Around the World in 12 Dishes: Thailand-- Banana Cake

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This month Around the World in 12 Dishes is stopping in Thailand!! We have had some fun with Thailand. A few weeks ago we shared a wonderful version of Cinderella from Thailand. Today we will share more stories, resources and food!! For a brief introduction to the country of Thailand, visit our Cinderella post.

Around the World in 12 Dishes is brought to you by the following blogs. Each month each of us picks a recipe from the selected country to make with your child(ren) and share it on our blogs. You can see the line-up here.
Adventures In Mommydom, Afterschool for Smarty Pants, All Done Monkey, Babes in Deutschland, Crafty Moms Share, Maroc Mama, Creative World of Varya, Glittering Muffins, Here Come The Girls, Kid World Citizen, Mermaids' Makings, The Educators' Spin On It and The Mommy Talks.

Hazel and I found many books with recipes from Thailand at the library as well as some multicultural books about food and schools. We looked through them and decided on a recipe for banana cake or kanom gluay. We found this recipe in The Cooking of Thailand by Matthew Locricchio. I adapted it to be gluten free. I also made a Thai dinner, but Hazel did not help with that food since she was tired from school, so we will only be sharing the recipe for the cake.

Banana Cake or Kanom Gluay Recipe adapted from The Cooking of Thailand by Matthew Locricchio. Now the fact that it had rice in it intrigued me and I found some jasmine rice from Thailand to use!

2 1/4 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
1 1/4 cups cold water
5 ripe bananas
1/4 cup cold cooked white jasmine or basmati rice
3/4 cup canned unsweetened coconut cream (take thick top layer off when open can without shaking or stirring)
3 eggs
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 cup all purpose gluten free flour
1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
 1/2 cup canned coconut milk
2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar

The first step is to soak the shredded coconut in the cold water for 10 minutes. Then drain in it in a strainer and push the back of a spoon to get more water out. Then set aside 1/4 cup of it to use on the top of the cake.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Peel and slice the bananas and then add them to a large bowl with the coconut, rice and coconut cream. Using a potato masher, mash these together until well mixed. Set aside.

Break eggs and add sugar to the eggs. Beat with an electric mixer for two minutes.

In separate bowl mix flour and xanthan gum.

Add about 1/3 of the egg mixture to the banana mixture along with 1/3 of the flour mixture. Use electric mixer to mix together. Then add another 1/3 of each and mix. Then put final 1/3 of each in and mix.

Turn mixer off and add coconut milk. Use a rubber spatula to blend it into the batter.

The recipe called for a 10-inch cake pan to be lightly greased and floured. I found it filled 2 9-inch round pans. I used a baking spray instead of butter and flour. Once pan is prepared pour batter into it. Put in oven and bake for 60 to 65 minutes. The cake should be lightly brown and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool the cakes on a wire rack for 15 minutes and then turn out onto the racks. Sprinkle with the coconut you set aside and the confectioners' sugar. Let cool to room temperature before eating!!

All three of us liked the banana cake! Hazel and I tried it warm and found it was too hot and one of them fell apart coming out of the pan too early. I added time to the cooling here to help with this problem. It tasted much better after it was cool.
After making the cake, I made some chicken satay with a peanut sauce and stir fired vegetables (recipe from Sue Townsend's Thailand book). The satay recipe I combined several different ones that I found in the books above. Steve really liked the chicken, Hazel did not like it and I thought it was all right. Being the only one to have tasted satay before, I didn't like it in comparison to what I have had at a Thai restaurant. However we all liked the stir fried vegetables even though it did not really have a sauce on it. The lemon grass and ginger in it was  delicious. Now I went to four grocery stores to find lemon grass, but finally did. We also had sticky rice from Thai with our meal. I also found Thai fortune cookies, which we all liked as well.

We also explored some great books. One of our favorites was Peek!: a Thai Hide-and-Seek by Minfong Ho. It is a simple story of a father looking for his daughter who is playing hide-and-seek and he keeps finding the various animals of Thailand instead. The Life of Rice and The Story of Silk by Richard Sobol are two amazing books. Richard Sobol is a photographer. He traveled in Thailand for work and discovered the importance of rice to the people there. He went and told the rice farmers story. When he was back during non-rice farming season, he asked what the people in the village were doing and discovered the silk making. These books are about the life of average people in Thailand's small villages and country.

That is what we have explored in Thailand. Now it is your turn. Have you tried cooking a Thai recipe and want to share it here. I hope you will!! And in case you missed it, here are the pages for Thailand passport and placemat!


  1. This cake sounds so interesting! I love seeing and reading about the many different books you find for each culture.

  2. This cake sounds so interesting! I love seeing and reading about the many different books you find for each culture.

  3. Hi, I don't know if you will see this comment anytime soon, but I was wondering if you could tell me what the original recipe was for the banana cake?

    1. Change: 1 cup all purpose gluten free flour
      1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
      to 1 cup all purpose flour. I don't have the book anymore since it was a library book but that is the basic substitution to make a recipe gluten free.


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