KitchenTigress: Banana Chiffon Cake

Banana Chiffon Cake

banana chiffon cake, cut
Most recipes for banana cake use about 1 part banana to 1 part flour. That's way too little bananas. My cake has 175 g bananas to 70 g flour, so the ratio is 2.5:1. With so much bananas, it literally bursts with banana flavour.

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?
3 ripe bananas with peel
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.
cutting banana chiffon cake
Mashed bananas dry out slowly, so the cake must be baked longer, at a lowish temperature. I give it 1 hour at 160°C. If the temperature is higher, the inside of the cake would still be wet when the top is brown.

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 only a small amount of oil in the recipe, and no water or milk.
banana chiffon cake in pan cooling down upside down
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 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.

How to make banana chiffon cake

Step-by-step guide

Banana cake recipes usually go for fluffiness, or flavour. Having both is difficult because bananas are dense. This recipe is different. It makes a banana chiffon cake that's fluffy as a cloud yet bursting with banana flavour.

banana chiffon cake
(For one 18cm 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
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp salt

  • 140 g egg whites
  • 1/16 tsp cream of tartar
  • 50 g castor sugar

  1. Measure and prep ingredients as detailed above. Bring to room temperature. Preheat oven to 160°C.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.
  6. banana chiffon cake baking in oven
  7. Bake cake in bottom of oven for about 1 hour, till well browned and, when pressed lightly, springs back and squishes softly. (Loud squishing means the cake is still too wet.)

  8. Remove cake from oven. Invert onto something narrow and tall, e.g. jam jar or inverted glass. Leave till cool.
  9. banana chiffon cake plated
  10. Cut cake out of pan. Serve.