Kirbie's Cravings

Pandan Cupcakes

photo of a plate of Pandan Cupcakes

Move over green tea- I’ve found a new green colored love.  Pandan! I’ve never had pandan flavored foods until recently.  I’ve always thought of it as the green tea equivalent.  While the two taste very different, they both a pretty green.  At Chinese and Japanese bakeries, all the green colored desserts are usually green tea flavored.  At Filipino and Vietnamese bakeries, the green desserts are pandan flavored.

When I first tried a pandan flavored dessert, I really loved it.  I don’t know quite how to describe the taste.  It’s a bit coconutty, nutty, perfumy.

photo of one cupcake

After finding some pandan extract gel, (check your local Asian supermarket. I had to ask the clerk to find it) I decided to try making some pandan cupcakes.  They came out great!  I did feel that they were a little too bright green.  My family was also turned off by the color, but they loved the taste.  In fact, it’s the first dessert I’ve made that was so universally loved.  Everyone in my family has such different tastes when it comes to desserts, I’m surprised everyone loved pandan so much.


Now that I know I like baking with pandan, I can’t wait to create more pandan flavored desserts.  Pandan agar jelly, sweet rice balls, pudding, cookies…the possibilities are endless!

close-up photo of a pandan cupcake


Pandan Cupcakes

Servings: 12
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Filipino and Vietnamese bakeries often serve green desserts that are pandan flavored. The flavor is a bit coconutty, nutty ,and perfumy and it’s bright green color gives these cupcakes a vivid color.


  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 3/4 cup unrefined sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tsp pandan
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups ap flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/4 cup milk


  • Heat oven to 375°F. 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 flour and milk and mix until blended and smooth.
  • Fill muffin tins with batter, about 3/4 of the way. Bake for about 15 – 20 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on a rack.


Recipe adapted from Chez Us

The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.

Did you make this recipe?I'd love to see it! Mention @KirbieCravings and tag #kirbiecravings!

Pandan Cupcakes

23 comments on “Pandan Cupcakes”

  1. beautiful! Pandan is certainly a very comforting flavour and the green I absolutely adore!

  2. Thanks! I like the the green too. I can’t wait to bake more pandan treats.

  3. hi kirbie
    i bought pandan extract awhile ago at seafood city. sadly, i haven’t used it yet. after having seen this post, i think i will finally break open that seal! i hope it’s still good!

  4. I hope you do make them! I’m planning on making a trip to Seafood city and getting some more. There’s so many desserts I want to try out.

  5. …Just found this via SeriousEats… if you ever feel super awesome adventurous…try making something with panandus leaves! they’re very long (2-3 feet!) and you steep them in a liquid to extract the flavor… so custards would be fantastic! or… *cough*icecream*cough* =D

  6. ice cream and custard sounds delicious! I’ll have to find pandandus leaves though..I actually looked for it at the Filipino supermarket but I couldn’t find it.

  7. How many cupcakes does this recipe make?

  8. Sorry, I’m always forgetting to put the amount the recipe yields. It’s been a while since I made these, so I don’t quite remember for sure. I believe it was about 18 cupcakes. I filled my batter a bit too high though which is why these rose so high, so you might be able to get a couple more.

  9. Thank you! I will try this recipe this week for my mom’s birthday. Can’t wait to see the results! 🙂

  10. Tried this out today, turned out quite disastrous…I think I may have made a huge mistake of mixing the flour with the milk first before adding the rest of the mixture :\ and my mixture turned out rather lumpy and the end result was gooey lumpy cupcakes! May have been a better idea to add the milk to the Egg and Butter mixture before adding the flour… And also I think more flour was required hence the gooeyness. I managed to make a whopping 30 cupcakes out of the mixture.

    Hopefully next time will be more of a success!

    • So sorry they didn’t turn out right for you. I didn’t have any issues following the recipe as is, but maybe changing the order like you said will solve it.

  11. Hi 🙂

    I was wondering if it’s possible to replace the butter with vegetable oil? and replace the milk with coconut milk..?


    • I think it’s definitely possible, but there may be other adjustments needed. I’m not familiar enough to know if it will turn out exactly the same. If you try it, please let me know how it turns out. I think it should be okay, but maybe not as fragrant and maybe not as moist because butter and coconut milk both are pretty rich ingredients.

  12. I substituted 1 cup of flour for rice flour and the milk for buttermilk. Came out really soft and moist, best of all it stays that way! I definitely will add some coconut milk next time and toasted sesame seeds.

    thankx for the recipe

  13. Have you tried making a cake from a cake mix box and adding pandan extract to it? (I tried adding 1/4 tsp to a cupcake and it just turned out bitter >_< I thought it would balance out the sweetness from the cake mix..but it didn't) That's what I'm trying to do because I can't get a soft texture from making pandan cupcakes from scratch /:

    • No sorry I’ve never tried that. I think if you want to do that, you need to use much less pandan extract. I usually only add a teaspoon or two to entire cakes like a chiffon cake, so 1/4 cup is too much and is probably why you have the bitter taste.

  14. i planted pandan tree in my back yard, it smell sooooo good, in indonesia we used it in almost every tradisional cake 🙂

  15. What do you steam your Pandan cupcakes in?

    • These pandan cupcakes are actually baked in the oven. For cupcakes I’ve steamed in the past (not with this recipe), I will either use a wooden chinese steamer which I put into my rice cooker or put on the stove in a large wok or pot. I fill the wok/pot with a low level of water, then I place a rack of some sort into the bottom and place the steamer on top of that so that the steamer is not sitting in the water. Then I cover with lid and steam.

  16. Do we have to use unsalted butter? Can we use salted butter?

    • you should use unsalted because otherwise it’s much harder to control the salt content in your recipe (different brands use different amounts of salt) and especially in baking you don’t want that!

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