If you’re a fan of pandan, you’ll want to bookmark this page.
Despite its deceptive appearance of tough leaves that resemble the humble leek greens, the Southeast Asian plant is an aromatic ingredient that’s delightful in both savoury plates and sweet desserts. It can be hard to pin down the unique flavour of pandan if you’re not familiar with it — think comforting, grassy vanilla notes with hints of coconut — which is why the tropical fruit is often the perfect pairing to the ingredient.
Besides traditional desserts, bakeries and restaurants around the island have been incorporating it into modern artisanal cakes and tarts, each one made to add a local touch (or perhaps even a sense of nostalgia) for residents in Singapore.
From chiffon and mille crepe cakes to pandan-infused egg tarts, read on for a list of best pandan desserts in Singapore.
(Hero and featured image credit: Cheng’s 27)
Best pandan desserts in Singapore you should try today –
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What happens when you inject some French flair into the classic Kueh Dar Dar? You get this gorgeous Dar Dar Mille Crepe cake from Sinpopo. Think thin, elegant sheets of aromatic pandan crepe, slathered with fresh gula melaka cream layers and a smattering of grated coconut tossed in even more gula melaka. The dreamy concoction is also caramelised on its topmost layer to add crunch and texture to the cake.
There’s a new contender on the island to Rich & Good’s famous kaya rolls — the Hainanese Coconut Pandan rolls from Hainan Story. Made with chef Pang Kok Keong’s special touch, the thick rolls are pillowy soft to the touch, with a creamy centre that’ll be perfect with some coffee or tea on a lazy afternoon.
(Image credit: @shauneeie via Instagram)
Homegrown bakery Chalk Farm’s version of the local kueh salat tastes just as beautiful as it looks. The stunning layer of glutinous rice, tinted with blue pea extract, forms the foundation of the steamed dessert, before it’s crowned with a thick, aromatic custard crafted with fresh coconut milk and freshly extracted pandan juice. Do note that while you can grab a slice to-go at their Marine Parade or Orchard Road outlets, the website only allows diners to order the whole 1.5-kilogram cake in its entirety.
While the craze for castella cake has died down since its peak in 2017, we find ourselves still craving for the eggy, soft slices from time to time. If you’re looking for a local rendition to the cake, look no further than the Pandan Castella Cake from Ah Mah Homemade Cake Singapore. This version is made with 100 percent freshly squeezed pandan leaves for an comforting, perfumed touch to the dessert.
It’s no surprise that one of our favourite egg tart spots is Tai Cheong Bakery. The Hong Kong joint’s recipe champions buttery cookie shells and delicate eggy custard centres that break apart with each bite. The Pandan flavoured option is a fragrant alternative to the Original egg tart here.