Impress Your ‘Atas’ Guests with This ‘Gram-Worthy Pandan Cendol Cake

Care for a slice or two?

Pandan cendol is one of those flavours that you just can’t get enough of, especially during hot days. I still remember the good old days when my father will take me to a nearby cendol aunty stall after school. I still could taste the refreshing fragrance of the pandan cendol strands, floating in the icy cool Gula Melaka syrup with the occasional bite of sweet red beans in my mouth. Nostalgia aside, I still wonder until today. How such a simple dish, made of simple and cheap ingredients, can create such a complex flavour palate?

Paying Homage

It is not at all surprising that cendol still has a special place in our hearts. Even we are spoiled for choice, with many different types of intricate, creamy and decadent desserts made readily available for us, nothing can beat the subtle beauty of a bowl of cendol. As my way of paying homage to one of the most beloved childhood desserts in Southeast Asia, I present to you one special recipe of mine; an entremet cake, made of layers of pandan sponge cake, coconut mousse, cendol-coconut jelly, sago pearls in Gula Melaka syrup with a ginger-oat crust and white chocolate glaze.

Please, don’t let the fancy name fool you. It’s just a cake made with all the familiar flavours of our childhood summer memories. I promise, the next time you crave for cendol, you’ll be going on Butterkicap to find this recipe. Let’s not waste anymore time and dive right into it!


a) Coconut Mousse

  • 500g coconut cream
  • 80g or 4 egg yolks
  • 135g sugar
  • 12g gold gelatine leaves
  • 810g cream

b) Cendol

  • 300ml coconut milk
  • 50ml water
  • 50g sugar
  • 100g rice flour
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 drop of Pandan essence

c) Cendol-Coconut Jelly

  • 200ml coconut water
  • 25g sugar
  • 4g gold gelatine leaves

d) Sago Pearls with Gula Melaka Syrup

  • 300ml coconut cream
  • 100g Gula Melaka
  • 2 Pandan leaves, knotted
  • 100g sago pearls
  • 4g gold gelatine leaves

e) Pandan Cake

  • 4 eggs
  • 100g sugar
  • 100g flour
  • 25g unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon of Pandan essence

f) Ginger-Oat Crust

  • 90g plain flour
  • 90g rolled oats
  • 120g brown sugar
  • 90g unsalted butter, melted
  • 4g or 1/3 teaspoon of sodium bicarbonate
  • 2g or 1/4 teaspoon of table salt
  • 4g or 2 teaspoons of fresh grated ginger

g) White Glaze

h) Garnish- Coconut Shell

  • 100g tempered dark chocolate
  • 10g toasted coconut

i) Coconut Marshmallow

  • 50ml water
  • 120g castor sugar
  • 50g glucose syrup
  • 75g or 11 egg whites
  • 6g gold gelatine leaves
  • 10g toasted shredded coconut

Let’s Bake!

Don’t let the long list of ingredients scare you. Take a deep breath and let this recipe be your guide. All you need to do is follow the recipe and take your time. Baking is not a race, but a process. Now, are you feeling quite calm? You sure? Okay, then.

So, put on your apron, wash your hands and let’s bake!


a) Coconut Mousse

  1. Soak the gelatine sheets in ice cold water.
  2. Add the coconut cream as well as the sugar in a medium-sized sauce pan over a medium flame and bring it to a boil. Place the egg yolks in a medium-sized bowl and beat it using a stand mixer. Pour the hot coconut cream mixture into the bowl while whisking. Add the soaked gelatine sheets into the bowl while the mixture is still hot. Continue whisking for another 2 minutes and put it aside until cool down completely.
  3. In another bowl, beat the cream until medium peaks are formed, then mix both mixtures together.

b) Cendol

  1. Place all of the ingredients in a medium-sized sauce pan and whisk until well combined.
  2. Over a medium flame, heat the sauce pan and stir the mixture together until thickens to a custard-like texture.
  3. Press the mixture through a ricer into a bowl of cold ice water. Let the cendol noodles before straining.

c) Cendol-Coconut Jelly

  1. Soak the gelatine sheets in ice cold water.
  2. Add the coconut water and sugar into a medium-sized sauce pan, bring it to a boil, and stir in the soaked gelatine. Scoop the cendol noodles into an insert mould before pouring in the jelly mixture. Keep the mould refrigerated until the cendol jelly is set.

d) Sago Pearls with Gula Melaka Syrup

  1. Soak the gelatine sheets in ice cold water.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add in the sago pearls. When the pearls are almost cooked, they will turn translucent in the middle.
  3. In a pan, heat up the coconut cream and Gula Melaka to 80°C, then add in the soaked gelatine. After that, fold in the sago pearls and mix well. Pour the sago mixture into a 16cm cake ring.

e) Pandan Cake

  1. Beat the eggs and sugar until the mixture turns ribbon-like, then fold in the flour, melted butter and Pandan essence. Bake at 180°C for 12 minutes. If a flat tray is used, cut the cake so it can fit into a 16cm cake ring.

f) Ginger-Oat Crust

  1. Mix all of the ingredients except melted butter in a mixing bowl. After everything is well-combined, add in the melted butter and mix well. Press the mixture into a 16cm cake ring and keep it refrigerated at least 20 minutes before popping it into the oven for 10 minutes at a temperature of 180°C.

g) White Glaze

  1. Soak the gelatine sheets in ice cold water.
  2. Heat the sugar, water and glucose syrup in a medium-sized sauce pan until the liquid boils. Add in the gelatine, as well as the condensed milk and stir until the gelatine dissolves.
  3. Next, pour the mixture into a bowl, together with the chocolate. Add titanium dioxide and mix until well combined.

h) Garnish- Coconut Shell

  1. Pour the tempered chocolate into a semi sphere chocolate mould. Set it aside.
  2. In another bowl, mix the toasted coconut with the remaining tempered chocolate. Coat the semi sphere mould with the coconut-chocolate mixture to create a rough coconut shell-like texture.

i) Coconut Marshmallow

  1. Soak the gelatine sheets in ice cold water.
  2. Add water and sugar into a small saucepan. Bring it to a boil, then add in the glucose syrup. Stir until the sugar completely dissolves and the mixture reaches a temperature of 105°C.
  3. While waiting for the mixture to heat up, using a kitchen mixer, whisk the egg whites on high speed until firm peaks are formed. Once the sugar syrup is at the desired temperature, drizzle it into the whisked egg whites. Next, add in the soaked gelatine sheets. Continue to whisk the mixture until it is smooth and shiny.
  4. Fold in the toasted shredded coconut and pour the mixture into the chocolate shell.

Let’s Assemble!

  1. On the ginger-oat crust, pour some of the coconut mousse until it coats the base evenly.
  2. Next, place the pandan cake, sago pearls with Gula Melaka syrup and cendol-coconut jelly, in this order. Alternate each layer with coconut mousse. Refrigerate the cake until it is set.
  3. Once the cake is set, unmould it and finish the cake with the white chocolate glaze. Garnish it with the chocolate coconut shell before serving.
Creamy, coconut-y decadence!

Finally, we have reached the end of our baking journey together and I bet, you are feeling very proud of yourself. Why wouldn’t you? Just look at that cross-section! If you haven’t taken a bite yet, what are you waiting for? Grab a spoon and dig in!

One Slice is Not Enough…

Be it for birthdays, dinner parties, or just quiet Friday nights alone at home, there is no reason for you to not enjoy a big helping of this pandan cendol cake. Even the most snobbish of guests will not be able to resist it. Don’t believe me? Try making it for your next dinner party.

Don’t forget to post a picture of your guests’ reactions when eating the cake on the ‘gram and tag me!

Chef Gunawan

Gunawan is thee chef-owner of Gazoz restaurant in Batam island, Indonesia. Apart from being busy in the kitchen he is also an International chef Instructor, mentor to many young chefs as well as an accredited chef judge for various cooking competitions.

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