Pandan leaves are one of my top ten favorite ingredients to use. They have a strong sweet aroma with hints of grass, rose, almond, coconut, and vanilla. Here, the plant milk is blended with pandan leaves, then infuse the milk to carry this heavenly taste into the cake.   Recipe Text Credit: Excerpted (or Adapted) from VEGAN AT HOME © 2022 by Solla Eiríksdóttir. Reproduced by permission of Phaidon. All rights reserved

Layered Pandan Cake with Coffee Frosting [Vegan]

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Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (7 oz/ 200 g) vegan butter (page 48), plus extra for greasing
  • 3/4 cup (5 oz/150 g) coconut sugar
  • 3/4 cup (5 oz/150 g) superfine (caster) sugar
  • 3 1/3 cups (14 oz/400 g) white spelt flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)
  • 3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons (7 1/2 fl oz/220 ml) vegan yogurt of your choice
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt flakes
  • 1/2 cup (2 3/4 oz/75 g) walnut halves, toasted and chopped, plus extra to decorate

For the Pandan Milk:

  • 3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons (7 1/2 fl oz/220 ml) plant-based milk of your choice
  • 6 large fresh pandan leaves or 1/2 oz/15 g dried pandan leaves
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the Frosting:

  • 2 tablespoons instant coffee powder
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (7 oz/200 g) cold vegan butter, cut into cubes
  • 3 1/4 cups plus 3 tablespoons (1 lb 2 oz/500 g) confectioners’ (icing) sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cacao powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt flakes

Preparation

  1. Start by making the pandan milk. Put the plant milk, pandan leaves, and vanilla into a high-speed blender and blend for 1–2 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes to infuse the pandan flavor into the milk. Hang a nut milk bag over a large bowl, pour the mixture into the bag, and squeeze the bag gently until all the liquid is in the bowl. Discard the pandan pulp and set the pandan milk aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 F/180 C/Gas Mark 4. Grease 2 x 9 ½ -inch (24-cm) nonstick springform pans with vegan butter and line with parchment (baking) paper.
  3. Put the butter, coconut sugar, and superfine (caster) sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat for 4–5 minutes until fluffy. Alternatively, use electric beaters in a large bowl. Sift the spelt, baking powder, and baking soda (bicarbonate of soda) through a strainer (sieve) into a separate bowl. Add the yogurt and pandan milk to the stand mixer, mix for 15 seconds to combine, then add the spelt mixture and sea salt, and slowly mix to combine thoroughly. Mix the chopped walnuts in by hand using a wooden spoon at the end. Divide the batter between the prepared pans and bake for 35–40 minutes until a knife comes out clean when inserted into the center of the cake. Remove from the oven and let cool in the pans on a cooling rack.
  4. For the frosting, start by mixing the coffee with 1 tablespoon hot water in a small heatproof bowl and letting it cool. Once cool, put it into a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment with the butter, confectioners’ (icing) sugar, cacao powder, coffee paste, and sea salt, and beat on medium-high speed for 3–4 minutes, or until it becomes a smooth frosting. The frosting will lighten in color and clump together when ready. Alternatively, use electric beaters in a large bowl.
  5. To assemble the cake, remove the cooled cakes from the pans and using a serrated knife, carefully cut them horizontally through the middle to make 4 “layers” of cake in total. Place one cake layer on a serving plate. Add one-quarter of the frosting to this bottom layer of the cake, then place another layer of cake on top, and spread with one-quarter of the frosting. Continue with the remaining cake and frosting and decorate the top with extra walnut halves.


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