Pandan cotton sponge cake is the perfect little treat for our breakfast and afternoon snack. It is a light, super fluffy, and perfectly moist cake, flavored with an aromatic fresh pandan juice.There is no artificial flavoring used in this pandan cotton sponge cake. Instead, it uses a homemade pandan extract that is made by pureeing whole pandan leaves then leaving it overnight in the fridge. The concentrated pandan extract will naturally sink onto the bottom of the liquid. The longer it sits, the more concentrated the pandan flavor will be. So plan ahead if you want that stronger taste.
- 20 g (3-4 leaves) pandan leaves
- 60 g (4 tbsp) water
- 30 g (2 tbsp) milk
- 40 g (3 tbsp) vegetable oil
- 65 g (1/2 cup) cake flour or low protein wheat flour
- 60 g egg yolks (from 3 large eggs)
- 100 g egg whites (from 3 large eggs)
- 50 g (1/4 cup) granulated white sugar
- Line the bottom of an oval cake pan (21x10x5cm high) with parchment paper. But do not grease the pan.
- Cut pandan leaves into short strips. Place them into a blender along with the water. Process until the leaves are broken down as much as possible.
- Strain the mixture and press out all of the juice from the solid chunks. Refrigerate the juice overnight (or up to 5 days). The juice will naturally separate into 2 layers: clearer liquid on its top and concentrated extract on its bottom.
- On the next day, slowly pour out and discard the clear liquid. Add milk into the concentrated extract and stir well. Set aside.
- Heat the oil to approximately 158°F (70°C). Remove from heat and quickly whisk the cake flour in.
- Mix in the pandan mixture. Then add egg yolks and mix until the batter is smooth and well-combined. Set aside.
- Beat egg white until frothy with an electric mixer running at high speed.
- Gradually add sugar as you mix. Continue beating until it reaches a stiff peak stage.
- Mix 1/3 of egg white into the cake batter using a spatula or a hand whisk. Then add another 1/3 of egg white. From here on, we want to gently combine the mixture. Be careful not to deflate the batter. The air inside this fluffy meringue is the key component of a fluffy cake. Mix just until no white streaks are seen.
- Add the remaining egg white. Mix again just until combined.
- Pour batter into the prepared pan. Swirl the batter with a wooden stick to remove any big bubbles inside. Tap the pan twice onto the counter to further remove air bubbles. Place the pan inside another larger pan. Fill the larger pan with hot water halfway up the height of the cake batter.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 300°F (150°C) for 55-65 minutes. Once baked, immediately remove from the water bath and drop the cake pan 2 times onto the counter. Let it cool for 5 minutes or until the cake comes away from the pan. Then invert the cake pan to unmold the cake. Let cool completely.