Banana Chiffon Cake (Kue Pisang) from Dina Yuen's "Indonesian Cooking"

Banana Chiffon Cake (Kue Pisang)

Attending the Nila Chandra Culinary Academy when I was 12 years old was not easy. No one took me seriously, especially the teachers. On our first day, we learned how to make several desserts. (Nila Chandra was famous for her scrumptious desserts and was even in the Guinness Book of World Records for making the largest wedding cake at some point.) That same night at home, I decided it was time to prove to everyone that not only was I grown up enough to be in a cooking class with adults, but that I had more passion than any adult there. So I chose to bake a Banana Chiffon Cake and proudly brought it for my teachers to taste the next morning. They didn’t believe that I had made it until my mother corroborated the fact that I had indeed baked it all by myself. Here is my version of this rich and moist Banana Chiffon Cake, that I’ve altered through the years to use ingredients available in Western markets.

Makes 1 large cake

Preparation time: 20-25 minutes

Cooking time: 45 minutes - 1 hour

  • 1 ¼ cups (300 g) unsalted butter at room temperature + for greasing
  • 12 large eggs (12 yolks and 3 whites)
  • 2 tablespoons condensed milk
  • 1 ¾ cups (300 g) sugar
  • ½ tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 cups (500 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed

Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease a 9-inch (20 cm) round baking pan with butter.

Beat or mix together the eggs, condensed milk, sugar, and vanilla in a bowl for 10 minutes on high speed until the batter rises and nearly doubles in volume.

Add the flour, baking powder, and salt, whisking for another 5 minutes. Beat or mix the butter in a separate bowl until fluffy, then blend together with the mashed bananas until thoroughly combined.

Gently fold together the banana butter mixture with the egg batter until it is well mixed. Do not use an electric mixer for this step. Use a large spoon or spatula.

Pour the batter into the baking pan and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour until a skewer inserted comes out just moist but not wet with batter. The exterior of the cake should be golden brown. Allow to cool for 15 minutes or so before cutting.

Reprinted with permission from Indonesian Cooking: Satays, Sambals, and More by Dina Yuen, Copyright © 2012. Published by Tuttle Publishing.

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