Food For Four

The Cookbook Challenge Week 15: Pandan and Coconut Cupcakes

Posted on | March 3, 2010 | Asian Recipes, Recipes | 17 Comments

Coconut Pandan Cupcakes

Theme: Muffins

This week’s theme is muffins and I instantly knew I was going to make pandan cupcakes. I love the sweet fragrant of pandan and have been wanting to make a pandan cake for a while now. Fresh pandan leaves are not always available but luckily my parents was recently given a small pandanous plant and I was very excited about the flavours of the cupcakes from using fresh pandan juice.

pandan plant

I’m very inexperienced when it comes to baking, even after two attempts at making these cupcakes I still didn’t get it right. My first failed attempt was using a recipe from a Malaysian cookbook. I love the pictures from this book but the instructions are very basic and not enough step by step instructions. The result from this first attempt was a green buttery liquid mess.

pandan cupcakes 1

I promised my little girl green cupcakes so I persisted and went searching for another recipe. I decided to use a chiffon cake recipe from Poh’s kitchen (I love this show). There’s a video for me to study and try and get the recipe right. The good news is we got cupcakes this time round, but the bad news is I forgot to add oil to the mixture so the texture was not light and fluffy enough. I am so forgetful since having kids.

I just love the sweet fragrant and taste of pandan and coconut in the cupcakes. Pandan and coconut really is a match made in heaven. Spread with coconut icing and the not so perfect texture of the cupcakes is forgiven. At least they are healthy cupcakes without the oil. My husband and little girl demolished all the cupcakes and even requested for more. I will give this recipe another go next time just to see how good it really is.

coconut pandan cakes

Pandan and coconut cupcakes
Makes 15

Adapted from Poh’s kitchen


5 egg whites (at room temperature is best)
1/2 teaspon cream of tartar
150g caster sugar (75g + 75g)
5 egg yolks
7 tablespoons coconut milk
5 tablespoons vegetable oil
5 tablespoons pandan juice
150g self raising flour, sifted
40g icing sugar
45g butter
60g desiccated coconut


Preheat oven at 160°C fan forced/180°C regular.

Beat egg whites and cream of tartar with an electric mixer till soft peaks. Add 75g sugar one tablespoon at a time a beat thoroughly after each addition till you achieve stiff peaks. Set aside.

In a separate bowl whisk egg yolks with 75g caster sugar till fluffy. Add coconut milk, vegetable oil, pandan juice and self raising flour and whisk until combined. Gently fold the egg whites into the yolk mixture in 3 batches.

Pour into the mixture into muffin case and into muffin pan. Bake for about 15 minutes, or till skewer comes out clean. Remove pan from oven and allow cupcakes to cool in pan for about five minutes.

Remove cupcakes from pan and place them on a wire rack to cool completely.

Meanwhile, mix the butter, icing sugar and desiccated coconut. Spread coconut icing on top of cooled cupcakes.

pandan cupcakes

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17 Responses to “The Cookbook Challenge Week 15: Pandan and Coconut Cupcakes”

  1. Conor @ HoldtheBeef
    March 4th, 2010 @ 12:24 am

    These look so soft and lovely and GREEN!! Just the thing for a good little girl to chomp on :)

    (by the way, I’ve been a good little girl, do you have any left?)

  2. Katherine
    March 4th, 2010 @ 4:25 pm

    We buy this pandanus cake that’s light and fluffy. These look similar. I am sure they are yummy. Perfect with a cup
    of tea.

  3. Yen
    March 5th, 2010 @ 12:09 am

    Hi Conor, I think why my girl likes it so much because it’s GREEN!

    Hi Katherine, I buy pandan cake from the asian grocery all the time. It’s so light and fluffy that I can eat the whole cake in one sitting!

  4. Rilsta @ My Food Trail
    March 5th, 2010 @ 10:55 am

    These look fantastic! And lucky you to have the fresh pandan leaves to use! Pandan chiffon cake is on my list of things to make but I bought the bottled pandan paste! I’m sure using the fresh leaves tastes so much better!

  5. Ellie (Almost Bourdain)
    March 5th, 2010 @ 7:02 pm

    Coconut and pandan!! My favourite combo. Love these cupcakes!

  6. Leigh
    March 5th, 2010 @ 9:58 pm

    These look amazing(and you say you weren’t happy with them?). I have no idea what pandan tastes like, but would love to try one day.

  7. Von
    March 5th, 2010 @ 10:38 pm

    I agree- pandan and coconut is the best! You’re so lucky to have a pandan plant! I’ve never made anything with pandan leaves- only with the essence which stinks (before you put it in the cake mixture anyway). I like using recipes from videos- so I know exactly what to do for each step =]

    These cupcakes look so yummy!! I haven’t had pandan cake for ages…..!

  8. Cookbook Challenge w15 (Muffins) | Addictive and consuming
    March 6th, 2010 @ 8:58 am

    [...] Silvermoon Dragon from Dragon Musings – Cheesecake muffins Ange from Vicious Ange – Apple & berry crumble muffins Leigh from Chit Chat Chomp – Cherry muffins Shellie from Iron Chef Shellie – Dark chocolate & raspberry muffins Sarah from The Sugar Junkie – Tomato & basil muffins Carolyn from Gluten Shmooten – Carrot & coconut muffins Maree from Melbourne Delectable – Black Forest Muffins Cherrie from Sweet Cherrie Pie – English muffins Rilsta from My Food Trail – Cheese & spring onion muffins Agnes from Off the Spork – Citrus poppy seed muffins Bri from Bri Eats – Butternut pumpkin muffins with a frosty top Anthea from What’s For Tea? – Semi-dried tomatoes, vintage cheddar & chive muffins Yen from Food for Four – Pandan & coconut cupcakes [...]

  9. Phuoc
    March 6th, 2010 @ 8:33 pm

    Yen your capcakes look yummy!

  10. Cherrie
    March 7th, 2010 @ 11:03 am

    pandan and coconut is the best combination there ever is, in my opinion. So did u extract and use the juice from yr pandanus plant?

  11. Trissa
    March 7th, 2010 @ 10:05 pm

    Wow – love the idea of pandan muffins. Where can I buy or make pandan juice? Can I use extract instead?

  12. Anh
    March 9th, 2010 @ 12:42 am

    WOw! I would love to get my hands on some fresh pandan leaves to make these cupcakes. Really beautiful and well-done! :)

    JUst read your “about” page. this part makes me laugh – “I’m hoping to cook a lot more Vietnamese cuisine as a way to rediscover my Vietnamese heritage. I’m also hoping to learn to cook Malaysian food to impress the husband.” –> This sums up my case beautifully! :P

  13. penny aka jeroxie
    March 9th, 2010 @ 4:06 pm

    What a great idea! I love the aroma of pandan. And the colour is so refreshing too. And plus it is fresh! YUM….

  14. betty
    March 9th, 2010 @ 4:47 pm

    these look sooo cuTE!!!! i must bookmark, thaks for sharing :O)

  15. chocolatesuze
    March 11th, 2010 @ 4:32 pm

    i looove all things pandan! these look so tasty i must make them soon!

  16. Yen
    March 12th, 2010 @ 11:06 pm

    Hi Leigh, pandan is like vanilla essence in asian food. A lot of Asian cooking uses pandan in their sweet and savoury dishes.

    Hi Cherrie, I used the fresh juice from the pandan leaves. I would go for the frozen pandan leaves before I use the paste.

    Hi Trissa, you can get frozen pandan leaves and pandan paste from most Asian grocery.

  17. melissa
    June 20th, 2010 @ 6:15 pm

    Can u advise 1 Tbs in above recipe is 15ml or 20ml?


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