Pandan Recipes | What to Do With Pandan Leaves

pandan flower

Pandan is a wonderful and aromatic flavor that’s easy to fall in love with and difficult to forget. If you want to know what you can make with pandan, how to use pandan, or how to cook with pandan, let this list of delicious and wholesome recipes with pandan be your guide!

Homemade Pandan Extract

Of course, the first thing you’ll want to make with your fresh pandan leaves is homemade pandan extract. It’s wonderfully aromatic and rich with the mellow flavor of pandan leaves. The recipe only needs two ingredients (just pandan leaves and water!) and you can use it to infuse the authentic Southeast Asian flavor into your dishes and baked goods. What I like the most about making pandan extract from scratch is that it’s free from all the artificial colorants, flavorings, and preservatives that are in store-bought pandan extract.

Pandan Honeycomb Cake

Known locally as Bánh Bò Nướng, this iconic dessert from Vietnam has a unique texture that you can’t really find anywhere else. It’s wonderfully soft and springy and reveals a lovely green honeycomb pattern when you cut into it. Freshly baked treats are a staple of many Vietnamese people’s childhood; a cultural influence from the time of French colonial rule. This recipe for pandan honeycomb cake uses homemade pandan extract and creamy coconut milk which gives it a really clean flavor profile, perfect for tea time or dessert!

Coconut Pandan Waffles

My daughter loves these! They are crispy on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside. What makes these waffles really special, besides the fragrant pandan flavor, is the addition of grated coconut. It gives a wonderful and unexpected chewiness to the waffle that both kids and adults love. Because of their green color, I especially love to serve these waffles during St. Patrick’s Day. Just like regular waffles, they are delicious with butter and a drizzle of honey or maple syrup.

Pandan Coconut Milk Bread

Combining coconut and pandan is a technique you’ll see in many Southeast Asian cuisines, from Vietnamese to Malaysian to Filipino. And it’s not hard to see why – they just work so well together! They are both fragrant, with a slightly nutty flavor profile, and a mellowness that keeps you craving for more. For this recipe, I was inspired by the pandesal bread from the Philippines. I made a very satisfying ube and cheese version a while back, so I made this pandan coconut pandesal too. Spoiler alert: it came out just as wonderful!

Pandan Chiffon Cake in the Rice Cooker

This delicate cake is another delicious treat from my Vietnamese heritage. Like the honeycomb cake, this recipe is pillowy soft and sweet with the fragrance of fresh pandan leaves. But there’s a special secret to this chiffon cake – it’s made in a rice cooker! If you don’t have an oven, don’t want to deal with the high heat, or only have your trusty rice cooker at your disposal, I think this Vietnamese cotton cake is something you’d really enjoy.

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