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Friday, October 9, 2009

Pandan Butter Cake

No, this cake is not made with any artificial colouring. The greeness came from pandan juice. I made this cake based on Aunty Yochana's recipe. I didn't put in kaya, so I didn't name this cake as she did.
This cake is nice to eat, best with a cup of tea... teh-o to be exact :)

Pandan Butter Cake
250 gm. butter
200 gm. sugar
6 nos. eggs
300 gm. cake flour
1 tsp. baking powder
180 gm. coconut milk
50ml pandan juice
1/4 tsp. salt

(1) Sift flour and baking powder. Set aside.
(2) Cream butter and sugar till creamy.
(3) Add in egg one at a time and make sure it's properly mixed before adding in another egg. Pour in coconut milk, pandan juice and salt and mix.
(4) Fold in sifted cake flour and then pour into a 7" sq. tray and bake at 175C(preheated) for about 60 mins.

I will post on how to make really concentrated pandan juice, and more pandan flavoured recipes coming up.

*update: 2/6/2016: Please take note that this cake is rather tricky. It's better to overbake it. Back in those days, I baked this cake in a Microwave convection oven and I actually recommend baking this cake at 180C for 1 hour 15 minutes in a regular oven. And always check the doneness with a toothpick right in the center, all the way down before stopping the baking process. An 8 inch cake pan will be a better choice. Aunty Yochana noted it as 7 inch, so I just followed suit, but personally I think an 8 inch square pan or 9 inch round is better.

** update 22/5/2017:
Please visit Aunty Yochana's website if you doubt this recipe to see the success of other bakers rather than complaining about this recipe. 
If you will prefer a more foolproof recipe, my personal suggestions is that you use 100ml concentrated pandan juice and 25gm of coconut milk powder rather than coconut milk. Change the cake flour to plain flour + another tsp of baking powder. Use an 8 inch square or a 9 inch round pan.
This cake was baked back in 2009, when I started blogging not long. I just copied her recipe almost word for word. It worked well for me, and for some others, like I said in above that I needed to bake it much longer than what Aunty Yochana said. I didn't create this recipe, but if it didn't work well for you, I'll try to help you troubleshoot. 
If many others can get it right, and you can't, think about it.


  1. Hi, the colour looks amazing! Did you pound the pandan leaves? Must have taken alot of time... first time I see Pandan butter cake. Looks really yummy, I can imagine the richness....

  2. Nope, I didn't pound it with a mortar, just used the blender, but I've got a method. Will post that up later.

  3. wow!thanks for dropping by my blog.Yeah i was sick several months ago so don't have a chance to blog :( Your cake looks so soft and nice.I like the natural color of the cake.Hmm pandan smell so good.

  4. Sweetiepie:
    Gee... it must been bad, u've been MIA for so long. Thank God that u're alright now.
    Take good care of urself :)

  5. I can see that your pandan cake beautifully baked. Thumb up :)

  6. Hi Wendy, I baked the cake as well, yummy!

  7. Jess,
    Oh yea, I saw it and the crumbs look very nice and tight :)

  8. hi wendy! may i ask what is '6 nos. eggs' means? is it means that the recipe required 6 eggs?

  9. hi Wendy,
    i made the cake yesterday. Taste nice and moist but the cake did not raise or "holey" like urs..any advice?

  10. SS,
    the cake did not rise? Nor did it have holes?
    Did you open the oven door anywhere during baking? If the texture is like "kuih", then it was absolutely deflated due to an opened oven door.
    If it looked dense but still got fine holes, your baking powder could have turned inactive. But then again, if you creamed the butter well, even with no baking powder, the cake will still be fluffy and melt in the mouth but it will only be denser.

  11. Hi Wendy,
    Thanks for sharing this special that I can make full use of my pandan juice :) My cake texture looks heavier n denser than yours. Taste wise is still good. Its more like those rich butter texture, just that its added with pandan. How to achieve that kind of lighter n fluffy texture like yours ? Could it be becos I did not cream the butter & sugar long enough? cos this is the part I am not too sure when making this cake..Pls share your thoughts with me :)

    Many thanks,

  12. Chilliqueen,
    It's hard for me to comment on your technique because I don't know the full story or see how it went.
    But I make sure my butter is slightly cold, but soft and cream it until pale and fluffy, then emulsify the eggs well.
    My cake is not very fluffy also,It taste like how a butter cake should be, dense fine crumbs. If you prefer fluffier, separate the yolks and white, then beat the whites with 1/3 of the sugar until medium stiff, fold the egg whites in last before baking.

  13. Hi Wendy, I don't have a 7" square pan, what is a good substitute? Thanks.

  14. May Y,
    8 inch round,8 inch square also can.
    9 inch pan will give you less than 2 inch cake. If that is ok with you.

  15. Dear wendy i made the cake. Turns out dense, witb some parts being more dark green and not much crumb. Some parts are okay, dense but not dark green and it has crumbs like butter cake. What could I have done wrong? I didn't fold in the flour but instead beat in the flour with mixer. I also used a 8" pan which resulted in a thinner layer and lower baking time. But that should not affect the texture. Could I be underbaking? The stick test was positive though. The baking powder is new so should be active.

  16. M,
    Then it's underbaked.
    Dark (wet looking, but not wet to touch) spots are sign of underbaking.
    Beating in flour with mixer at low speed is ok, as long it's not for long.

  17. Ok thanks I will try again in future and not take it out so quickly ( I was afraid of overbaking as the sides have already browned)

  18. Hi Wendy

    I noticed that you have left out the milk powder too. Any reason for doing so?


  19. Hisaye,
    I didn't have any that time, just that reason.

  20. Hi Wendy

    Thanks for the prompt reply. I was thinking of leaving it out too since I don't like the taste of milk powder but was worried that it may affect the cake texture.


  21. Hi Wendy,

    I tried this recipe as my mum loves pandan cake. I baked for 60 mins and everything looks fine, in fact, the sides are brown and the top cracked so i took it out.

    But when i slice it, the centre was still wet, it's like i have molten lava pandan cake. :(

    And my batter curdle a little after adding all the eggs. Is that the reason? Appreciate your advice.

    Yours look really nice and fluffy with so fine crumbs. Help plsss !


  22. Patsy,
    This batter will curdle as said by Aunty Yochana due to the large amount of eggs, but it is not the reason for it to become lava cake.
    It is underbaked.
    Always always test your cakes before you stop baking it, especially if you're having a small countertop oven, the baking time is not accurate.

  23. Dear Wendy,

    Thank you for the speedy reply. You are right, I baked it using an microwave cum oven.

    Guess I was too kan cheong :) and forgot to do the cake test when i saw the sides browning and the top cracked.

    May i know the cracking on top, is it supposed to be that way? Or it's due to me over mixing or the oven temp getting too hot? Appreciate your advice.

    Thank you.


  24. Patsy,
    Oh no wonder. Baking using microwave convection always cracks due to the heat coming from the top, and then circulating. Cracking doesn't mattter, when I was using my old oven, it cracks all the time, because it was a microwave convection and the base is always pale by comparison. Taste is what that matters.
    I think you should reduce the temp by another 20C because the cake is too brown before it cooks.

  25. Hi Wendy

    Can I use plain flour instead of cake flour?


  26. Susie,
    Yes you may, use a 9.0% protein plain flour.

  27. Hi if I use store bought pandan paste instead of pandan juice, do I have I add more liquid to make up for the missing 50 ml juice and how much paste to use. Thanks.

  28. Comment on pandan paste was from me - Waheda. Sorry forgot to add my name earlier.

  29. Waheda,
    Replace the 50ml juice with either water or milk or santan. Probably 1 tsp or 2 tsp. It's hard to say. Some brands are more intense, some less.

  30. Hi Wendy
    I made this kaya butter cake few days ago. The taste was very good but the colour was not green. I used freshly squeezed pandan juice, 5 leaves blended with 1 cup water.

    Did you allow the pandan juice to settle in fridge for few days and then extract only the darkest layer? The only reason I could think of was that, I used 1 tbsp of homemade caramelized kaya which may have led to the darkening of colour....

    Thanks for sharing the recipe :)

  31. Miss B,
    I used more than 5 pcs.
    If the pandan has been growing in a partially shaded area, it will be greener. It's quite variable.
    Yes, I used the settled pandan juice extract.

  32. Hi Wendy,
    Thanks v much for your explanation. I followed your link on how to extract fresh pandan juice but I didnt wait for the juice to settle and instead used it straight away. I had read the link before I started on the pandan kaya butter cake but I didn't read it carefully enough to notice that I needed to wait for few days before I can get the concentrated juice. My mistake. At least I learnt something new. =)

    Thanks once again! Have a nice day!

  33. hi wendy, don't need to preheat oven?

  34. Anonymous,
    sorry, yes, preheated oven.

  35. how long to preheat the oven

  36. Anon,
    It depends on your oven. Every oven is different. Mine takes 6 minutes only. My old oven is 10 minutes.

  37. Can we keep the cake overnight and over few days? cos got coconut milk, not sure can keep how long

  38. Anonymous,
    Overnight is ok. Not more than 2 days in tropical room temp.
    Any longer, keep it chilled.

  39. Hi Wendy,

    I have tried baking this cake twice and both times the texture just isn't right. It is a hybrid of kueh and cake. In fact, I baked it longer the second round (1 hour 10mins) with an 8inch round tin and the texture still came out the same as my first attempt.

    Any idea what causes this?



  40. Pamela Poh,
    Your cake is underbaked.
    May I know what kind of oven you are using?
    Others cakes were ok?

  41. Pamela Poh,
    Your cake is underbaked.
    May I know what kind of oven you are using?
    Others cakes were ok?

    1. Hi,

      I am using a convection oven. I used fan mode and baked at 180degs. I baked for 1 hour 10 mins the second round as the first round was under baked at 55-60mins. I was wondering if the texture was affected by the addition of coconut milk as it is quite thick.

  42. Pamela Poh,
    There is no issue with coconut milk, as I have baked this cake 3 times at least and my source, Aunty Yochana baked this cake as well.
    May I know if other large cakes baked in your oven has this issue too?
    Cake batters are thick, especially butter cakes. If you can let me know what other bakes, cos it might due to your tehcnique.

  43. I have baked butter cakes, banana walnut cakes, and pandan chiffons but they never encountered this problem. In fact this recipe is pretty similar to butter cakes so I am not sure what went wrong with mine.

  44. Pamela,
    Then i think technique not an issue here, since you are an experienced baker.
    Thickened coconut milk that looks like Campbell soup is a sign of it turning bad.
    but still I dun think that will be the problem.
    But in my cases, when ever there is kuih texture, somewhere in between the prob is always underbaking. This cake has a very high moisture content, so probably it needs even longer than 1 hour 10 mins with ur oven.

  45. I will try one more time :) I may just change the brand of coconut milk as the one I'm using is rather thick. Which brand did you use?

  46. Pamela,
    Freshly squeezed coconut milk from wet market. Boxed milk shouldn't be an issue as I think Aunty Yochana used boxed milk to make hers

  47. Hi Wendy,

    I have successfully baked this pandan butter cake leaving out the kaya (so I named it Pandan Coconut Butter Cake). I followed the recipe from Aunty Yochana without ovalette as I did not have blender to make the pandan juice so I used pandan paste. My cake texture was perfect, no kaya layer and the strong coconut aroma very fragrant. Thanks for sharing this recipe :)

    BeautyMe Love Recipes

  48. Hi Wendy,
    i made this cake earlier today and here are some of the problems that i faced and need you to clarify with me.
    1) The batter curdled
    2) The batter is heavy
    3) i made the pandan juice the way you made it and added into the batter but the batter did not turn green at all. i blended the snipped pandan together with a cup of water and sifted the whole mixture to obtain the juice, am i right?

  49. Indestructible sone,
    1. Yes this batter curdles, as per the original author says...but becos the recipe contains baking powder, it doesn't matter much. Mine curdled too. Make sure the butter and sugar is well emulsified by the 4th egg.
    2.Heavy? It just feels like any other butter cake batter to me. Not heavy at all, unless there was mismeasurements.
    3. If you did it as per my pandan juice post, did you let the juice sit? and take only the sunken pigment?

  50. Hi Wendy, thank you for the clarification. i did not let my pandan sit (oops :p ) i guess its because its too diluted and i just add it to my batter, and thats why it is heavy

  51. I'm not a day-one baker and this is the FIRST time I had such failure with a butter cake. I can't believe it! The whole cake is OILY and doesn't bake well. This recipe is totally a failure and for whoever who wishes to try this, you better think twice! It wasted all the ingredients and gave me nothing but a messy kitchen to clean up! BAD RECIPE!

  52. Lydia Chai,
    Sorry to hear that.
    I learnt this cake from Aunty Yochana and my cake turned out just like hers, and there are people who had success with this cake, as you can read from the comments above.
    If your cake is oily, there are a few reasons, for eg: butter wasn't well emulsified or the coconut milk isn't in good condition.
    This cake is a high moisture content cake, and needs to well mixed, and thoroughly baked, and you must check the doneness with a toothpick before you stop the baking.

  53. I had the same prob as lydia. The cake is dense at the bottom, a slight wet layer bottom. My butter is at room temperature n I tried not to overmix the batter. I tested the cake before taking out of over. Skewer came out clean but when I cut, dense bottom.

  54. Karin Toh,
    Sorry to hear that.
    Try baking it longer to prevent the dense bottom issue.
    It's a high moisture's a bit tricky.

  55. Hi Wendy,

    This cake looks great and I'd like to make it. I have a quick question regarding the coconut milk - is it 180grams or 180ml? I'm asking as usually the measuring unit for fluids is ml. 180g is slightly more than 180ml for coconut juice. I'd really appreciate it if you could confirm it's grams as indicated in your recipe. Thanks in advance :) Fellow foodie

  56. Fellow Foodie,
    It's in grams, just set your cup onto your weighing scale, Tare it, and pour in 180gm of coconut milk.
    180gm is definitely more than 180ml as coconut milk is partially fat, and fat's density is lower than water.

  57. Hi, I just tried this cake, and like a previous reader, I too am not a novice baker. Reading the recipe, I can see it is a high-moisture cake. However, while the cake smells lovely as it bakes in the oven, it has not set at all, and it has been in the oven for over 2 hours already. The liquid is still pooling around the edge of the pan, and there is still more liquid bubbling through the surface which is the only thing that has set. I can understand that all recipes may need some adjustment from oven to oven, but this is way off the mark.

  58. EW,
    2 hours and still bubbling? What kind of cake batter will be bubbling?
    so only the surface has set, and has it browned or still pale and green?

    I'm very surprised that this happened. It's impossible unless the batter has totally deflated, but the baking powder should come to your rescue.

    May I ask if you set the temperature correctly in Celsius and not in Farenheit ? Temperature is the only culprit I could think for your problem of 2 hours and everything is still wobbly. If at anytime during baking and the oven's door was opened, the cake will collasp, but since you said even the sides are still pooling and the top is just set (I assume not brown at all), then you better check your oven's temperature.
    If the top is nicely browned after 2 hours but the sides are pooling with grease and the cake is very dense like a kuih, then the batter was deflated totally. It has become a kuih bakar.

    180Celsius for 2 hours is a very long baking time. Maybe you can refer to Aunty Yochana's website to double check the recipe. Many in her comments section had success with it. And there was where I got the recipe from. It worked for me, worked for many of Aunty Yochana's readers.

  59. Hi Wendy, I tried your recipe last nite. The fragrant from pandan and coconut milk was fantastic. I tested the cakr before I took it out from oven.
    However, when I cut the cake this morning I noticed it has abit of kuih texture (dense) and has some tiny air holes and crumbs.overall the cake is oily. It tasted as great as it smelled.
    It didn't seem under bake as the side is already well browned.
    What would u advise for me to get a fluffier pandan butter cake?
    I used mixer to mix the flour mixture after mixing the eggs one at a time. I have tried pandan chiffon before, it also turned up a little dense.
    Please help.

  60. Just Kopi Kaki,
    Did you use a dark pan or aluminium pan?
    Sometimes I have this issue too, with a bit of kuih bits when it's a high moisture cake. Bake it a bit longer will usually do the trick, but it's only possible when the bake was still in the process of baking, not later. But I've once saved an underbaked cake in the microwave, after I cut it.
    I wish I do have a precise answer regarding the kuih bits. I do realise I get brown sides and some dense bits when I put my cake pan on a dark tray during baking.
    As for chiffon, it will be solved with a longer baking time in your oven.


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