Banh Chuoi Hap – Steamed Banana Cake

Banh Chuoi Hap – steamed banana cake – is one of Vietnam’s favorite banana desserts. It is very easy and quick to make and uses only a few ingredients. The steamed cake is sweet, moist and sticky. What makes it more delicious is the coconut sauce.

Asian banana, locally called Saba banana in the Philippines where it originated, is the cooking banana variety. It is used in most desserts in Asia and even in savory dishes in the Philippines. This banana variety is short and plump and the flesh is much denser and starchier than the “regular” table banana. Saba can be fried, sweetened, grilled, baked, boiled or added to soups and stews. Although it is preferred eaten cooked, some locals eat it raw with fermented shrimp paste. Saba banana is rich in potassium and iron, and a good source of vitamins A, B, and C. It is commonly used to treat digestion problems as it is high in dietary fiber. As Saba banana may not be available in other countries, Plantain is commonly used as a substitute.


• 500 grams of frozen Asian bananas, sliced into 1/2-inch thick rounds
• 3 tbsp sugar
• 1 ½ cup of tapioca starch
• ½ cup of water
• chopped toasted peanuts

Coconut Sauce:

• 1 cup of coconut milk
• 1 cup of water
• 2 tbsp sugar
• ⅛ tsp salt
• 1 tbsp tapioca starch, dissolved in 3 tbsp water


This recipe takes about 50 minutes to make. The cake needs to cool for 2 to 3 hours before slicing. Serves 6 to 8.

In a large mixing bowl, marinate banana slices in sugar for 15 minutes.
Add tapioca starch and mix well.
Add water and mix well.
Pour banana mixture into a silicon mold.
Steam over high heat for 20 minutes.
Let the cake cool completely for about 2 to 3 hours.
While the cake is cooling prepare the coconut sauce:
Mix all sauce ingredients to a slush in a saucepan – coconut milk, water, sugar, salt, and tapioca starch.
Boil over high heat while constantly stirring for 5 minutes.
Pour into a bowl and let it cool to thicken.
Remove a banana cake from the mold and place it on a greased plate.
Lightly grease a knife with vegetable oil so the cake will not stick to it while cutting.
Cut the cake into serving pieces.
Drizzle with coconut sauce and sprinkle peanuts on top

Ideas And Tips:

• We skipped the food coloring.

• If you can’t find Asian bananas, you can use 6 regular bananas.

• When steaming the cake, wrap the lid with a kitchen towel so water will not drip into the cake.

Banh Chuoi Hap - Steamed Banana Cake
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