Banana Chiffon Cake (AKA Banana Igloo Cake)


It’s been a long, hot summer here in the Pacific Northwest. Even the most steadfastly devoted sun lovers I know here are admitting they are sick of summer and can’t wait for fall. Summer is prime cake making time for me normally. First of all, there’s cake week which happens every year the week of my birthday (second annual this year). But also there are several July birthdays in my area, the last of which is Sarah’s on July 31st.

My coworkers have been dropping heavy hints of the flavor cake they want for their birthday – which is great for me because it takes away any creativity I might feel that I have to draw from. For Sarah’s birthday, I attempted to make a banana chiffon cake, similar to the one she usually gets from the Beaverton Bakery every year.


Unfortunately for me, Sarah’s birthday came right at the beginning of a no sugar, dairy (etc.) diet. So I wasn’t able to try this cake. Not even when I was assembling it. I asked Coleen to come over during the assembly so she could test the sweetness of the whipped cream. It’s a good thing she was there. I added the recommended amount and she made me dump a whole bunch more in!

Sadly right after I added the last layer to the cake (the fifth layer – it was supposed to be six layers but I lost one) as I was walking away to get the whipped cream bowl, the cake deconstructed right before my eyes. The bottom two layers split in half and pushed outward. It was a disaster. Had I been making a normal cake with a normal frosting (no bitterness here), I would have been able to reconstruct the cake. But the damned whipping cream (which tastes so good!) is not structured like normal frosting, obviously. It’s way to slippery and light.

Instead, Coleen suggested that I make an igloo shaped cake with the whipping cream, which I did. Though I thought it looked ridiculously stupid, everyone else thought I had shaped it that way on purpose (until we cut into it and they saw the massacred innards). Though I didn’t taste the cake, I had several people tell me it was the best cake I’d made recently. Which you know means I’ll need to make it again when I’m eating sugar.


cake ingredients.

  • 4 c. cake flour
  • 2 c. granulated sugar
  • 4 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tsp. soda
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 c. oil
  • 2 c. mashed ripe bananas (about 2)
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla
  • 2/3 c. sour cream
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 6 egg whites
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 2 tsp. cream of tartar

cake directions.

  1. Put all the wet ingredients in a large bowl with the sugar and beat until smooth. Mix together the remaining dry ingredients in a separate medium bowl. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet mix and stir until incorporated.
  2. Beat the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer using the whisk attachment. Add the sugar and cream of tartar, continue beating until soft peaks form. Fold this mixture into your cake batter. Do not stir so hard that you whip all the air out of the egg white or it will no longer be a chiffon cake.
  3. Pour this mixture into 3 prepared 9-inch greased and floured pans.
  4. Bake at 350 for about 40 or 50 minutes. Remove from oven. Allow cake to cool in the pan for only five minutes before removing from the pans; cool layers on cooling racks. Cool completely and either split and fill or freeze for another day.

frosting ingredients and assembly.

  • 6 c. whipped cream
  • 1  to  1 1/2 c. powdered sugar (to taste)
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla
  • 2 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 6 medium fresh bananas sliced
  1. In a chilled metal bowl using a chilled whisk, whip cream, adding the sugar, vanilla and cream of tartar.
  2. Layer the cake as such: cake layer, whipping cream, sliced bananas and repeat. This cake should be served nearly immediately. I made it at night and served it the next morning and it was fine. I don’t know that it would last much longer than 24 hours; however, homemade whipped cream lasts for a few days in my fridge, so maybe the assembled cake would too.
  3. IMG_4588

Recipe rating: 


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