Friday, 5 September 2014

Hungry Caterpillar Pandan Chiffon Cake

"In the light of the moon, a little egg lay on a leaf. One Sunday morning, the warm sun came out and - pop! - out of the egg came a tiny and very hungry caterpillar!". This is a chiffon cake borne out of "The Very Hungry Caterpillar", the famous Eric Carle story which my friend's daughter loves. My kids love it so much too that I can recite the whole story from memory (after reading the story a million times! :p). The above excerpt was all from memory! So this was a cake I thoroughly enjoyed doing.

That's me! Working hard, looking at the book! :D

This cake is made up of 6 pandan chiffon cakes joined together - 3 light green, 2 dark green and 1 red. I made fresh pandan juice from pandan leaves, but used store-bought pandan paste to colour the cakes bright green. Charcoal powder and red yeast powder were used to colour the cakes darker green and reddish brown respectively. The chiffon cupcakes were baked in 11 mm OD Iwaki glass bowls. I portioned some of the batter to make the eyes and feelers.

Pandan Chiffon Cake (6 cupcakes or 1 17cm chiffon tin)
3 egg yolks
20g sugar
39g vegetable oil
24 ml coconut milk
11 ml pandan juice
2 ml vanilla extract
5 ml pandan paste

60g cake flour
A pinch of salt

4 egg whites
45g sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar

1. Prepare fresh pandan juice by blending fresh pandan leaves (15 leaves cut into small pieces, omitting the tips) with 50 ml water. Strain with a sieve and press out all the liquid with a spoon.
2. Preheat oven at 160°C.
3. Beat egg yolks with sugar with whisk till pale yellow before stirring in oil, milk, pandan juice, vanilla extract and pandan paste.
4. Add in sieved flour and salt and whisk till no trace of flour found.
5. Scoop out 20 tsp batter and add 1/2 tsp charcoal powder for dark green batter. Scoop out 10 tsp batter and add red yeast powder/red colouring for red batter. The remaining batter will light green.
*Optional: scoop out 1.5 tsp batter for yellow and purple batter respectively (for eyes and feelers).
6. Meringue: Beat the egg whites with ¼ tsp cream of tartar till stiff peak, mixing in caster sugar in 2 additions. 
7. Divide the meringue into the various batter in 2 tbsp meringue to 1 tsp batter ratio.
8. Fold in the meringue gently into each batter 1/3 at a time.
9. Scoop the light green batter into 3 bowls, the dark green batter into 2 bowls and the red batter into 1 bowl. Gently tap the bowls on the counter top to release air bubbles and bake at 160°C for 15 min and then 150°C for 15 min. 
10. Spread the remaining batter (dark green, red, yellow and purple) side by side onto a baking sheet on a tray. Bake at 160°C for 15 min.
11. Leave the bowls and tray to cool on a cooling rack and unmould when cool. 

The feelers were made by rolling thin purple chiffon cake swissroll-style over a toothpick. The eyes and legs were also cut out from the layer chiffon cakes.

The pandan chiffon cupcakes were then all joined to each other using melted marshmallows. I thought the end product looked a little like a Hungry Caterpillar plush toy in the box! :D

Thank God my friend said the cake looked like the real thing and tasted great (thank you Julia!)! 

Happy birthday to Val!!

With lots of love,


  1. Hi Susanne, you are amazing!!! I super like this Hungry Caterpillar! It's my children's favourite story when they are young and I can recite the whole story till now..haha!

    1. Haha Cheryl! Guess many mummies can identify with us :) Thanks so much!

  2. Replies
    1. Thank you Aunty Young! Love all your recent posts on mooncakes!

  3. Ha ha! I'm hungry now and wanna eat the Hungry Caterpillar !