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. 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!

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  5. 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.

  6. 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. ^_^

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  9. 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 ( and it looks very simple. Give it a try and let me know how it turns out.

  10. Hi Suanne,
    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.

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  12. 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.

  13. Hi Suanne,

    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!

  14. 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… πŸ™‚

  15. 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!

  16. 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!

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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?

  21. 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.

  22. 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!

  23. 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.

  24. 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.. πŸ˜€
    I haven’t tried it yet, but since we have a steamer at house, I’ll definitely try it on Saturday.. πŸ˜€
    I’ll tell you right away.. πŸ™‚

  25. 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).

  26. Hi Suanne,
    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!!

  27. Hi,

    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

  28. 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.

  29. 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?

  30. 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 won´t fall into the cake. Is what i did and as i told you it came out perfect.

  31. 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.

  32. 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?

  33. 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.

  34. 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.

  35. 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?

  36. 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.

  37. 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. πŸ™‚

  38. Hi Suanne
    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?

  39. 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.

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