Baking, desserts, Eat
Leave a Comment

Bánh Chuối Hấp/ Steamed Banana Cake

Every culture likely has a dessert that utilizes overly ripe bananas so they do not go to waste. Vietnam is no exception. We have our version of a banana cake, which uses ordinary ripe bananas and turn them into a special treat. The concept is similar to a traditional banana bread, but you’ll be using tapioca starch and then steaming the cake to create a chewy texture. Add this to your dessert arsenal today.

Serving size: one 6 to 7 inch cake / Difficulty: Easy / Time: 30 minutes



6 ripe to very ripe bananas

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1 to 2 tablespoons of sugar

1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder for color

1 and 1/2 cups tapioca starch

1/2 cup of water

1/4 teaspoon of pandan extract or vanilla extract

Unsalted butter or baking spray to grease the pan


6 to 7-inch cake pan or springform pan

a steamer big enough to fit the cake

a clean kitchen towel

Coconut Sauce:

1 can of coconut milk

1/2 can of water

2 teaspoons of sugar

1/4 teaspoon of salt

1/2 tablespoon of tapioca water + 1 teaspoon of water


Peel and cut bananas into 1/2-inch-thick slices.

Add 1 tablespoon of sugar to the bananas. Use 2 tablespoons if your bananas are not too ripe.

Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1 and 1/2 cups of tapioca starch, 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric powder, 1/4 teaspoon of pandan extract or vanilla extract and 1/2 cup of water.

Carefully mix the batter from bottom up to incorporate all the ingredients and be careful not to smash the banana slices. Let it rest for 5 minutes.

In a large steamer, bring water to boil. Cover your lid with a kitchen towel so that the condensation from the steam does not fall back onto the cake and ruin it.

Grease the cake pan with unsalted butter or spray with baking spray.

Pour the cake into the mold. Shake the pan lightly to evenly distribute the batter. Smooth out the top of the batter with a spatula. Flip a few banana slices to face upward for a prettier presentation.

Place the cake into the steamer and steam for 20-25 minutes on medium high heat until you can insert a toothpick and it comes out clean.

Let it cool completely before removing from the mold.

Make the coconut sauce:

In a small pot on medium heat, combine 1 can of coconut milk, 1/2 a can of water, 2 teaspoons of sugar and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. In a small bowl, mix 1/2 tablespoon of tapioca powder with 1 teaspoon of water. Once the coconut milk comes to a low boil, add the tapioca water, and stir until the tapioca has dissolved into the coconut milk. The tapioca water will thicken up the milk, so it becomes a sauce.

Serve each slice with a large spoonful of coconut cream.

For more recipes, visit our EAT page or Recipe Index.

Authors: Susan Tran and Chau Hoang

Photo Editing: Kevin Nguyen (

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s