Pandan Cake with Gula Melaka Swiss Meringue Buttercream


Recipe by The Little Gold Jars (@littlegoldjars)

Pandan Cake

Makes 4 x 6” cakes

266g cake flour, sifted
2/3 tsp baking powder (double acting), sifted
166g unsalted butter, softened
2/3 tsp salt
2/3 tsp vanilla paste or essence
266g castor sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
100g boxed coconut milk
33g water
1 tsp pandan extract
½ tsp green colouring

Gula Melaka Swiss meringue buttercream

66g gula Melaka (palm sugar), crushed
1/6 cup of water
3 pandan leaves
4 large egg whites
146g granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
200g unsalted butter, room temperature
1 ½ tsp pure vanilla extract

Decoration on cakes

Ready-made fondant and gumpaste, store-bought
Gold mirror acrylic topper (available from Cake Topper Malaysia)
Malaysian flag (printed and paste on a stick)
White chocolate decorations (see below)
Macarons, store-bought
Meringue kisses (see below)
White chocolate drippings (recipe below)



  1. PANDAN CAKE. Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease 4 x 6” cake pans with butter or non-stick spray.
  2. Combine flour and baking powder in a bowl. Set aside.
  3. In another bowl, combine butter, salt and vanilla. Cream until smooth. Gradually add in sugar and beat until fluffy.
  4. Add in eggs, one at a time. Add the dry ingredients, alternating with coconut milk. At every addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated. Next, add in the extract and colouring, and gently fold until it has been incorporated into the batter.
  5. Divide the batter into four equal parts. Bake for 20 mins or until skewer comes out clean when inserted in the middle.
  6. Cool cakes completely on a wire rack before frosting.
  7. SWISS BUTTERCREAM. Prepare gula Melaka caramel by combining gula Melaka and pandan leaves in a saucepan over medium low heat. Stir until all the sugar has melted. Continue heating up the syrup until it has reduced slightly. Strain and leave aside to cool completely to room temperature.
  8. Combine egg whites, sugar and salt in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Continuously stir while keeping it over the heat, until the sugar has dissolved. Transfer the mixture to a mixer with a whisk attached and beat on medium-high until stiff peaks have formed and the mixture has cooled to room temperature.
  9. Turn down the speed to medium and start adding small chunks of butter, checking that it has been incorporated before adding more. Keep beating until the mixture comes together and it forms butter cream at a spreadable consistency.
  10. Add in vanilla and gula Melaka caramel with the mixer still running, until well combined between each addition.
  11. DECORATIONS. Knit and roll the ready-made fondant and gum paste. Cut them into desired shapes and draw the faces using edible pen.
  12. For the white chocolate decorations, place some white chocolate in a microwave safe bowl, melt in microwave. Add some colouring into the white chocolate and pour into preferred moulds and let it harden.
  13. Using a preferred meringue recipe, carefully spoon in the meringue mixture in a piping bag. Snip the tip off the bag and pipe kisses on a baking sheet. Once baked, let cool completely.
  14. Make the white chocolate dripping by melting 20g white chocolate with 20ml heavy cream in a microwave. Add food colouring as liked.
  15. TO ASSEMBLE. Frost the four layer cakes with equal amounts of buttercream. Crumb coat it before letting it set in the refrigerator. Once it has been set, frost the outer layer of the cakes with remaining buttercream. Drip the prepared white chocolate onto the cake using a spoon. Decorate the cake using the fondant, topper, flag, white chocolate decor, macarons and meringue kisses.