Thursday, August 3, 2017

Like Bengawan Solo Ultimate Soft Pandan Chiffon Cake (with coconut milk)

Are you a pandan chiffon cake lover?

Yes, I am.

Especially the one that is so soft, fluffy and tender? With its texture like cotton?

YUM!!! YES, please!

Just like the iconic Bengawan Solo pandan chiffon cake that is highly recommended by CNN as it is named as the Singapore's national cake at here?

Oh! YES, please!

Guess what? I have found IT!!!

A recipe that can bake a pandan chiffon cake that is so soft like the Bengawan Solo one.

Not bragging but I have to say that mine is even better because it is made with heaps of REAL pandan leaves!!!

bengawan solo soft pandan chiffon cake
Like Bengawan Solo Ultimate Soft Pandan Chiffon Cake

You can't imagine how I happy I am when I found this recipe!!! Or can you? I was so wrapped that I had to sing "I'm the one" by DJ Khaled and Justin Bieber... LOL!

Although I don't wish to exaggerate or make too big claim about this recipe, I'm 100% sure that this cake is absolutely fight-able with the well-reputed Bengawan solo pandan chiffon cake.

It is ultimately soft and tender! Even better because I have loaded my cake with heaps of real pandan leaves. So you can imagine... Every slice of my cake is so fragrant!!!

How and why this recipe?

Originally, I thought that the pandan chiffon cake that I have baked from here (original from ieatishootipost) was actually good enough to satisfy my pandan chiffon cake craving. Not anymore...

After optimising and creating a series of ultra soft chiffon cakes at here (banana chiffon cake), here (honey chiffon cake), here (cranberry yogurt chiffon cake), here (cocoa chocolate chiffon cake), here (milk chiffon cake), here (pandan chiffon cake with milk) and here (orange chiffon cake), I have finally found THIS recipe!!!

YES! This is the recipe that bakes the SOFTEST and BEST pandan coconut chiffon cake that I have ever baked!!!

Absolutely... A MUST TRY recipe if you crave to eat Bengawan solo pandan chiffon cakes!

bengawan solo pandan chiffon cake
Believe it or not...
This pandan chiffon cake is really as soft and tender as the Bengawan solo ones!
I'm sold!!! Are you?

Important baking tips?

Not being fussy here but I must emphasise that the success of creating this ultimately soft texture in the pandan chiffon cake is very highly depending on these following essential steps:

Tip One: The Egg White Mixture

Like my other ultra soft chiffon cakes, this cake contains NO cake-rising ingredients like cream of tartar and baking powder as I believe that these cake-rising ingredients tend to make the cakes structurally stiffer and kill their ultimate softness! With NO chemical agents added to stabilise the cake structure, the success of this chiffon cake depends highly on the egg white mixture used and please be aware that beating the egg white mixture into its best form is very essential!

To achieve that, I would strongly encourage you to stick to my peculiar way of beating your egg white mixture...

- Using an electric mixer with a whisk attachment, beat egg whites in the lowest speed for at least 10-15 mins to stabilise the mixture.

- Then, increase beating speed to next higher speed and while beating, add sugar gradually.

- After all of the sugar has been added, increase beating speed to the next higher speed and continue to beat until stiff peaks form and the meringue should be smooth with very tiny bubbles.

- Never beat the egg whites with too high speed and never over-beat the egg white mixture!!!

Tip Two: The Sugar Added
The sweetness of the cake is just right for us but regardless of the sweetness of the cake, please DO NOT reduce this amount of sugar added as this is the most ideal amount required to beat the egg white mixture into its best form.

Tip Three: Coconut Milk
Yes that I have to agree that the canned coconut milk is not as fresh, fragrant and natural as the freshly squeezed ones but we all know that the water and fat content of coconut milk from different coconut can often vary dramatically. For this reason, I like to strongly stand by my point that it is the ultimate consistency that I'm after. You know... Ingredients that will give us successful results at all times!!!

So for this bake, I'm using canned fat reduced coconut milk with 13% fat - please check the product label. If unavailable, you can substitute 120g fat reduced coconut milk with 60g regular coconut milk with 24% fat plus 60g coconut water.

Tip Four: Pandan Paste
It was funny that my Aussie colleague told me that she can't find any pandan paste that is made with real pandan. I laughed hysterically and told her that ALL pandan pastes are NOT REAL!!!

The only way to incorporate REAL pandan into pandan cakes is to extract pandan juice from real pandan leaves and then incorporate the juice into the cake.

Gosh! Tell me about it. Extracting enough pandan juice from these tough leaves can be so tricky. To avoid any wastage, I prefer to extract pandan juice with the coconut milk that I was going to add into my cake and it has worked well for me.

Tip Five: Baking Temperature and Time
Due to maximal amount of liquid added, this cake will rise rapidly during baking and will shrink after cooling. For this reason, I prefer to bake the cake in a slightly lower oven temperature at 160°C then 150°C and baked it a little longer for at least 65 mins. Having said that, different ovens can be different and I know that my current Ariston oven is typically warmer than some ovens. Thus, if you think that your oven is not strongly heated like mine, you might want to bake yours at 170°C then 160°C. 
Please do not bake the cake for less than 60 mins as this is the minimal baking time required to bake such a large cake with a large amount of moisture.

If you prefer your chiffon cakes to have absolutely no cracks at all, you can try baking the cake below 150°C but please beware that the cake will need a longer time to bake and if the your oven temperature is too low, the cake will not rise properly.

Tip Six: The Usual
Not to nagging but these are usual baking tips that I always mentioned for baking my other ultra soft chiffon cakes...

- Please do not unmould the cake by pressing it!!! To unmould, please use a blunt thin plastic spatula or knife to run along the cake's edges and gently push the cake out from the pan. Plus, please use a serrated knife to slice the cake.

- This recipe makes one tall and perfect 8-inch (20 cm) chiffon cake. So, please do not ask me to calculate the amount of ingredients required to bake your chiffon cake in different sizes. To do so, you can either 1) prepare the same amount of batter and bake a smaller cake using your larger pan or 2) prepare the same amount of batter and use partial the amount to bake a smaller cake cake using your smaller pan or 3) buy a 20cm chiffon cake pan.

- Last but not the least, please use the exact weight of the ingredients and make sure that all ingredients are at room temperature.

Tip Seven (Updated on 5/10/2017)
It's ok to have some cracks on this cake!!! Please do not bake this cake with too low oven temperature or a tray of boiling water. Detailed explanation is at here

bengawan solo pandan chiffon cake
Have you follow my recipe and baking tips to the tee?
Yes and you will be enjoying this ultimate soft pandan chiffon cake!

Here's a quick video showing how I baked this ultimate soft pandan chiffon cake.

Happy National Day, Singapore!!!

To celebrate this arriving special day, I have baked this ultimate soft pandan chiffon cake that tastes just like home.

Here's the recipe.

IMPORTANT: Please use the exact weight and make sure that all ingredients are at room temperature.

Makes one tall and perfect 8-inch (20 cm) chiffon cake

For the egg yolks mixture:
9 fresh pandan leaves
120g coconut milk, fat reduced with 13% fat plus more if required*
90g egg yolks (about 6)
30g neutral tasting vegetable oil
120g cake flour with 8% protein
1/4 tsp salt

For the egg white mixture:
200g egg whites (about 6)
120g caster sugar

*If unavailable, use 60g regular coconut milk with 24% fat plus 60g coconut water.

Preheat oven to 160°C/320ºF.

For the egg yolks mixture:
Using a kitchen scissor, snip pandan leaves into small pieces and place them into a blender or a processor container with 120g coconut milk and process. Place blitzed pandan over a muslin cloth and squeeze out the pandan-coconut-milk juice. Use only 120g of the juice. Top the mixture with extra coconut milk to 120g if the extracted juice is less than 120g.

Place the extracted juice, egg yolks and oil in a large mixing bowl and use a hand whisk to mix until everything is combined.

Sift the cake flour and salt into the egg mixture and use a hand whisk to mix until batter is smooth. Set aside.

For the egg white mixture:
Using an electric mixer with a whisk attachment, beat egg whites in the lowest speed for at least 10-15 mins to stabilise the mixture. Increase beating speed to the next higher speed. While beating, add sugar gradually. Increase beating speed to another higher speed and continue to beat until stiff peaks form. The meringue should be very smooth with tiny bubbles. Do not over-beat the mixture.

Using a hand whisk or a spatula, gently fold in the egg whites to the egg yolks mixture in 3-4 batches. It is ok to mix the 1st batch of egg white more vigorously into the egg yolk mixture but the subsequent portions must be folded in very gently. Make sure that most of the white is not visible after folding.

Pour batter into an un-greased 20 cm chiffon tube pan. Give the pan a gentle tap and use a skewer to draw a zigzag on the batter surface to remove any large air bubbles. Bake at 160°C for 10 mins, then reduce temperature to 150°C and bake for another 55 mins or until it is thoroughly baked. Cover the top of your cake very loosely with a piece of foil when it turns brown too quickly at the last 15 mins of baking. IMPORTANT: This cake has high liquid content and needs to be baked for at least 60 mins in total.

After baking, invert the cake immediately to cool on a wire rack. Allow the cake to cool completely in the pan before removing it from the pan. Important: Do not unmould the cake by pressing it! To unmould, please use a blunt thin plastic spatula or knife to run along the cake's edges and gently push the cake out from the pan.The cake is fragile and so it is easier to slice with a serrated knife. Enjoy!

Store any uneaten cake in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. You will be surprised and delighted that the cake can stay so soft and moist even after the 3rd day of bake!

Happy Baking
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  1. Thanks for sharing, Zoe! I like your recipes. Will give a try. ��

  2. How much the pandan juice if i'm going to used pandan juice from the can, I bought the pandan juice in the can, they sold in here( canada), i think made in vietnam, thank you.

    1. Hi, I have not try using pandan juice from a can before and won't know if the pandan juice is concentrated enough to use as a diluted form. However, you can try to combine 60g pandan juice with 60g coconut milk with 24% fat. Hope that this will work.

  3. I love to eat cakes; it looks so yummy!! Thank you for the recipe.

  4. I made this ytd and it was really good! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  5. Hi babe I did using ur recipe . I was using a electric hand whisk. But I think I reach stiff peak before Your recommended time. Is it possible? So I stop whisking before ur recommended tine . My cake is crumbly during cutting . What did I do wrongly?

    1. Hi Hui Ni, A good chiffon cake should not be crumbly and I'm sorry to say that you have not beat your egg whites mixture correctly. Please watch my video to see how I baked mine :)

  6. Hi Zoe!

    Thanks for sharing this recipe. I was not confident in baking the chiffon cake but after following carefully your steps (so detailed), my husband said it tasted good! I was over the moon as he hardly commented on the cakes I baked. I felt that it was not that sweet but he said good :)Thanks!

  7. oh yumm , it does look nice and soft!!

  8. I literally started having hunger pangs halfway through the post. It looks amazing and I bet it also tastes delicious too. It is the perfect dish to cook up in this season. I can’t wait to try it . Looking forward to reading more delectable recipes in the upcoming posts.

  9. Hi Joe, thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe. I will not give it a miss.

  10. Thank you, Zoe. Finally, I was able to bake a really good pandan chiffon cake with your recipe. N my friends loved it. Thanks for coming to my help.

  11. Hi Zoe, thank you for the recipe. Do yo bake this cake using bottom and top heat or fan forced oven? I always use baking powder to bake my chiffon cake before. I usually set the temp high at first so the baking powder could activate, and lower it after a few minutes. Is there any differences in the way the cake is raising if not using baking powder? TIA

    1. Hi Dewi,

      I'm baking my chiffon cakes with top and bottom heating with no fan forced. If you beat the meringue well enough, you don't even need any baking powder to raise the cake. To me, the cake without the baking powder won't have the rigid risen structure and is therefore extra soft and cottony. Try baking the cake with and without baking powder and see and taste the difference! Cheers!

  12. Love this recipe. The chiffon cake is soft and moist. Didnt expect to get this result without using cream of tartar. This will be my recipe for chiffon cake from now on.

  13. Hi Joe, I need your advice on chiffon cake as yours look great ! I have tried baking pandan chiffon cakes a few times and everytime the cake drop out from the mould when I overturn the mould for cooling and the cake exterior is a bit wet the next day ? May I know what is wrong with my cake ? Is it my mixing method wrong ? My meringue texture wrong ? Thank you.

    1. Hi,

      I'm not Joe! :p Your cake is wet on the next day because it is not cooled well enough before you store it in your airtight container and the wetness came from the condensation! Cheers!


  14. Hi, thanks for this great recipe, indeed is the softest n light Pandan Chiffon cake I ever baked. Love it so
    much! Keep up the good work.
    Best wishes

  15. Hi Zoe, I had tried baking this chiffon cake but not sure why one side of the top sink in a bit after I cut? Do you know what happen to my processes? But overall the taste is still good. Btw, did you try out matcha chiffon cake? If so, would you be able to share the recipe? Now matcha seems to be in the trend. :)

    1. Hi Jas, Maybe one side of your cake batter hasn't been spread properly or maybe it has been not baked thoroughly. Yes I have tried a matcha chiffon cake recipe at It is good but not exactly ultra soft. Cheers!

  16. Hi Zoe,
    I have just tried baking the Pandan chiffon cake and have trouble with the egg white mixture. When I mix the stiff peak egg white mixture to the yolk mixture, the egg white forms some bubbles(white lump) and it's hard to break it up. Do you have any idea what happened? Did I over beat the whites?

    1. Hi May, Clearly, your egg white mixture hasn't been beat properly. Your egg whites might have traces of yolks or grease or you might have over-beat your mixture or beat it with too high speed. Cheers!

  17. Thanks for your sharing. Really yummy!! But ttoo sweet for me. Is it ok to cut down sugar? Do u have coffee chiffon recipe?

    1. Yes if you insist but I prefer not because this amount of sugar is very essential to beat the egg whites into its best texture. Yes I have a coffee chiffon recipe at or you can add coffee into this recipe at Cheers!

  18. Hi, we followed your recipe to a T but for some reason, the chiffon cake turned out very dense. Do you have any idea where went wrong?

    1. Hi, I'm sorry to say that something has gone wrong!!! And I don't think you have followed the recipe well enough to a tee. Did you weigh the ingredients properly or beat the meringue correctly? Please read my baking tips. Cheers!

  19. Hi Zoe,
    My oven on has fan forced function. What temperature do you recommend to bake and at which rack? Thanks

    1. Hi, I don't prefer to use fan forced oven for cake baking. And if you really have to use fan forced function, you will have to reduce 10-20 degree from the temperature that I used in this recipe. Different oven is different and so you might have to do a few trial and error to know your optimal setting. Cheers!

  20. Dear Zoe

    I used the same coconut milk as you but it gave a 臭油味 when I tasted it, this somehow covered the pandan fragrance.
    There was also a bitter aftertaste, why is this so?
    I will try again using other brand of packed or fresh coconut milk as this recipe results in a very nice texture and moist cake with a natural green colour.


    1. Hi Kate, I'm sorry to hear that the coconut milk that you used is yucky! Please try another brand but make sure that it contains 13% fat and not too much. Fresh coconut milk has unknown fat content and will cause variation in the cake texture eventually.

    2. My cake has the same 臭油味。@Kate, pls share with me if you found the tips to eliminate the smell 😂😂😂

    3. Hi all, The 13% fat coconut milk that I'm using is bought in Melbourne and I'm not too sure if the quality control of this brand of coconut milk in other countries is as good as the ones in Melbourne. Please send your feedback to the manufacturer and please use other brand if required as long as the fat content is 13%. Cheers!

  21. Hi Zoe,
    I baked this couple of days ago, followed everything to the tee, and it really turned out to be moist, soft and fragrant cake! So yum. Thanks for the wonderful recipe and tips for my succcessful bake!


  22. HI Zoe,
    Can share with us what brand of coconut milk are you using? So far, I didn't manage to find the coconut milk that only contain 13% only.

    1. Hi Sheryl, I'm using Ayam fat reduced coconut milk with 13% fat but some readers said that they don't like the brand for some reasons. Please check the label before buying and using it just in case that the same brand of coconut milk might be different in different countries. Cheers!

    2. Hi Sheryl, Please note that I'm not promoting for Ayam. I'm just telling you the brand that I'm using since you asked. You don't have to use this brand if you don't it. It's your choice!

  23. Hi Zoe, for the egg white mixture, I've set the electric mixer with whisk attachment to the lowest setting for 15mins but its still in its translucent form, and not white like your video. what's wrong?

    1. Hi Joel, I think you have misunderstood the instruction in my recipe... "beat egg whites in the lowest speed for at least 10-15 mins to stabilise the mixture. Increase beating speed to the next higher speed. While beating, add sugar gradually. Increase beating speed to another higher speed and continue to beat until stiff peaks form. The meringue should be very smooth with tiny bubbles."

      Beating the egg whites for 15 mins with the lowest speed won't beat your egg white to stiff peaks. Cheers!