Steamed Banana Cake

It is supposed to be a cake meet day, but Polly had postphoned the cake meet because she has an appointment to bring her car for service. However, at the last minute, she got a call to inform her that the parts needed for her car service has not arrived. So, Polly decided to drop by my place for a chit-chat instead of going out because it was the hottest day of the week, temperature was up to mid twenties.

Polly brought a couple of ripen banana to show me how to make a very simple Steamed Banana Cake which is her family’s favourite. It is a very good idea to steam the cake as I do not want to heat up the whole place by using the oven, especially in a hot summer day.


The Steam Banana Cake came out just perfect and smelt so good. Arkensen likes it so much that he finished three quarters of the cake in a day.

The best part of her recipe is that she steamed the cake in the same mixing bowl she used to prepare the cake. No extra dishes to wash. For this demonstration. I had to show the ingredients in individual bowls but when you are making this at home, you just measure all the ingredients into the mixing bowl.



  • 1 ripe banana, mashed
  • 1 egg (can be substituted with 50ml of milk or water; I once ran out of egg and substituted with water and it worked fine)
  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 cup icing sugar
  • 100g (2/3 cup to close to 1 cup) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons of semi-sweet chocolate chips or raisins, optional



  • Place all the ingredients in a small mixing bowl.


  • Mix the ingredients with a fork until well blended.


  • Bring a pot of water to a boil. Steam the cake on a rack for 15 to 18 minutes until a tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.


  • Remove from the steamer and let the cake cool for a few minutes. Use a knife to loosen the sides of the cake and pop the cake out of the bowl. Here you are, a warm and fragrant cake ready in less than 25 minutes. You may add some chocolate chips if you prefer.

Polly, thank you for sharing such a simple, healthy and quick to prepare recipe. So, when you have ripe banana on hand and crave for banana cake, this is the just the right recipe for a hot summer day.

I shared this recipe in the Gilmore Park Church community kitchen and it was well received as the members loved the fact that it is steamed and not baked.

If you like steamed cake recipes, check out the following:

I tested the recipe with 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder and it turned out as spongy and soft and no hint of bitterness.


114 thoughts on “Steamed Banana Cake

  1. hi Suzanne , m so glad found a banana cake steam method ! and (hooray!no oil . ok jz a teaspoon not so bad๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜). However just one question could u kindly help me plsss. – May I use Honey instead of sugar pls?? will the cake be ok??. Appreciate to hear from u plss. thanks in advance โ˜บ

  2. Hello Suanne,

    … got a quick question… can we substitute, grated coconut / pureed carrots / apples / or other fruit… without being watery… in place of the banana mash… in the Steamed Banana cake… as the recipe is simple and tasteful.

    Thanking in anticipation.

    • Hi Devasena. I have never try the steamed banana cake recipe with other fruit. Banana is sweet by itself. So, if you try with other fruit, you may want to adjust the amount of sugar in the recipe. Let me know the outcome if you ever try with a substitute. Good luck.

  3. Hi
    I would love to try to make this, but however i do not have baking powder at the moment. Do you think this steamed cake would still work if i leave out the baking powder out? or is there any kind of substitutions instead of baking powder

    Thanks a bunch!

  4. Pingback: Steamed Banana Pudding Cake in Chocolate Sauce ยป Oh Taste n See..... | Oh Taste n See.....
  5. hi suanne,

    i have my own idea already on how to cook steamed bananas even steamed chocolate cakes but as i found and read your recipes,i feel myself eager to give another try…


  6. Pingback: Steamed banana cake « kodomoneko
  7. Hi suanne thanks for the recipe..:) i tried it today and its perfect! Love it….i think i will do it more often…..bless you…

  8. Thanks for the receipt. So simple!

    Just tried it and worked great :). But next time I’ll probably use some baking paper at the bottom so that I can present the cake neater.

    • Hi Caroline B, I’m not sure what went wrong. The most likely reason is the baking powder which acts as the leavening agent to help the cake rise. How much baking powder did you use and did you check the expiry date of the baking powder?

    • Hi zoe, I’m afraid you can make it without the baking powder. The baking powder is the leavening agent that allow the cake to rise.

  9. Pingback: Steamed Banana Pudding Cake in Chocolate Sauce « Oh Taste n See
  10. Pingback: ‘FAB’-Steamed Banana Cake « Poor Student | Food Geek
  11. hi! found your website thru googling steamed cake and i tried your recipe!

    i put in semi sweet chocolate chips into the cake and it turned out great! love the smell and the texture of it.

    it took longer than 18 mins to steam though. so those who are trying take note!

    nevertheless, a good recipe for someone who has not invested in a oven yet! ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. I have not used a steamer before. Is that a special utensil, or a double boiler, or what? I don’t quite understand the setup. Thanks.


    • You can buy a rack for steaming or just improvise with household items like other commenters. The idea is to cook your food in a steamy environment not directly touching the boiling water.

      Take with a large pot and 2 inches of water, find/make something stable (like a wire steaming rack) to prop up your dish of dough so it doesn’t touch the water. Make sure the pot lid still fits with the dish inside. Then steam away!

  13. Hi Suanne, just want to thank you for sharing this delicious recipe.. my Japanese friends love it too “oooh..oishi desu! Your page is so addicting love it. More power

  14. I am not such a fan of bananas, but I think Pumpkin would work very well, especially if you can find and add cinnamon chips instead of chocolate (although, chocolate goes with pumpkin too)

    Hmm…applesauce and butterscotch chips?…grated carrots and raisins?
    Actually, I can think of quite a few different combinations that would probably work. I had better get to work.

    • Hi Sarah, the 2/3 cup of flour is an approximate. If you follow the original recipe, it should be 100g all-purpose flour. The recipe calls for 1/4 cup of icing sugar which I just measured by the 1/4 cup of a dry ingredient measuring cup. If you use a liquid measuring cup, I guess it’s about 50ml.

  15. hi Suanne, can i substitute icing sugar with normal sugar? will it affect texture of the cake? approx how many grams is 1/4 cup? can’t wait to try out this recipe!!

    • Hi kuan, you can make your own icing sugar with the following substitution from
      For 1 cup powdered sugar substitute 1 cup granulated sugar + 1 teaspoon cornstarch ground in a blender (not a food processor it wont blend properly)

  16. Hi,
    I don’t have a steamer or a wok. Can I use the microwave and cover the bowl with cling wrap? Also, I never heard of self-raising flour. In the stores I see self rising flour. Same thing I guess. My nephew is allergic to eggs and soy. I made up a strawberry lemonade orange cake for his graduation party and everyone loved it. It was moist. I also made the strawberry frosting using strawberry icecream topping instead of milk and it was great. How can i share my recipes with other people whose children are allergic to eggs and soy? My neice says that she likes this cake better than a strawberry cake with eggs. Thank you,

  17. Hi. Thanks 4 sharing this simple cake receipe. Can normal sugar be used (instead of icing sugar)? Do we need to sieve the flour, baking powder etc? Thanks!

    • Hi Pat, the reason that this recipe uses icing sugar which melts easily because this recipe has very little liquid. This is such an easy recipe that you do not need to sieve the ingredients.

  18. hi ms. suanne,
    thanks so much for sharing your column! am so glad to know there’s a steamed recipe for banana cake. you know, am craving to eat a banana cake often. but cant find to buy it in our nearby bakeshops and stores and i got frustrated when i found out previously when i searched on internet that it has to be baked in an oven…knowing we dont have an oven to make it in our house ๐Ÿ˜ฆ
    but luckily i was wrong!!! Thanked God i found out that it can be steamed too and found your recipe column here. i will try it. cant wait to try it at home this weekend. thanks so much for sharing your recipe for steamed banana cake. keep it up and more power!

    • Hi net, if you like steamed cake, type in the word ‘steamed’ in the top right hand corner search box and you’ll find all the steamed recipes in chowtimes.

  19. can you use self raising flour to make the steamed banana cake?
    thanks for the help and sharing this recipe!

    • Hi Jenny, you should be able to use self raising flour for this recipe, omitting the baking powder. I have never try that and I would love to know how it turns out.

  20. Hi Suanne,

    After trying the moist chocolate cake, I did your banana cake recipe. It is so delicious. I’ve put a little cinnamon in it, ‘coz my husband loves the flavor.

    Thank you so much for the recipe!

    • Hi Nancy, you can make your own fine sugar by blending granulated sugar. I’m not sure if granulated sugar is suitable for this recipe as it has very little liquid. This recipe calls for icing sugar as it’s easier to dissolve.

      • Hi,
        Icing sugar is just plain granulated sugar and corn starch. For every cup of granulated sugar add one tablespoon of cornstarch. Blend til powder forms.

  21. I love this cake! I added ground flax and bran for some extra fibre – so quick to make, and so healthy. Thanks for the recipe. I think I’m going to try the chocolate one next.

  22. Glenn, the rack that I got from my Chinese supermarket in UK has a clearance of 3 inches, quite sufficient for most steamings but I also have improvised from empty tin-cans with lids removed at both ends racks that have even better clearance, for use in those cases when more prolonged steaming is required.

  23. Good day

    I have one more question, as I have never steamed foods before and I’m on the hunt for a steaming rack, which i can’t seem to find in any stores and will need to buy on-line. many of them seem to have such a low clearance of about an inch or so, is that high enough, would that leave enough water in the bottom of the pot?

    • Hi Glenn, my rack is about the same as you described. For this recipe, the steaming time is only 18 minutes, so 1″ of water is enough. But for longer time steaming recipe, you’ll have to watch over the water level.

      • u tried this cake with refined flour and 2 bananas and since no steamer i used pressure cooker but it did not rise and everytime the toothpick came out with cake batter after an hour I gave up it was very hard and uncooked i tried the eggless version can u tell what went wrong also I had to add water 2-3 times I would like to try again can u pls help I will be using PC so how much water should I add please let me know tkz

  24. This looks delicious, my question is how exactly are you all steaming this cake. Placing the bowl on a rack in a pot of boiling water… w/ a lid? Should the bowl be submersed in the water at all? Wouldn’t the water from the lid drip down onto the cake while it’s cooking? Should the lid have one of those little holes in it or should the pot be completely sealed in?

    I’m definitely over analyzing this but I want to do it right, the first time.

    • Hi Glenn, this is how I steamed the cake. Place the bowl on a rack in a pot of boiling water without submerging the bowl in the water. Cover the pot with a lid. If the lid is a doom shape, the condensation will roll down the side of the lid and it will not drip onto the cake. However, if you have a flat lid. you may wrap the lid with a towel to prevent any water from dripping back onto the cake. Preferably, the pot should be completely sealed in to prevent the steam from escaping and thus water will evaporate very quickly and the pot may dry up quickly.

  25. Pingback: shopaholicmum dot com » Blog Archive » Steamed Banana Cake
  26. hi there! thanks for dropping by my blog. how did you know that I posted about your famous steamed banana recipe? ๐Ÿ˜€ anyway, thanks again for sharing this recipe. I must say, your post on this is very popular in the blogsphere. Many bloggers have tried it ๐Ÿ˜€

  27. Hi! Suzanne, thanks for sharing this great recipe. Need your advice a lil here. I tried making this twice, with exactly the measurement and method. But both resulted in flat cakes. I think they rised about half of your size only. The texture is not fluffy, but more like the malaikou. I wonder if there is any way I can improve it? I actually used pisang emas (3 because of the mini size). Wonder if that makes a difference?

  28. Pingback: Steamed Banana Cake : Stay At Home Moms
  29. Hi Maznah, I used the brand called Magic baking powder. I’m not sure if it’s the brand that caused the bitterness. But I know that if you use excessive baking soda, the cake will tastes bitter. I would suggest you reduce the amount of baking powder to 1 1/2 teaspoons the next time you try to make this cake.

  30. I have the same problem like Karina…The cake is beautiful but sadly it has a bitter taste. Please help…Perhaps the baking powder I used is not a good one…..right?

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