Vietnamese Steamed Banana Cake (Banh Chuoi Hap) is delicious with a wonderful fragrance and sweetness from ripe bananas. The soft-chewy texture makes this cake seriously addictive.

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What is Vietnamese Steamed Banana Cake

Vietnamese Steamed Banana Cake (Banh Chuoi Hap) is made by steaming a batter of tapioca flour, rice flour and ripe bananas. It is then served with a rich coconut sauce and toasted sesame seeds.

Each bite is full of fragrance and sweetness of bananas which pair well with the creamy coconut sauce and nutty sesame seeds. The cake is dairy-free, gluten-free and vegan.

Compared to Western cuisines, most desserts in Vietnamese cuisine are made on the stovetop such as sweet soups (chè) or steamed cakes. The lack of baked desserts in Vietnamese cuisine isn’t really a surprise since even today, not many home kitchens in Vietnam have an oven.

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This delightful steamed cake is just one of many delicious Southern desserts that use bananas and coconuts which are abundant in the South of Vietnam. Other Vietnamese desserts with this flavor combination is this Che Chuoi (Banana Tapioca Pudding) and Grilled Banana Sticky Rice (Chuoi Nep Nuong).


To make Vietnamese Steamed Banana Cake (Banh Chuoi Hap), you will need ripe bananas (pisang awak variety for best result), tapioca starch, rice flour, and sugar. Use just ripe bananas and avoid using overripe bananas which can get too mushy after steaming.

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The combination of tapioca starch (also called tapioca flour) and rice flour creates an addictive soft-chewy texture for the cake. Both types of flour are gluten-free and you can find them at Asian grocery stores. Please make sure you select Vietnamese or Thai brands such as this Thai rice flour and tapioca starch. The flour should be very fine and lightweight, kinda like cornstarch.


I often see that people add yellow food coloring to achieve a yellow color for the cake. However, since I use light brown sugar, the banana cake already has a nice golden brown color so there’s no need to use food coloring.

Besides, I also add cinnamon powder to enhance the aroma and add a warm note to the cake. This is my own idea which turns out wonderful (and I’m actually quite proud of it

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