How to make a Pandan Chiffon Cake: Almost everything you need to know

The Pandan Chiffon Cake

Remember I was telling you about how I learnt the valuable lesson about persistence from watching my Mom try again and again to perfect her Pandan Chiffon Cake? Well, since I got my new KitchenAid to play with, I decided to re-enact the Pandan Chiffon experience for myself.  I thought it should be quite a simple thing to do but little did I know that it would take me quite a number of bakes before I finally felt ready to write this post.

This post is the result of months of research on the internet, reading recipe books, talking to various expert bakers and  baking a lot of cakes.  My Pandan Chiffon Cake is by no means perfect yet, but I think that I have learnt enough to pen down enough information so that whoever wants to bake a Pandan Chiffon Cake would have all the information they need to make a good Pandan Chiffon Cake.

One of the problems when you are trying to find recipes on the net is that different writers have different standards. That is fine I guess.  If you are happy with a Pandan Cake that sinks on the top, looks bad but tastes good, then that is the cake that you should bake.  My wife loves the Pandan Chiffon Cake from Bengawan Solo, and that is exactly how that cake is like.  It is ugly, lacks structure but it is very fragrant and soft. If you like that style of cake, then you can also achieve it if you read this post.  This article will contain all the information you need to tweak your cake anyway you like.

An early attempt with many imperfections using the standard recipe

So let me start by defining the perfect Pandan Chiffon Cake.

To me, the perfect Pandan Chiffon Cake should taste good, smell good and look good.  It is easy to make a cake that tastes good but looks ugly.  I made that kind of cake in my second or third attempt. But it was the search for the recipe that gave me a cake that has the right balance of looking and tasting good that took me another 30 attempts.

Just take a look at the photo above so that I can explain what I mean.  Everyone loved the taste of this particular cake and if I were to give you a slice, you would probably be happy too.  But as you can see from the photo, the sides of the cake is kinked because the outer edges are taller than the centre of the cake. This happens a lot because the Chiffon Cake is a cake where you really need to get everything right.  In order for it to stand tall and proud, the top of the cake must have a nice dome after baking. Another of the early problems I had was also with large bubbles in the cake which sometimes appear on the sides.  It's like having a cake with a big pimple which I find unacceptable and so I had to find ways to minimize the problem.

Kiamnianwong's 9 whites recipe - my final recipe

The current version of the Chiffon Cake is based on my wife's Aunt's 30 year old recipe. (This was when the Pandan Cake was the rage)  With Kiamnianwong's recipe, I finally managed to get a nice dome shaped cake which is still soft and velvety on the inside.  The top of the cake is not overly cracked and it stands nice and tall. I found that it is important for the cake to have enough of that browning on the outside as it adds a nice caramelized taste to the cake, as well as making it look really nice. While the cake was baking my whole family were really excited because of the sweet pandan and coconut fragrance emanating from the oven.  I will share later what I did to get that result.

Four different Chiffon Cake recipes
Addendum:  Cake Tin is in cm not inches

I have highlighted four different recipes of the many different ones that I have tried.  The standard recipe is the one that is found on the Prima website and it is the one that is most commonly found on the internet.  I found that this recipe gave me a cake that consistently sunk on the top and kinked at the sides.  That started my experimentation on altering the different components of the recipe one at a time.  In order to give the cake more structure, the easiest is to add more flour as is the case with the Asianbakes recipe.  Adding more flour would give you a lovely looking cake, but my wife (the person for whom I am trying to please) remarked that it was too dry and not soft enough.  Then another baker, Anna Chan shared with me her whole egg recipe which uses equal amounts of egg yolk and egg white.  With her recipe she also replaced the corn oil component with coconut milk.  Again, my wife remarked that it was softer but somehow the texture still cannot beat Bengawan Solo.  Sigh, back to the drawing board.

More Flour version, 50% more flour makes a stable but dryer cake

All these cakes will rise well if your technique is sound.  So you can play around with the ratio of eggs to flour a bit and you would still come up with a nice looking Chiffon cake.  What that means is that there is quite a bit of space for error in terms of the proportion of ingredients.  What then is the critical factor that determines whether you cake will rise and set properly?

For me, the most critical factor was controlling the oven temperature. Let me save you a lot of heartache by saying this.  Go and buy an oven thermometer!  I think this is the single most important piece of equipment which is often overlooked.  In order to achieve a nice dome shaped cake, you need to have a nice hot oven to start with and when the cake is risen and about to crack, you need to reduce the top heat to slow the rise and drying out of the top crust.  This is what they do with commercial ovens.  Your home oven may or may not have this control.  Mine doesn't, so I had to experiment with all sorts of ways to lower the top heat halfway through the baking process.  I tried putting a tray of water on top of the oven, thinking that that would somehow lower the top heat --- Failed. I put a cover over the baking tin halfway through the baking process --- Failed.  What worked for a while was using an aluminum pie dish to partially cover the cake once it is starting to crack.  That works but it is a real pain because you had to open the oven halfway and you had to be quick so that the temperature doesn't drop too much.

Finally what I did was to put the oven on fan forced mode at first and switching to non-fan forced mode halfway through. That worked.  But every oven is different, and if you want to get the results, you need to understand your own oven.  I found that with my oven, the temperature inside is not necessarily what I set  with the knob.  That is where the oven thermometer comes in.  Your thermometer is the only way you are going to be sure what temperature your cake is baking at.

The other mistake which I made is taking the cake out of the oven too soon.  I did this a few times because I observed that if overbake the cake, it will rise to maximum height and start to sink while still in the oven. So I took it out early to try to prevent that. Bad move. Sunk like the Titanic. It was so bad, the cake literally fell out of the tin by itself!  Lesson learnt:  Better to err on over baking than under baking. 


Whole egg Pandan Chiffon Cake Recipe
 

Notes on Ingredients

1.  Eggs
The thing about eggs is that they come in different sizes which range from 55g to 70g in our supermarket shelves.  The recipes here use 60g eggs which are considered large eggs.  I tried to Kay Kiang (act smart) once and bought the most expensive ones on the shelf.  They turn out to be XL eggs which are 70g.  My cake overflowed the tin! Fail. The other thing about eggs is that you need to get the freshest ones.  Old eggs do not whip up too well.  Nowadays I buy eggs based on the expiry dates.  I just pick the ones with the longest expiry date.


2.  Castor Sugar
Don't use normal sugar, use fine castor sugar for best results.  Sugar has a major role to play both in the stabilization of the meringue (egg whites) as well as to make the surface of the cake more resilient.  So if you think you can simply reduce the sugar, think again.  If you want a successful Chiffon, more sugar is better than less.  At any rate the average cake uses 100g sugar  which is 23 teaspoons of sugar.  If you divide the cake into ten slices, you are only taking 2.3 teaspoons per slice which is one third the amount found in a can of coke. Just take a smaller slice if you are concerned about your health or take your cake with Chinese Tea rather than Teh Tarik.

3.  Baking Powder
You can use self raising flour instead of cake flour and that will eliminate the need for baking powder. Actually baking powder is used only as insurance.  I have baked Chiffon Cakes that rised successfully without adding Baking Powder.  I thought that by eliminating the Baking Powder I can slow the rise of the cake in the oven so that it won't crack easily. That didn't work.  So I went back to using Baking Powder, just in case. Don't think that more is good.  Put too much baking powder and your cake will rise too fast, crack, and deflate.  And so will your ego.

4.  Corn Oil
Other oils like Canola and Sunflower oil can be used instead of Corn oil.  The main difference between a Chiffon Cake and, say, a butter cake is the fact that a Chiffon Cake uses oil instead of butter which is a liquid at room temperature. This gives it that characteristic light and moist texture which is why we like Chiffon Cakes. It also contains less saturated fats if not for the addition of coconut milk. 

5.  Flour
Cake flour is preferable, I use Softasilk flour but any cake flour will work although they might give you slight differences in texture.  Even all purpose flour is ok. I used top flour before but my cake lacked structure and I haven't used it since.  However, I plan to try Top Flour again with my latest recipe as I suspect it might make the cake even more velvety.  Many recipes tell you to sift the flour three times.  I think that is required only if you are measuring the flour by volume instead of weight.  If you weigh your flour, you can just sift it once. 

Different Pandan Essences available 


6.  Pandan Juice and Pandan Paste

If this is your first time squeezing pandan leaves, you will be in for a shock.  You can get a whole bunch of leaves, chop it up in a food processor and squeeze nothing out of it.  What you need to do is to chop it up finely and put one tablespoonful of water and squeeze it like you are trying to get money out of the tax dept.  I tried to be smart by trying different methods of increasing the yield.  I used sake instead of water because I thought that the alcohol will be able to extract more flavour, ala Vanilla pods -- FAIL!  I tried to heat up the leaves after I chopped them up --- FAIL!  I boil them in the coconut to try to extract the flavour, ala Bubo Cha Cha --- FAIL.  Once you heat it up, you can't extract any colour and the smell changes! Just smash them up as best as you can and squeeze!  And oh, how many leaves should you use?  Any number you like, really.  I just take the whole bunch and use that.  Some recipes say 5 leaves, some say 9.  Not much difference.  More is better but still not enough.  So you still have to add Vanilla and Pandan essence.

If you have no access to Pandan leaves, you can use Pandan Paste.  This is basically artificial pandan flavour in a thick green paste.  This will give you green colouring as well because without green colouring, your Pandan Chiffon Cake would look like it is jaundiced. To get that fragrance wafting through the house, real pandan leaves is still needed.  If you have to get Pandan Paste, get the Koepoe Koepoe brand which is available in Sheng Shiong.  That is better than the Bake King one sold in supermarkets.  There is also Pandan essence which is available from Poon Huat which does not have colour.  So if you like a strong pandan fragrance but don't want your Chiffon Cake to look like it could glow in the dark, you can use less Pandan paste and use colourless Pandan essence.


Whole egg Pandan Chiffon Cake Recipe

7. Coconut Milk
The tetrapak, UHT coconut milk is the most convenient.  I would advise you to use this while you are experimenting with the cake.  Once you feel more confident, use the fresh one sold in packets from the refrigeration units.  However, once you are ready to show off your cake to your friends, go down to the market and buy a coconut and squeeze out the milk yourself.  Leave it in the fridge for a while and skim off the cream on  top.  That is the way to get everyone excited when the cake is still baking in the oven. The expert baker from Sembawang Confectionary advised me to heat up the coconut milk to get maximum flavour. You are supposed to try to concentrate the milk when you heat it up, so that you get a creamy consistency.  I find that if I just leave the milk to separate, I can skim off the cream and that works for me.

8.  Salt
Salt is important as it gives it flavour.  Omit it and your friends will complain that Bengawan Solo tastes much better!


9.  Cream of Tartar
So what the heck is this?  I remember hearing of this Cream of Tartar as a kid and never knew that it was connected to the Chiffon Cake.  Cream of Tartar is used to stabilize the egg whites.  If you remember from my egg poaching video, I explained that we add vinegar to the water when poaching eggs because the acid in vinegar helps to coagulate the egg white.  Well, Cream of Tartar is basically Tartaric Acid and it is used to stabilize your meringue (beaten up whites).  You can certainly beat up egg white quite well without it if you have an excellent egg beater like the KichenAid, but if you are hand whisking it, the Cream of Tartar helps.  It also prevents the egg whites from breaking down if you overbeat the eggs.  The proportion of Cream of Tartar to egg white is 1/8 teaspoon for each white.


Notes on the technique

1.  Before you do anything, turn on your oven and preheat it to 170 degrees celcius!  Last thing you want is when you cake is ready to bake and the oven is cold!

2.  If you look at many of the videos available on the internet, they don't seem to care how you mix the egg yolk batter.  In fact, many recipes simply say mix everything together.  I did this and somehow I always get a batter which is not so smooth.  So I borrowed a technique from making sponge cake and creamed the egg yolk with sugar first for 5 minutes on level 6 on the KitchenAid, using the wire whisk.  The volume of the batter will triple you have a nice and light batter.  I mix the corn oil, coconut milk, pandan paste, vanilla together and add it slowly to the mixture while whisking .  After that I sift the flour into the batter and use the same wire whisk at speed 4 to combine the flour into the batter.  I find that mixing flour into a thicken batter is much easier than trying to mix flour into a watery liquid.  Doing it this way produces a nice and light batter with 2 to 3  times the volume compared to if you simply mix everything together.  The main advantage of this is that it makes the subsequent folding of the batter to the egg white meringue so much easier as this batter is much lighter and easier to fold.

3.  Now it is time to whisk the whites.  Although this is often touted as the most critical part of the Chiffon Cake, I think that ironically, it is the easiest to master.  Make sure you clean the mixing bowl properly.  If there is any oil or yolk in it, you will have difficulty whisking your whites. One good way to ensure this is to clean the bowl using a bit of kitchen paper dampened with vinegar. Make sure your egg whites are at room temperature.  Make sure they are fresh.  For 5 egg whites, whisk at speed 4 for one minute.  The resulting mixture should be foamy.  Then add Cream of Tartar and whisk for 45 seconds, then add the sugar gradually over the next 45 seconds.  Done.  Works 100% of the time and takes the guess work out of when the whites are ready.  If you are whisking 9 egg whites, its 1 minute at Speed 4, add Cream of Tartar, 1 minute at Speed 8 and gradually add the sugar while whisking at speed 8 for another minute.

Ok, here's what we are trying to achieve.  Contrary to some websites who say that it is better to overbeat the whites, in my experience it is better not to overbeat it.  What you need to achieve is the stage just before it reaches stiff peaks.  If you overbeat it, it will become dry and lumpy and you are going to have a difficult time folding in the batter.  There are some recipes that state that you need to beat it for 15 minutes!  Maybe that is if you are using a hand whisk.  With the KitchenAid, it only takes 2.5 minutes for 5 whites and 3 minutes for 9 whites.

There are many ways to tell if you got the whites stiff enough.  You can flip the mixing bowl over your own head and the white should not fall.  This is the most gratifying if you are trying to show off to a group of baking newbies but you would only get a cursory smile from experienced bakers since they have seen it all before. Another way is to lift your whisk see if the peaks droop (soft peaks) or not (stiff peaks).  Here's a trick that is less well known.  You can put an egg on top of the meringue and it should sink by half a cm if it is at the stiff peaks stage. If it doesn't sink at all, you have gone too far.  If the egg sinks too much, it is not ready yet.  If your egg sinks right to the bottom, give up and just go and buy a Bengawan Solo cake!

4.  Now that the batter and meringue is done, its time to mix them both together.  Add one third of the meringue to the green mixture and mix it with a spatula so that you get a light green batter which is easy to fold. Then add the rest of the meringue to the batter and GENTLY fold the mixture in. This is where people get superstitious.  Some say you must go only in one direction.  I don't think it makes any difference BUT I still go one direction, just in case.  What is important is that you handle the batter gently.  If you do it as if you are paddling a dragon boat, then you will deflate the batter and there again goes your ego.

5.  Okay here is something a lot of recipes don't mention.  You need to make sure that you get a tube cake tin which is just nice for your cake!  For a 5 white recipe, you need a 23 cm tin. I used a 22 cm tin and my cake overflowed.  For a 9 white recipe, use a 25 cm tin.  If your tin is too big, the cake will not rise properly.  What you want is for the cake to rise till the sides reach the rim and the middle to keep rising so that you achieve a dome shape.  When you use a cake tin that is too large, you will find that the sides of the cake sometimes rises more than the centre and that is where you get a cake that kinks at the side. 

Before you pour the mixture into the tin, give your batter bowl a few sharp blows by banging it on the table.  This will get the big bubbles to rise to the top and burst.  Don't do it after you pour it into the cake tin as you will get ugly bubbles on the bottom of the cake because air gets in when you bang it.  After you get rid of as many bubbles as you can, pour the mixture into the cake tin slowly making sure that as many of the big bubbles burst while the batter flows over the rim of the cake tin.  This is the trick that I finally found to be most useful for getting rid of big bubbles!  Don't turn the cake tin while you are doing this as you will introduce more air into the cake. Just keep pouring the batter into the same portion of the tin and you will see that the batter flows around the tin without trapping more air.  After all the batter is transferred into the tin, use a chopstick to go round the tin a few times to release any bubbles still trapped at the bottom or side of the tin.  It is very important to smoothen the surface properly with a spatula after you do this because if you don't, the cake will crack along the same path of your chopsticks!

6.  Now it is time to put the cake into the oven.  Make sure that the oven thermometer shows 170 degrees. and put the cake as low in the oven as you can. Instead of using the rack that comes with the oven, I use a low wire stand.  This is to get the cake as close to the bottom heating element as possible.  This is one cake where you can't just set the timer and go and sleep.  You have to keep you eye on the cake and temperature at least until you know how your oven behaves.  This is what the professional bakers do.  Check on your cake every 10 minutes to make sure the oven temperature is constant.  At around 20 to 25 minutes, you cake would have risen and start to crack.  This is when you lower the temperature by switching to non fan forced mode or by putting an aluminum pie dish over it to reduce the heat from the top.  Your oven might be different and require different methods to achieve this.  The principle here is that you want to have more heat at the bottom than the top or else the top will brown, crack, become dry and start to sink before your baking is done.

7.  Once baking is done, overturn the cake and let it cool.  Use either a bottle or a funnel to elevate the cake.  This is important because if the cake is too close to your tabletop, condensation takes place and you will spoil the surface of the cake.  To speed up the cooling process, my mom taught me to drape a wet towel over the cake tin.  This works with no problems.  Some websites say that you should cool it for 3 hours.  With a wet towel, you can cut your cake within the hour.  Once your cake is cooled, it's time to remove it from the tin.

8.  This part is critical if you want your cake to look good.  Use a sharp knife and with one movement separate the sides of the cake from the tin, pressing your blade as firm as possible on the cake tin.  If you don't do this properly, you will have ugly sides and top.

9.  If you like, you can place the cake into the fridge after it cools.  This will stablize the cake so that it will maintain its shape better.  I never did this because I would always slice it when it is cooled to take a photo. 

Conclusion

Well I think that is about it!  I am no professional baker, so whatever is written are just the things I learnt along the way. If you are an expert in this area and you spot some errors or if there are better ways of doing things,  please write in to share your tips! 

I wish you all the best with your Pandan Chiffon Cake! Do write in and let us know how you went with your cake!

285 comments:

1 – 200 of 285   Newer›   Newest»
Anonymous said...

Ieat, Ishoot, Ipost and now Icook!

reychen said...

Oh boy, is this your lengthiest post to date? Very informative!

Somehow strangely, this post has the ability to lend some courage to newbies like me who have never played with a conventional oven before.

Lastly, thank you so much for all your hard-work and diligence!

ieat said...

Ah, I know you have been waiting for this one reychen! So when are you planning to bake a Chiffon Cake?

Jyoan said...

Envy. When can I have my own oven? LOL.

ICook4Fun said...

Great write-up on Pandan Chiffon Cake. On extracting pandan juice I always bleand it with the coconut milk. This way you don't have to add extra water to the cake mixture and get the full flavor of the fresh pandan.

ieat said...

Ah, thanks for that tip! Next time I will try it.

Wen said...

This is an impressive post. Great effort! Your pandan cakes look real good & well baked. Mine always can't get a nice crust.

ieat said...

Well, I hope you manage to get a few tips from this post and see if you can get a cake that you are happy with. And let us know how it went!

tj han said...

You were too busy making the cake to take photos of the process! haha, should get a helper to take pics of the inbetween steps.

Nice guide though, it's so detailed.

ieat said...

The process is in the slideshow tj! Is that what you are referring to?

Bertson said...

Wow.. this is a very long and detailed post on baking a chiffon cake!

Not a bad idea for mother's day!

Haha ... might try it. Well, currently am making cheesecake though is not coming up to standard yet. Still looking for the "cream cheese" that will give you the "melt in your mouth but still light" taste.

Still, a great and informative post. Hope to see more of such post! Maybe, one day you could even hold a IeatIshootIpost Baking Session!

Cheers!

Sumosumo said...

huh u tried to boil pandan leave to extract the juice?

my mom used to bake pandan cake alot. she will pound the leaves with the old pestle and mortar and then u will get a nice juice out of it when u squeeze it.

Wellington said...

Hi! This is great post. One question, for the 5 egg whites recipe, which recipe should I use? The standard one? Cheers!

ieat said...

Yes sumosumo, I tried boiling it and the colour disappears and the aroma changes. The only way is to pound or grind it and squeeze.

For the 5 egg recipe you can use the standard one. But the 9 white recipe works best. It doesn't cost much more, and I would recommend it.

Passionate About Baking said...

Hi Dr Leslie,
Thanks very much for sharing your analysis and in details! I shall try your recipe. I've very often faced the same problem as you previously too! I hope I can make a good chiffon using your recipe! Btw, I've been waiting for this post!

ieat said...

Thank you so much for your kind words. Do let us know how you went with your Chiffon Cake!

liverpool1965 said...

thanks ieat...now I know how I should spend this coming weekend! :)

spots said...

so uncanny, i am about to make pandan cake with my kids this afternoon! thanks for the tutorial!! =)

ieat said...

Great! I am looking forward to your feedback and photos!

cactuskit said...

I like it when you do all the R&D, and I go learn it from you. First, Tau huay. Then Pizza dough. Next... Chiffon cake! : )

wat2eat said...

ieat, thanks for sharing the great recipe! So informative! I will try and let you know my experience!

Jyoan said...

I just came back from Tangs. Watched Mdm Cynthia cook Banana Marble Chiffon Cake. OMG, those who are interested to make real chiffon cake, really must go and watch her. So nice! 100x better than Bengawan Solo.

It's everything I want... Crispy skin, so pretty, pong pong like jelly, looks like sponge, eat already like cream on the inside (not sure if pandan will be creamy, cos this got real banana), taste got banana, sweet not diabetic. (But I feel that old people who like sweet to death kind may not taste the taste...)

Unlike Bengawan Solo, look pretty only. Eat all crumble apart, no chew, not creamy, no taste, only sugar.

And she says to release the bubbles, just roll the tin will do, tap from the bottom, no need to bang the tin hard.

Most amazing is she heat from the pot, 15min only! She says oven 45min, 180 deg C.

(I love her mold the most. So pretty. haha.)

(While waiting, I also watched kway tiao w/o oil, non-oily popcorn, green vegetables, paper thin egg omelette, tau kwa. haha.)

(And I bought her stuff, cos don't need oven. Me can make pandan cake already. Pray whatever she say will be true.)

ieat said...

What time did you go? Did she give you recipe for the banana marble? Did you get her contact number?

Jyoan said...

Went about 4pm I think. Which is the time for the last round of cake, as she has to close at 5.30pm. (Her that induction cooker apparently takes longer than home gas stove to cook, she says, hence the long wait.)

She only gave pandan and write that you just replace pandan with banana, durian, corn, orange, etc, just press whatever much banana you want... Marble is just the pattern... Right before pouring into mold, just squeeze some Hershey (chocolate), don't beat well, so that will leave the swirl pattern. LOL.

:P At the end of it, can't believe I forgot to ask for namecard or sth. LOL. I only asked how to squeeze the pandan juice. She says use that mortar and hand pound. She also hand beat... I am not so strong...

zorka said...

You revealed our family recipe to the world??! it was my inheritance! now what am i going to do for money when i am old??

;P
ching

Passionate About Baking said...

Hi Doc,
I tried the chiffon cake recipe by "kiamnianwong". It was really good! The chiffon turned out to be really soft and fragrant. I did away with the pandan essence and added an extra 1 tsp of pandan juice. I also cut down the total sugar to 180g. My chiffon turned out to be pale in colour because of the omission of the pandan essence. As I didn't bake long enough, it was still quite moist. However, overall, I like this recipe. And I considered it to be a success for me. Thanks very much for sharing this. You can check out my bake @ http://passionbaker.blogspot.com/2010/05/pandan-chiffon-cake.html. :)

ieat said...

Well done! Thanks for letting us know about your attempt at the recipe!

Tang said...

Thanks for all your detailed instructions. In my research for Pandan Ciffon cake, I came across this method to extract pandan juice> Clean and cut the pandan leaves to about 1” length and blend them in the food processor with the coconut milk. Strain to get the juices.

ieat said...

Many thanks. I will give it a go the next time.

Marie said...

I had lots of trouble with getting the perfect Chiffon cake too. But recently I tried a recipe from this book - Keiko Ishida (Okashi)available in popular. IT's so good! Moist and soft and nice to look at! Somewhat close to Bengawan. It has no baking powder or cream of tar tar to make the cake rise. IT'll rise base on your beating method of the cake. Give it a try. Pure Pandan paste can be gotten at Ailin Bakery House at
Tanjong Katong Complex, it's very fragrant too!

Hearty Bakes said...

Thanks for sharing your experiments & informative analysis in search for a good pandan chiffon.
Looking forward to try out "kiamnianwong" recipe and share with you again :)

ieat said...

Thanks for your recommendation of Ailin. I went down and managed to get some really nice flavours AND fresh yeast! Looking forward to making some artisan breads!

sun-chinatown said...

Dr Tay, thanks for the recipe and tips. I baked chiffon cake recipe by "kiamnianwong" and it has good texture. Next attempt will use fresh coconut milk and pandan juice. Thanks again.

ieat said...

Glad you like the recipe sun-chinatown and thanks for writing in to let us know.

SP said...

Thanks for sharing the recipe and the methods.

I have tried the standard 4 eggs recipe twice but both attempts failed. Both attempts, the cake fell off the tin immediately after I tried to turn it over to cool off!!! And the top is still wet and moist hours after...

I have baked at 180C for more than 50 mins and also checked that the inside is fully cooked before I removed it from the oven....

Dr Tay, have you encountered these problem during your attempts? Any advise to cope with these?

p.s. will not be trying for the 9 eggs recipe cos will not be able to finish with hubby n 2 toddlers...

rgds, SP Chee

ieat said...

Hi SP, I think it would be good for you to buy an oven thermometer to measure your oven temperature. It sounds like your knob is showing 180 but the temperature is only 140

Epsye said...

This is of all the most informative and helpful article on Pandan Chiffon Cake I have searched from the web. Before that, I thought I was the only one who would never ever bake a successful chiffon cake. I have tried many times, and of course my ego flattened every time the cake was out from the oven. I baked one today. It was much better than the last time I tried. Not sure how many times more I would need to test-bake before I could acheive the perfect version. Will somehow keep trying. :P

ieat said...

@Epsye, thanks for your comments! It is encouraging to know that the information has been useful to you. Do let us know when you achieve the perfect cake, which I am sure is not too far away!

Betty said...

The best recipe on pandan chiffon cake. Thanks, really appreciate your hard work, diligence and generosity in sharing the recipe. I tried it today. Almost prefect. Didn't get the brown crusts on the sides though. What could possibly be the reason?

ieat said...

That's great to know Betty! Thanks for your comment!

I did not get brown crusts when my oven temp was too low. That was when I bought my oven thermometer and found out that the temp in the oven was not what was shown on my oven knob!

So go get an oven thermometer. They are not expensive. Maybe around $15 or less, but makes a world of difference to your baking.

Ally said...

Hey I LOVE this post, loads of helpful tips thanks!! but out of curiosity could I find out what type of oven you are using? I tried the prima recipe twice in my oven on fan-forced mode and both times came out underbaked! Imagine 160C at 55min and still underbaked.

I dunno what to do :( afraid of the top burning as well! And I don't have an oven thermometer.

Sugar said...

Hi ieat

I love your post on Pandan Chiffon! Thanks for the effort and detail that went into dissecting what makes a good pandan chiffon cake. A note about the beating of egg whites stage. Accoding to Rose Levy Berenbaum, if you add the right proportion of cream of tartar to egg whites (1/8 teaspoon for every egg white), then you can beat the egg whites for a long time all the way to stiff peaks without it ever becoming overbeaten i.e. stiff and dry. before I knew this I always used to beat it to the point just before it becomes completely stiff, until a friend shared this nugget of info with me. I was skeptical at first, but after trying it today with my Japanese souffle cake, I had such a beautiful rise that I am quite convinced by Ms Rosy! See www.aspoonfulofsugah.blogspot.com
I will try her technique again for my classic angel cake recipe - where properly beaten egg whites are essential, and report on my findings :) Let me know your thoughts!

ieat said...

Hi Sugar, thanks for your comment.

Yes I have seen that video too and yes the cream of tartar does allow you to beat the whites longer so that it does not break down.

However, I have overbeaten whites with tartar before and the become lumpy and difficult to fold into the batter which is why I always try not to overbeat it.

Sugar said...

Thanks ieat, that is useful to know, that you can STILL overbeat it.

Anonymous said...

Hi ieat, I really salute you for your perseverance and generosity to share what you have researched! Thank you so much! But I own a 21cm Chiffon baking tin, how can i alter your recipe to make sure it fits my tin?

homegirl said...

Do you know which branch of Sheng Shiong sells the koepoe pandan paste? I visited the one at Commonwealth, the person says they don't have that in their store.

ieat said...

I bought mine from Serangoon I think or Bedok Reservoir.

Anonymous said...

Hi Leslie,

Been reading your blog and you've been very busy!

Just wanted to drop a note to let you know my friend tried your pandan chiffon cake recipe and it worked!

The recipe gave her the texture and bounce that she was looking for. Initially she tried the Sunday Times recipe but it wasn't good so I suggested your recipe.

The only challenge for her now is how to make the cake more fragrant, more of the pandan fragrance.

cheers, bernice

Anonymous said...

My first attempt to make Pandan Chiffon Cake was a success, thanks to your receipe.

I baked them in cupcake moulds instead. Then i realised I have too much batter left, I steamed the remaining batter (like huat kueh), and it was great too..

i wan it homemade, so i skipped artifical pandan essence and extract pandan juice. I used 2 whole bunch of the leaves. Puree 1st with water, then 2nd with juice from 1st extraction. Taste was great too.. Got the idea from your detail post..

Thank you.. hope to see more i-receipes soon..

SM

ieat said...

That's great to hear SM! Wow, steamed Pandan Chiffon Cake! I must try it one day!

Fong said...

Thank you for investing so much time, effort, cost in researching and sharing with us your findings on baking the perfect pandan cake. I was so inspired that I baked a pandan cake two days after reading your post. I bought fresh grated coconut from wet market, but i find the end result not much different from the ready-made fresh coconut milk from supermarket. I use the standard recipe (cos use lesser eggs). Texture is soft, but like your findings, the top sunk in a little after taking out from the oven. Overall, is still my best attempt in baking a pandan cake. Pics of my pandan cake at:

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=1230758&l=bdc6bd71ce&id=1074601363

cactuskit said...

Thks for your coaching yesterday Les. Tonite, I take my maiden chiffon flight. Hope it turns out like yesterday's.: )

liverpool1965 said...

when are you taking orders cactuskit? I reserve 3 can? :)

ieat said...

Wish you a safe flight Cactuskit!

cactuskit said...

Its turned out ok. Wife says its good but sides collapsed a bit. Will bake another one tonite to try to rectify that.

Liverpool, no prob! : )

jo said...

I too was inspired by your detailed and informative post! I tried your recipe ystd and it turned out a little dry cos I baked it for too long. (I reduced the proportions of ingredients because my mould is a lot smaller)
Your cakes look beautiful, thanks for sharing the tips with us! :)

Anonymous said...

Hi
May i know where i can buy the oven thermometer?

thanks

ieat said...

I bought mine at Sia Huat along Temple St

Michael said...

Very informative post. Thank you for sharing all this information to us. I really appreciate it as I really love baking. I love my chiffon cake with a hot cup of coffee made from my expobar espresso maker at home. Kudos!

Lisa Choo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lisa Choo said...

thanks for sharing your experience, all the tips would be tremendously useful when i attempt pandan chiffon cake for the first time tomorrow. Just bought my first chiffon cake tin and can't wait to put it to the test. But I am so glad I read your post before trying, sure will save me from making some mistakes. Thanks again and will be back to visit your blog again! :)

Silvia said...

Wow, thank you very much for the detailed process. I often bake and I use gas-oven. It is easier to control the temperature. Usually the cake cracks because the temperature inside the oven is too high.. but I am a beginner too, so I don't know for sure. I will try your recipe and find out about the oven.

Fall in love with your blog since the first time I saw it, awesome work!

Sasai said...

I came across your blog when i was looking for the method to bake a perfect chiffon cake. I just baked one today and i think i fail again.
I have a hard time folding the egg white into the egg yolk ingredients. Both attemps were failed. The bottom of the cakes were dense and heavy.
I think i have to get the oven thermometer as well. My hubby said the temperature was too high but i think it was too low.
I will try to make a 9-white recipe next time. Wish me luck. This is my third attemp and still fail. T_T
Try to please my hubby since he likes it so much. He can finish it at one sitting.

ieat said...

Sounds like you haven't baked your cake long enough rather than a problem with the folding.

Denise said...

Hi, loved reading all your tips on how to get the perfect pandan cake. However, sorry to be thick but I can't seem to find your recipe anyway in the blog. Could you please tell me where to look? Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Hi, was I pleased to find your blog! Can't wait to try out this recipe. Even went out and bought a tube pan for this! Just one question, though, you don't mention if the pan needs to be prepped ie. greased and lined? Thanks!

May said...

Hi Doc, any rough timing on folding the egg whites with the batter? Before reading yr blog, i found it a challenge to fold uniformly all of the whites cos some are like "balls". Also dared not fold for too long, afraid of deflating air inside. Thus still could see white colour in the cooked cake. had I overbeaten the whites, too stiff?

ieat said...

You can fold it as slowly as you like, in fact, the slower the better since you do not want to introduce bubbles into the batter. The foam is very stable and will not collapse.

You are right about your egg whites being too stiff. It should be nice and smooth so that there are no lumps. You want to get it to just before the stiff stage when it is still smooth and has a nice sheen.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for the information, I have failed four times to date, making the pandan chiffon. I am so tempted to buy a plane ticket and fly to Changi to get the Begawan Solo and bring it back. Today, I will try again because I can make sense in why the top of my cake is uncooked and the batter was not smooth and shiny. I am now keeping the eggs at room temperature to be mixed in a few hours' time.

ieat said...

I look forward to your report of success!

Natasha said...

Dear Pandan Chiffon Guru,

Pandanus Chiffonus part V:
I am very happy with the results (taste test) as it was delicious! However, as I live in Dubai, I cannot seem to find the cake tin as per your specifications. So I improvised with a Kugel bread/cake tin. The cake clung well to the sides and rose perfectly. But it did not evacuate from the tin well, so I had to cut it up into slices.. thus not a pretty sight. Although it was for personal consumption (due to my cravings of Singapore and Malaysian food) I would love to take a picture to boost my ego ;). Can you tell me the make of the cake tin plese so I could possibly order it online? Thanks so much for your tutorial, the slides were a big help too.

ieat said...

Its Duck Brand. I think it must be a local Malaysian/Singaporean brand.

ieat said...

The Angel Cake Baking Tin should work well: http://www.everten.com.au/product/chicago-metallic-prof-2pc-angel-cake-pan-w-legs.html

Anonymous said...

tried making the first Pandan Chiffon using the 9 egg method. the recipe seems too much for my tin. Thought there is only 1 stand tin for chiffon cake.

it turn up super high and the top is "chow tar"

another thing, I use to bake other cakes last time. while still in the oven, i can smell the fragrance of the cake already, but not this one leh. I only smell "chow tar" was expect the fragrance smell of pandan and coconut.

Anonymous said...

I just made Pandan Chiffon Cake. It turned out pretty well except that the sides got stuck and when I tried to loosen it, it got quite messy..sigh..did not quite manage to get that pretty look.

georginapng said...

the easiest to make & yummiest pandan cake is by the lady promoting anodized wok at the basement of CK Tang. With her recipe & how-to, my chiffon pandan is a success EVERY time thereafter....moist & pretty-looking, yummy yummy.

georginapng said...

Natasha,

No need order special baking tin. The trick for the cake to fall out easily is to grease it, then sprinkle flour all over the tin (turn tin upside down to get rid of excess flour). That's all, no more sticking!

ieat said...

Hmmmm.... I was taught that one must never grease the tin...

Anyway, Natasha, did you use a sharp knife to separate the cake from the tin? The trick with Chiffon Cake is that you want the sides to stick to the tin during the rising process and subsequently the cooling process. If it slides out while cooling, that is not good!

So use a sharp knife and go round the tin and you will be able to lift the cake out.

jimmy wong said...

Hi, i just know ur website from the tv today. i m very interested in food n baking. so i think i can do some comments here.

For the chiffon cake this u make is no well blend between two mixtures. i suggest u to use ur hand to mix both mixtures. the result ll be better. this is because spatula texture is to hard to mix the batter together. it ll destroy the forming bubble then u whipped.

Besides that, the formulation that use in bengawan solo is all in method. so the texture is smoother n nicer. they use different company of essences. so the aroma is differents. any way u did a great job on the chiffon cake.\

cracking problem most probably come for in proper mixing between two mixure. another problem ll be oven temp too hot. temperature u need to c the cake itself...when the cake is raising high up in round surface means then temp is too high. if the cake is still at the same positition after 10 mins baking mean is too low.

lastly u need to remover the bubbles in the cake mixture after panning by stirring wit a skewer and make a knock pan before u bake...

i m a x baking techinician in Malayan Flour Mills...if u need help u can just ask me...expecially in baking...

ieat said...

Thanks for your input Jimmy!. Did you watch the program on Malaysian TV? Which one was that?

Yes oven temp is probably the problem. I have made perfect cakes before with my new oven where I lower the temperature.

Maybe you can write to my gmail leslie.tay@gmail.com so that I can email you for queries?

Anonymous said...

I love your food blog. Very informative and can't wait to give this cake recipe a try.

In regards to the egg whites, I read somewhere that the older eggs will whip up better? That's because the protein are more relaxed and you can get more air into the whites?

ieat said...

From what I know, the fresher the eggs the better. You can do your own experiment and try one batch with fresh eggs and one batch with old eggs and tells us what happens! I always try to use the freshest eggs I can get my hands on.

georginapng said...

ieat,

That was what I thought so too until I saw that lady's demo in CK Tang. Now my chiffon cake is pretty & yummy and most of all easy-peasy to make - what more can one ask for hehe

ieat said...

I must go see this lady one day!

shopgirl said...

For those who have trouble folding the whites into the batter, I was told to take 1/3 of the white mixture and fold it into the yolk batter first. You don't have to be gentle with it at this stage. This will loosen up the yolk batter a little making it easier for you to fold in the rest of the whites.

ieat said...

Thanks shopgirl for highlighting this which was also mentioned in point 4 in the blog post. Actually nowadays, I mix the batter in thirds, ie 1/3 by 1/3 by 1/3 instead of 1/3 then the rest.

crustabakes said...

Hi, thanks so much for the very informative tutorial on chiffon!

The tops of my chiffons always crack, and the layer just beneath the crack is always denser than the rest of the cake.

I am not so much bothered by the cracks, but more on the inconsistency of the cake (top being denser than bottom)

I was wondering if you could help me trouble shoot this problem? Thanks sooo much in advance

ieat said...

Try putting an aluminium foil over the top to reduce the top heat about 25 min into the baking time or when you see that the top is about to crack.

crustabakes said...

Hi again,
thanks so much for the response!I am gonna try just that.
Btw, what oven heat should i be using?
top and bottom heat?
Or just bottom heat with the fan?
Please advise. Thankss againnn!!

ieat said...

Bottom heat with fan should be better I think

clarane0 said...

Hi there

I found your recipe last night & tried it out this morning after trying another recipe for 5 times. I'm delighted and over the moon that it worked! Mine looked as high as yours & I'm really impressed with the level of detail in your recipe. Definitely a bonus for a budding baker like me. And helped to have the same equipment- kitchenaid as you so ur specific instructions in the timing was much appreciated!

I live in Sydney so I have been dying for some pandan chiffon cake (as is my Korean hubby). Thanks for taking the time to try out using different ingredients cos I would never be able to know what to tweak. I know I can trust your blog recipes and i'll be trying the Lempur Ayam next!

Thanks heaps!!

ieat said...

Thanks clarane0! Glad you are happy with the Chffon Cake recipe!

heavenwildfleur said...

thank you for demystifying a lot of difficulties in making a pandan cake. i love the fact that you experimented so many times (your family must have been happy eating all those non-pretty but yummy attempts)! I've made it once and got an average cake, after reading this it makes me feel inspired to perfect my recipe!

Ruth said...

Hi Dr. Tay,

I'm over the moon as I've succeeded in the Pandan cake on 2nd attempt today! Thanks for your wonderful tips!

I found out that the baking temperature for aluminium cake tins & carbon-steel non-stick (dark grey) cake tins are different. For darker cake tins, becuse heat is absorbed faster, temperature needs to be reduced by 25 deg F, i.e. ~155 deg C for the Kiamninanwong recipe :)

ieat said...

Thanks for sharing that! Does the cake fall out during the upside down cooling process?

Ruth said...

Nope! Stayed in tin the entire hour during cooling. It did show signs of cracking at the 25th min, so I covered cake tin with a stainless steel dish (as I didn't have aluminium foil or a pie dish big enough).

FionAlex said...

sorry your post is very wordy.. so what is the recipe? :)

ieat said...

The recipe is in the green coloured table. Use the last one.

Anonymous said...

hello.i m baking cake for the 1st ime.may i know which pandan chiffon cake recipe are u using?is it the standard one?

ieat said...

The one with the extra whites work the best

Anonymous said...

thank u very much~~~

Suhaina said...

Hello Dr.. Fist time here. U have a lovely blog. I really appreciate. I do cooking to impress my husband, u do to impress ur wife.. Amazing...
Actually which recipe did u follow. I have tasted the Bengawan solo chiffon cake. Which recipe should I follow to get it?
Thanks.

Sweetie Yukari said...

hihi,about the coconut milk,are we using the skimmed off cream or use the one without the cream?

ieat said...

I like the extra whites recipe best.

For coconut milk any one will do. Best is still freshly squeezed.

FionAlex said...

hi sir,

i tried your recipe but any idea why my came out not spongy? its like those pan cake kind of texture -_-" i followed closely to yours thou... flour i use is cake flour.

Sweetie Yukari said...

hi ieat,i am a new baker.may i know do I need to grease the chiffon cake tin? thank u.

Marlom said...

Hi,
I live in Australia so the only way to get good pandan cake is to make one yourself. I brought back a chiffon cake tin from Singapore and coz it's made of aluminium (i think), there's a slight dent (noticeable, but slight) in the tin.

The dent is at end where the "tower" attachment sits; aka the bottom when the mixture is poured in.

Do you think this will cause the pandan mixture to leak out? Thanks!
It's kinda hard to describe the dent but I'd just like to know if any damage to the tin will cause the mixture to leak. Cheers!

ieat said...

Should be ok I think.

Nurhana said...

Dear sir,
Thank you so much for your detailed info. Your pictures also helped a novice like me to understand terms like "soft peaks", stiff foam .
Tried the Asianbest recipe cos my pan is 22cm. Taste, texture -good. Just so ecstatic! My kids gobbled down the cake in 5 minutes and pestered me to bake another one, which I just did. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge! Been dreaming of baking a nice chiffon for years and finally achieved it with your guidance!

ieat said...

So glad you managed to bake a good Chiffon cake! Thanks for your comment!

Anonymous said...

Hi Dr Tay!

I was so excited when I chanced upon your Pandan Chiffon Cake recipe. :)

For months, I've been experimenting different kinds chiffon cakes and they didn't turned too good. However, with your precise explanation.. I finally understood the importance of every nitty gritty details to baking good chiffon cakes!

I hang my tube pan on a empty wine bottle to cool.

Thanks so much for this recipe! It's a god send!

Later,
Ethel

lainey said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chloe said...

Hi Dr Tay, my chiffon fell out of the pan after I took it out of the oven and inverted it... I think it was underbaked. But strangely, the batter near the middle of the tube pan separated from the metal tube pan during baking. Do you know if it is the oven that is too hot or not too hot that's why the batter didn't stick to the metal tin? Thanks!! Cheers, Chloe

ieat said...

That happened to me once when my oven temp was too low and the cake did not bake enough. Do get yourself an oven thermometer as that is the only way to know what the temp of the oven is. You should cook the cake at at least 160-170 for 45 mins

Anonymous said...

'That was when I bought my oven thermometer and found out that the temp in the oven was not what was shown on my oven knob!'

Why did you think the oven was wrong and the thermometer was right?

Bake and Share said...

Hi Dr Tay
U are so detailed on this, thank you so much!

ieat said...

Thanks for your comment Bake and Share. Glad you found the post useful.

Anonymous, most ovens don't show the right temperature. This is what most experts say. An oven thermometer is a very simple device whose sole purpose is to record temperature. It is more likely to be accurate.

Katz said...

Awesome POST !! FULL of Emotions & Delightful Flavours :, made me laugh and sying to share this post with my friends
Good read late night, make me Hungry and crave for Pandan Chiffon cake.
Thank DOC <3

daniellek15 said...

Wonderful post. I don't have yet a scale to follow your pandan cake recipe for now, but I used the recipe in kitchen aid book; and I replaced the coconut milk for water plus adding 1tsp of pandan paste and essence (1tsp) from your recipe. My cake doesn't look as smooth as yours, has a lot of "holes" with the strong after taste of the essence and dark green color! If it doesnt have this after taste, the cake is very good . . . and there will be a next time for this cake with your recipe.
One question, how do I invert the pan since the tube top is smaller to any bottle? I always let it sit on the wine bottle neck from the bottom when remove it from the oven and the bottom plate is slightly push up! This is my cake pan - Calphalon® Classic Nonstick Angel Food Cake Pan, 10". Thanks for your help.

ieat said...

Hmmmm, you probably have to balance the rim on 3 glasses.

Ting'er said...

Hiya! Thank you so much for sharing the recipe. I love baking and can't wait to bake the pandan chiffon cake which never fails to bring back found memories living in Singapore. I remembered I couldn't get enough of this cake I bought one from the bengawan shop at the airport to eat on the flight back to Sydney. ;D

Pandan leaves here are more expensive than gold leaves so I'm going to us Pandan paste ... no cake flour downunder so I will use all purpose flour mixed with cornflour ... quick question, how much pandan paste do I use in place of the pandan juice and essence?

Thanks so much for your help and look forward to hear from you soon!

Cheers, Ting'er

ieat said...

One teaspoon should suffice. The problem is always the colour. If you use too much the colour becomes like the incredible hulk. To overcome this, you might want to pick up some colourless pandan essence.

Ean said...

Fantastic! it is so detail!..thanks !

Anonymous said...

Did this when wife went to Singapore (I live in Melbourne). Tasted like Bangawan Solo standrad and friends who tried love it. Agree with you temperature control is important.
Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Hello Dr. Tay
I have a 18 cm chiffon tube pan and I like your advice as to the egg proportions for chiffon cake.

Will 2 yolks and 3 whites prove too little amount for a 18 cm tin?

Appreciate your advice urgently.

Warm rgds
Priscilla Poh

ieat said...

A tray of eggs is only $3. So don't try to make it smaller as it will mess things up, you may need to try a few times and end up using more eggs.

Anonymous said...

Hello Dr. Tay

Don't be mistaken. Price of eggs not the reason. You see, I am alone and I am baking for myself (1person), hence, I am baking small.

But unfortunately, I suspect my 18 cm baking may be too big if I use 2yolks and 3 whites.

I hope you can enlighten me.

Warm rgds
Priscilla Poh

ieat said...

I find that baking a big one is easier than a small one. My 6 eggs is not as good as my 9 eggs. Someone out there might have a good recipe for a 3 eggs cake but I can't really tell you. You would think that as long as the proportions are correct that it should work, but the size of the cake tin and oven temperatures have to be taken into consideration as well. Which is why nowadays I always stick to a 9 egg recipe even though it is too much for our family. We end up giving it some to our neighbours.

Anonymous said...

Hi Dr. Tay

Thanks for your response. Agreed with your comments that temp is important.

I shall try doing chiffon with 2 yolks and 3 whites using my 18 cm tube tin in the near future and let u know the outcome.

Appreciate all the advice u have given to me so far.

Blessings
Priscilla Poh

Anonymous said...

Hi Dr. Tay

Just wish to add that your recommendation to readers go get a oven thermometer is so true. It was after reading your writeup here that I got myself a thermometer and I have been using it just for any type of bakings and most of my baked dishes usually turned out quite good. I can say that without my oven thermometer, 90% my finished bakes will most certainly failed.

Thanks again for your writeup and your unselfish and helpful tips.

Blessings
Priscilla Poh

ieat said...

Thanks Priscilla!

Anonymous said...

Hi Dr Tay,

Tried your 9-egg recipe and it turns out very well for first timer like me. Texture is good... just need to improve taste of my cake. I like it to be more lemak, more coconut and pandan fragrance. Do you think I can achieve this by using all coconut milk to replace corn oil?

Cheers
Jessica

Anonymous said...

Hi

You mentioned skimming the cream from the coconut milk. Do you use just this cream, without the milk? Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for all the tips. My cake looked fab. It was pillowy soft with no air bubbles. I used Red Man pandan flavour and juice from pandan leaves but the batter wasn't the right shade of green so I added pandan paste. I ended up with cake that looked like yours but had a bitter aftertaste. Incidentally, I thought a large egg weighed 55g (with shell). Wouldn't 60g be a jumbo?

ieat said...

Well, large and jumbo may mean different things in different countries. I thought a jumbo would be 65g.

Anonymous said...

Aaargh tried your recipe today. All went well until I tried inverting the cake. It literally fell out of the tin after about 1 mins. I can only surmise that I underbaked it. Back to the drawing board...

ieat said...

Yes, it sounds like it is underbaked. Happened to me a few times too.

Dana Mummy and Daddy said...

Hi Dr Tay

good evening. I have pureed some pandan leave juice but I'm stuck as I have no recipe for my 19cm chiffon tube pan! How can I modify the proportions of the ingredients and which recipe can I follow? Thanks in advance for your advice and for all these precious tips! :)

ieat said...

Use the 9 egg recipe, pour the batter to one inch from the edge of your chiffon tin and the rest of the batter into muffin trays.

Anonymous said...

Hi Dr. Tay, u highly recommend the KitchenAid (the one sold at $779) for bread. I m currently looking for a mixer that will be strong enough to do bread kneading. I was advised by the showroom supervisor of Mayer that the one u r using can get whobby (or shaking) on the top part if mixer is used for kneading. Hence, now I m considering the Kenwood KMT016. Since this model has has a larger capacity for flour, I think this model shud be sturdier.

Are u able to advise me which model shud I go for in choosing a mixer which I will often be using it for bread kneading besides the normal function of beating of cake batter? Below is specifications.

KMT016 Titanium Chef
The ultimate Kitchen Machine. If you are experienced in the kitchen, regularly prepare everyday meals but like the challenge of trying more elaborate recipes and catering for larger groups of friends and families, Titanium is the machine you need. Advance your culinary skills with confidence that Titanium will achieve the results that you desire; a second pair of hands in the kitchen.


• Wattage: 1400w
• Colour: Silver
• Body Material : Metal Body
• Speeds: Variable
• Electronic Speed Control: Yes
• K - Beater: Yes
• Dough Tool: Yes
• Whisk: Yes
• Bowl Tool Material: Stainless Steel
• Flexible Beater Included: Yes
• Splashguard : Yes
• Bowl Material: Stainless Steel with Handles
• Bowl Capacity : 4.6L
• Capacity - Cake : 2.7kg
• Capacity - Dough : 2.2kg
• Capacity - Egg Whites: 12 Maximum
• Capacity - Flour for Pastry: 680g
• Pulse: Yes
• Fold Function: No
• Timer Function : No
• Bowl Attachment Outlet : Yes
• Slow Speed Attachment Outlet: Yes
• Medium Speed Attachment Outlet : Yes
• High Speed Attachment Outlet: Yes
• Cord Storage: Yes
• Dishwasher Safe: Yes
• Spatula: Yes
• Recipe Suggestions: Yes
• Size: 40.0L x 22.7W x 29.7H
• Weight: 7.7kg
• Guarantee: 1 Year

Thank you in advance for your time.

Blessings
Priscilla Poh

iceflare said...

Dear Leslie, my best friend and I are about to bake our 1st pandan cake this afternoon and we're so excited! However we juz realised our aluminium cake tin is 22cm, but we don't really wanna use the Asianbakes recipe cos it sounds like it will turn out pretty dry. Can we use the 9 whites recipe, fill up to 1 inch from the top? Thanks!

ieat said...

That should work.

Natasha said...

Greetings from hot sunny Dubai, Dr Tay,

I finally made it through all the trials and errors (mainly errors) and managed to produce a presentable chiffon cake. After 15 tries, the 16th (onwards) were beautiful and tasty. Thank you so much for the tutorials. I'll even send you some pictures if you'd tell me where I can email them. Next mission will be to learn how to make peanut cakes/apam balik from your blog. Any recipes to share?

Best wishes,
Natasha

ieat said...

Thanks Natasha, glad you were successful! You can send your photos to me at leslie.tay@gmail.com. Looking forward to seeing them.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful website!
So which exact recipe did you use for this cake?

ieat said...

The 9 egg one!

Anonymous said...

Hi Dr Tay,

Thanks for the effort of posting this very detailed recipe. I tried this today and it was a great success! Very soft and moist chiffon cake! Delicious! Really appreciate the great effort you took for this :)

Regards,

Teresa

ieat said...

Glad you had great success Teresa!

Hiew said...

Hi Dr Tay,

Thank you for the great recipe. I have tried kiamnianwong recipe but i only used 2/3 portion. It is moist and soft. However, i face the following problem. Would appreciate if Doc. can share some light.

1. I follow your step to bake the cake with forced air mode follow by conventional mode after it started to rise. The forced air mode cause the surface of the batter to dry very fast and when the cake start to rise, the surface cracked. Do you have any idea how to resolve this?

2. My cake rise very high in the oven (even higher than the middle of the tin. When i took it out from the oven, it start to deflate to almost the same height with the tin... is this common?

Regards
Hiew

Hiew said...

Sorry Dr Tay,

I left out another question.

I immediately invert the cake after remove from oven. After it cold, i found the top part of the cake (the top part when i invert to let cold) tend to more moist then the bottom. I believe this is due to condensation. how do you overcome this?

ieat said...

Hi Hiew,

You can try using an aluminium pie (disposable) dish to cover the top of the cake during the first part of the baking.

To avoid condensation, elevate you cake during the cooling process by using a bottle instead of a funnel.

Anonymous said...

Doc, 2 Q:

Can I use a round tin instead of the angel cake tin?

Does the cake tin needs to be ungreased or greased with flour?

from Hong Kong

ieat said...

It will work on cup cake sized tins but not big round tins. You do need that center funnel for it to rise properly

Anonymous said...

Thanks Doc.

Angry Birds golden eggs said...

thank for share!
i love it! look very tasty

Suisho said...

I really want to make this for my mother who loves Pandan cake but I'm intimidated because all these are whisked by machine. Could you kindly advise for hand whisking--not sure if that's possible since you don't do it that way?

Thanks!!!

ieat said...

Sure you can handwhisk. Its the same thing. Whisk till frothy and add cream of tartar and whisk till soft peaks.

Anonymous said...

Terrible recipe.

The pics are nice, but there's too much information. I cant even find from this wall of text how long to bake the cake. I had to extrapolate the information from another recipe.

Appreciate if u can come up with a simplified version of the recipe.

ieat said...

There are plenty of simple recipes out there. No need to duplicate the excellent work others have already done.

jamy said...

Hi Dr Tay,
First of all, thanks for putting up such a detailed recipe! I am so inspired by your diligence and passion over pandan cakes that I finally plucked up courage to bake one today. Knowing that you tried so many times, I wasnt so disappointed when my attempt failed. I just have to try again!
But Im wondering if you could give me some advice for my next attempt?
So for this attempt, I used the 9egg white recipe, but discovered that my tube pan is actually 23cm instead of 25cm. Everything seemed fine until the cooling process. 20mins into the cooling, the cake slipped out of the pan!! I realised that the inner portion of the cake, nearer to the tube is much wetter, wheras the rest of the cake is of the right texture.
Could you also advise me on how to scale down the recipe to suit a 23cm pan? Thank you so much!!

jamy said...

Hi Dr Tay,
Sorry! I missed out one more detail in my previous comment! I wasnt sure if I should bake the cake for 45mins since im using a 23cm pan or 55mins since the cake batter is meant for 25cm pan? So I baked at 50mins instead(lol!) wondering if that has to do with the failed outcome?
Thanks for your help!

ieat said...

The easiest way for you to rectify it is to buy a 25cm pan or fill your 23cm pan till one inch from the rim and put the rest in a smaller tin. It sounds like you have too much batter and the cake was not cooked properly.

Pauline CHan said...

to have the natural flavour try using pandan and coconut milk cloth extraction. that's the traditional way.

KK CHOO said...

To get rid of big bubbles in your chiffon cakes, after beating up your egg white slowly keep lowing down the speed of your beater to cut through the egg white into smaller bubbles.

Chell said...

Hi Pauline Chan, what do u mean by pandan and coconut milk cloth extraction? Can explain in detail? I would like to make successful pandan chiffon cake. Have failed a few times already and has visited this website a few times le.

Anonymous said...

What's the point of buying an oven thermometer when it can't tell you whether your food is cook.
A proper chef would never use a thermometer as he or she uses their 5 different senses when they cook.
Do not cook with a thermometer, but cook with your eyes, nose, touch, hear and taste!

ieat said...

Yes but not everyone has enough experience to cook a 62 degree egg like the uncle at Ya Kun, so we have to rely on our thermometers.

Adrian said...

Hi Dr Tay

May I ask you where did you buy the Softasilk flour from? I tried searching in the major supermarket like NTUC, Shop and save and Cold Storage. They do not sell it. Also tried phoon huat and they do not sell it.

Many thanks.

ieat said...

Got some from Cold Storage. They might not carry it anymore. Cake flour from Prima works pretty well too. Top flour is supposed to give it an extra delicate structure but its a bit more tricky as it cannot take too much sugar. So I advise you to go for cake flour first.

Anonymous said...

I managed to get the softasilk flour from Cold Storage. The staff at Cold Storage told me that only a few selected branches got sell that one.

I have tried your recipe and the result is excellent.

I notice that after eating the cake, there is some aftertaste in the mouth. I don't know how to exactly describe it but it just make you a bit thirsty and uncomfortable. One of my friend describe it as a bit bitter after eating the cake. Do you know what could be the cause? I am aware that baking powder can cause some bitterness so I did not put during the baking since you mentioned that the cake can still raise without that.

Also how can I make the cake more fragrant? I have tried the other recipe from "Tea Time Delights: The Best of Singapore's Recipes". It is extremely fragrant. I am using real pandan juice in your recipe.

Thanks.

ieat said...

Not sure about the bitterness. Could be your pandan essence if you are using it.

If you use freshly squeezed coconut milk, the fragrance is more intense. Also you do need some pandan essence as well.

How did the other recipe achieve its fragrance?

Anonymous said...

Hi Leslie, thanks for a very informative post on pandan chiffon cake. I tried your recipe once and experienced the cake literally falling out of the pan once I inverted it. Was so devastated when that happened! I haven't tried to make the cake using your recipe since but think I will give it a go one more time. Am just wondering why the ratio of yolks to white is so much higher in your recipe as compared to others. Can you explain? Also, the measurements of the tins in your recipe are in centimeters and not in inches so you should correct that portion of your recipe.

ieat said...

It sounds as if you have underbaked your cake. The extra egg whites make it fluffier and lighter. The Cake pans are supposed to be in cm and not inches.

Anonymous said...

On the cake pan measurements, I know they are supposed to be in cm (thus my previous comment). But if you look at your little table above where you compare the 4 diff recipes, it says "(inches)" next to Cake Tin.

ieat said...

Wow, you are the first one to notice that after all this time!!! Thanks for pointing it out.

Lily said...

Hi Dr Tay

I have never succeeded in baking chiffon cake and yesterday I tried your extra egg whites recipe, the texture cake turned out real good. The only problem I have is the sides of the cake kinked. Can you please advise?

Thanks Lily

ieat said...

Maybe your tin too big and the centre of the cake did not rise enough.

Lily said...

Hi Dr Tay

I bake the cake in 26cm chiffon flute pan. The cake risen all the way to the brim and did not collasped after cooling down process. Would that 26cm flute pan be the culprit?

ieat said...

What size eggs did you use? The batter should come all the way till 1 inch from the brim. You need eggs at least 55g to 60g or else there may not be enough of a dome to keep to cake upright when it is turned upside down.

Joyce said...

Hi Dr Tay,

Finally got to bake the pandan cake...GREAT RECIPE!! The whole family love it!! But wanna chk few things with you.

1. I used pandan juice as per your recipe however it turn out to be a very pale green, so what portions of pandan leave juice, pandan paste and pandan essence do you suggest I put to get the fragrance of fresh pandan leaves and yet get a nice green chiffon cake?

2. From your pics, I see a huge jar of green liquid in a measuring jar, I presume you mixed everything in group 1 together except the egg yolks and sugar? Cos I did not get such a nice green liquid as you did.

3. Do you think the corn oil can be omitted or put more coconut milk in replacement of the corn oil to get a more lemak taste??

Looking forward to more lovely recipes from you!!!

Lily said...

I shall weigh the eggs for the next chiffon cake I bake. Hope it will turn out as good looking as your cake. Can I halve the sugar in the egg yolks and maintain the ones in the egg whites? I find it a tad sweet.

ieat said...

Hi Joyce,

I use half a teaspoonful of pandan paste, the one shown in the photo. That plus freshly squeezed pandan juice works well for me.

Yes, the jar contains oil, coconut milk and pandan paste. There has been some recipes that substitute coconut milk for corn oil. Its supposed to be ok but I have not tried it for this recipe.

Anna Thomas said...

Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe. Its been ages since I've had Pandan cake. I live in Vancouver, Canada so following the metric system was a little hard over here. I tried the standard recipe and like you said it very consistently sunk at the top. Other than that the cake was lovely and super soft. I will try the 9 egg white recipe sometime soon. For your North American readers here's the converted metric to American measurements which I used quite successfully:
50g = 1/4 cup; 100g = 1/2 cup; 1/8 tsp = pinch.

ieat said...

Thanks for converting for us Anna!

OMGGIMMENOW said...

Hi there,
great recipe!
Can I substitute the coconut milk with water?

I would like to make a Honey flavoured chiffon cake.
Thanks!

PearlHNL said...

Dr. Tay,

I baked one this weekend. Sank like the Titanic. It achieved the beautiful brown color. Could it be because I am using a non-stick pan?

I also found that using a wire-wisk to mix in the egg-whites works very well... no big bubbles either.

Thanks for your blog.

ieat said...

I have never tried using a non-stick pan. Traditionally, it is always made with the aluminium pan, so I can't really tell you because many things can go wrong. All I can say, is, try try again.

Anonymous said...

Hi Dr Tay,

I baked this chiffon cake twice about twenty years ago and was unsuccessful, and I didn't have the guts to bake anymore.

Having thoroughly studied your recipe until I even dream of it at night, I decided to bake this cake with my heart.

I baked one last wednesday and another today. Both chiffon cakes turned out excellent! It was above 4 inches in height and very fluffy like cotton wool. I was overjoyed when the cake rose so beautifully. I have decided to name this cake "Happy Pandan Chiffon Cake" because it gives me great joy to see such a beautiful cake that is made from your recipe.

Thanks a million for your comprehensive recipe!
PS: have a look at my cake pics

http://postimage.org/image/mgiuvzz8/
http://postimage.org/image/mhkw8zc4/

From Hazel

ieat said...

Wow, that is a great looking cake Hazel! Well Done! Thanks for comment! It's worth a million thanks!

BT said...

Hello!
I took on the pandan cake today. Tried the whole egg recipe but added 20mls oil cos i wanted more soft and "succulent" texture. Was bit of a disaster though! Heeding your warning, I placed double aluminum trays and foil over it at 20 min when it was rising nicely and looking light brown. But I think it blocked the heat too effectively!
At 45 min, the sides developed a high cavity which I attributed to trapped air despite my having gone round with a chopstick! It was also rapidly "lao-hong-ing" (deflating). I also reckoned it was a bit undercooked so I popped it back in for a shot of heat at 180 deg. And within 5 min, there was a slightly acrid aroma intermingling the sweet pandan smell. The top was burnt...
The taste of the cake is rather fab though!
I'd rate it 7.5 for taste and 2 for aesthetics (my standards are not high).
Round 2 shall be in a couple of days!
Thanks for the very detailed recipe!

ieat said...

I am sure round 2 would be a success!

BT said...

Finally after 6-7 attempts, I made one that looks rather pretty! The oven temperature was the problem. My oven was conventional oven with no convection function. Despite blocking top element with metal plate and placing cake as low as possible, it consistently cracked and burnt the top while undercooking a zone of cake about 2cm under burnt surface. Finally I put it in convection microwave/oven and cooked it at low temp (130°) then after it rose, cranked it up to 200°. And it produced a beautiful cake. But I would prefer more browned sides though!

ieat said...

Well done! Thanks for sharing your technique with us and for your feedback!

levis said...

Hi Dr L.T.

I enjoyed reading this blog and find it funny the way you shared the Dos and Don't in making the perfect Pandon Chiffon cake.
Have not tried it but having read many successful post commented by others I believe its one idiot-proof recipe that I will go for in my first attempt when i got hold of a oven.

Just like to share, its amazing that how many people have benefited from it since u post this blog more than a year ago !! thanks for the effort.

LEVIS

ieat said...

Thanks very much Levis. Wish you all the best with your cake!

Anonymous said...

Hi, thanks for all the wonderful tips for making the perfect chiffon cake. As I am in Brisbane it is hard to get the chiffon cake tin, so I tried to use a round tin. I tried twice. First time, I used a standard 9" round tin. Second time, I used a deep 8" round tin. On both occasions, the cake rose nicely in the oven. But once I took them out, they sank rapidly and in a matter of minutes, the middle sank below the edges. Do you know what could be the problem?

ieat said...

The cake is not cooked enough in the middle. You need to buy an angel cake pan.

Anonymous said...

Thanks. I tried to buy an angel food cake pan without success by looking in a few major food stores. It turned out that many shops do not carry them. Also, my pastor's kids like to eat chiffon cake but find it too expensive to buy - a slice can cost A$2.50. I am hoping to adapt the recipe so that it can be baked in a more commonly available, hence cheaper, cake tin. Today I have just tried baking the chiffon cake in a loaf pan lined with baking paper. The baking paper is not a good idea. The cake shrunk from the sides inwards towards the centre. The centre looks alright though. I'll try again without the baking paper. Come to think of it, some bakeries in Singapore sell chiffon cakes in tall paper cups (about the size of a disposable plastic cup). I used to eat them when I was young. The paper is peeled back to eat the cake. Do you know if that kind of chiffon cake is the same as the big round one that we cut into slices?

ieat said...

No baking paper! You need the cake to stick to the sides! You should be able to buy an angel cake tin online.

philaction said...

Thank you for sharing your experiments, but I prefer my chiffon cake to taste like Pandan but not so sickly "green" looking.
I am taking out my Kitchenaid Mixer and get my hands dirty. Thanks

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