Any waffle lover can attest to the intoxicating aroma of waffles hot off the iron. This pandan waffle recipe takes it up a notch (and in a Vietnamese / southeast Asian direction) with its sweet aroma of pandan, rich coconutty taste, chewy mochi center, and a crispy outer texture.
If you can source pandan leaves, either frozen or fresh, the aroma will be amazing. Plus the batter keeps for up to a week in the fridge so you can enjoy fresh baked waffles throughout the week!
What to expect with these waffles
Not to be confused with recipes like my thinner, bánh kẹp lá dứa (crispy pandan pizzelles), this pandan waffle recipe features a thicker waffle and extra chewy center. This recipe started off as an adaptation from my mom’s friend’s recipe (Bac Vieng) and developed over my innumerable recipe attempts to get the same chewy and crispy consistency as Bambu’s pandan waffle.
Crispy on the outside, a bit chewy on the inside, and that amazing aroma of pandan leaves. If you are vegan, I also have a vegan pandan waffle recipe. Alternatively, if you LOVE ube, you should try my ube waffle version of this with a similar texture too!
What is pandan?
Pandan leaves are long, narrow, and bright green leaves with an aromatic and sweet smell. You can find it at different Asian grocery stores in the form of fresh leaves, frozen leaves, and extracts. Read more about pandan leaves here.
Every time I see fresh pandan leaves at the store (or anywhere), I take in as much as I can to enjoy the sweet and ambrosial smell of these leaves–I just love it!
Putting my love for this aromatic leaf aside, it’s also one of the most popular flavors in Asia due to its versatility–think of it similar to how America uses vanilla in many desserts.
Its sweet and fragrant smell pairs well with coconut, mango, and many other tropical fruits. I’ve used pandan in many different desserts like che bap and pandan sticky rice (xoi lá dứa). But pandan isn’t just reserved for sweets because you can also use the leaves in various savory dishes to wrap meat or rice.
Where are pandan waffles available?
Pandan waffles are available widely in Vietnam, something that I saw frequently during our previous trip in 2020, but the hard part is finding the perfect waffle with a balance of extra chewiness on the inside and crunch on the outside while giving you ample flavors of pandan and coconut.
I am lucky that we have restaurants like Lee’s Sandwiches or Bambu (the latter is my favorite waffle) nearby, but I wanted to figure out a homemade recipe that I can make at home. Being a quality control freak, I also like that I can make the waffle to my exact specifications.
I went through so many iterations of this recipe and learned a lot of how to perfect this balance between a nice crispy outer layer and a chewy and fluffy center. Here are some of my lessons learned.
- Using glutinous rice flour instead of regular rice flour made the batter very gooey in the center like mochi cake. Which can be good in its own right, but not the texture I was going for.
- Not using tapioca starch at all in the recipe made it super crispy, but not gooey enough. To achieve a better balance, I use a combination of tapioca starch, rice flour (not glutinous rice flour), and all-purpose wheat flour.
- An important note about the flours we use. I’m seeing many people being confused about the mention of “all-purpose wheat flour” in the recipe so I reworded it. All-purpose flour is the normal, white, bleached flour you can buy at just about every grocery store. It’s not whole wheat flour, or any kind of hard to find product.
- I label it ‘wheat’ flour on this post to differentiate it from the rice flours used, but I think it may be throwing some people off because the fact that all-purpose flour is made from wheat is not highlighted on most brands’ packaging.
Waffle cooking tips
Sift the dry ingredients into the wet batter because this makes a smoother batter without over-mixing. Resting your batter for one hour is necessary in order to get that fluffy texture–I know it’s tempting to skip this step, but trust the process!
Use real pandan leaves instead of pre-made extract. It’s gives a much fresher flavor you just can’t get from the artificial extract. You can see in the recipe below, and also on my bánh kẹp recipe where we extract flavor from pandan leaves. If you can’t find fresh leaves, you can also buy artificial pandan extract online.
Storage & freshness
Saving the batter: The beauty of this batter is that you can make it ahead of time, since it stores for about one week in the fridge covered in an airtight container. That is, if you can restrain yourself from eating it all.
In the fridge, the batter will solidify a bit from the coconut fat, but it’s still good. Just make sure you stir it up before cooking every single waffle so the ingredients are evenly mixed.
Freezing cooked waffles: If you want to make the batter and just cook waffles each day throughout the week, these will taste amazing. However, if you just want to make and freeze these before the batter goes bad, you can do that too.
The waffles keep pretty well in the freezer in an air-tight container. Just toast or bake them a bit to warm up before serving. They won’t be as good as waffles hot off the iron, but it’s [arguably] better than no waffles at all!
Serving: After baking the waffles on the waffle iron, let it rest for 30-60 seconds as it will still crisp up a bit, and so you don’t burn yourself. Then serve the waffle as soon as possible to get the best texture and flavor. For an easy hot & cold dessert treat, a scoop of vanilla ice cream is killer, but really you can serve these with all sorts of waffle toppings. For a dessert beverage pairing I like serving the pandan waffles with icy coconut Vietnamese coffee or even boba milk tea.
If you love the chewy and crispy texture of this waffle, you’re bound to love my mochi donut recipe too. It uses similar ingredients and gives you a donut hack to making fast bubble ring shapes.
Pandan Waffle Recipe (Bánh Kẹp Lá Dứa)
Pandan Option 1 – Fresh Extract (recommended)
- 35 g (8 leaves) pandan leaves fresh or frozen, cut into 3" sections
- ½ c water
Pandan Option 2 – Artificial Extract
- 2 drops artificial pandan extract
- 1/2 c water
- 285 g (2 c) tapioca starch
- 73 g (1/2 c) rice flour
- 75 g (1/2 c) all purpose flour
- 200 g (1 c) sugar
- 10 g (2 tsp) baking powder
- 1 g (¼ tsp) salt
- 3 large eggs
- 13.5 fl oz coconut cream
- 1 tbsp neutral cooking oil
- personal blender
- disher / cookie scoop
Pandan Option 1 – Fresh Extract (recommended)
- Defrost pandan leaves (if frozen) and clean leaves under running water.
- Cut your pandan leaves into three inch sections, add to the blender.
- Add half a cup of water to the blender, and blend until you no longer see large chunks.
- Strain the pulp, reserve the remaining liquid, and squeeze out any liquid inside the pulp too.
Pandan Option 2 – Artificial Extract
- Add the artificial extract drops to the water and mix. Set aside for later.
- In a medium mixing bowl, add the tapioca starch, rice flour, all purpose flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
- In another large mixing bowl, beat the eggs together. Then, add the coconut cream, pandan extract, and oil.
- Sift the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients mixing bowl and fold carefully to prevent from over mixing the batter. Your batter should be slightly thick and have lumps left over. If you're using artificial pandan extract, and want the batter to be more green at this point you can add 1-2 more drops and mix the batter again.
- Let the batter rest for at least one hour, this improves the dough texture. If you're only resting one hour, leaving on the counter is fine, but you can rest it in the fridge in an air-tight container for up to a week and the batter will still be good.
- When ready to cook, mix the batter a little bit and heat up your waffle iron. Do this before making EACH waffle since the batter can separate and settle. I use an Oster belgian waffle iron and found that the setting for medium-high works best.
- Using a disher or ladle, drop three to four scoops onto the waffle and cook. When your waffle iron is finished cooking, your waffle should be nice and golden brown with specks of green on the outside.
- Remove your waffle and serve. If you find your waffle is on the softer side, let it rest for about one minute and it should get crispier.
For this original recipe of 35 g of pandan leaves to 1/2 c of water, you should produce at least 1/2 c of pandan extract (if not slightly more).
122 comments on “Pandan Waffle Recipe (Bánh Kẹp Lá Dứa)”
Delicious! I made with pandan extract! Exactly was my family was craving during this COVID 19 pandemic!
Glad you liked it Jen! If we’re going to be isolating.. at least the home smells like waffles?
Of course! I’m already requested to make more today!! Everyone is asking for your recipe on my ig stories 🙂 Thanks again!
What were the measurements when you substituted the pandan extract?
If you can’t make fresh pandan extract, a good sub would be around 1/3 to 1/2 cup water with a few drops of the artificial extract. Let me add this to the recipe card!
Jen how was the pandan extract made? Did you add water or just the extract? I added water so when I took my waffles out it went flat so it wasn’t thick and crispy as I wanted
I didn’t add any water, just a tsp or so of the butterfly brand extract!
Hey there – how much of the artificial pandan extract should be used instead of the fresh leaves please? Thanks!
Hey Mel, try adding a few drops in a time, then mixing to see if its a color you like. It doesn’t take too much, and you don’t want it looking too neon.
With pandan extract or concentrate I used 1/2 teaspoon plus an extra drop!
These were really yummy and my family thought they were better than our local tea shop. I didn’t have access to pandan leaves to make the extract so I bought a small bottle of the extract, used a teaspoon, and added an additional cup of water to the batter. I would probably add a few teaspoons next time, but overall, a straightforward recipe with easy to access ingredients. Thank you!
Glad you liked it, thanks for sharing your tips Heidi!
Thank you for the recipe, in excited to try this today. Can the coconut cream be replaced with the Aroy-D coconut milk?
If not, should I just skim the cream off of the top of the can?
What brands do you use for the coconut cream?
Yes you can sub coconut milk–it’s slightly lower in fat. I like using Savoy for cream, and Chaokoh for milk when I can’t get that.
Since I’m under quarantine, I don’t have tapioca starch in the pantry. I only have corn starch. How can I substitute tapioca starch with corn starch? Please advise and thanks in advance.
Hey Chewy, I tried out ton of ratio variations for this with tapioca, all purpose, and rice flour which changed the outcome quite a bit as it was. Didn’t test corn starch though–so can’t tell you for sure that would turn out, sorry!
Been on the hunt for a good recipe! Can’t wait to make it. Which brand of tapioca starch and rice flour do you use? Does brand matter?
Hey Annie, I used Erawan brand for both, stocked at my local Asian mart. Haven’t tried other brands but my guess is that it the difference would be hard to tell. Old or expired flour may be more noticeable.
Hi Huy tried out your recipe and awaiting the final product! I was wondering, why do you say to leave lumps in the batter? I have seen other recipes where they even strain it out to make sure there are no lumps.
Hi Christine! The recipe is pretty forgiving, but the idea is to not overbeat batter which can make it tougher.
Can you use sweet rice flour instead of rice flour?
Hey Ashlee, you can but any flour substitution can change the outcome in texture and density immensely.
I am excited to try this recipe, can I substitute coconut milk with whole milk?
You can do this in a pinch, but the batter won’t be as thick. If you really can’t find coconut milk you can do milk with half & half too, but theres no replacing that coco aroma!
Hi, the recipe ingredients states tapioca starch but in the directions it says tapioca flour, which is it?
Hi Kimvan, these are both the same thing and the words are used interchangeably in recipes and on packaging (for US recipes at least). I’ve updated the post to stick to one word for clarity, thanks for pointing that out!
also, I dont see where in the directions the rice flour comes in to play at?
Updated sorry about that!
Hi! I was wondering if I can cut the amount of sugar in half and if this would affect the consistence of the batter.
Can the batter made ahead and refrigerated overnight?
Yes the batter is good for a week in the fridge! Cutting the sugar though I’m not sure how that will affect the recipe.
I cut the sugar in half and the recipe came out just fine – crispy, chewy and fluffy like it’s supposed to be.
Thanks for the tip Buu!
LOVE this recipe! Texture is great and flavor is amazing. Question – if I put the batter in the fridge, should I let it get to room temperature again before cooking, or can I cook it chilled? Thanks!
Thanks glad you liked it Julia! There’s no need to bring it to room temp first, just make sure you stir it well before using, and between each waffle you make!
Huy!!! I’ve made 3 of your recipes in the last two days and I am very impressed with everything! Just finished making these waffles and they were fantastic! Now I don’t have to drive 30 minutes round trip to the boba shop just to get some! Thanks for sharing!
So glad to hear about the string of successes Olivia–glad I could save you the gas + trips, thank YOU for sharing!
Hello! Your batter calls for the fresh pandan extract, which according to your recipe, contains half a cup of water. If I use the store-bought pandan extract, do I need to add more liquid to the batter?
Yes, add the same amount of water this would have called for! Thanks for bringing this to my attention, I’ll update the recipe.
Does having a waffle iron that could flip make it crispy on the outside? I’m not sure if I overmixed the batter or it was my waffle iron, but my waffles weren’t crispy on the outside. Any ideas?
Have you tried doing this by weighing with a scale instead of by volume? Making sure no flours or baking powder is expired? I’ve gone through a handful of waffle irons, and some don’t get crispy as others, and some also don’t draw enough power to get hot enough too.
Great recipe!! Will be making again very soon
Glad you liked it Sandy!
I made this last night since the Bambu near me is closed. It really hit the spot! I tried using a can of pandan juice from Por Kwan. It was awful – very, very thin with little flavor, so I ended up with coconut waffles. Still good though! Can’t wait to get my hands on real pandan!
Thank you so so much for perfecting and posting this recipe!
Ah I haven’t tried canned pandan juice but thanks for the tip Buu. Coconut waffles sounds pretty darn good too 🙂
I love your all of your recipes! But I wish you have more vegan recipes!
I turned vegan about two years ago and I am still trying to veganize all my favorite Vietnamese dishes that I grew up on. Maybe you would consider vegan/vegetarian options in the future? 😁
With that said, do you have any recommendations on substitution for eggs? Though I think that will yield different texture, but is it worth making without eggs? In the vegan world, there are flax eggs (with flaxseeds), aquafaba, and even store-bought egg replacements, but they all work differently depending on recipes. So I am curious if you and/or viewers have any suggestions?
Hey Vicky, I posted a vegan pandan waffle recipe, which is not exactly the same outcome as this, but I’m used to making sacrifices for vegan recipes 🙂
Excellent texture. Crispy outside and chewy inside. I don’t like anything too sweet, so next time I will cut the sugar in half.
Yum! This recipe is delicious. I followed the recipe exactly, even made the pandan extract. Crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside. The lumps reduce/dissolve after the hour rest time! This is just like the bakery but better.
Yasss thanks for the kind words Angelina! And for sharing on IG too, it looked great 🙂
Hi do you use a standard waffle iron or a rotating one? And for about long do you leave it in the iron
Hi Lil! I use a rotating, Belgian style one. I leave it in until the ready light turns on, then check for browning. If I want it browner, I close it for a bit longer.
I only have pandan powder. Is that OK to use? If so, how much would you use? Thanks!!
Hi Huong! It should work, but how much will depend on your brand, and how much batter you’re making. You can try to add 1/2 tsp first, mix the batter and cook a bit of it on a frying pan to see how it looks and tastes. Repeat as needed until you like the outcome.
Hi! Are there any suitable substitutes for the rice flour?
Hi Vivienne, it’s difficult to make any subs for this recipe because the outcome is so dependent on keeping this mixture as is. If you have a powerful blender like a Vitamix there are tutorials to make rice flour, but you’d have to experiment with fineness and rice type.
Thank you for such a wonderful recipe! I’ve tried other ones on the internet but yours was the best. Love the crispy outside and slightly chewy inside just as described. You do a great job and explaining the why behind everything and I really appreciate you sharing that knowledge
Yaay! Glad you enjoyed it Casey. I love learning the ‘why’ behind things, and it’s great to hear you find it helpful!
Can this be made into a cupcake/muffin instead of waffle?
Hey Mimi, the crisp comes from the hot waffle iron, which you don’t get with baking in muffin tins. I’m not sure how that would turn out.
Your recipe is amazing! I tried Helens recipe on YouTube and it’s not as good. Thank you!!
Glad you liked the recipe Lisa! 🙂
Would the consistency of the batter or the outcome of the waffle change depending how long i leave it in the refrigerator for? For example, if i prep this mixture before i go to sleep so i can make the waffles in the morning.. will it turn out the same VS if i leave it in there for the recommended 1 hour? Can i make a mixture batch in the morning and use it throughout the day with the same outcome?
Hey Rachel great question! You can make this and use it for up to a week as long as you keep it fridged in an air-tight container. Make sure to stir it before each waffle.
Will it be okay to freeze the leftover waffles?
Hey Pia, I tried it and it was passable for waffle emergencies, but not as good as fresh 🙂
On your introduction you mentioned “wheat flour.” However on the ingredients list, you had all purpose flour. Is it wheat flour or all purpose flour that I need to use? Thank you.
Hi Pang, ack, good eye! I updated the post to clarify that both are all-purpose wheat flour.
Delicious! I used fresh pandan leaves for the extract :). I made the batter ahead of time and let it rest in the fridge overnight. They came out fluffy and flavorful. I made more today and plan to freeze a batch for later consumption (toast for 5 mins in the oven). My toddler loves them! Thank you Huy!
Can I substitute rice flour for mochiko flour? How much would I put in?
Hey Sam, Mochiko is sweet rice flour and not rice flour–substituting this would change the result a lot so to achieve the results I’m aiming for I would not recommend it.
Thanks Huy! You are a genius. Just tried the recipe and it’s a winner!
Thanks glad you like it Lydia!
I don’t have all purpose wheat flour, can I use all purpose flour instead?
Hey Emily, yes! All purpose flour is wheat 🙂
Hi there! When you said “all purpose wheat flour,” did you mean “whole wheat”? Would it make a difference if I used regular all purpose flour? Thanks in advance!
Nope not whole wheat, just the common all purpose one. I just added the word’wheat’ to clarify it’s not the rice flour 🙂
Are you using the pandan juice or the sediment on the bottom of the cup, from the juice, as the extract.
If it’s the first, how many 1 cups do you think you should add to the batter?
If it’s the second, how many teaspoons are you using?
Trying this recipe tomorrow!
If you’re following the recipe it should be 1/2 cup water with the leaves, you will squeeze out all the pulp/fiber and use the liquid that remains. It should be approximately 1/2 cup. Hope that helps!
I was wondering if I could use coconut milk instead of coconut cream. In some comments it looks like people use that interchangeably, so I’m not sure if it makes a difference.
Looking forward to trying this recipe!
I like to use Savoy coconut ‘cream’ with 26% fat, but Chao Koh ‘milk’ is usually easier to find which has 22% and works in a pinch.
Can we use white whole wheat flour or just whole wheat flour.
Hello! I didn’t test with whole wheat flour, only regular white all purpose bleached flour. Hope that answers your question!
Sorry if this is a double post, but I don’t see my original post here. I was only able to find frozen pandan leaves at Ranch 99 that are already cut into 3-4″ lengths. I used 25g of the the 100g vacuum pack but although the color was right on, the flavor was barely noticeable. I have never seen fresh pandan leaves so don’t know how long that are in order to estimate thea mount of these precut leaves to use. Can you please give an estimate in length of an average leave and/or weight of the amount of leaves to use? Thanks
Hey Karen, the ones I’ve seen average 18-24 inches long. You can experiment to see what you like best too. More pandan leaves will give more flavor (and need more water to extract), but if you push it too far it can start to get bitter.
Lovely!!! Can you make a crepe recipe???
Hi Huy, while I was looking for pandan extract I found a can of Maesri “nam bai toey” – it’s a 14 oz can labeled ‘Pandan Extract’ that sounds pretty liquidy. I was wondering, could I use 1/2 cup of this product in place of the pandan water / pandan extract instead?
Thanks for posting this recipe, I look forward to trying it!
Hey Mike, interesting find! I haven’t tried this, but if the ingredients really are just “Pan-Dan Leaves Extract, Water” as some web searches show, this sounds like it might be a good alternative to the artificial extract. It sounds like it’s worth a shot.
Awesome, recipe, thanks Huy! Perfect texture!
My local market hasn’t had tapioca starch available for the last few months – have you tried this recipe with only sweet glutinous rice flour (instead of the regular rice flour and tapioca starch combo)? Does it achieve a similar texture, or too gooey? Thanks!
Thanks Priya! I haven’t tried only glutinous rice flour, but imagine it would be suuuper gooey.
Oops. I used pandan extract in this recipe but forgot to add the water — they still turned out delicious. Thank you very much!
Great recipe as is. I’ve found the cooking oil is unnecessary. I have Pandan extract and need a few tsp to get the right color/flavor (not a few drops). My kids like adding maple syrup (sacrilege I know) so I use 1/2 the sugar. I’ve used 1.5c all purpose and 1.5c rice flours when I didn’t have tapioca. It’s ok but not nearly as good. Thanks!
Thanks for the test results on other variations Eric!
Never had pandan waffles before I made these, but I’m a fan now! Followed the recipe closely and they came out great! Thank you for sharing.
Thanks Aaron glad it worked out!!
I really want to try out your recipe but I’m not clear with the directions even after reading all the comments. Per my understanding, I mix artificial pandan drops with 1/2c of water. But in the directions, it says to add a drop or two to batter. Do I use the 1/2c of pandan mixture indicated in recipe for those drops? Or am I supposed to add the pandan extract directly without the 1/2c of water? Thanks, your waffles look delicious!
Hi Vee, thanks for pointing this out. The instructions were a bit tricky to write to accommodate for the two versions of extract. I updated this the steps to clarify. But for context you don’t need to add the drops to the water first (it just made writing the steps easier) you can add the drops and water to the batter when the recipe says to add the “pandan extract.”
Hi Huy, can I make plain mochi waffles using this recipe if I omit the pandan leaves or flavor altogether? Your waffles look amazing. I love a chewy texture. Please advise. Thank you.
Hey Sherine, absolutely yes! Just make sure you still add the water as detailed in the 2nd artificial extract section of the recipe.
Best recipe ever ! Exactly the same waffles that I used to eat when traveled to California ! I just add a little more pandan extract to the batter for more flavor and it was so so yummy !
Hey Thi, yess love the personalization. Glad you could have a taste of Cali back home!
These turned out perfect! Exactly what I was craving! Thank you for providing both the fresh pandan leaf and extract versions of the recipe! They both turn out delicious!
Kudos for trying them both out Kay, glad this was helpful 🙂
These waffles were so good, my family demolished them! I have a question through. My brothers prefer a less chewy waffle so I was wondering if I decreased the tapioca flour, should I increase the rice flour or all purpose flour?
Thanks Kris! My 1st trial would be to replace the decreased tapioca with equal parts rice and ap flour and adjust the ratios if needed on your future attempts. Make sure to do it by weight 🙂
So delicious! Used to live in CA and would always buy these from Vans Bakery and Lee Sandwiches, now we can make them. Tried a few recipes for Pandan Waffles, and so far your recipe is the Best. Thank you!
Ah, glad you liked em Sue! Now you can have em at home any time 🙂
YOU ARE AMAAAAAAAZZINGGG!!! I have tried sooooo many different recipes to get that perfect mochi and crunchy consistency and you ROCKED it! Thank you soo soo much for sharing!!! <3 <3 Much gratitude from the bellies of my little one, my mom AND my wallet…hahah!
Josephina I’m glad you finally found one you liked–let’s keep those waffles crankin out for your fam!
These waffles are delicious! Thanks for the recipe. Have you tried cooking the batter as pancakes?
Hey Sandra, glad you enjoyed them! Nope I haven’t tried making them as pancakes.. report back when you try it please 🙂
Hi! Can I use dried pandan leaves and rehydrate them to get the extract if I don’t have access to fresh leaves? Thanks!
Hey Tu, I haven’t tried it but it seems like it would be worth a shot!
So moreish! These waffles are even better than the ones I buy from the viet shop. We are locked down in Sydney, Australia and have been for the past 9 weeks so we are happy to be able to have these at home now. So crunchy on the outside and so chewy inside! (I added 20g of shredded coconut into the wet batter as well.)
Ooo thanks for the customization tips SC. TBH the lack of consistency at shops makes it hit or miss for me personally, but yes glad you enjoyed the recipe!
I’m trying this now but the recipe doesn’t say how much water to add to pandan extract or when to add it to mixture
Hello! The recipe is good, I find, but my family and ai don’t quite like how chewy it was. Would it be alright if I halved the tapioca starch and kept everything else the same?
You could halve the tapioca but should probably replace it with something else so the rest of the liquid and other ingredient ratios don’t get thrown off. It will entirely change the texture of the waffle depending on which flours you sub it with though!
Have you tried freezing leftover waffles? The batter yields a lot and I only have mini waffle makers so was trying to figure out what to do with leftovers because not everyone wants them when I offer.
You can freeze the waffles, and they’re ok in a pinch, but fresh will always be better.
I made some today but reduced the sugar to 3/4 cups which I felt wasn’t sweet enough and lacking taste. Next time will follow the recipe as is with 200grams of sugar. I read from others saying they reduced sugar to 1/2 cup which to me would be very tasteless.