Baking Channel

Ondeh Ondeh Cupcakes

Inspired by the popular traditional ondeh ondeh snack, these pandan flavoured cupcakes are filled with the most delicious salted gula melaka caramel and then topped with a light Italian buttercream and fresh shredded coconut. One bite and we’re in tropical heaven! This is one of our favourite recipes where we gave a traditional treat a modern twist. We hope you like it as much as we do so try it out and let us know what you think in the comments below! Happy baking (and eating)!


(Makes 20 cupcakes)

Pandan Cupcake:
300g cake flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
180g unsalted butter, softened
240g sugar
3 large eggs
180ml coconut milk
1 tsp pandan paste

Salted Gula Melaka Caramel:
200g gula melaka, cut into smaller pieces
60ml water
2 pandan leaves, knotted
60ml coconut milk
45g butter
1 tsp salt

Italian Buttercream:
2 egg whites
40g sugar
80g sugar
20g water
200g unsalted butter, soft but not melted



  1. To make cupcakes, cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer until pale and creamy. Beat eggs in one at a time, then add pandan paste.
  2. Sift together cake flour, baking power and salt. Fold in 1/3 of flour mixture
  3. Fold in ½ of the coconut milk, then another third of flour mixture, alternating until all ingredients are incorporated.
  4. Portion into lined muffin tin and bake in a preheated oven at 180oC/350oF for 15 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove cupcakes from oven and cool.
  5. Meanwhile, make salted gula melaka caramel: place gula melaka, pandan leaves and water into a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat until all the sugar has dissolved and mixture thickens slightly.
  6. Remove pandan leaves, then turn heat down to low and stir in butter and coconut milk. Keep stirring and boiling until caramel has thickened.
  7. Remove caramel from heat and stir in salt. Set caramel aside to cool and thicken
  8. To make buttercream, place 80g of sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil until sugar reaches 116oC
  9. Meanwhile, whisk egg whites and remaining 40g sugar in an electric mixer until soft peaks
  10. When sugar has reached the desired temperature, slowly add cooked sugar syrup in a slow and steady stream into the egg whites while the mixer is on high speed
  11. When all the sugar has been added, keep whipping the meringue until it cools to room temperature
  12. Once meringue is at room temperature, add in butter a bit at a time into the meringue while whisking at medium speed. When all the butter is added and the mixture is smooth, put buttercream into a piping bag with a star tip
  13. To assemble cupcakes, make a hole in the middle of each cupcake by using an apple corer. Fill with salted gula melaka caramel, then pipe frosting over the top of the cupcake. Garnish with fresh shredded coconut, then drizzle salted caramel over the top
  14. Serve at room temperature and enjoy!


44 thoughts on “Ondeh Ondeh Cupcakes”

  • Hi..if is not served immediately..after all d assembly we keep at room temp or fridge? If fridge do we need to make it warm when serve?

  • This is a recipe I’m dying to try out! I have 2 questions. First – what bottled pandan flavouring do you recommend because the ones available in my local Asian store is pretty gross in colour and taste. Second – I was amazed to see you use a white ceramic bowl on a stovetop when you made the gula Melaka caramel. Where did you get the bowl from? I’m looking for something exactly like that with a flat bottom that is also safe to use on direct flame. Thanks!

    • It takes a bit of testing to find a bottled pandan flavour/essence that you find acceptable. I’m not sure what options you have but I used the pandan paste from Red Man. The white pot we used is an enamel pot, you can check it out at

  • hi,
    can this be made in advance and stored? How many days in advance? Is it stored in fridge?
    Can buttercream be made in advance? How is it stored?

    • Hi,

      It is best eaten fresh on the day it is made but it can be made in advance and stored in the fridge for 1-3 days. However, the gula melaka caramel will not flow out as much cos it will be absorbed into the cake.

      Buttercream can be made ahead of time and stored in a piping bag or container in the fridge. Before using, take it out of the fridge to thaw at room temperature until it is the right piping consistency.

  • Do you straight away pour the cooked sugar syrup into the egg whites? Or do you wait for the syrup to cool down to room temperature when you mix it in?


    • You need to pour the hot sugar syrup in straightaway, don’t wait for it to cool down cos you want to be at that temperature when you combine it with the meringue

  • Hi, I would like to enquire base on your Ondeh-ondeh cupcakes, if I don’t want put the coconut milk and replace with Pandan coconut paste (bottle type), how much quantity of Pandan paste should I replaced with ?

    • I’m not sure what pandan coconut paste you’re using but I don’t think you can replace coconut milk with a pandan paste. If you show me what you’re talking about, maybe I can advise you better

  • Did this over the weekend for my husband’s workplace potluck and the crowd loves it. The cupcakes finished in less than 10mins. Thank you for the recipe.

    • Hi, unfortunately it is really difficult to make Italian buttercream without a thermometer as the temperature of the sugar is crucial. It’s hard to tell if it’s the right temperature just by looking at it.

    • If you mean before piping, I think 30 minutes for it to hold its shape before piping. But if after piping and refrigeration, it can hold for a couple of hours outside the fridge

    • The recipe isn’t very sweet, but if you want to reduce it, it’s up to you how much you want to reduce. I suggest to reduce slightly first, 1 tbsp at a time, until you are satisfied with the sweetness

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