Sticky Rice and Banana Cakes (Banh Tet Chuoi) - Lunar New Year's Essential Sweet Treat! | recipe from

Sticky Rice and Banana Cakes (Banh Tet Chuoi)

Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: Asian, Vietnamese
Prep Time: 2 hours 45 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 35 minutes
Servings: 8 cakes
Calories: 358 kcal
Author: Trang

This Sticky Rice and Banana Cakes (Banh Tet Chuoi) recipe makes a wonderful sweet treat for Lunar New Year / Tet. Sweet ripened bananas are encased in a layer of sticky rice and black beans and then wrapped in banana leaves. The results are a deliciously, glutinous sweet cake with an intriguing pop of color and heavenly aroma. Something magical happens to the bananas during the cooking process and they turn a beautiful shade of pinkish red. If you're not prepared for it, the rosy color may surprise you but that's the intended result and a mark of success. I hope you give this fun recipe a try. It's a quintessential recipe for enjoying Lunar New Year and a treat your family and friends will love!



Other Materials

  • ruler
  • 12 inch string , used as a temporary tie
  • 8 (5 feet) lengths of cooking string or twine
  • aluminum foil
  • plastic wrap


Preparing the Ingredients

  1. Wash the glutinous rice by gently swirling in cold water. Drain the rinse water. Repeat this washing process 1-2 more times or until the rinse water is mostly clear. Fill the basin with warm water and let the rice soak for 2 hours.
  2. Cut off the ends of the bananas. Add the rum into a large dish. Peel the bananas and place into a large dish. Rotate the bananas, coating with the rum. Sprinkle the bananas with 1/2 Tbsp sugar. Flip the bananas over. Sprinkle with another 1/2 Tbsp sugar. Cover the dish and let marinate for 2 hours.

  3. Cut the banana leaves into sheets measuring 8 inches by 8 inches. Make a total of 16 sheets.
  4. Transfer the canned black beans into a medium colander. Rinse with cold water to wash off the canning liquid. Toss the beans in the colander a few times to drain the water.
  5. Rinse the soaked glutinous rice with water one more time. Drain in a medium colander. Toss the rice in the colander to remove the excess water.
  6. In a large wok, add the glutinous rice, coconut milk, remaining 1 Tbsp sugar and salt. Combining together, cook over Medium heat for 5 minutes. (The rice should start to stick together.) Turn off the heat and add the black beans. Gently combine together. Transfer the rice and beans mixture into a medium bowl. Cover with plastic wrap to keep warm.

Making the Cakes

  1. Place the 12 inch string down on the work surface, positioned vertically. Place the first banana leaf on the work surface (on top of the string) with the shiny side down and veins running horizontally. Place the second banana leaf on top with the shiny side up and veins running vertically.
  2. Transfer 2/3 cup rice and beans onto the center of the banana leaves. Spread out the mixture making a rectangle about 4 inches wide by 5 inches tall.
  3. Place a banana on top centering with the rectangle.
  4. Bring the banana leaves up and together, encasing the banana with the rice mixture. Use the banana leaves to press the rice together, making a roll.
  5. Fold the excess leaves down toward the roll.
  6. Tie the roll with the string making a temporary knot.
  7. Fold the leaves over on the one end and then stand the cake up. Cut off the excess leaves. Using a small spoon, pat down the rice. Fold down the leaves covering the end.
  8. Flip the cake onto the other end. Repeat the same steps with this end.
  9. Tie the cake with a 5 feet length of string. (Please see the video for this part.)
  10. Gently roll and shape the cake into a log.
  11. Repeat the same steps until all 8 cakes are made.
  12. Wrap each cake with aluminum foil.

Cooking the Cakes

  1. Place the cakes horizontally into the inner pot of a 5 quart pressure cooker. Fill the pot with 10 cups warm water or enough to cover the cakes. Set the cooker to High pressure with a cook time of 45 minutes. (For the Cuckoo ICOOK Q5 Multi Cooker, use the "Meat" mode with the cook time set to 45 minutes.) Start the pressure cooker.
  2. After the pressure cook time is completed, let the cakes remain in the cooker for another 45 minutes in the "Keep Warm" mode before opening the lid.

  3. Using tongs, transfer the cakes into a medium colander. Remove the foil from each of the cakes. Rinse the cakes with cold water. Pat the cakes dry with a kitchen towel. Wrap each cake in plastic wrap.
  4. Allow to cool for at least 2 hours.

Serving and Storing the Cakes

  1. To Serve: Cut off the string. Unwrap the cake by removing the banana leaves and discarding. Cut the cake into slices using a sharp knife or with cooking twine.

  2. Optionally, leave the banana leaves on the cake and cut the cake into slices. Before eating, remove the banana leaves from each slice.
  3. Enjoy the Sticky Rice and Banana Cakes as a snack or dessert with a cup of hot tea or coffee.

  4. Store the Sticky Rice and Banana Cakes at room temperature for up to 2 days. Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks. Freeze for up to 6 months.

Notes, Tips & Tricks

Nutrition Facts
Sticky Rice and Banana Cakes (Banh Tet Chuoi)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 358 Calories from Fat 18
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 2g 3%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Sodium 100mg 4%
Potassium 504mg 14%
Total Carbohydrates 78g 26%
Dietary Fiber 5g 20%
Sugars 17g
Protein 5g 10%
Vitamin A 1.5%
Vitamin C 12.6%
Calcium 1.6%
Iron 9.2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.