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  • Writer's pictureMs Yeoh

Green with Asian Envy - Pandan Kaya Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Updated: Oct 6, 2020

I call them "Green with Asian Envy" a.k.a Pandan Coconut Cupcakes with a suprise kaya filling topped with pandan cream cheese frosting and toasted shredded coconut. The reason for the name is because these cupcakes are probably the most Asian of cupcakes that I have ever made and eaten. What's there not to love about pandan or kaya (coconut jam)? Combine the both of them together and the flavours bring me back to my childhood days of eating kaya on bread. Most non-Asian kids would have been brought up on nutella or peanut butter on bread but I was brought up on kaya. If you love asian flavours and are a sweet tooth, do give this recipe a go! :)

Oven Setting: 160 degrees Celsius fan forced 175 degrees Celsius no fan Cupcake ingredients (makes 24 cupcakes): 340g cake flour 320g sugar 30g desiccated coconut 1.5 tsp bicarb soda 1 tsp baking powder 1 tsp salt 1.5 cups vegetable oil 120g eggs 1 cup buttermilk 1 tbsp pandan extract 1 tsp vanilla extract 2 tsp white vinegar 1/2 cup shredded coconut

A jar of pandan kaya


  1. Preheat your oven. Line your cupcake pans with cupcake papers.

  2. Sift all dry ingredients directly into the mixing bowl.

  3. Fit the paddle attachment on your mixer.

  4. Add to the mixing bowl with the dry ingredients; the pandan essence, vanilla extract and oil on low speed until combined.

  5. With the mixer still on low speed, add eggs one at a time.

  6. Add buttermilk slowly to the mixture, careful not to flood the mixture whilst the mixer is still on low speed.

  7. Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl.

  8. Add vinegar to the batter and mix on medium speed for 10 secs.

  9. Fill cupcake papers 2/3 full immediately and pop them in the oven. Due to the reaction of vinegar and bi carb soda; you need to work quickly, otherwise if you leave the batter out for more than 20 minutes, you’ll get big nasty craters in your cupcakes.

  10. Bake for 20 -26 minutes until toothpick comes out clean.

  11. Place the shredded coconut in the oven till it’s lightly toasted.

Once the cupcakes have cooled down, use a little knife and carve out a hole in the middle of the cupcake and fill it with a teaspoon full of kaya.

Cream Cheese Frosting:

115g butter

225g cream cheese

2-3 cups icing sugar mixture

1/4 cup milk powder

1 1/2 tsp pandan extract

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp salt


  1. Bring cheese and butter to room temperature by letting it sit out for 30 minutes. Alternatively, pop them in the microwave separately for 10 seconds each time until slightly soft to touch.

  2. Beat butter until soft and creamy.

  3. Add cream cheese and beat until combined, about 3-5 minutes.

  4. Add half of the icing sugar mixture, salt, pandan essence and the vanilla extract. Beat until smooth.

  5. Gradually add the milk powder; then add the remaining sugar and stop when you get to the consistency and sweetness you like.

I find that this one batch of cream cheese frosting can usually frost 48 cupcakes so I strongly suggest you half the ingredients. That way, you do not have too much leftover frosting...unless, you are a sugar addict and don't mind eating the extra frosting by itself.

Finally, pipe the cream cheese frosting onto the cupcakes and top it with the toasted coconut.

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