Kue Pisang Nagasari

This is my recipe for Indonesian gluten-free banana cake also known as kue nagasari or nogosari. This gluten-free snack or dessert made with rice, cassava flour and coconut milk. This snack is also called kue bandang-bandang by Buginese people (South Sulawesi).

Watch recipe in this video or read on.

My nagasari recipe is based on my uncle Ferry’s kue pisang 😉 recipe. I found his kue recipe going through my old recipe scrapbook. I remember the first time I tasted his nagasari at his home in Wormerveer. I adapted his recipe a bit (he used to make his kue pisang with kids rice flour porridge). We cannot buy the exact same porridge anymore, so I replaced it with plain rice flour). This is the result: My Pisang Susu’s kue nagasari!

Nogosari Ingredients

Pisang Susu’s kue nagasari (for 10 cakes) made in 30 minutes – (cooling excluded)


  • 1 banana
  • 50 grams of rice flour
  • 10 grams of tapioca flour (cassava)
  • 250 ml of coconut milk
  • 100 ml of water
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • 1/2 sachet of vanilla sugar (or 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract)
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • aluminum foil paper or banana leaves
  1. Cut banana leaves into rectangles of the same size.
  2. Cut the banana into 12 pieces
  3. Pour every single sheet with hot water.
  4. Add a few tablespoons of coconut milk onto the tapioca flour and stir it into a thin mix.
  5. Heat (but don’t let it boil) the coconut milk together with a pandan leaf.
  6. Add coconut flour, water, sugar, vanilla sugar, and salt to a saucepan and warm up over low heat.
  7. Add the coconut milk in batches and stir until the mixture thickens.
  8. Take the pan off the heat and stir in the previously made tapioca mix. When the batter slides off the spoon very slowly, it has the right consistency.
  9. Place on the counter with lit on.
  10. Place a tablespoon of batter in the middle of a banana leaf, add two pieces of banana and another tablespoon of batter on top and fold close.
  11. Place the kue pisang in a bamboo steam basket or colander over boiling hot water and steam for 15 minutes.
  12. Let cool on the counter and if you want to keep them for later, in the refrigerator.
tapioca flour

First I prepare the banana leaves. I cut them into rectangles and pour over hot water to let the oil in the leaves come out and make them shiny and clean.

For the batter, I start with the tapioca (cassava) flour. First I pour a few tablespoons of coconut milk with the cassava flour. If you cannot get tapioca flour, use cornstarch instead.

Tapioca flour mix with coconut milk

I stir it well until it is smooth. That works fast with this kind of flour.

Rice flour with sugar

Then I place a pan on low heat and add the rice flour, water, sugar, vanilla sugar and salt to it.

Adding coconut milk

I pour in small amounts of coconut milk now while stirring intensely. I keep doing this until all the lumps are gone and I have finished all the coconut milk.

Rice flour lumps stir away

At this point you might think: ‘this will never work!’ But it will, be patient and have faith 😉

Reducing batter for kue nagasari

Keep stirring and while it gets thicker the lumps will go away and you can add more coconut milk.

Thick batter for kue pisang

It is ready when the batter is smooth, shiny and quite firm. It does not slide off the spoon.

Tapioca adding to rice flour

Now the pan must be taken off the heat immediately and the tapioca-flour-coconut-milk-mix can be stirred in. Now it has the right consistency to mold into cakes.

filling up banana leaf with rice flour batter

I make Pisang Susu’s kue nagasari in banana leaves and with aluminum foil.  I buy frozen banana leaves at an Asian store.

Banana leaf gives the cake a more intense and even slightly earthy flavor. If you like the pureness of this kue, use tinfoil.

Banana leaf batter and banana

I smear a spoon of batter on my banana leaf and push two pieces of banana (2 cm thick) into the batter. Keep the lid on the pan while making your kue, otherwise, the batter will dry out.

In the case of aluminum foil, I do the same. I make sure the bananas are covered well.

Making kue pisang with tin foil

I push the kue while it is in the tinfoil. Now it fits neatly.

Folding tin foil kue pisang

Now I close the sides. I try to make everything about the same size. That looks pretty 😉

Closing sides tinfoil parcels

I steam the kue pisang in a bamboo basket, but you can use a colander on a pan too.

steaming kue pisang tin foil in bamboo basket

Meanwhile, I warm up my wok and make sure the water boils. I steam them for 15 minutes.

wadjang with bamboo steam basket

If they are done, they are too soft to eat. Now you have to control yourself and do not open them 😉 yet. I leave my kue pisang nagasari to cool on the counter and later on in the refrigerator.

The kue pisang nagasari are creamy and tender and slightly sweet. You can easily make the kue pisang a day before and keep them in the fridge before serving.

Want to see more sweet snacks on  this blog. Follow this link.

I tie this square batik cloth over the steam basket (when everything is cooled down). This is a Japanese way to carry around stuff. It is called furoshiki. I pack a lot of stuff this way, to go on picnics or wrap presents.

Furoshiki bamboo baskets

Check out my Furoshiki board on Pinterest. I also make my own furoshiki from batik sarongs ;-).

Beb Vuyk, best known for her Groot Indonesisch Kookboek (Great Indonesian Cook Book), was much more than a great cook. She belongs to the most important Dutch-Indonesian (Indo) writers and journalists of her time. Check this out.

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