Bánh Chuối Nướng (Vietnamese Banana Cake) is a delightful traditional Vietnamese dessert. It’s easy to make, almost foolproof, and a great way to use up leftover bread.

Vietnamese Banana Cake (Bánh Chuối Nướng)

What is Bánh Chuối Nướng?

In Vietnamese, “Bánh Chuối” means Banana Cake, while “Nướng” means baked.

Bánh Chuối Nướng is actually a baked banana bread pudding since it’s made from stale bread. It is very popular in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam (Miền Tây).

Vietnamese Banana Cake (Bánh Chuối Nướng)

The word “Bánh” is versatile in Vietnamese. It generally refers to sweet and savory treats made from various flours and can be eaten with hands or chopsticks.

There are also Bánh Cuốn (Steamed Rice Rolls), Bánh Flan (Vietnamese Flan), Bánh Xèo (Sizzling Pancakes), Bánh Pate Sô (Meat Pies).

Ingredients

Bánh Chuối Nướng is how Vietnamese moms make use of leftover ingredients, such as stale bread from previous dinners and overripe bananas.

Honestly, there’s no fixed ratio for Bánh Chuối Nướng. Moms simply mix the batter with all the leftover ingredients and adjust the liquid based on their experience.

Vietnamese Banana Cake Ingredients
  • Bananas: In Vietnam, we use Thai bananas (sugar bananas). Thai bananas give the best color and flavor for your Bánh Chuối Nướng.
Thai Bananas
  • Coconut milk: A popular ingredient in Vietnamese desserts, found in Chè (light dessert soup) or Coconut Coffee.
  • Bread: In Vietnam, we often use stale Vietnamese baguette (the ones for Bánh Mì). However, sandwich or French baguette will also work.
  • Milk, Egg, Butter & Vanilla extract: These ingredients add richness and aroma to the cake.
  • Sugar: brown sugar or white granulated sugar.
  • All-purpose flour: Used to bind the mixture. You can substitute it with rice flour, tapioca starch, or cornstarch.
  • Salt & Rice wine (or Rum liquor): Used to marinate the bananas.
  • Honey (optional): Used to make the glaze for the cake.
  • Vietnamese coffee (optional): A tip to enhance the flavor of your cake. I use instant coffee from a popular Vietnamese coffee brand.

Instructions

1

Make the batter

  • Marinate the bananas with salt, sugar, and rice wine (or rum liquor) overnight in the fridge, or for at least 5 hours.
  • In a bowl, mix together the milk, juice from the banana marinade, coconut milk, sugar, egg, melted butter, vanilla extract, all-purpose flour, and coffee.
  • Tear the bread into small pieces and soak them in the mixture, stirring well until the bread absorbs the liquid. If you use more stale bread, the mixture will be drier, and you should add more milk.
  • Slice the bananas into 0.2-inch (0.5 cm) thick slices. Reserve the slices from 3 bananas for decoration and add the remaining banana slices to the mixture, mixing well.
Marinate the bananas with rice wine, sugar and salt.
Make the batter for the cake.
  • Line the bottom of the baking mold with baking paper. Pour the mixture into the mold and flatten the surface.
  • Place the reserved banana slices on top of the mixture.
  • Mix honey with some melted butter and brush it over the banana slices. Cover the mold with aluminum foil.
Pour the batter into the mold.
Place banana slices on the top.
2

Bake

  • Preheat the oven to 300°F (150°C) for 20 minutes.
  • Bake the banana cake for 1 hour. Remove the aluminum foil and continue baking at 355°F (180°C) for 20 minutes.
  • Raise the temperature to 390°F (200°C) and broil for an additional 10 minutes, or until the banana cake achieves a golden brown color.
  • Take the cake out of the oven. Apply more melted butter over if you like.
  • Let the cake cool down completely and then chill it in the fridge for 5-6 hours.
Vietnamese Banana Cake (Bánh Chuối Nướng)

Helpful Tips

  • Thai bananas from Asian markets work best, but you can use regular bananas from supermarkets; just make sure they are just ripe.
  • Adjust the liquid based on how stale your bread is. The more stale the bread, the drier it is, and the more liquid it will absorb.
  • If you like bananas, you can use up to 1.1 pounds (500g) of bananas and adjust the sugar accordingly.
  • You can let the batter rest for 30 minutes to allow it to absorb the liquid evenly.
  • More traditional desserts from the Mekong Delta of Vietnam: cassava cake (bánh khoai mì nướng), pandan waffles (bánh kẹp lá dứa).

How to serve Vietnamese banana cake

Vietnamese Banana Cake (Bánh Chuối Nướng)
  • The cake is best served chilled.
  • It pairs perfectly with a pot of Vietnamese tea or a cup of coffee, such as egg coffee or salt coffee.

More authentic Vietnamese snacks

Chikoo Shake (Sapota Milkshake)
Chikoo Shake (Vietnamese-style)
Kem Chuoi (Vietnamesse Banana Ice Cream)
Kem Chuối (Banana Coconut Ice Cream)

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Vietnamese Banana Cake (Bánh Chuối Nướng)

Vietnamese Banana Cake (Bánh Chuối Nướng)

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Bánh Chuối Nướng (Vietnamese Banana Cake) is a delicious traditional dessert from Vietnam. It's simple to make, almost fail-proof, and a perfect way to repurpose leftover bread.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine Vietnamese
Servings 4 people

Equipment

  • 8-inch (20cm) Round Cake Pan

Ingredients
  

  • 0.8 pound ripe Thai bananas (380g)
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar (for banana marinade)
  • 1 tbsp rice wine (or rum liquor) (for banana marinade)
  • ½ tsp salt (for banana marinade)
  • 5 oz bread (sandwich, baguette…) (130g or 4-5 sandwich slices)
  • 1 small can coconut milk (5.6oz/165ml)
  • 1 cup milk (250ml)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • cup granulated sugar (60g)
  • 2.5 tbsp melted butter (35g)
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour (or rice flour, cornstarch, tapioca starch…)
  • 1 tsp Instant Coffee (optional)
  • 1 tsp honey (optional) (for the glaze)
  • 1 tbsp melted butter (optional) (for the glaze)

Instructions
 

Make the batter:

  • Marinate the bananas with salt, sugar, and rice wine (or rum liquor) in the fridge for at least 5 hours or overnight.
  • In a bowl, combine the coconut milk, juice from the banana marinade, milk, sugar, egg, butter, vanilla extract, all-purpose flour, and coffee.
  • Break the bread into small pieces and soak them in the mixture, stirring thoroughly until the bread absorbs all the liquid. If the bread is very stale, it will make the mixture drier, so you might need to add extra milk.
  • Slice the bananas into 0.2-inch (0.5 cm) thick pieces. Set aside slices from 3 bananas for decoration and mix the remaining slices into the batter.
  • Line the bottom of the baking mold with baking paper. Pour the batter into the mold and smooth the surface.
  • Arrange the reserved banana slices on top of the mixture.
  • Combine honey with melted butter and brush it over the banana slices. Cover the mold with aluminum foil.

Bake the cake:

  • Let the oven preheat to 300°F (150°C) for 20 minutes.
  • Bake the banana cake for 1 hour. Then, remove the aluminum foil and bake at 355°F (180°C) for an additional 20 minutes.
  • Increase the temperature to 390°F (200°C) and broil for another 10 minutes (or until the banana cake turns golden brown).
  • Remove the cake from the oven and apply more melted butter if desired.
  • Allow the cake to cool completely, then chill it in the fridge for 5-6 hours.
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