Saturday, 10 May 2014

Pandan Magic Custard Cake

Every once in a while, you come across magic, something so magical you just fall in love with it. The moment came for me when Baking Taitai posted her magic custard cake. A cake that separates into 3 layers of different textures on its own: a souffle chiffon layer, a middle soft custard layer, and a dense kueh-like bottom. How awesome is that! 

Being someone from a science background, I was intrigued at how the layers were formed. After some investigation, I found that the magical cake started from a Spanish blogger (tarta magica) and was actually a Romanian cake called prajitura desteapta, which allegedly means "intelligent cake". Some guesses were that the different layers arise from the different density of the meringue and milk. There are many variations of the magic custard cake in chocolate, lemon and even blackberry flavours!

Anyway, off I was to try this incredible magical cake! Baking taitai's video on magic custard cake is a must-watch before trying. I referred to Baking taitai and Scrumptious and Sumptous and modified the recipe for a pandan twist because I imagined pandan-flavoured custard would be delicious! And it was! :p

Ingredients (makes an 8-inch tray)
114g unsalted butter
480g milk
1 tbsp water
4 egg yolks
110g plain flour
145g icing sugar
5g coconut powder (I used but it can be optional)
½ tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp pandan paste
Icing sugar or dessicated coconut

4 egg whites
28g caster sugar

1. Preheat the oven till 160°C.
2. Grease and line a 8-inch square tray with baking paper.
3. Melt the butter and set aside. Warm the milk to lukewarm and set aside.
4. Meringue: Whisk the egg whites till foamy, then add in caster sugar and whisk until stiff peaks form. Set aside.

5. In another bowl, beat the egg yolks and icing sugar (on medium-high) until light yellow and fluffy (top, left). Add in the melted butter and water and beat (on medium-low) for about 2 min until well incorporated. Sift in the flour and coconut powder (top, centre) and mix well on medium-low (top, right).
6. Add in the milk, vanilla and pandan extract slowly (middle, left) and gently beat on low until everything is well mixed (middle, centre). The batter will be runny.
7. Fold in the egg whites, 1/3 at a time (middle, right) until all of the egg whites are folded in. Fold until no big curds are found (bottom, left).
8. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake at 160ºC for 55-60 min until the top is golden (bottom, centre). The centre of the cake will be slightly jiggly.
9. Unmould and cut the cake when it is totally cool (bottom, right). You can expedite the cooling process by placing cake in the fridge.
10. Dust with icing sugar or dessicated coconut. 

I made this cake for my mil for Mother's Day :) Everyone loved the cake! It's truly a magical piece of cake! The cake is not too sweet which I love most, and is loaded with a melt-in-the-mouth middle custard layer. The top layer is soft and pillowy, while the bottom layer is dense and kueh-like! It was such a fun cake and I felt the pandan gave it an extra kick!

Happy Mother's Day to all the wonderful mummies! Hope you will love this cake as much as I do!

With love,


  1. Wow Susanne, you even did an investigation on the origin of the cake! Your cake sure looks pretty!

  2. Thanks Cheryl! Thanks for sharing the wonderful cake and for the recipe and for taking the effort to take the video! Can really feel your effort and love into it! Thanks so much! :)

  3. Hi, came across your page while giggling. Can I use pandan juice instead of pandan paste? If yes, how much should I use? Thanks.

    1. Hi Esther, yes I think you can substitute pandan juice for pandan paste (2.5 ml). But as it is more diluted than pandan paste, it needs to be concentrated pandan juice (using only the bottom thick layer that settles after keeping in the fridge overnight). Alternatively, you can substitute the pandan paste (2.5 ml) and also part of the water (e.g. 5 ml) with pandan juice i.e. 10 ml water and 7.5 ml pandan juice. Hope it helps :) Thanks!

  4. Do you think coconut milk will give a better taste? :-)

    1. Hi, definitely :) I used coconut milk powder to make coconut milk :) I think you can replace 30% of fresh milk with coconut milk. Think baking tai tai did a pandan version with 40% coconut milk soon after in baking cups :)