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Warm, soft bananas covered in a buttery, cinnamon rum sauce and served with vanilla ice cream. What could be better than that? Bananas foster is a classic dessert that’s ready in 15 minutes and sure to impress.
Classic Bananas Foster
Bananas foster is a gem from New Orleans. If you haven’t tried it, you’re in for an absolute treat! It starts with ripe bananas that are sautéed in butter, brown sugar, and a touch of cinnamon. If that didn’t convince you, the mixture is then flambéed with dark rum, creating a flavor that is too good to resist. Traditionally, you serve bananas foster with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. It’s the perfect mixture of hot and cold. (Think peach cobbler-level warm, gooey goodness.) Since it’s been around since the 1950s, you know it’s got to be good!
The melted ice cream and nutty, caramelized flavor makes this dessert a winner. Not to mention the bananas are perfectly soft and tender! It’s comfort food at its finest. Good thing it only takes 15 minutes to make because you’re going to want this ALL the time. The whole family will love this New Orleans treat! Looking for more amazing banana recipes? I’ve got you covered! Check out my full list here.
This bananas foster recipe is made with simple (and delicious!) ingredients. You only need a few spices, some ripe bananas, butter, and a splash of rum to make it come to life. If you’re looking for measurements, they can all be found in the recipe card below.
- Bananas: Bananas are the MVP here! They get nice and caramelized with a soft, tender center.
- Butter: Everything is better with butter! This gets melted down to create the perfect flavorful sauce.
- Brown Sugar: Adds a smoky sweetness, deep coloring, and makes the glaze thicker.
- Rum: Adds a unique, subtly sweet, boozy flavor to the bananas foster. Feel free to swap this out for brandy, but keep in mind it will alter the overall flavor slightly.
- Vanilla: Gives the caramelized sauce deeper flavor.
- Cardamom: Adds a slight pop of flavor.
- Cinnamon: Like cardamom, cinnamon is another spice that gives this dish a warm, slightly sweet, slightly spicy flavor.
- Coarsely Chopped Walnuts: These get added in for a little texture and nutty flavor. You can also use pecans.
- Vanilla Ice Cream: Add a scoop on top! This melts right in to the bananas foster sauce and it’s absolutely dreamy.
How Do I Make a Banana Foster Without Rum?
Rum gives bananas foster its classic deep, toasted flavor, but if you don’t have any on hand, you can swap it out for whiskey, brandy, or even just some vanilla extract.
Quick and Easy Bananas Foster
Making bananas foster at home is super easy. Simply melt the butter in a pan and add the brown sugar, rum and spices. Then add the bananas and cook them until they are caramelized. 15 minutes is all it takes to make this heavenly dessert!
- Slice Bananas, Chop Walnuts: Prepare your bananas by peeling and then slicing them. I cut mine in half then slice them lengthwise. Also coarsely chop your walnuts and set both aside.
- Prepare Sauce: In a large skillet, over medium heat, melt your butter. Then add in your brown sugar, rum, vanilla, cardamom, and cinnamon and whisk to combine. Then bring the mixture to a low boil.
- Add Remaining Ingredients: Add in your prepared bananas and walnuts, then cook until the bananas are tender and begin to caramelize, about 2 minutes.
- Enjoy: Serve fresh over vanilla ice cream.
Tips and Tricks
Bananas foster is super simple to make, but here are a few extra tips to make yours turn out as amazing as possible! This classic dessert is sure to become a new family favorite.
- Don’t Overcook the Bananas: Don’t overcook your bananas, it really only takes 2 minutes, 3 maximum. Keep your sauce barely above a simmer, you don’t want it to burn.
- Rum Replacements: If you don’t want to use rum you can simply replace it with orange juice, apple juice, or water. Maple syrup is also a great substitute! It adds an extra sweet, smoky flavor to your bananas foster.
- Serve With: I love serving my bananas foster with vanilla ice cream, but you can also serve it with frozen yogurt or custard. Psst- bananas foster also doubles as a great topping for pancakes, waffles, and French toast! You can’t go wrong with caramel, nuts, and bananas.
I recommend enjoying these fresh, they won’t keep well. But if you are wanting to save leftovers, place them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. For that freshly-cooked effect, reheat your banana mixture over the stove on medium-low heat and serve it à la mode!
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- 3 bananas
- 5 tablespoons butter
- ⅔ cup brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons rum
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- ½ teaspoon cardamom
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ⅓ cup coarsely chopped walnuts
- Vanilla ice cream for serving
- Prepare your bananas by peeling and slicing them, I cut mine in half then slice them lengthwise. Coarsely chop your walnuts and set both aside.
- In a large skillet, over medium heat, melt your butter. Add in your brown sugar, rum, vanilla, cardamom, and cinnamon and whisk to combine. Bring the mixture to a low boil.
- Add in your prepared bananas and walnuts, cook until the bananas are tender and begin to caramelize, about 2 minutes.
- Serve fresh over vanilla ice cream.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.