Pandan Cupcakes

Pandan is also known as the pandanus plant and it grows abundently in Thailand.  The leaves can be used to flavor coconut milk, soups and wrapping meat for the grill.  Pandan paste can also be used as one would use vanilla.  The color is a vibrant green and the flavor is very unique, slightly sweet and somewhat smokey. Pandan is also known for its healing properties, it has a cooling effect and is excellent for the treatment of internal inflammations, urinary infections, colds, coughs, measles, bleeding gums and skin diseases.


Elaine, of Gourmet Girl Magazine and the Kitchen Rap invited us to participate in her Cupcake Crawl.  Well, I love making cupcakes. They even hold a sentimental value close to my heart.   Elaine, how did you know this would be an easy one for us to participate in?  We had an Asian inspired dinner last week and I decided to make a cupcake that would be befitting, Pandan with Ginger Coconut Frosting.  They were pretty amazing and the guests loved them … I should say devoured them!  Here is another pandan sweet.

If you love cupcakes you should definitely participate with us during the Cupcake Crawl, you have until July 15th to create something sweet to share!

Recipe:  Pandan Cupcakes with Ginger Coconut Frosting

1 cup unsalted butter

1 3/4 cup unrefined sugar

2 eggs

3 teaspoon pandan

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 1/2 cups ap flour

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/4 cup milk

Heat oven to 375.  Line muffin tin with cupcake papers.   Stir together flour and baking powder in a bowl, set aside.  Cream butter and sugar together.  Add eggs, pandan and vanilla, beat until fluffy.   Add half of the flour mixture and half of the mixture, mix until wet.  Add rest of the flour and milk and mix until blended and smooth.  Fill muffin tins with batter, I like to fill about 3/4 of the way.  Bake for about 15 – 20 minutes.  Remove from oven and cook on a rack.  Frost.  Serve.  Eat.

Recipe:  Ginger Simple Syrup

1/8  cup water

1/8 granulated sugar

3 tablespoons minced ginger

Stir all the syrup ingredients together in the saucepan and bring to a boil.  Remove from heat and let cook to room temperature.

Recipe:  Ginger Coconut Frosting

1/2 cup unsalted butter

1 box powdered sugar

1/8 cup milk.

1/8 cup ginger simple syrup

handful of unsweetened coconut shavings

Mix everything together in a mixing bowl until fluffly.  Frost cupcakes.  You can garnish with additional toasted coconut shavings if wanted.


  1. Mel @ says:

    Wow those look and sound amazing. Your photos are phenomenal. Pandan and coconut are such a natural pair, but never thought to add ginger too. Love it. Subscribed :)

  2. Elaine - The Gourmet Girl says:

    Love these, wonderful use of a unique ingredient.

  3. OMG — I grew up with pandan desserts in Singapore and have spent the last 10 years trying to explain to so many friends in the U.S. what pandan is exactly. It’s unbeatable, really. Thanks for posting. I’m trying these ASAP.

    Question: You mention three tsps of pandan — is this essence? I have both frozen pandan (sadly, what you’ll find in NYC) and essence.

  4. We used pandan essence. Would love to find the leaves out here but have not come across as of yet! Happy Baking!

  5. Like how you’ve used pandan for the cupcakes. Very unique! I’ve had jam with pandan flavouring and it was delicious. It’s hard to find the leaves here as well.

  6. Love your pandan + ginger pairing! I have a pandan + coconut jam recipe which I’m dying to try out and will definitely share when I do.

    Most Vietnamese grocery stores in SF stock fresh pandan leaves (that’s where my aunt gets them). If you’re in the San Jose area, check out this store – a bunch of 3-4 fresh leaves for $0.99!

    Dai Thanh Supermarket:


  1. […] I love Pandan!!  Pandan is a tropical plant that’s found in Southeast asian cuisines. I grew up having pandan desserts. I found this pandan cupcake recipe from Chez Us. […]

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