Pandan Cotton Cake with Gula Melaka Swiss Meringue Buttercream





Pandan Cotton Cake with Gula Melaka Swiss Meringue Buttercream!  In fact, it is Pandan Sponge Cake:)

My husband told me this is the best cake I have made so far. I am a person who normally does not eat the icing on cake. However, this buttercream is an exception – I would eat it because it is so delicious.

If you have any questions regarding this recipe or any other post, please leave me a comment in the “LEAVE A COMMENT” link and I will reply you as soon as possible.


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Adapted from Butter, Flour & Me with some modifications and followed the method of Jeannie Tay’s Pandan Sponge Cake.


Two 6″ Inch Round Cakes Recipe

130g cake flour or all purposed flour
½ tsp double action baking powder
½ tsp salt

6 egg yolks
80g corn oil
50g fresh milk
50g pandan juice (screw-pine leaves juice), very thick and concentrated juice.

6 egg white
70g caster sugar
¼ tsp cream of tartar

Utensil : Two 5 inch round pans, greased the sides and line the bottom  (The original recipe required a 6 inch round pan. However, I did not have 6 inch round pans so I made them in 5 inch pan and my cake mix over flowed when baking)


Two 7″ Round Cakes Recipe

174g cake flour or all purposed flour
½ tsp double action baking powder
½ tsp salt
8 egg yolks
106g corn oil
66g fresh milk
66g pandan juice (screw-pine leaves juice), very thick and concentrated juice.

8 egg white
106g caster sugar
1/2 tsp cream of tartar



  1. Preheat oven to 170C.
  2. Shift flour, salt and baking powder. Set aside.
  3. Combine fresh milk and pandan paste. Set aside.
  4. Heat corn oil in sauce pan over low heat until it bubbles, then add in the shifted flour mixture and mix well. Remove from heat and transfer to a mixing bowl. Then add in milk and pandan mixture, mix with spatula until all incorporated. Gradually add in the egg yolk and whole egg mixture, stirring with a spatula or hand whisk until smooth. Set aside.
  5. Using an electric mixer, whisk egg white until frothy before adding cream of tartar and continue to beat until foamy. Gradually add in sugar and whisk until firm peaks formed (firm peaks is between soft peaks and stiff peaks).
  6. Mix 1/3 of meringue with yolk batter with a spatula. Add another 1/3 portion and fold gently. Then pour in balance of meringue. Fold gently using a spatula until well incorporated.
  7. Pour the batter into the 2 prepared round tin and tap tin lightly to remove air bubbles.
  8. Baked in water bath at 170C for 30 to 35 minutes. Then another 40 minutes at 150C.
  9. Remove from the oven and drop the pan at a height of 10 cm onto a table top. This will prevent cake from sinking.
  10. Unmould as soon as you can. To remove the cake from the pan, run a thin-bladed knife around the inside of the pan and invert the cake on non stick baking paper. Peel off baking paper from the base and re-invert onto a rack to cool.



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Adapted from The Domestic Goddess Wannabe and Dreamer Loft with some modifications.


Gula Melaka Caramel:
50g gula melaka, crushed or chopped
2 pandan leaves, tied a knot
1/8 cup (25 ml) of water

Swiss Meringue Buttercream:
3 large egg whites
80g caster sugar
150g butter, room temperature
¼ tsp vanilla extract
¼ tsp salt


To prepare Gula Melaka Caramel:

  1. Combine gula melaka, pandan leave and water in a saucepan and bring to boil over medium heat. Keep on stiring until all the sugar has melted and reduce slightly. Remove from heat, strain & discard the pandan leaves. Keep aside to cool. The syrup will thicken as it cools.

To prepare Swiss Meringue Buttercream:

  1. Cut the butter into cubes. Set aside to room temperature.
  2. Combine egg white and sugar in a heat-proof bowl over a pot of simmering water. Make sure the base of the bowl is not touching the water. Whisk with hand whisk until the sugar is dissolved. Rub between your fingers to check if there is any unmelted sugar.
  3. Transfer the egg white mixture to a bowl of mixer. With Whisk attachment, beat over high speed until stiff peaks and the mixture has cooled to room temperature.
  4. Turn down the speed and add in the butter cube gradually then turn to high speed. Beat until the mixture comes together. You may change to Paddle attachment. But, I did not.
  5. Add in salt and vanilla extract until well incorporated.
  6. Turn down the speed and in gula melaka one teaspoon at a time. Scrap the bowl with spatula and beat until all well combined. I used all the gula melaka caramel.

To Assemble the cake:

  1. Cut the dome off from the cake and place on a cake board. Spread a layer of Gula Melaka Swiss Meringue Buttercream (GMSMB) on top of the cake. Then stake the second cake on top. Coat the entire cake with GMSMB. Sprinkle some chopped roasted cashew nuts on top of the cake and pipe swirls.

Bake With Paws


  1. Is the pandan paste store bought? If not, how do you make it? Also would appreciate if you let me have the brand of gula melaka, thanks!

    • Hi Mona,

      The pandan paste is homemade. The pandan leave from my garden. Please refer here for “how to make pandan juice/paste”
      I bought my gula melaka from market and there is no brand on it:(

      Happy baking

          • Hi, I am referring to the pandan paste…I followed to use the homemade pandan paste, 50g seems watery…the 1st bake 170C for 30mins, my cake already brown and toothpick test pass….but I leave it inside for another 30mins, with the foil covering, it become dry when I eat the eat day. I keep in fridge due to the SMBC. So I duno it’s because of the fridge or the extra baking time.

          • Hi there,
            You can use ready pandan paste. I just concentrate homemade pandan paste.
            Sorry to hear that your cake is too dry. Did you use water bath when baking? The baking time and temparature just a guide line. Some oven can be very hot, please adjust according to your oven. I hope it helps.
            Thank you for trying this recipe.

          • No worries. yes,i did water bath. but its I put 1 tray of water below. and 2 6.5 inch tins above a wire tray, maybe is not high up the top heat, so it was baked very fast. thanks!

          • Hi, you should put your cake tin inside a larger pan fill with hot water instead. If you are using the spring form cake tin, then you have to wrap your cake tin with aluminium foil to prevent water from seeping in.

      • Hi. Can i equivalete 50g of pandan paste mentioned in the recipe to 50g of pandan juice? Or it has to be in paste form? Thank you.

        • Hi, thank you for dropping by. Please make sure the juice you are going to use is very concentrated and thick. Otherwise, the cake will not taste so good.
          Happy baking!

  2. Hi, can i ask what is screw pine leave paste? What do i do to get the paste?

  3. May I know when the recipe said water bath , when you preheat the oven one need to preheat the water? Thanks.

    • Hi there,
      Preheat the oven first. Please use hot water for water bath just before putting the cake into oven.

  4. Hi, how long can batter sit out before baking? My oven can’t fit 2 x 6″ tin cake in the same time..

    • Hi there,

      I normally baked immediately. I think it will be too long if you wait for the first cake to finish baking. I would suggest you to bake all the batter in one 7″ or 8″ round tin.


    • Hi, I am using the Electrolux Built In Oven. Your cake crack should be your oven too hot or your meringue too stiff. Bake longer time in low temperature will prevent cake from craking. I hope this helps. Thanks for trying the recipe.

  5. Hi . Very lovely and elegant looking cake
    This is the first time I am making smbc. I encountered some problems. I did beat the meringue till completely cold but when I add in the cool (but not cold cold) butter cubes the meringue turned loose and volume dropped immediately. I continue adding the butter while beating and the mixture curdled. Can u tell me why is this. Your smbc is so smooth and also what tip did u use to pipe. I hope to try again. Hope to hear from you. Thanks Chloe

    • Thank you, Chloe. The butter cube should be at room temperature and soft. Please do not over beat the egg white, stop beating once reached stiff peaks. Please try to use Paddle attachment when you add in the butter. I did not change and it turned out fine. Accordingly to Diana Gale’s recipe, she changed to Paddle attachement. I used Open Star No. 21 for the piping. Have fun…

    • Hi Chloe,
      I just done my second smbc. My mixture curdled too after adding the butter cube. But, I keep on whisking at high speed and the smbc become smooth after a while. I used Whisk Attachment all the time.
      If you try again and the mixture curdled, please keep on whisking at high speed till smooth.

  6. Hi. Thanks for responding. I must have over beat the whites cos when the meringue turned stiff the bowl was not room temp when I touched it and I kept on beating. Also I didn’t change to paddle (I did hop over to check Diane’s) as the quantity is too little for my bigger size ka mixer. I just used a electric hand mixer which has no paddle attachment. U mentioned the butter should be room temperature? Like it will give in when pressed. At what speed did u beat your meringue after adding in the butter? Thanks for help. Chloe

    • I use Kenwood Stand Mixer. I turned to no. 4 to 5 after adding the butter. 4 to 5 is high speed. Butter should be soft and room temperature.
      Good luck and hope you will get it right this time.

  7. Hi, I am making a 8 inch cake, how many times shd I increase for the butter cream n the gula melaka syrup?

  8. Hi I used the store bought pandan paste and my batter turns out very green. And when I taste the batter prior to baking it is a bit bitter. Is it due to too much pandan paste? 🙁 Also can I cling wrap the cake to frost the next day?

    • Hi,
      Thank you for trying the recipe. Yes, it should be too much of store bought pandan paste. The pandan paste I used is homemade pandan paste and it should not taste bitter. If you use store bought pandan paste you have to judge the amount you put in. I would recommend you to use natural homemade pandan paste if you can get fresh pandan leaves.

      I left the cake in fridge with buttercream coated on for several days and still tasted good. If without coating the buttercream, I would advise you to put in air tight container or cling wrap.

      I hope this help.

  9. Hi! Just want to let you know that I had tried your recipe for the pandan cotton cheesecake and the cake turns out so yummy and moist! A shame that I did not have enough eggs at home to make the buttercream so I used gula melaka whipping cream instead and topped up with shaved gula melaka and shredded coconut.

    I’m going to try to make this again soon with your SMBC recipe I’m sure that the buttercream will give the cake more depth in terms of flavor.

    • Thank you, Shirley for trying this recipe. You should try the Gula Melaka SMBC and you will going to love it:)
      Happy baking….

      • Opps I realized that I typed wrongly. Should be Pandan cotton cake and not cheesecake!

        Anyway I really like the texture of the cake. It’s very moist and not too holey but still very soft. If it because it’s cooked dough method? Does cooked dough method gives this kind of texture? Or cotton cake is supposed to be like that?

        • No worry, Shirley. Yes, cooked dough method supposed to give soft texture. Cotton cake just a name. Actually, it is the same as chiffon cake method except we bake in normal round pan in water bath. Glad to hear that you like it. Happy baking:)

  10. Hi, may I know are you selling the pandan cake? If yes, can I order from you? Thanks

  11. I tried this recipe and it turned out beautifully. I love the fluffy texture of the cake! I didn’t like the smell of store-bought pandan paste (From Phoon Huat and Bake King), so I made my own. Very tedious but worth the trouble, I feel. The cake by itself wasn’t very sweet, but the gula melaka buttercream balanced it out nicely. Thank you! ?

    • Hi, thank you for trying this recipe. I am glad to hear that you like it. Homemade pandan paste is always the best and the aroma is more natural. I feel like eating it now:) Cheers…

  12. Hi,

    I would love to try this 😀
    Anyway is this cake sturdy enough to hold fondant weight? Or lot of buttercream decoration like flower wreath style? Or is it gonna deflate?

    And when you heat the oil, do you wait for it to get really hot then combined with the flour or just dump all the flour in even when the oil not really hot then cooked until heated up?

    Thank you

    • Hi, Thank you for dropping by. I am not sure about fondant. But, I used this cake for my Korean Style Buttercream flowers and icing with SMBC.
      Put oil in a saucepan and heat on low fire until just simmering. Remove and immediately add the flour and stir with a whisk until smooth.
      Happy baking.

  13. Can the screwpine paste be replaced with vanilla extract? How much to use? Thank you!

    • I think is ok. You may try 1/2 to 1 teaspoon if you use concentrated Vanilla Extract.. But, it is no longer pandan cake:)

  14. I bake the cake today and the cake is so fluffy but my SMBC was not pretty at all. Become curdle after i add in the butter and it become more worse after i add in my gula melaka caramel . The SMBC become watery. Im so sad with my SMBC ?

    • Hi, Thank you for trying the recipe. Sorry to hear that your SMBC not successful. Did you wait for the meringue to cool down first then only add the butter? Your butter will melt and become watery if your meringue still warm. To speed up the process, you may leave your meringue in the fridge. It is normal the buttercream will become curdle after putting the butter. But, please keep on beating at high speed until the meringue and butter incorporated. It may take a while. Then only you add in salt, vanilla extract and gula melaka syrup. I hope this helps.

    • Hi, Thank you for dropping by. Are you referring to 6 inch round pan with 2 inch height? If yes, this pan is too low. Thanks

  15. Hi, this looks so good! I can’t wait to try it! I have a stupid question.. When the directions say to “drop the pan 10cm onto tabletop” do you mean drop the pan so the metal side hits the tabletop, or drop it upside down, so the cake falls out onto the tabletop?

    • Hi, thank you for visiting Bake With Paws. Sorry for confusion. Drop the pan with the cake facing up, metal side hits the tabletop. Thanks

    • Hi there, I normally bake alone and no one to take video for me. I hope one day I manage to find someone. Cheers.

  16. Hello, I just made it. It tasted amazing. However, any idea why the top is not smooth and dry? Thanks for the help 🙂

    • Hi Jess, Thank you for trying this recipe. I am happy to hear that you like the taste. Could it be your oven is too hot?

  17. i just finished baking using this recipe and it was good! very light and soft! i added some gula melaka caramel sauce on top to add some more sweet in it. thanks for this nice recipe 🙂

  18. hai.. i want to ask if i can bake the cake without using water bath method? is it still okay or the cake will slightly become dry?

    • Hi, Thank you for dropping by. I never tried to bake this cake without water bath. But, chances are the cake may crack. However, you may want to try at lower temperature. Please let me know after baking if possible. Thanks:)

  19. Hi, i just made this today and it turned out perfect! Cake is moist, buttercream is silky smooth and delicious 🙂 thanks for sharing your recipe.

    Btw, if i want to make it a Mocca cake, can i just simply change the pandan juice into milk combined with mocca paste?

    • Hi, thank you for trying this recipe and glad to hear that you like it. I am sure you can. Please let me know the outcome ya.
      Happy baking:)

  20. Hi

    Is there a substitute for double action baking powder? In Australia, I can only get hold of the normal baking powder.

    Claire Loh

    • Hi Claire,

      Thank you for dropping by. Normal baking powder is fine too. Maybe, put 3/4 tsp or 1 tsp instead.

      Happy baking:)

  21. Hi. thanks for the recipe.i’m dying to try to make this because the pictures look so tempting ! may i know for the butter, is it salted or unsalted one ? Thanks !

    • Hi there,

      Thank you for dropping by Bake with Paws. Indeed very delicious. For the SMBC, I used salted butter and I still added 1/4 tsp salt. If you don’t like too salty, please adjust to your taste. Happy baking.


  22. hi your cakes looks yummy! I’m actually learning to make cottony cake. I have 6 inch round pan(not removable bottom kind),should I apply a layer of oil at the side and bottom?

    • Hi, Thank you for dropping by. Actually, I used the not removable bottom cake pan. Please line the bottom cake pan with non-stick baking paper. Not required for side.

  23. Hi there, may I know what piping tip you used for you beautiful frosting swirls? 🙂

  24. Hi there, is it possible to use this recipe to make cupcakes instead? How many cupcakes do you think it would yield ?

    • Hi, Thanks for dropping by. Yes, of course. The 2 X 6 inches cakes recipe will probably yields 16 to 20 cupcakes. Thanks and happy baking:)

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