Sunday 12 October 2014

'Cow' Low Sugar (10%) Pandan Chiffon Cake for Diabetics

I was very touched when a friend asked me if I could make a sugar-free or very low-sugar pandan chiffon cake for her diabetic MIL who was recovering from an operation. When I googled, I was surprised that there were no sugar-free recipes for pandan chiffon cake! Only two existed for lemon chiffon cake by the British company, Splenda (a sugar substitute). With so many elderly I know suffering from diabetes, I was motivated to try making a low sugar pandan chiffon cake that diabetics can enjoy.

I could only find Equal, the sugar substitute, at the time of my bake in NTUC. Thankfully, I managed to find the conversion chart online that 1 packet Equal = 2 teaspoon sugar (= 8g) in sweetness. The recipe should be considered a success as my friend shared that the pandan cake was very nice and had good pandan taste, and best of all, could be enjoyed by everyone, especially her diabetic MIL! I tasted it myself and thought it was sweet enough too.

*A friend later shared that Splenda can be found at Guardian and Stevia at Cold Storage and some NTUCs now. These two substitutes are healthier and superior substitutes to Equal. The conversion is the same as Equal, meaning 1 packet Splenda/Stevia = 2 teaspoon sugar, and so can be substituted similarly into the recipe.

On a side note, she wanted a cow on top of the cake looking like the giraffe chiffon cake I had previously made (as her MIL was born in the year of the cow). We had a good laugh previously because she thought that the giraffe was a cow! This time round, we had another good laugh as she was pleasantly surprised and exclaimed her cow looked like a cow! :D

As meringue needs a little bit of sugar preferably to be happy, I reduced the sugar to 1/10th of the original amount, from 75g to 8g (thanks to Phay Shing too for her input). The meringue was stable, but I needed to work quickly as I noticed it broke down faster. The cake also looked a little more "holey" than I was used to as the meringue was less stable. But overall, I would say it was fine, both texture and taste-wise, thank God! So here goes!

Low Sugar (10% original) Pandan Chiffon Cake (for 17cm tin)
3 egg yolks
5.5 packets of Equal/Splenda/Stevia (sugar substitute)
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
1/5 tsp baking powder

4 egg whites
8g sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar

1. Prepare fresh pandan juice by blending fresh pandan leaves (10-15 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 (I used steam baking, i.e. put a tray of water at the lowest rack in the oven but it's optional).
3. Beat egg yolks with Equal/Splenda/Stevia (sugar substitute) before stirring in oil, coconut milk and pandan juice.

4. Add in sieved flour, salt and baking powder and whisk till no trace of flour found.
5. Meringue: Beat the egg whites with ¼ tsp cream of tartar till stiff peak, mixing in caster sugar in 2 additions.

6. Fold in the meringue gently into the batter 1/3 at a time.
7. Scoop the batter into the chiffon tin.
8. Gently tap the tin on table 3x to remove air bubbles
9. Bake the cake for 15 min at 160°C then 30 min at 150°C.
10. Invert immediately once out of the oven to cool
11. Unmould after the cake is cool.

Freshly unmoulded low sugar pandan chiffon cake!

Thanks to Joey for this wonderful learning experience!

With lots of love,


  1. Hi I'm confused. Is this blog belonging to Susanne or Phay Shing?

    1. Hi we share a blog. You can see this in about us :)

  2. Oh I see. Both of you are fantastic and creative. Let the creative juice flow. Btw there is no link on "About Us".

    1. Hmm.. it loads here on my desktop but I think it doesn't load on some mobiles, not sure why. Thanks for your feedback! Will look into it. Thanks!

  3. Hi, would like to check with you how u make the "cow" out of it? Is there any special moulds needed to use? Can show?

    1. Hi Yuki Irene, the face is from an egg shell. The body is from a round glass bowl (pic here: Less are just from swissrolls. Thanks!

  4. Hi, i was searching for the sugar free recipe for meringue. Some used raw honey. Do you think we can use the method for chiffon cake too? :)

    1. Sorry for late reply as I didn't get notification. Yes you can! In fact I use it for making marshmallows. You can also check out this link:

  5. hi, have you tried without the stevia, do you think it will still rise? thank you

    1. Hi, yes it can rise without stevia, but less stable when you work with it, like during folding. Or another way is to whip with gula melaka. Thank you!

  6. Hi Susanne, due to my medical reason i am trying to avoid sugar.
    But i love chiffon cake very much. So while beating the egg white can i use stevia powder(grind from stevia leaves) but what is the proportion that i can replace stevia powder to sugar in chiffon cake recipe ? Pls help help thanks

    1. Hi Lean, you can replace Stevia with sugar 1:1, however the meringue is less stable during folding, so cake will be less fluffy than with sugar. But I guess for health reasons that is more important. Take care! - Susanne (using another device).

  7. I used 10 grams of palatinose instead and the cake doesn’t taste sweet at all. 5.5 pkts is how many grams of stavia?