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Vietnamese Banana and Bread Cake – Banh Chuoi

Bánh Chuối, a traditional Vietnamese dish, is a delightful solution for overripe bananas that you couldn’t eat in time. Naturally, the central ingredient is bananas, with their inherent sweetness complemented by a delectable coconut milk sauce. This enticing combination forms a savory treat that beautifully embodies the innovative spirit of Vietnamese cuisine, turning potential waste into a sublime culinary experience.

The perfect balance of flavors in this dish is not only a delicious treat, but an inspiring reminder that with the right ingredients, anything can be transformed into something amazing.

The Recipe for Making a Perfect Banh Chuoi 

Here’s what you need to make a delicious Banh Chuoi: 

  • 500g of ripe bananas
  • 50g of tapioca starch
  • 300g old white bread, cut into cubes 
  • 30g melted butter
  • 1 egg
  • a few drops of vanilla extract
  • 300ml of coconut milk
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 20g sugar
  • 15g of peanuts (optional)
  • 15g of sesame seeds (optional)

Step-by-Step Guide:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (or approximately 180 degrees Celsius).
  2. Peel the bananas and cut them into small slices.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the cubed bread, coconut milk, melted butter, tapioca starch, egg, and sugar, salt. Mix well until you get a slurry-like consistency, ensuring that the bread is thoroughly soaked.
  4. Incorporate the sliced bananas and sesame into the mixture, setting a few slices aside for garnish. 
  5. Pour the mixture into a baking dish, arranging the set-aside banana slices on top for decoration. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for about 50 minutes.
  6. After 50 minutes, remove the aluminum foil. At this point, you may choose to brush a thin layer of honey over the surface of the cake, which will give it an appetizing golden brown finish. Return the cake to the oven and continue to bake for an additional 10 minutes.
  7. Once your cake is done baking, let it cool for a bit before serving. 

Serving Suggestions

Bánh Chuối is incredibly versatile and can be served in a variety of ways that cater to your personal preference. Enjoy it warm, right out of the oven, for a comforting dessert or breakfast treat. 

If you prefer a cooler indulgence, let it chill and serve it cold. The chilled version provides a unique textural contrast that is sure to delight your senses. This wonderful treat pairs beautifully with a strong cup of Vietnamese coffee or a light jasmine tea. 

Experiment with toppings too – a drizzle of sweetened condensed milk or a scoop of vanilla ice cream can elevate this simple dish to a whole new level of deliciousness. Remember, the beauty of Bánh Chuối lies in its simplicity and adaptability, so feel free to experiment and make it your own.

A Few Handy Tips

While making Banh Chuoi may seem straightforward enough, here are a few handy tips to ensure the best results:

  • The ripeness of your bananas can significantly impact the sweetness of your Banh Chuoi. I’ve used ripe bananas for my recipe, so I only added 20g of sugar. If your bananas aren’t sweet enough, feel free to increase the sugar to suit your taste.
  • If your bananas are overly ripe and have started to brown, try soaking them in salt water after peeling. This can help to improve their appearance, making your Bánh Chuối as visually appealing as it is delicious.
  • Don’t slice the bananas too thin or too thick. Ideally, they should be about 0.5cm – 0.7cm in thickness. This ensures they maintain their shape and texture during the baking process, contributing to the delightful consistency of the final dish.
  • When mixing in the bread and bananas, be gentle to avoid mashing the bananas and to keep the bread cubes somewhat intact. This will ensure a pleasing texture in your finished cake.
  • If your white bread is still fresh, consider adding an extra tablespoon of flour to the mixture. The flour will help to absorb some of the moisture and prevent the cake from becoming too soggy.
  • For the bread in this recipe, while we’ve used white bread, you can certainly experiment with other types too. Feel free to substitute with stale milk bread, Italian bread, brioche, challah, or similar bread.

How to Store 

Storing Bánh Chuối is quite straightforward. If left at room temperature in a sealed container, the cake can be preserved for up to 2 days. 

For longer storage, refrigerate the Bánh Chuối in a covered container, where it can last for 3-4 days. If you decide to refrigerate it, consider reheating slightly before serving for the best taste and texture.


Bánh Chuối is a traditional Vietnamese dish of remarkable simplicity and delightful flavor. With just a few basic ingredients, you can create an amazing indulgence that is sure to delight your taste buds and impress your friends and family. It’s also incredibly versatile, allowing for a range of flavors, textures, and serving suggestions. With this recipe in hand, you’ll be on your way to creating a delicious and unique treat that everyone can enjoy. So what are you waiting for? Get baking! 


Why Is It Called Banana Cake? 

This traditional dish is called Bánh Chuối, which translates to ‘banana cake’ in English. The main ingredient of this dessert is ripe bananas, which are combined with other ingredients like white bread and coconut milk to create an interesting combination of flavors and textures. 

Why Is My Banana Bread Cake Wet?

If your Bánh Chuối is too wet, it means that you have used too much coconut milk or not enough flour. To prevent this from happening, make sure to only use the stated measurements of each ingredient in the recipe and adjust according to taste. Additionally, using ripe but not overly ripe bananas can help avoid a soggy texture.

Can I Eat Wet Banana Bread?

If the Bánh Chuối is slightly undercooked, it may result in a gummy texture in the middle. While this isn’t harmful and is completely safe to eat, some people might not find this texture enjoyable. It’s always best to follow the cooking times and temperatures provided to ensure the perfect consistency for your banana bread cake.

Why Is Banana Bread Cake Healthy? 

Banana bread cake is a healthy snack or dessert option for several reasons. Firstly, it contains nutritious ingredients like ripe bananas and sesame seeds, both of which are excellent sources of vitamins and minerals. Additionally, if you choose to use whole wheat bread or reduce the amount of sugar used in this recipe, you can make it a healthy indulgence that everyone can enjoy guilt-free. 

Can Banana Bread Cake Be Frozen? 

Bánh Chuối can be frozen for up to 3 months. To do this, wrap the cooled cake in cling film and place it in an airtight container before freezing. When ready to eat, thaw overnight in the fridge before serving. Reheating may also be necessary to bring back its original consistency and taste. 

What If I Forgot Salt In My Cake?

If you have forgotten to add salt while making banana bread cake, don’t worry – the dish will still be delicious! However, if you want a more balanced flavor profile, adding a pinch of salt should do the trick. It’s best to add it towards the end of the mixing process as too much may make your cake salty and unpalatable.