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Friday, May 09, 2008

Pandan Waffles

We all know waffles, right? A light, slightly eggy cake cooked in a waffle iron so that it's crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. We enjoy it with a pat of butter and real maple syrup. Some people eat waffles with fried chicken as a savory Southern twist.

The Southeast Asians put their own twist on the waffle by adding a bit of pandan extract to the batter. Pandan, or screwpine, is a tropical plant that has fans of long, green leaves that, when cooked, imparts a sweet, pleasingly fragrant aroma to whatever it is cooked with. We used whole pandan leaves to infuse our nasi lemak coconut rice dish.

Here's a pandan waffle recipe that makes a delicious breakfast, snack or dessert so good, you won't want to stop eating them. It is a tried and true recipe, something we make quite often. The recipe comes from food blogger Andrea Nguyen of Viet World Kitchen, who is the author of "Into the Vietnamese Kitchen".

Pandan Waffles (makes 3-4 waffles)


1 cup bleached, all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1-1/2 tsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda + 1/2 tsp cream of tartar (OR 1 tsp baking powder + 1/4 tsp baking soda)
1 egg, whites separated from the yolk
1 cup coconut milk
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1/2 tsp pandan extract
(You can use vanilla extract if you don't have the pandan, but then it really wouldn't be pandan waffles anymore, now would it? Find pandan extract in the baking section of your local Asian market.)

*If you double the recipe, most cans of coconut milk will be less than 2 cups, just add water to get correct liquid amount.
*Sugar can be halved for less sweet waffles.
*Self-raising flour can be used in place of flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda.


1. Turn on your waffle iron.

2. In one bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, combine the coconut milk, melted butter, egg yolk, and pandan extract. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and gently stir it in. Switch to a folding motion towards the end to incorporate all the flour. The batter will be a little lumpy and thick, but the important thing is not to overmix it.

3. Whisk the egg white until it forms stiff peaks. Gently fold the egg white into the batter.

4. Now here comes the easy part. When the iron is hot, ladle some of the pandan waffle batter onto the grid. Close the lid and go get a plate and a fork. Breathe in that wonderful pandan aroma (but be careful not to stick your nose into the steam rising from the waffle maker!) Tell your tummy to stop growling already, because in a couple of minutes it's going to be mighty happy.

5. When the waffle maker signals that your pandan waffle is ready, lift it out with a fork onto your waiting plate. Put the fork down. Resist the urge to pick up the waffle and jam it into your mouth. Wait for it to cool a little. If you don't, you'll give yourself first-degree burns on your fingertips and that little piece of skin on the roof of your mouth will hang down and bother you for the next two days. Resist!

Go back to step 4 and prep another waffle. There, that ought to be enough time now. Go for it. Forget the fork. Forget syrup. Just pick it up and devour to your heart's content.

In our house, we double the recipe, sometimes even triple it. The kids love these pandan waffles and so do we. They freeze well (the waffles, not the kids!) and reheat nicely in the toaster.

Somehow, they don't last too long in the freezer though. Within a couple of days, they're all gone. Pandan waffles are great for breakfast, snack or dessert. Try it with some vanilla ice cream or, better yet, some azuki bean ice cream. Yum!


More breakfast recipes: Chantilly Crepes, Mushroom and Gruyere Omelette, Omurice


SteamyKitchen said...

omg, what a great idea to use pandan in waffles. how about a thin crepe and then fill with mangoes?? yum.

Annie & Nate said...

Hi Jaden,

Sure, we could do a pandan crepe. But mangoes around here suck (mostly shipped in from Mexico and Ecuador). So I'd try it with some other local fruit...

Rasa Malaysia said...

Hey, you have a new design, I like it. Pandan waffles, such a good idea.

Reid said...


These sound great. My pandan plant is doing quite well so I might just have to try this. I think you can make your own extract by blending the leaves with water if you are not able to find extract anywhere.

I think I read that in one of my SE Asian cookbooks.

Annie & Nate said...


Fortunately for me, the extract is easy to find at Ranch 99. I can think of some other 'ono things to do with whole pandan leaves, though.

I used to grow pandan in my yard back in Hawaii. It was a pretty big patch, actually. *sigh* too bad, it's all gone now...

Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

Sanrio3138 said...

Dear Annie, can I make this without a waffle maker? However,I do have a Hello Kitty pancake pan. Thanks ^=^

Annie & Nate said...

Hi Sanrio3138,

I've never tried making pancakes with the waffle batter. It might work, who knows? Try it and let us know how it turned out!



soy said...

do you have a waffle maker to recommend? i would prefer one that i can switch out the plates, i'm not even sure if that exists... thanks.

Beau Lotus said...

Mmmm, I love waffles and I love pandan even more...

This is a must try!

Nate-n-Annie said...

@soy - we only have tried one waffle maker, and that was a gift. So we don't really have any recommendations. But there are those panini presses with interchangable plates. Try Krups brand.

@beau lotus - let us know how that turns out!

Sha said...

Mmmmm I love waffles and pandan too. Pandan waffles sound delicious, especially as a dessert with coconut ice cream and pieces of juicy exotic fruits :)

Johtraz said...

So I followed this recipe, but my batter didnt even turn out green. Do you have any ideas what I couldve done wrong?

Nate-n-Annie said...

@Johntraz - the pandan extract that you used -- was it a green paste in a plastic bottle or a clear liquid in a glass bottle?

MiNDY said...

OH Pandan waffle.. what a great idea. I must try this one one day. Thank you for the recipe.

zerrin said...

After seeing this recipe and great pictures in it, my husband (who is a fan of waffle) decided to buy that waffle machine. He has been trying to persuade me for some time, but he achieved it now thanks to you.

It seems gorgeous. I wish I knew what pandan is. We don't have pandan in Turkey. I think we will use vanilla extract instead, or any other suggestions?

Nate-n-Annie said...

@zerrin - I think you'd have a hard time finding pandan extract in Turkey. You see it usually in Asian grocery stores.

Vanilla would be a good touch. Congratulations on getting a waffle iron. Have fun with it!

steinhc said...

1)What is the purpose of separating the yolk for the egg white?
2)What if I don't seperate them?
3) Could I use a mixer to mix everythign together?
4) What would happen if batter is overmixed?
5)If the batter is all smooth, does that mean that the batter is overmixed?
Thank you.

Nate-n-Annie said...

@steinhc - thanks for your questions!

1) when you whip the whites separately and then fold them back in to the batter, you get a lighter, fluffier waffle.

2) don't know; never tried. Do you want to try it and find out?

3) yes

4) you might get a chewier waffle

5) yes

m said...

Hi Annie,

I bought the Pandan extract and the Pandan paste. I was told by the Vietnamese clerk that the paste works better. In someone's comments, theirs did not turn out green. Which is better, the extract or the paste?

Nate-n-Annie said...

@m - the paste.

jadedfork said...

What a great idea! I love pandan, especially cooking plain rice with a piece of pandan leaf. Do you have a particular brand you use for the extract?

Nate-n-Annie said...

@jadedfork - we use Aroma brand. We have a pic of it on our Pandan Kaya post

samualkj said...

Wow! I just found this site on accident. I wasn't even looking for pandan waffles, but what a wonderful idea! Mmm...I must try this. Thank you! :O)

Anonymous said...

are these the same waffles as the ones I see at the asian markets that have coconut in them?

Nate-n-Annie said...

@Anonymous - yes!

Olivia said...

I really love these pandan waffles. Just bought a new waffle maker yesterday and will be very keen to try this recipe. Will keep you posted on the result.

Thanks for sharing the recipe.


Nate-n-Annie said...

@Olivia - you're welcome! Look forward to hearing your results.

Boon said...

Hi. I was just wondering, if your pandan waffles are the soft that like those in Singapore that are sold in neighbourhood cake shops that come with peanut or blueberry, or is it those hard belgium waffle type that are usually eaten with ice cream? Can a normal waffle iron make both types?

Nate-n-Annie said...

@Boon - thanks for your question! These waffles are not soft or hard - they are crispy on the outside yet light and soft on the inside. Ice cream would make it too sweet.

Boon said...

Ok! Thanks a lot.

Anonymous said...


would it be possible to convert the cup to grams measurements for flour, sugar and coconut milk?

I tried it today. The taste was good but I found the mixture a little sticky so it's difficult for me to spread it on the waffle iron. I guess probably is the conversion errors. Please do advise me.


Lynette said...

Hi there!

I tried this recipe this morning, and it was absolutely delicious!!! Thank you so very much for sharing this.

I now have to browse the rest of your site for recipes I can try - if you dont mind. =)


Nate-n-Annie said...

@yammy - try using the Cultiverter widget on our sidebar.

@Lynette - you're welcome! Please leave a comment and tell us what other recipes you cooked.

Anonymous said...

I tried this recipe last night. Comes close to what I'm used to at the Vietnamese restaurants, but was a little "eggier" than what I'm used to. Has anyone else noticed this? I'm going to try one yolk next time (for 2x recipe). I'll also try increasing the sugar. The one at my favorite Vietnamese restaurant seems sweeter. But thanks for the recipe! I love these waffles!

And the Hokkien cooks and bakes said...

Hi Annie and Nate,

tried the recipe, with some changes, for health reason! But I must say, this is one good recipe! Very good texture and the smell is to die for! Thanks!

Nate @ House of Annie said...

@Anonymous - you're welcome! We love 'em too.

@Hokkien - I just love the smell as the waffles are baking up :-) Thanks for the link back from your blog!

Musickid408 said...

Hey! So instead of waffles could you make it a pancake if you don't have a waffle maker?

Nate @ House of Annie said...

@musickid408 - sorry, these don't really work as pancakes.

Amy said...

Annie and Nate, I love your blog! You guys should try publishing a book, I bet people would buy it! Awesome recipes, personal stories, and great pictures.

I've tried out a lot of your recipes because Annie makes it seem so easy and amazing. Mine didn't always come out as good as it looked in the pictures, but they were fun to try! Thanks :)

Nate @ House of Annie said...

@Amy - thanks for the kind words! We love that you're enjoying making our recipes.

PisceanDreamer64 said...

How much calories are in a pandan coconut waffle?

Tina said...

hello, i was so excited to try this recipe but after searching the local ranch 99 I could not come across pandan extract..thank you though, i will keep trying!