Cupcake Experiment: Pandan Cupcake



This  experiment was a success, if I might say so myself.  The cupcakes had that very delicate pandan flavor…not at all overpowering as I thought it would be.  I meant for the green and pink tints to be much lighter but that can be corrected next time.  The recipe is based on a Vanilla Cupcake recipe from that famous NYC landmark, Magnolia Bakery.  The only changes I made were to substitute pandan extract with the vanilla and added some green food coloring. 

The icing is also based on their recipe for Vanilla Butter Cream Frosting.   Again, I substituted the vanilla for pandan and it was just delicious.  I hope some of you will try it.

Pandan is a common ingredient in Southeast Asian cooking.  I’m sure everyone who’s familiar with the cuisine of the region has come across it at one time or another.  In the Philippines, we put a fresh leaf on top of our steaming rice.  My mother always had a pandan plant that was situated as close to her kitchen door as possible. This way, you won’t have an excuse not to have pandan-scented rice at every meal. 

We also use pandan to flavor various desserts.  I beleive Pandan Cakes are available commercially in several bakeries in Metro Manila.  There’s also the very refreshing Pandan Tea which was  introduced in the Philippines less than 10 years ago by my estimate. 

So, here’s the recipe for the cupcakes.  I will write in the exact proportions I used, please feel free to make changes, say with the food coloring or pandan extract.

Pandan Cupcakes

1-1/2 c. self-rising flour (on a ratio of 1 c. flour : 1.5 tsp. baking powder : 1/2 tsp. salt)

1-1/4 c. all-purpose flour

1 c. unsalted butter, softened

2 c. sugar

4 large eggs, at room temperature

1 c. milk

1 tsp. pandan extract

1/4 tsp. green food coloring (I’d go for less next time)

Preheat oven to 350F.

Line two muffin pans with cupcake papers. 

In a small bowl, mix the flours.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, on medium speed, cream the butter until smooth.  Add the sugar gradually and beat until fluffy, about 3-5 minutes.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. 

Add the dry ingredients in three parts, alternating with a mix of the milk, pandan extract and green food color.  With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated but do not overbeat.  Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the batter in the bowl to make sure the ingredients are well blended.  (The food color will be a good indicator) 

Carefully spoon the batter into the cupcake liners, about 2/3 or 3/4 full.  Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool the cupcakes in the tins for 15 minutes.  Then transfer to a wire rack and cool completely before icing.

Butter Cream Frosting (I only used half this recipe)

1 c. unsalted butter, softened

6 to 8 cups. confectioner’s sugar

1/2 c. milk

1 tsp. pandan extract

Place the butter in a large mixing bowl.  Add 4 cups of the sugar then the milk and pandan flavor.  On medium speed, beat until smooth and creamy, abotu 5 minutes.  Gradually add the remaining sugar 1 cup at a time until the icing is thick enough to be of good spreading consistency. 

You may add food coloring, just a drop at a time till you get the tint you want.  Icing can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.


9 Replies to “Cupcake Experiment: Pandan Cupcake”

  1. Wow! I have a sweet tooth and I’m sure that these cupcakes tastes as good as they look. I’m glad we’re not neighbors or I will gain 40 pounds again in a span of 2 months…hahahaha!

  2. ladybug, hahanapin kita pag-uwi ko at dadalhan ng cupcakes! hehehehe…

    this were actually better tasting than they look. i wasn’t too keen on the bright green. *sigh*….i had a sugar high that lasted me all through that day and night. kulang na lang pukpukin ako ng asawa ko cause I was so restless in bed at 1 am!

  3. This looks so delicious! The only pandan cupcakes I’ve tasted are the ones sold commercially in foil wrappers. Your home-baked ones must be 100x better!

  4. Toni, sana…but I haven’t tried other pandan cakes before. i wonder how a pandan cheesecake would taste…

    Charles, muffins are easier than cakes as far as decorating is concerned. i’m a klutz really. i miss pandan leaves too, haven’t seen any in Colorado …

  5. Hi! Just wondering how the texture of your cupcakes turned out. I’ve baked cupcakes using the Magnolia recipe several times already but I find it too dense and the buttercream too sweet. If I reduce the powdered sugar from the icing, the texture becomes too soft and slides of the cupcake =(

  6. The cake itself was fine. Yes, the icing was too soft for me to do much with it as you can probably tell from the photo. I have a tendency to lessen the sugar when cooking or baking. I still prefer boiled icing with egg whites but have yet to see if that works with this cupcake.

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