Banana Chiffon Cake is a super light and fluffy homemade cake with tender bite and rich banana flavor.
Use up your ripe bananas with this chiffon cake recipe that’s perfect for snacking or for celebrating!
What is chiffon cake?
Chiffon cake was originally invented by a baker to the Hollywood stars. The baker kept the revolutionary recipe secret for many years before finally sharing the recipe for an orange chiffon version in the 1940s.
This glamorous secret chiffon cake recipe kept him very busy and very wealthy because it’s just that delicious!
Achieved by combining the whipped egg whites of an angel food cake and the beaten egg yolks of sponge cake with canola oil, instead of butter, makes for a light and airy cake with incredible tenderness and rich flavor.
With an impressive height and a delicious flavor chiffon cakes are substantially less sweet and have a bit more heft to them than angel food cakes.
Although glamorous, with the right tools, and properly whipped egg whites, chiffon cakes are actually very easy to make. And this simple version with ripe banana has just the right amount of sweet banana flavor.
- Tube pan – In order for this cake to rise and bake correctly it is essential to use the right type of tube pan. A nice tall, straight-edged uncoated pan with removable bottom and tripod feet is best. This will allow the pan to hold cake upside down so it retains height while cooling. DO NOT use a nonstick cake pan because the batter can not cling to the pan while baking and it will result in a squatty, dense, collapsed cake. To make chiffon cake without a tube pan in a pinch you can also learn how to make your own DIY tube pan.
- Stand mixer or hand mixer – for easily beating egg whites.
- Ripe bananas – adds the right amount of moisture and a hint of banana flavor to this cake. Another perfect was to make use of ripe bananas and prevent food waste like Banana Bread, Strawberry Banana Muffins, Bananas Fosters Egg Rolls, Coconut Banana Pancakes.
- Eggs – whites and yolks separated. Separate whites and yolks immediately after taking them out of the refrigerator as they separate more easily when cold.
- Canola oil – in place of butter makes for a lighter cake with softer chew.
- Lemon – lemon juice is used to make this chiffon cake without cream of tartar. It is simply to help the egg whites come to stiff peaks. The remainder of lemon juice is used in the lemon glaze. Cream of tartar can be used in the egg whites and you can substitute cream, milk, or even mashed banana in place of lemon juice in the glaze.
- All purpose flour
- Granulated sugar
- Baking powder
- Dark rum – is used for it’s tropical bite and aroma. Vanilla extract can be substituted.
- Confectioners sugar
Step by step instructions
- Ensure egg whites are completely free of any yolk as even the tiniest drop can inhibit them from properly whipping. Then allow egg whites to come to room temperature for 30 minutes. Using clean, dry, non-plastic beaters and mixing bowl beat on low speed until foamy. Then, add 2 teaspoons lemon juice increase speed to medium high and beat egg whites to stiff peaks. When properly beat to stiff peaks egg whites will be smooth and glossy and stand straight up, which may take upwards of 3-5 minutes.
- In a large mixing bowl whisk flour, granulated sugar, baking powder and salt.
- In a smaller bowl mash banana then add egg yolks, oil, cool water and rum.
- Combine banana mixture with dry ingredients and whisk until light and smooth, at least 1 minute.
- Slowly pour banana mixture over the beaten egg whites and gently fold until just combined. Do not overmix.
- Pour into ungreased tube pan.
- Bake banana chiffon cake 55 minutes or until the top slightly springs back when you press it and a toothpick inserted in the top comes out clean.
- Invert pan onto legs and cool cake at least 45 minutes.
- Once cool reinvert pan and carefully run a knife around the edge of the pan just to release the banana chiffon cake, then turn over onto cake plate.
- Cut along base and remove it in the same way.
- Combine remaining lemon juice and zest with confectioner’s sugar and glaze cooled banana chiffon cake with lemon icing. Or make banana cake with cream cheese frosting.
- Cut with a long serrated knife for clean slices.
- Add more glaze if desired and serve.
How to decorate
Chiffon cakes are so versatile and can be decorated in many ways. To decorate chiffon cake top with edible flowers or serve with lemon glaze. Dollop with whipped cream and strawberries, like strawberry shortcake. Or frost with chocolate frosting, cream cheese frosting or even a fluffy whipped frosting.
How to store
Chiffon cake is best eaten fresh but will retain its fluffy texture for up to three days at room temperature and up to three months frozen.
To store chiffon cake to cool completely then wrap tightly with plastic wrap and store at room temperature.
Or slice and wrap individual slices tightly with plastic wrap and aluminum foil then freeze for up to three months, defrosting slices in the refrigerator overnight or at room temperature in about an hour. Alternately the whole cake can be baked, cooled and frozen but will require longer to defrost.
- 1 medium banana ripe
- 7 large eggs
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ cup canola oil
- 1 small lemon zested and juiced
- 1 teaspoon dark rum or vanilla extract
- ½ cup confectioner’s sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Immediately when the eggs are removed from the refrigerator, separate the whites and the yolks, placing the yolks into a medium bowl and the whites into your stand mixerbowl or another large bowl for beating. Let the whites sit on the counter until they come to room temperature, no longer than 30 minutes.
- Beat the room temperature egg whites on low speed until foamy. Then, add 2 teaspoons lemon juice and beat on medium or medium high until the whites are smooth and glossy and stand straight up ‘stiff peaks’. This may take upwards of 3-5 minutes, but be careful not to overmix.
- Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
- Add ripe banana to the egg yolks and mash. Mix in oil, ¾ cup cold water and dark rum.
- Pour banana mixture into the dry ingredients and whisk until light and smooth, at least 1 minute.
- Slowly pour banana mixture over the beaten egg whites and gently fold until just combined, being careful not to overmix.
- Pour into ungreased 10″ tube pan with removable bottom and legs. Bake 55 minutes or until the top slightly springs back when you press it and a toothpick inserted in the top comes out clean.
- Invert pan onto legs and cool at least 45 minutes before reinverting pan. Then, carefully run a knife around the edge of the pan just to release the cake and turn onto cake plate. Remove the top in the same way.
- Glaze with lemon icing (or substitite dark rum for the lemon juice for a spiced rum icing), slice with a long serrated knife and serve.
Lemon Glaze Icing
- Meanwhile make the lemon glaze icing. Whisk lemon zest, remaining 1 tablespoon lemon juice and ½ cup confectioner’s sugar until smooth.
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Oh, wow! I’ve never made a banana chiffon cake before. This looks so light… I bet it would be superb toasted with a scoop of gelato! 😉
ONE armed MAMA
Oh yes yummm!
I have never heard of a chiffon cake but it sound so fancy!! This looks sooo yummy especially with the ice cream!!! I love that it isn’t TOO sweet so you’re right about the possibilities for glazing, etc. I will def try this once I buy the correct tube pan!
ONE armed MAMA
It’s sooo good! I’ve been making this version for years but am dreaming up all sorts of other flavor combos.
I absolutely love the look and the sound of this banana cake – it looks amazingly airy, light and fluffy- I must try it. Thank you so much for sharing ??
ONE armed MAMA
Thanks Ramona!! It is soooo delish!
Hi, I am going to try this. One question: 3/4 c water is not listed as an ingredient, but is in the step by step instructions….is 3/4 c water used? Thanks
ONE armed MAMA
So glad you’re going to make it, Shirley! Yes, it requires 3/4 cup cold water.
Hey so I followed the recipe exactly and it looked so pretty baking but when I flipped it to cool it flopped what did I do wrong it taste good but is packs
ONE armed MAMA
Hi Jenny, I’m so sorry to hear that!! If I understand correctly, the cake fell out of the pan after you removed from the oven and flipped to cool? My first guess is the pan. What type did you use?
I made the cake as a sponge as i forgot to add the oil or salt. I also made it in a springform pan as that’s what I had. I should have taken a photo as it turned out very well. I thought you couldn’t taste the lemon so I was not sure if it was of value or not. We have our own lemon tree so still worthwhile. I also thought that if could have had more banana in it. the flavour was good, but next time I’ll try with more. I don’t put icing on any cakes and haven’t for for a good 40 years, as we try to keep our sugar levels down.
ONE armed MAMA
Yep, you’re totally correct the lemon is just in there as a substitute for cream of tartar so it has no effect on the flavor but for sure has an effect on the final cake. I’m happy to hear that it worked with all the changes you made.. did you get very much height in the springform? Was it a nonstick springform? The banana flavor will vary based on how ripe your bananas are and adding salt also helps to enhance the flavor. Thanks so much for sharing your experience, you have inspired me to attempt it in my springform so that I can share with readers how it turns out. 😊
Did you end up trying this in a springform pan? I’m curious to try this recipe as a birthday cake for my daughter.
It looks like KimF made it in a springform pan and it turned out beautifully 🙂 The most important thing is that you do not use nonstick because it will not rise correctly.
Wow. Just made this. Light, fluffy, with the perfect amount of banana flavor. I also put some lemon zest in it by accident as I didn’t read until after that the zest was for the glaze. Tasted wonderful as well!
Thank you for this amazing recipe! I will make this again for sure! I am going to freeze this to take to the cottage. Yum!
ONE armed MAMA
So glad you liked it! And I bet the extra bit of zest in the mix added just the right amount of zing. Thanks for sharing!!
Yes it was beautiful! Would make it that way again! Still put lemon zest in the glaze as well of course.
When I ask my husband if he wants some banana cake (as we froze it) he asks if I am referring to the fancy banana cake, meaning this one. He got tired of banana loaf, but this he could eat daily!
Thanks so much again!
I made this recipe yesterday and it cooked well.But then when cooled down it shrunk in size.I only put one banana and it had no taste of banana.Please tell me what I did wrong.
I’m so sorry to hear that! It sounds to me like you’re saying your cake rose correctly then shrunk down once cooled and it did not have enough banana flavor. Let’s start with the shrinking first… Did you use a tube pan to bake the chiffon cake? If a non stick pan or any other sort of cake pan is used the cake will not cling to the edges and rise correctly and will fall to a short squatty mess once cooled. If you used the correct tube pan, did you allow the cake to cool completely upside down prior to removing from pan? Using the little legs to rest the cake on (or placing over a bottle to cool upside down if your pan does not have legs) prevents the angel food like banana cake from falling flat. 2. It’s possible that your banana was not super ripe or was smaller than intended in the recipe. I will rework the recipe to provide better details about how much banana should be included in the batter. I hope this helps! Thanks for commenting:)
This turned out amazing! Do you have a recipe for the same thing but without banana? What would I need to add?
I’m so glad you liked it! There are many other popular classic chiffon cake recipes with flavors like lemon chiffon cake, orange chiffon cake, and even chocolate chiffon cake. I am currently working on a mango chiffon cake recipe, but it’s not quite ready to go live yet.