, October 29, 2009

I decided to try making a pandan chiffon w/o baking powder and w/o oil.

Not that it doesn’t contain oil at all, but I’ve added more coconut milk to it, and coconut milk contains coconut oil. 

I’ve whacked the egg yolks too this time, and it gave me a tall cake, even w/o baking powder. I’ve tried making pandan chiffon with and w/o baking powder before, using the regular chiffon method. And I found that the one w/o is slightly softer and less tall compared to the one using, which had better structure and taller.

I’m happy with the result of this cake 

5 egg whites
¼ tsp cream of tartar
100gm sugar

Yolk batter
5 egg yolks
100gm sugar
150gm flour
180gm thick coconut milk + pinch of salt
70gm concentrated pandan juice

1. Preheat oven to 170/180C.
2. Combine coconut milk and pandan juice. Mix with flour until a smooth batter is formed. Set aside.
3. Beat egg whites until frothy, add in cream of tartar, beat until egg whites are at medium peaks.
4. Add in 100gm sugar gradually and beat until stiff peaks.
5. In another bowl, beat egg yolks and 100gm sugar until thick and pale (colour of cold butter).
6. Fold egg yolks into batter.
7. Fold 1/4 of egg whites into yolk batter, and another ¼.
8. Pour yolk batter into remaining egg whites and fold well.
9. Pour into a 25cm tube pan and bake for 45 minutes.
10. When cake is done, immediately remove from oven and invert to cool.
11. When cake has totally cooled down, remove from pan.

The colour's slightly different here due to the tinted window using natural light. The picture above is taken using bounced flash indoors.

See my 2nd attempt with this recipe here.

52 lovely notes:

Mj :),  July 19, 2010 at 10:59 AM  

Hi, I just tried this last Saturday, everything was alright except for the sugar. 200mg Sugar seem too sweet and would recommend 130mg is enough already.

wendyywy @ Table for 2 or more..... July 19, 2010 at 11:52 AM  

Thanks for trying this out.

How much sugar is a personal taste. Some have tried this with this amount of sugar and they have no problem with it. Feel free to decrease the sugar if you prefer it much less sweeter.

Anonymous,  July 19, 2010 at 1:04 PM  

yep. You are right, that comment was really more an objective one. I usually love sweet stuff, but getting more worried when looking at the blood test report if i do not control abit :p

Mj :)

wendyywy @ Table for 2 or more..... July 19, 2010 at 5:39 PM  

Yeah, lots of people are getting more health conscious nowadays. Actually, compared to the other Pandan Chiffon cake that I have, this one has less sugar, comparatively. That one 4 eggs and 180gm sugar, while this one is 5 eggs with an additional 20gm sugar only. I've seen some recipes with 3 eggs calling only 80gm of sugar which is far much lesser by % than my 4 egg recipe.

Anyway, chiffon cakes are very versatile, but if you ever need to reduce the sugar, reduce the yolk part of sugar, not the egg white part, cos the amount of sugar is needed to stabilize the egg white foam, rather than just depending on cream of tartar. I tend to reduce 20-30% sugar from American cakes and cookies recipes too. They are too sweet for me.

Bee with Style August 21, 2010 at 2:51 PM  

Hello, I am from Sacramento, California. I found your link through Happy Home Baker, then, through Bakericious. Just want to say, I am glad you tried without oil. I just baked two different types of Chiffon. One plain chiffon without chocolate following Happy Home Baker's recipe for the Granola Chiffon Cake. And it turned out so good, that I tried Pandan Chiffon Cake from Seadragon's website. It turned out beautiful even though I did not have fresh Pandan or coconuts. I used powder and Pandan extract(didn't really wanted to. As it contain artificial colors, but...) I was thinking the same thing about omitting the oil. Is your texture more like angel food cake without the oil? I wonder? I guess I will find out. Your blogs are wonderful! Thank you for sharing.

wendyywy @ Table for 2..... or more August 21, 2010 at 11:36 PM  

Bee With Style,
No, it's still soft like Chiffon cake and not like Angel Food Cake. There is still oil in there, hidden in the coconut milk. There is a lot of oil in coconut milk.
If you are using coconut milk powder, use the whole pack (if it's about 50gm) and mix with water until it comes to 180ml.

Usually pandan chiffon cakes don't call for this amount of coconut milk and I was adventurous trying to replace the vegetable oil present in most chiffon recipes with the oil from coconut milk.

If you are worried about the powder not containing enough oil, try to use canned coconut cream or milk. It works as well.

Jess August 24, 2010 at 10:25 AM  

Hi wendy,
I want to try to bake this week. May i know what do u meant by thick coconut? i bought the 200gm coconut from wet market this morning and confuse of "thick coconut" that u mentioned in your recipe.

wendyywy @ Table for 2..... or more August 24, 2010 at 11:34 AM  

You bought 200gm of coconut or coconut milk?
Thick coconut milk means undiluted coconut milk.

Well, before there was the convenience of "coconut milk" in the wet market, there was only grated coconut sold. One will have to press their own milk out of the grated coconut.
The first pressing is called thick coconut milk.
Then the pressed coconut flesh will be added with more water and pressed for the 2nd time. the 2nd pressing is more diltuted and is usually refered to as thin coconut milk. Thick and thin terms for coconut milk is prevalant in Malay and Malaysian recipes, especially the old fashioned recipes. Even now, some still do their own expression of coconut milk even with the convenience of prepared ones in the wet market.

Why I emphasize on "thick" coconut milk, is that I've seen some people not knowing that coconut milk can be thick and undiluted and not expressed without using water. And I see these people putting 3 cups of water to press the grated coconut, and what comes out is so so thin, colour just like plain vitagen.

Hope this clears your doubts.

jess August 24, 2010 at 12:15 PM  

sorry..it is coconut milk :oP

Wow! now i know the story behind of thick and thin coconut. i guessed the one i bought should be thick coconut milk. TQ

Jess August 25, 2010 at 2:12 PM  

Hi Wendy, I baked this chiffon cake today but the texture not the same like your recipe..mine version a bit wet..do u know y?

wendyywy @ Table for 2..... or more August 25, 2010 at 5:52 PM  

A few reasons that I could think of.
1. Underbaked, maybe try giving it another 5 mins next time.
2. Did you use a non removable base tube pan?

jess August 25, 2010 at 11:44 PM  

ya..i should bake longer next time. i used removable base tube pan but i removed the pan before it completely cool.

wendyywy @ Table for 2..... or more August 26, 2010 at 12:43 AM  

Oh please wait for it to be totally cooled down.
It's for the benefit of the structure and texture.
If you are rushing, just throw the cake into the freezer (after it has turned warm) for 15 mins. Before you remove it from the pan and cut.
A warm chiffon cake might be very moist.

Jess,  August 26, 2010 at 11:57 AM  

Thks for ur advice..i shall be patient next time :oP

MyCoachBags December 31, 2010 at 9:03 AM  

I will try to do this tonight... Thanks


Anonymous,  January 23, 2011 at 2:44 PM  


I removed the pan before it was totally cooled as well and true enough the cake was moist on the inside. My question is does the cake get its spongy texture during the cooling process? Or will baking it longer give it a more spongy texture? Thank you.


wendyywy @ Table for 2..... or more January 23, 2011 at 4:55 PM  

What do you mean by being spongy?
It being able to bounce??

If you cut it before it has totally cooled,
1. It may get dense, especilaly where you cut it
2. It may not be as tall compared to if you removed it when it has totally cooled. Cos the "pores" are smaller if not properly cooled.

Always be patient and wait for the cake to be totally cooled before removing from pan and slicing it.
Baking it longer may give you a slightly drier cake, but it also runs the risk of a cake of lesser height, as when it stretches too much, it might collapse in the oven. You can try extending it for 5 minutes as different ovens may be different, you have to know your oven.

But yet and still, be PATIENT la, wait for it to cool down.

wendyywy @ Table for 2..... or more January 23, 2011 at 4:56 PM  

and not forgettting, a warm piece of chiffon taste more tender than a piece that has totally cooled down.

CarinE February 2, 2011 at 12:01 AM  

Hey wendy, can i bake this in cupcake/ muffin form? Will it be harder to rise?too wet?

wendyywy @ Table for 2..... or more February 2, 2011 at 12:40 AM  

Use high rigid paper muffin cups if you want to do this in muffin form, and remember to invert it after baking to prevent it from sinking in.

Anonymous,  September 27, 2011 at 4:34 PM  

45 minutes for 170℃ ??


Eileen in Glasgow,  June 21, 2012 at 7:14 AM  

Hi, wendy! I think your blog is awesome!Have you ever tried making Putu Piring or kuih tutu before? I can never find a decent recipe. Eileen

soh July 19, 2012 at 12:24 PM  

Hi Wendy, I want to bake this cake, just replace my old mixter to KitchenAid, can share when beating egg white should start with low speed (no.1) or high speed? must beat for how long to reach one of comment mention peaks reach fat & pointy? which one come 1st fat & pointy or thin & pointy? I never know there is the different.
Thank you for all your advice.
Nice day....

WendyinKK @ Table for 2..... or more July 19, 2012 at 12:56 PM  

Fat and pointy will come first. Thin and pointy like the end of a turnip is overbeaten oredi.
I just start with speed 6 then proceed to 8.

soh July 19, 2012 at 1:32 PM  

Appreciated for all your tips, will update you asap.
Thnak you.

June,  September 6, 2012 at 8:53 PM  

Hi, wendy....can i use overnight pandan juice for this cake?

WendyinKK @ Table for 2..... or more September 6, 2012 at 9:23 PM  

My pandan juice is left in the fridge for many nights :p

June,  September 10, 2012 at 3:02 PM  

Hi wendy, i,ve tried this recipe. Do u hv any chocolate chiffon recipe? Thank u.

Anonymous,  November 24, 2012 at 8:32 PM  

Hi Wendy, really must thank u for ur wonderful recipe n tips as I manage to bake a nice fluffy, spongy n moist cake with natural pandan leaves today n its my first time . Juz baked ur buttercake a few days ago n my family n friends really thumbs up to it! Keep it up!

WendyinKK @ Table for 2..... or more November 25, 2012 at 1:07 AM  

Anonymous (hope I can know your name),
Thank you for the feedback and encouragement. I will keep it up

Mindy,  November 26, 2012 at 9:34 PM  

Hi Wendy,
With reference to my post dated 24 Nov 2012,I really like ur buttercake n pandan cake very much. Those who tried all ask for ur recipes! Even my mil can't stop eating. Thk U!

Jennifer,  March 19, 2013 at 3:58 PM  

Hi Wendy,

A week earlier I made the coffee chiffon and it didn't rise. I also used Gold Nescafe, no coffee flavour in the cake, haha! Then I made this over the weekend, it didn't rise. Since I have left-over coconut milk, I made another one immediately, same result. I scrubbed real clean and made sure the bowl for beating egg whites was dry and oil-free. And I took great care folding the whites. The second one came out slight better but still not as tall as it should be. I searched other sites and youtube tutorial, the chef was even more "chor lor" when folding egg whites, but his cake came out nice and tall.

I used self-raising flour. I've seen other recipes using SLF too, but why mine didn't rise? I didn't grease my tube pan. Please help! Thanks.


WendyinKK @ Table for 2..... or more March 19, 2013 at 7:00 PM  

The only reason I could think of is that your egg whites aren't stiff enough.
Never reduce the sugar for the egg whites, it should looks glossy, like hair mousse or shaving cream

Jennifer,  March 19, 2013 at 8:28 PM  

Hi Wendy,

Hmm, maybe...I was worried I will overbeat the egg whites. When I tip the bowl upside down it stays so I thought it's done. I will try again and hopefully it will rise beautifully. Although my cake is flat, it's still very soft and yummy and I'm addicted to chiffon for now :) BTW, thanks for all your wonderful recipes.

cyndi April 3, 2013 at 8:41 PM  

Hi Wendy,

I tried this recipe today and the cake collapse badly during cooling (with some wet layers seen). I had bake chiffon cake many times and I will always get a smooth, sticky egg yolk batter(before folding in egg whites). However, for this recipe I noticed that when i combine mixture (2) with mixture (5), its rather watery than forming a smooth batter. I suspect could it be the pandan juice? I added water into my concentrated pandan juice because they weigh under 70g. Please advise what could be the possible cause.

Many thanks,

WendyinKK @ Table for 2..... or more April 5, 2013 at 11:23 AM  

It shouldn't be watery.
If the 70gm of pandan juice (no matter how diluted but still 70gm)is correct, then its not a problem.
Most probably the whites weren't beaten enough.

Anonymous,  October 30, 2013 at 7:42 AM  

hi wendy, what type of flour to use?

Anonymous,  October 30, 2013 at 7:52 AM  

don't need to line paper in pan?

WendyinKK October 31, 2013 at 12:25 AM  

Anonymous (pls leave a name)
Never line or grease a pan intended for baking chiffon cake.
It's plain or all purpose flour, for information regarding ingredients on this blog, you can refer to ABOUT

Anonymous,  November 2, 2013 at 11:42 PM  

Hi Wendy, for step 2, do I mix using mixer or spoon?

For step 7, you said fold the egg white into the yolk batter, but why in step 8, it is the opposite, pour the yolk batter into the remaining egg white? Are you actually saying step 8 is to pour the remaining egg white into the yolk batter?

WendyinKK November 3, 2013 at 1:43 PM  

Anonymous (kindly leave a name for the 2nd time)
At step 7, you have put in 1/4 + 1/4 of the egg white into the yolk batter. This step is called tempering. That leave you with 1/2 egg white left.
There is no mistake in the instructions.
Maybe you can refer to the orange chiffon cake recipe for a pictorial guide on how to combine the yolk and egg white.

Jasmine,  November 5, 2013 at 11:33 AM  

Hi Wendy,sorry that I keep leaving out my name. Cos I am using my hp to type to you, and my hp is very laggy, so I always choose anonymous to quicken it.

I have baked the cake on Sunday. And alas, I realize that I got a big problem. I dont know how to extract out the pandan layer after it sank and kept in the fridge for 3 days. Nonetheless, I have managed to bake the cake and my family said it was very nice! Thanks so much for your recipe.

When I tried to pour out the water above the pandan layer, the bottom layer tend to mix together with the water. In the end, I used a syringe to extract the pandan essence at the bottom. Is it correct?

WendyinKK November 5, 2013 at 6:54 PM  

you can leave a name below the comment, it's ok.

Actually I just very gently carefully poured away the top layer of clear liquid. Glad you enjoyed the cake :)

Anonymous,  November 13, 2013 at 1:51 PM  

hello wendy,

nt sure if i've posted here cause i thot i did.. anyway, can i replace fresh coconut milk frm market to those selling at ntuc like heng guan brand ? if you have heard of. nt the uht kind but those displayed at the fridge with few days to 1 week shelf life. cause i haven check out the wet markets and i don't wanto go round hunting for it when I have to urge to bake pandan cakes. i will b too lazy to bake if i eventually found it... geezz.

love your blog!! mayb you can post more pictures on your step-by-step instructions for all yr cakes. :p


WendyinKK November 14, 2013 at 2:24 AM  

I assume those are pasteurized coconut milk, yes they will be ok, even carton coconut milk will work.
I am a busy mother to 3, hope you understand.

Anonymous,  March 9, 2016 at 4:21 PM  

Hi Wendy, I hv made several attempts on this recipe. But lately my cake fall off the pan after few minutes. Can u tell me why. My 1st attempt was successful, after that it always fall off the pan. Pls advise, thanks.


WendyinKK March 12, 2016 at 1:03 PM  

Lately I do get queries on my their usual chiffon cakes seem to keep on falling off.
One of mine fell off too. LOL
If the recipe was one that you did before, with no alterations, and previously had been successful then it should be due to the weather, I am not sure too.

Anonymous,  March 13, 2016 at 11:16 PM  

Thanks Wendy. Will continue trying till it doesn't fall off.

Anonymous,  March 15, 2016 at 12:29 PM  

Hi Wendy, I try to find the about in your blog, but could not find. May I ask the 5 eggs used in this recipe is it grade C eggs? Ytd, I made another attempt with 4 grade A eggs. It still fall of the pan. I will try again nx wk. Keep u posted on the outcome. Thks.

WendyinKK March 15, 2016 at 8:53 PM  

My ABOUT and RECIPE INDEX are at the same place, just underneath my blog's title on desktop view. If you're using phone, it's accessible as well, but the interface is slightly different.

For this recipe, if I am not mistaken, I used Grade A eggs that time.

Anonymous,  March 16, 2016 at 11:43 AM  

Thanks, Wendy. I'll try again.

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