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:
- Steamed Moist Chocolate Cake
- Steamed Mah Lai Ko
- Steamed Rice Cakes (Pak Thong Koh)
- Another Steamed Rice Cake
- Chinese Sponge Cake
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.
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Hi Suanne & Polly
This looks great and it is easy to make. I love simple & healthy recipes. I shall try it. Thank you for sharing.
Right on time.. I have a few ripe banana that i need to get rid off quickly!
Will try tonight!
yes, looks good! i especially like that it’s lactose free.
Most of my friends loved it. I think it’s because it taste so good like a real banana. I hope Rachel’s children will love it too.BTW, I’ve another steam cake recipes,till next time, ok?
Hi, do you think it would work to substitute bananas with mango?
Wow! When I read the comments (by the right hand side of the Chowtimes front page), a few people said that it was a very good cake. I am amazed how simple it seems to make. I will need to try it and better print out the recipe now. 🙂
Hi Maninas, I just tried to make it with mango this morning. It turned out to be more like a mango custard as the mango I used was big and yielded slightly more than a cup of pulp. The mango cake is very moist and rich in mango flavour. Give it a try as it does not take long to make.
I think there might be too much baking soda/powder used, I put two teaspoons as you mentioned, and it tasted bitter! Perhaps you meant 1 or 1/2 teaspoons?
Hi Karina, I had made this cake numerous times and it’s not bitter. Could it be there is a mixup in the baking powder with baking soda. It should be two teaspoons of baking powder.
Oh this is something I am bookmarking. It sounds healthy and absolutely delicious! What a wonderful idea for a summer dessert. Thank you for sharing.
Hi again, I made it last night but was not successful. I guess it’s because I don’t have a good steaming device. So I wonder, is it possible to oven it instead? If so, what is the temperature and the time?
Hi Windy, I used a wok with lid and a rack to steam the cake on high heat. Give it another try. I do not know the temperature and time to bake it. My guess is that you can try to bake it at 350F for 15 minutes (because it’s a small cake) to 30 minutes, check the doneness at 15 minutes and 5 minutes intervals after that.
Hi Suanne, Just made the cake and it came out wonderful, follow the recipe to the dot. Is a hit!!! Also thank you for the recipe to make the dough by hand for the chives pocket, it will be the next thing to try.
Maybe Windy can try covering the lit of the steamer with a piece of cloth so the drops of water from the steamer wonÂ´t fall into the cake. Is what i did and as i told you it came out perfect.
Hi Suanne, I love your site and have already printed quite a few of your recipes. THANKS! I made this cake over the weekend, but mine came out a little dry. Do you think I should use 3/4 cup flour versus a little less than a cup?
Hi Jamie, I usually weigh the flour but if you dont have a scale, try one cup less two tablespoons and you can add another half to one teaspoon of water.
Thanks for your brownie recipe and it turned out awesome.. i am a big fan of your recipes now..doyou have a recipe for simple/easy white/yellow cake.. can you share it with me
Thanks for the tip. I was too anxious and made it again last night using 3/4 cup and added chocolate chips. My co-workers are gobbling it up as I type this. That recipe is a keeper!!
My steamed banana cake came out very hard. Why is it so ?
I had to add extra liquid – the dough was too dry (bread dough-like, rather than cake batter-like) without another few tablespoons of water. It turned out well though.
WRT turning out hard – do not over-mix the batter (don’t use an electric mixer). Over-mixing will yield a tough texture (i.e. just like pancake batter, mix until ingredients are just mixed).
Hello there Suanne..
I am a huge fan of banana cake. My mother always buy me that. It’s my ever favorite. I never knew that it’s good to steam it too.. 😀
I haven’t tried it yet, but since we have a steamer at house, I’ll definitely try it on Saturday.. 😀
I’ll tell you right away.. 🙂
I made this banana cake on the weekend and it turned out nice. It’s a mild and light tasting cake which was exactly what I was craving… it was a quick fix too! It reminded me of the Chinese ‘Malay cake’ but made with banana. I made one with chocolate chips and the other without… I preferred it without. I added a little extra water and my cake puffed up nicely.
Thanks again! I just made this cake and it turned out very moist and soft. I especially liked the fact that it’s healthy AND tasty!
This is a keeper! Delicious and very easy to make.
I have made this already 4 times in the last 2 weeks! Even with slight variations – coconut water or milk instead of water and adding nuts and raisins – it came out perfectly every time.
One thing I have done which is not mentioned in the recipe is to cover the cake pan tightly with aluminum foil. Could this be why it did not turn out for some?
Thank you so much for the great recipe.
I am very keen to try out the recipe but I do not have a steamer at home. Can I use normal wok? Nora mentioned that we should cover the cake pan tightly with the aluminium foil, how could this be done if I am using a wok? Also, I am new comer into this cake baking thingy.. Is multipurpose flour same as self raising flour?
Hi Janice, I actually used a wok to steam the banana cake. I never cover the pan and the cake comes out alright all the time.
All purpose flour is not the same as self raising flour. Self raising already contains leaving agents like baking powder and salt.
I tried to make this today but it took almost 30 mins to be ready. It tasted good, but had a bit of a flour-y taste. Do you know what went wrong? Perhaps I should use less flour next time? I actually weighed the flour so it was exactly 100g.
Hi Annette, I steam mine on high heat and the heat has to be the factor for how long to cook the cake. As for the flour, of late, I just use 3/4 cup of flour instead of measuring it. One more thing to consider is the size of the banana which contribute the moisture to the cake. You may add a bit more water if you find the batter too dry.
I steamed on high heat too. I think it was the banana. It was quite dry. I will add more water next time I try. Thankes for the tips! BTW, great site, and great recipes!
i cant get any multipurpose. can i use plain flour instead of multipurpose flour? thanks…
Hi Mei, you can use plain flour or cake flour.
Do you think I could use a metal bowl instead of a steamer? I don’t have a wok. I want to try to make this on Saturday but I suck at cakes so Im a little nervous!
Hi Jessica, you can use any utensils as long as it generates the steaming effects. Let me know how it turns out.
Hi,i will definitely try this recipe.It is steamed,not baked.It will b more healthy.thanks
I LOVE BANANA CAKE since i was a child.. but no idea how to make it… i thought making such cake cost u much and/or hard to make. But after finding this blog site of urs, makes me realized that this banana cake is “no u say, u can’t make it”… its so easy… from ingredient, to cook procedures, to cooking ware ( steamer, thank god…)AWESOME… 🙂
my first time to drop by your site and i find it so interesting. Currently, i am looking for steamed recipes, since we don’t have an oven. Will sure try this recipe! BTW, what’s the substitute for the icing sugar? can i use white sugar instead? and for much i should use? Suanne, will you please share me more cakes or dessert recipes that can be cooked by means of steaming than baking, we don’t have an oven.
Hope to hear from you!
Hi Analyn, you can substitute the icing sugar with granulated sugar, use 2 to 3 tablespoons, depend on how sweet you like it. Since granulated sugar does not dissolve as easy as icing sugar, you might want to whisk the sugar with other wet ingredients first until the sugar is dissolved. There are more steamed cake recipes in my blog. You can check them out in the recipe section under cakes category.
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Wow… the steamed cake looks yummy & also simple to make one without using the oven!!
Thanks for sharing the recipe. 🙂
Can I use wholemeal flour or corn flour to make more healthy? If yes do I need to add extra water or others thing to make sure it’s not so hard.
I also lkke to know how to make steam pandan cake. Do u have any idea?
Hi Pearlyn, you can always mix in some other flour and adjust the moisture accordingly. I think if you use wholewheat flour alone, the texture will be too coarse. Sometimes, I do add a tablespoon of ground flax seed in my cake or bread for a healthier version.
I found a steamed pandan cake recipe from this forum (http://jodeli.proboards22.com/index.cgi?board=SEA&action=display&thread=394) and it looks very simple. Give it a try and let me know how it turns out.
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Hi! Thank you for sharing this recipe. It seems to be easy to prepare and delicious. I was wondering if I can substitute the icing sugar with plain white sugar. Would this affect the cake’s quality? Thanks for your reply in advanced. ^_^
Hi Mikolotski, I have not personally try using plain white sugar as I always have icing sugar on hand. You can always substitute with other type of sugar as long as you make sure the sugar dissolved before you add in the flour. You need less plain sugar to substitute icing sugar, i.e. reduce the amount base on your preference. Hope this help.
thks for sharing this simple & possible for me to try recipe. Will try out one weekend.
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I love looking at your steamed cakes…I hope i’ll be able to try them one of these days…my husband is a big cake eater!!!! I am so glad I found your blog!
Thanks for the recipe! I steamed these in custard cups and served with steamed grated coconut. YUMMY!!
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?
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.
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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?
hi there! thanks for dropping by my blog. how did you know that I posted about your famous steamed banana recipe? 😀 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 😀
hi ben 🙂 thanks for the info. btw, i got the same corelle plates when i was staying in toronto about 15 years ago. guess they only have this design for north america 😀
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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.
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
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.
This sounds good, I am sure it’s very delish. I’m going to make it asap. 🙂
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.
Hi Suanne, I tried this recipe today and it came out wonderful!! Thank you very much for this 🙂
hey that was a good recipe and thanxs for it
i was wondering, would granulated sugar work instead of icing sugar?
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.
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.
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!
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.
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 🙁
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.
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.
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,
I ‘ve tried it yesterday… taste good… thank for sharing
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 gourmetsleuth.com.
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)
can i know how much 2/3 cup means?Issiz equilavent to 75ml/g & 1/4 cup issiz 25ml/g?
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.
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.
I will sure wanna try this! My FIRST time into cake making:)
It looks simple and yummy!!!! TThanks for the receipe.
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
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!
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! 🙂
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i’m definitely going 2 try it out today!!
thx a lot 4 de recipe!!
thank you for the recipe…
If i use more than one bananas, how much flour should i use?
Hi zoe, if you use two bananas, just double the recipe for other ingredients.
can make without 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.
When I made it, it didn’t rise?! What did I do wrong?
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?
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.
Thank you for this receipt! I love the idea of steaming cake esp with bananas and it is easy to make
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…
Hi Eleonor, I’m glad that you like the recipe.
Simple and easy… just right for a busy working woman like yours truly.
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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…
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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!
… 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.
hi Suzanne , m so glad found a banana cake steam method ! and (hooray!no oil . ok jz a teaspoon not so bad😁😁). 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 ☺
Hi Florence, I’m sure honey will be fine. I have not try that though.
thank u Suanne , yes I tried using honey n tm instead banana I use green tea. nice!