Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Steamed Pandan Cakes

Do you love vanilla beans? I do! You must be thinking, this woman is crazy to be talking about vanilla beans when her post titles 'steamed pandan cakes'. Yes, I was just getting to that.

To us in Southeast Asia, pandan to us is like what vanilla bean is to those in the US. Haha!! I like the sound of that. If you ask me to describe how pandan leaves or screwpine leaves (as they are officially named) smell like, I would say that there is definitely a sweet scent from fresh pandan leaves as well as a grassy fragrance to it as well. But when I used it to cook rice, the fragrance of the pandan flavoured rice is just BOOM!! I love the smell of it.

Enough said, of course pandan also has its partner-in-crime just like chocolates and banana. Its partner-in-crime is definitely coconut milk! This is definitely something that many of us on this side of the world would know right? :)

Anyway, I have a girlfriend who always asks me if I have recipes that I've tried but those that doesn't use the oven or some pan that allows you to cook cake. So now I'm trying this recipe, let's see how much success I'll get with them. Psst, I've never steam a cake before. Yes, not even that brown sugar cake as we all fondly know as huat kueh and any other steamed cake before. Ok, I should be embarrassed right? =S

As they say, there is always a first time for everything right? Now I'm taking this as a challenge ;) When I first saw this article on The Food Magazine, I thought the recipe from Karen Tan seems easy enough.


  • 3 eggs
  • 150g sugar
  • 150g all-pupose flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 100g coconut milk
  • 2 tsp pandan extract

  1. Using an electric mixer, whip together the eggs and sugar on high speed for at least five minutes, or until they become extremely light and fluffy.
  2. In a separate bowl mix together the flour, coconut milk, baking powder and pandan extract.
  3. Using a rubber spatula, fold the flour mixture into the eggs and sugar to create a smooth batter.
  4. Fill muffin cups ¾ full and place the muffin cups into a steamer or steam basket.
  5. Steam at high heat for 8-10 minutes until the cakes spring back to the touch.
  6. Cool and serve.
Personal Notes

  • Although pandan extract or essence is readily available in the stores, I wanted to make my own pandan concentrate or juice. I blended 4-6 pandan leaves with a cup of water to obtain the pandan extract and mix them together with flour and baking powder as per Step 2 above. Check out Wendy's method for obtaining pandan extract.
  • Remember to fold the flour mixture in Step 3 which means do not mix the mixture vigorously.



My verdict of these steamed mini pandan cakes is definitely a big thumbs up!! It tastes so soft and fluffy that you cannot resist eating more than one in a sitting ;P Best of all, there's no oil used and it goes so well with tea :) Anyone wants one for tea?

I'm submitting this post to Little Thumbs Up, an event organized by Doreen of my little favourite DIY and Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids, hosted by Joceline from Butter. Flour and Me.

I'm also submitting this post to Cook-Your-Books #4 organized by Joyce of Kitchen Flavours.

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