This homemade Pandan Simple Syrup is a simple and easy way to add flavour to coffee or desserts. With only 3 ingredients, you can make this vibrant, naturally green and aromatic syrup at home. Add it to pancakes or your morning coffee for a taste of the tropics!
What is pandan?
Pandan is a tropical, cultivated plant also known as Screwpine.
It has long, narrow, fan-like leaves that look like blades, and exhibits a very fragrant aroma.
Pandan is very commonly used in Southeast Asia and in Sri Lanka to flavour food.
What does pandan taste like?
It has a sweet, vanilla-like taste and aroma due to its chemical composition, which it shares with jasmine and basmati rice.
How to use it?
You can use pandan not only as a flavouring, but also as a natural green colouring.
In Southeast Asia, it is common to steep the pandan leaves in coconut milk to flavour desserts, such as:
Or, the leaves can be blended in water to produce a vibrant and concentrated extract, for Cendol (starch jellies).
Dried pandan leaf can be ground into a powder, which makes it a convenient way to add flavour to dishes as well, such as Pandan French Toast.
Where to find pandan?
If you live in North America, it can be difficult to find pandan leaves. Pandan grows in tropical regions.
However, some Asian supermarkets will carry frozen pandan leaves. They're usually bundled together in a package, and may look like banana leaves. (They are different)!
If you can't find pandan leaves, you may be able to find pandan extract.
What is pandan extract?
Pandan extract is a concentrated thick paste with pandan flavouring and usually green food colouring.
It's a great option to have on hand if you only need a little bit, and you can keep it in the cupboard for a period of time.
You can usually find pandan extract in Asian supermarkets.
3 ingredients for the syrup
This recipe for Pandan Simple Syrup uses pandan leaves, not pandan extract.
It's called a simple syrup since it uses a 1:1 ratio of water to sugar.
- pandan leaves: frozen (or fresh if you can find it!) leaves, chopped into 1" pieces if your blender isn't super high-powered
- granulated sugar: or cane sugar will work
How to make the syrup
Add the pandan leaves to a high-powered blender. (You can chop the leaves into smaller chunks to help out the blender).
Next, pour in ½ C water.
Blend the leaves until it reaches a pulp-like consistency.
Strain the green pandan juice into a small saucepan.
Then, add sugar to the pandan juice and stir over medium heat, until it reaches a simmer and the sugar has dissolved.
Remove from heat and transfer the syrup to a clean, sterilized jar.
Cool and store in the fridge for up to 1 week.
Note: You may need to give the syrup a stir/shake to evenly disperse any pandan sediment.
How to use the pandan simple syrup
Use the Homemade Pandan Simple Syrup as you would regular simple syrup or vanilla syrup.
For a boost of flavour, try it in desserts, alcoholic drinks, or coffee, like Pandan Cold Brew Coffee.
How to store the syrup
Like any homemade syrup, store the pandan syrup in a clean, sterile jar in the fridge for up to 1 week.
Can I store the syrup at room temperature?
No, it's best to keep the syrup in the fridge as it is not shelf-stable.
Where can I find pandan leaves?
Some Asian grocery stores will carry pandan leaves. They will usually be frozen.
What can I do with the pandan pulp?
Save the pandan pulp to make Pandan Cold Brew Coffee.
Otherwise, you can compost it.
Other recipes you may like
Be sure to let me know if you try out this recipe -- tag me on Instagram @siftandsimmer or leave me a comment/rating below!
Pandan Simple Syrup
For accuracy and precision in baking recipes, use weight (metric) measurements when available.
- 8 pandan leaves fresh or frozen, chopped into 1" pieces
- ½ C water
- ½ C granulated sugar
- Add the pandan leaves to a high-powered blender.
- Next, pour in ½ C water to the blender.
- Blend the leaves until it reaches a pulp-like consistency.
- Strain the green pandan juice into a small saucepan. (Save the pulp for Pandan Cold Brew Coffee, if you like).
- Add sugar to the pandan juice and stir over medium heat, until it reaches a simmer and all the sugar has dissolved.
- Carefully remove from heat and transfer the syrup to a clean, sterilized jar.
- Cool and store in the fridge for up to 1 week.
- Note: You may need to give the syrup a stir/shake prior to using.
The nutritional information provided should be considered as approximate and is not guaranteed. Please use your best judgment to ensure food is safely prepared and/or a good fit for your diet.
I have never made pandan syrup, so thank you for the simple recipe! The vanilla flavor sounds great.
Thanks for introducing pandan leaves to me. I had no clue. Always love learning about new ingredients from different cultures. This is a beautiful and easy recipe.
You're welcome, Sonal! Hope you enjoy it! 🙂
Never tried making it ever Very interesting and a must try one . Love the vibrant color too.
I had never actually heard of pandan simple syrup before I came across your recipe and I can't wait to try it! It seems so versatile!!
I’m always looking for new ways to sweeten my morning matcha latte. I can’t wait to try this syrup in it, I love pandan!
Yay, thanks Lauren! It's such a flavourful syrup to add to your matcha lattes 🙂
What a beautiful syrup! I never thought pandan leaves have so many uses. I love the deep green color. I can imagine the fragrance of this syrup. Lovely!
Thank you Holly -- the green is indeed beautiful and all natural! 🙂 Enjoy!
Tasia ~ two sugar bugs
The color is absolutely stunning! And creating this simple syrup looks so easy, thank you for sharing Michelle!
You're welcome, Tasia! 🙂
David @ Spiced
Interesting! This is the first I've heard of Pandan leaves. Based on the color, I would have thought this was more savory than sweet. However, I do love vanilla flavored anything, and I can see how this would be a tasty addition to coffee or breakfast baked goods - mmm, Pandan waffles! 🙂
Thanks David, it's definitely an ingredient that is more known in Southeast Asia. 🙂
Ohh this is great! never thought of this. Very useful indeed, also a good way to store that essence
Thanks Raymund, I know you'll enjoy this! 🙂
The syrup was so easy to make and I loved having it with my pandan cold brew. I can’t wait to try the syrup with other things!
Awesome, glad you liked the recipe Lara! 🙂
I love using this pandan syrup in making pandan cake! It enhances the flavor of the cake, making it more delicious and satisfying!
I didn't know what to expect with this but it was so good! We made cocktails with our pandan syrup. I would definitely make it again.
I love vanilla flavor therefore I was intrigued by your recipe. I found pandan leaves at our Vietnamese store and made your syrup. We enjoyed it, and my husband even put it in coffee and loved it.
Glad to hear that you were able to find pandan leaves and make the syrup! Super impressed that your husband loved it in coffee too 🙂