Banana Chiffon Cake

Friday, 9 May 2014


If you like your banana cake very fluffy and very "banana-y", you must try my version. Other recipes may be as fluffy but not as banana-y, or as banana-y but not as fluffy.

Making banana cake more banana-y is easy. I simply put loads of very ripe bananas in it.

Most recipes for banana cake have about 1 part banana to 1 part flour. Some may go up to 2:1. Mine has 175 g bananas to 70 g flour, so the ratio is 2.5:1.

When banana cake has a lot of bananas, it becomes dense and wet. IOW, it turns into banana bread. That's a good thing if you like heavy and squat banana bread but I don't.

How do I stop banana cake from turning into banana bread?

By making the cake rise, so it's not dense. And making the cake dry out, so it's not too wet.

To help the cake rise well, my recipe has a fair bit of baking soda and baking powder. Egg whites whisked till firm peak stage also lend a hand. A chiffon pan helps too because the funnel makes the batter heat up evenly.

I use a fairly low temperature, 160°C. If the temperature is higher, the inside of the cake would still be wet when the top is brown. Mashed bananas dry out slowly, so the cake must be baked longer, at a lowish temperature. If the cake is too wet when it's removed from the oven, it'll shrink as it cools down or after it's unmoulded.

Besides the baking time and temperature, putting less wet ingredients in the cake also helps make the cake less wet. There's no water or milk in the recipe, and there's only a small amount of oil.

A fluffy cake is fluffy because its structure is weak. To stop the structure from collapsing when it's at its weakest – just after the cake is removed from the oven –  it must cling to the sides and bottom of the cake pan. The pan, therefore, mustn't be non-stick and it must be inverted once it's removed from the oven. A funnel in the middle gives the cake more surface area to cling to.

Banana cake is best served without frosting, so there's nothing to mask the flavour of the bananas.

Are you ready to eat the most fluffy and most banana-y ever banana cake? Hey, you have to bake it first.



BANANA CHIFFON CAKE
(Makes one 18 x 8 cm cake)

2-3 very ripe bananas, peel to yield 175 g
60 g egg yolks
15 g castor sugar
40 g corn oil
70 g cake flour
14 tsp baking powder
12 tsp baking soda
18 tsp salt

140 g egg whites
116 tsp cream of tartar
50 g castor sugar

Preheat oven to 160°C. Measure and prep ingredients as detailed above.

Blend 175 g bananas, egg yolks, corn oil and 15 g castor sugar till smooth and thoroughly incorporated. Sift cake flour, baking soda and baking powder into mixture. Add salt. Mix with whisk till just even.

Separately whisk egg whites till frothy. Add cream of tartar. Whisk till egg whites form thick foam. Gradually add 50 g castor sugar, still whisking. Continue to whisk till egg whites reach firm peak stage.

Add egg whites to yolk mixture in 3 batches. Mix with whisk till almost even after each batch. Scrape down and fold with spatula till just evenly mixed, banging mixing bowl against worktop 2-3 times.

Pour batter into 18 x 8 cm 2-piece chiffon pan that's not non-stick, rotating pan as you pour so that batter is spread evenly. Jiggle pan till batter is level. Bake in bottom of oven for about 1 hour, till cake is well browned and, when pressed lightly, springs back and squishes softly. (Loud squishing means the cake is still too wet.) Remove cake from oven. Invert onto something narrow and tall, e.g. jam jar or inverted glass. Leave till cool. Cut cake out of pan. Serve.

76 comments:

Jasmine Riccardi said...

Hello Tiger, 2 questions: 1- in your chocolate sponge cake you also used glucose to make the cake fluffy, would you use it a little also in this one? 2- I'm not an expert with videos, but can you do something to avoid cutting the written explanations on your videos? Anyway, thanks for sharing your great recipes with us. Bye now.

Ekaterina Zhalis said...

Thank you a lot! We with husband cooked a chocolate sponge biscuit,is perfect! It was so high and fluffy,impressive!!! Thanks for your wonderful recipes. Soon we'll try this one,I like bananas creams in cakes and never didn't imagine that can be banana biscuit. Just may you say,a chocolate sponge biscuit will grow the same successfully with rice flour? We want to try to cook non-gluten cake..And also say please,without cream of tartar result of this banana cake is the same good?

KT said...

1. Liquid glucose isn't necessary in this recipe.

2. I've had missing annotations twice, whilst watching the videos on my blog. Both times the problem was rectified when I switched to YouTube's website.

Lay Kong said...

I tried the banana chiffon today. I baked 160 for an hour. It sank and wet at the bottom. I follow the recipe. Where did I go wrong?

KT said...

"I follow the recipe." No, you didn't.

Lay Kong said...

I will try again

Jess @ Bakericious said...

woa the cake looks so fluffy and soft.

lolarose said...

Hi...I have tried this recipe twice and both times cake collasped and shrank and when I cooled it, it sweated...i am only writing this because I have tried it again and followed the recipe and the steps... I am hoping you can help me solve the mystery. Could the bananas be too ripe and thus too wet?

KT said...

How much banana did you use?

lolarose said...

This is not my first chiffon tho this was my first banana chiffon. i did all of the above. followed your recipe to the gram. maybe bananas were too ripe... yes some soft spots... quite sad cos the wet cake was very delicious.

KT said...

At what point did your cakes collapse?

maven said...

Hi when i bake it raise nively but in the middle it started to shrink even when baking is it something wrong with the temp.?

lolarose said...

cake started to sink and shrink at about the 30min point of baking...they were quite concave...yes my batter was of the same consistency...no cakes did not fall out when pan was inverted...but sweated alot...is my oven too hot?! My thermometer reads 160 though...

lolarose said...

Also by the end of 50mins my cake was alot darker than yours...

KT said...

Your cakes collapsed because the batter was too alkaline. Excessive alkalinity weakens the structural support provided by flour and eggs, because alkalis are corrosive. Corroding the structure takes time, so the middle of the cake collapses but the edges are OK. That was why the top of your cakes became concave. Excessive alkalinity also makes the batter brown faster, so your cake was very brown after baking for 50 minutes. It also makes the batter dry out slower and that, along with the short baking time, was why your cake was wet.

If your cakes had collapsed because of an excessive amount of sugar or liquid from overripe bananas, the tops would have collapsed/shrunk but remained level.

Why was your batter too alkaline? Possible reasons: (1) You overmeasured the alkalis, i.e. baking powder ad baking soda. (2) You undermeasured the non-alkalis, i.e. bananas, flour, eggs and cream of tartar. Please note that the bananas should be weighed after peeling, not before. (3) You substituted baking powder with baking soda or vice versa.

Overripe bananas are also a suspect. They don't make the batter more alkaline but they may, when heated, turn the batter more watery than it would have been otherwise. A thinner batter is corroded more easily, compared to a thicker batter.

Hope this helps. Cheers.

lolarose said...

Thank you so much for the science behind it. Baking soda and powder were measured correctly but they were newly opened. Another question, must eggs be at room temperature or from the fridge? Also why did the cake sweat as it cools?

KT said...

Possible reasons why your cakes "sweated": (1) Condensation due to poor air circulation. (2) The batter had undissolved sugar, which melted after the cakes were removed from the oven. (3) All of the above.

Room temperature or cold? All my cakes are made with eggs at (tropical) room temperature. Warmer eggs make cakes that are softer and taller. Cakes made with cold eggs are shorter and not as soft but they have more bounce. If you like cakes that have more bite/spring, go for cold eggs.

lolarose said...

Thank you! You are amazing...

Millie said...

Hi Kt, I baked this cake today and I doubled it because I only have a large tube pan. I was a little worried, since sometimes recipes don't work as well doubled, but it came out very nice. It's light and fluffy and has so much banana flavor without being too sweet!
I did change one thing. I thought it seemed like a lot of baking soda, and seeing the discussion about the batter maybe being too alkaline, I switched the baking powder and baking soda amounts. I baked a long time, and the cake is so moist I think I could bake even longer to dry it out more since it's so delicate.
I might try it exactly as you wrote it and bake it as cupcakes to see the difference (I can hang them upside down using skewers like panettone).
In any case, the cake is delicious like every cake I've made from your recipes, so thank you!

KT said...

Thanks for your feedback, Millie. If you bake cupcakes with this recipe, please let me know how they turn out. Cupcakes would be less fluffy than chiffon cakes unless you adjust the batter. You may not need to invert cupcakes . . . or you may.

jin said...

Hey KT I've prepared everything to bake this but my cake tin is the silicone bundt pan type... will it still work? Also I couldn't find any cream of tartar at the supermarket, maybe they had run out because I'm sure I've seen it before, can I skip it? Thanks :D

Lily Chan said...

Is it possible if i use glucose (in powder) instead of syrup glucose like you??? Please reply, I really am obsessed with your whole sponge cakes thinggg!!!

KT said...

Yes, it is possible.

KT said...

Sorry, I don't know anything about your abilities.

Millie said...

I baked the recipe as written as muffins. I did have them sink a bit while they were still baking. They didn't sink once they came out of the oven. I think a little more flour would help since they'd still be very light and fluffy with just a bit more. Perhaps baking on a higher rack would also help since they rose so much and then sank?

diananda said...

hi KT, I have tried your choco sponge cake, and unfortunately mine taste just like an ordinary choco sponge cake. It's not moist so i need to splash it with simple syrup in order to make it moist, and i hardly can taste the chocolate. i believe that the mistake is mine, not your recipe, since i wrongly doing the seizing stuff. i dont know whether it is over or under seized, but one thing for sure, the chocolate powder is burnt when i pour it into hot oil (fool me, the oil is way too hot and smoke). so what i got is runny liquid dark paste. will try again this recipe, it really make me curious.

KT said...

Some cocoa powder taste burnt even if you don't burn it.

tun said...

KT - thank you, as always.

Honoria said...

Hi KT, I'm new to your blog and I really love this recipe.I also like the combination of banana and cinnamon flavour and really want to try that out with this recipe but dont know what to do so not to affect quality of the cake. I was thinking of replacing a bit of flour with ground cinnamon but I'm not sure about measurement. So it would be very great if you could make a new modified recipe with cinnamon or can you just help me with the idea? Thanks for your great recipe anyway ._.

diananda said...

Yesterday I made this banana-y chiffon cake and I bake it in cupcake (bruder cup actually) since I don't have chiffon pan (I referring to ur pandan chiffon cupcake to see the baking tips, but I set the oven to 160C, so it take longer than ur pandan chiffon cupcakes). And yes, your recipe is the best among 3 different banana chiffon recipes I have tried. Will definitely buy chiFfon pan this time, I must make another batch properly:*

lin76 said...

Hi....wow...love your banana chiffon. ..This is one of my favorite chiffon cake...I have my own recipe....and made it quite often and really good as well. ..and I will definitely try your recipe in the future, thanks for sharing. ...definitely will let you know how it turns out ;)

Diana Montes said...

Hi Millie, did you use cupcake liners? I want to make them as cupcakes but Im not sure if it would work =S do you have any tip you could give me?

Dolphin said...

Hi, KT, I read your recipes then I was very curious about the function of glucose, and now I understand as I see your video, it's really great. And I found that you just use glucose as you beat the whole eggs, contrary you don't use glucose as you separate egg yolks and egg whites, right? If so, I was wondering if some bakers don't have glucose, instead of that they change the method to separate egg yolks and egg whites then use separate beating eggs method while keeping original recipe (I mean they just change the beating eggs method)? If I wrong, could you tell me the different or your knowledge about it? Thanks for your great recipes. I made a lot of cakes that follow a lot of food bloggers' recipes, and my cakes always have some complains like "A ok but B not ok and C not like that..." ect, I know it's always has something that not make the cakes perfect, but when I stop by your blog then follow your recipes, my cakes are always "sold out" by my family members ^^... Perfect! Thanks a lot!

KT said...

If you take the wings of an aeroplane and stick them to your car, will your car fly?

Igusti Ayu Dewi said...

Thank you sweet KT :).

Lizchan said...

Hi KT. Can I use this glucose powder? Thanks..

womcat said...

Fan forced oven?

Jessica Chia said...

Hi. I've tried making this recipe this morning. I've followed all measurements(except the honey to 2tsp as I do not like it to be sweet). After baking, everything turns out nicely, except that the top layer is sticky and sweet(tasted like honey). May I know which part when wrong?

Jessica Chia said...

no. i used tranclucent silicon. so i could see that the bottom gone brown.

KT said...

My cake has two bottoms. Yours have, I presume, only one.

Chia said...

So, is it possible to reduce heat at the bottom by putting cardboard covered with aluminium foil at the bottom of the baking tray before I put my cupcakes on it to bake? Or is there any other method to solve this?

Ray said...

Hi KT, can you please provide guidance on how to increase the ratio of the ingredients to suit a 23cm pan especially the baking powder, baking soda and cream of tartar?

wen said...

Can i use 18/20cm round pan? And must use papper at bottom and side? Thanks

KT said...

You don't have to increase the ratio of baking powder, baking soda and cream of tartar to the other ingredients.

Christine said...

All your recipes and videos are awesome. Would love to see more videos from you!

Raine Pisare said...

Hi there Kitchen Tigress. I love your videos! Im so addicted to them. I have a question, Ive looked at stores here in US and online, but had difficulty finding the liquid glucose. Is it the same as the Wilton glucose that comes in a plastic container or the Wilton glycerine that comes in a small glass bottle? Thank you so much for your time.

Raine Pisare said...

I made this cake today! Although I used a 9x3 round cake pan, the cake turned out great! I jist made another batch so I can have a two layer cake. I used a whipped cream frosting with Nutella. The cake was gone in 15 minutes! My guests loved it. Thank you KT!

Alicia said...

Hi, i juz baked this chiffon cake...it rose beautifully then sank after 30 min in oven. Y is that so? Please kindly advice.

Regards,
Alicia

Andria Sparhawk said...

Hi KT,
I always love the taste of honey castella cake. It's not so sweet and has a hint of honey flavor. Simplicity is at its best with this cake. However, it's my first time making this cake. I am so glad i tried your recipe! It's very easy to follow, and i am happy with the result of my first try. I was anxious to cut into it, so it's a bit crumbly on the edges. Thank you so much for the fabulous recipe KT !

Andria Sparhawk said...

Sorry I uploaded the same pic twice. For some reason I could not view pic using IE. I can see it with Firefox. Now I will enjoy a slice of honey castella cake with jasmine green tea! ah~~ life is good ^^

Andria Sparhawk said...

Hi Vivianne, sorry to butt in, but this particular cake calls for only a few simple ingredients and it does not use any oil or flavoring such as vanilla. That's just the way it is. Asians love their cakes simple and light, so honey castella cake is very popular in Asia. Hope it clears your doubt ^^

Andria Sparhawk said...

I agree with you on that one Vivianne. KT please take it easy on newbies.

Claudia said...

Actually, the color of a chicken yolk reflect a chick's life. If it's pale yellow, the chicken is kept in a dark laying battery, leading a poor "life". Chicken out on the range have dark yellow or even orange yolks. The more orange a yolk is, the healthier and happier a chicken is!

KT said...

Andria, new is different from stupid. There is no correlation between the two conditions. You don't become more intelligent as you bake. You may become more knowledgeable about baking but your intelligence doesn't change.

Andria Sparhawk said...

Hi KT ,
I understand you are quite frazzled by some stupid questions , but there's really no need to be mean and hostile . You simply don't have to answer them. Still appreciated your effort in sharing your knowledge in baking :)

Raine Pisare said...

Hi KT, I have a question. After doing this cake and using a swiss meringue buttercream, will it work on fondant icing? or will the fondant make the cake flat? Thanks!

Fanny said...

Hi, what kind of mixer do you use in video?

Dee said...

Hi, my chiffon cake pan is about 19.5 cm x 8 cm, do you have any suggestions on how to adjust the cooking time? Thanks.

KT said...

Test the cake as detailed in the recipe. It may not need any additional time, or maybe 5 more minutes.

chewys said...

i just tried this recipe, it turned out well! but i'm sure it wont be able to hold fondant as it is quite light and airy. I'm even thinking twice about stacking up with cream....

Kelly said...

Great! My first success cake after trying 3 fail pandan cakes. Thanks a lot for your recipe and video. My cake was a short one as the baking tin is 21cm instead of 18cm. By the way, how to know the egg white is underbeat or overbeat.

Deelis Ang said...

Hi,
Why my fillings take so long to "harden"?

tang guo said...

240g=4to5 eggs depending on their size. You can weight an egg by putting an empty bowl onto the scale, record its weight, then crack an egg into the bowl, get the total weight and then minus the empty bowl weight.

dianne said...

mine shrink while baking i tried it 2 times.. failed cake. what went wrong.

Sarah Koo Yin Ai said...

Hi KT, tried purchasing glucose on amazon, and many buyers reviewed it saying that it is simply corn syrup. is this true? If so, could I substitute it for corn syrup then?

KT said...

Light corn syrup is thinner than glucose. When it's heated gently, it forms big, shiny bubbles that brown easily. Glucose bubbles are matte and they brown at higher temperatures. It is wrong to say glucose is simply corn syrup or even thick corn syrup. Whether one may be substituted with the other depends on the recipe.

Joanne Chua said...

Hi KT, just finished baking this cake. I couldn't wait for it to be cooled and I cut & ate it. Fabulous! Any idea which kind of banana is more flavourful?

Guest said...

I have the same problem

Sarah Koo Yin Ai said...

thank you for your reply KT. I used a thick (korean) corn syrup and slightly decreased the milk, it turned out great!

Mrhycannon said...

Where can I get the flowers.? Can I substitute violets.? How are the other colors made.?
I love coconut and this sounds so good..

Joy said...

Hi KT,

The cake i made was beautiful, very fluffy, however, why is it not moist, (very dry)

wen said...

Hi KT, thanks for your recipes, taste is so great.

wen said...

My first chocolate sponge cake. Thank you KT.

MissC said...

I love your commitment to finding a perfect recipe. Your efforts are much appreciated as I am a benefactor! I've recently posted my attempt and linked back to your blog, thanks again.
(misschievously.wordpress.com)

Shanna said...

Hi KT, i really appreciated your effort for all the tips and video of this recipe. I am looking forward to use your recipe and make them for my 3 kids. I too do not like to give food with artificial colouring to my kids.

There are questions which i would like to seek your advice on:-
1) 8 layers of 90ml & 1 layer of 100 ml, total=820ml. Does mixing all the ingredients like 160ml of pandan water, sugar, salt, 400ml of coconut milk & tapioca starch above give you 820ml?

2) My tin size is 18cmX8cm, so i should reduce your recipe to 70%? Pls correct me if my calculation is wrong.

3) I only have a pack of 200ml Ayam Brand coconut milk on hand. If it's not enough, can i top up to the amount needed by mixing the coconut milk with UHT milk or pandan water?

4) Do i need to off the fire after add coconut milk before add tapioca starch?

Your prompt reply are greatly appreciated. Thank you very much.
S;)

KT said...

Is this a maths and English test for primary school kids?

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