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Hi Bold Bakers!
I challenge you to find anything that is as simple and as delicious as homemade banana foster! Simple? Yes! Just because fancy restaurants set it on fire beside your table before serving doesn’t mean you can’t make it at home! No flambé needed!
Banana foster can be a humble (but still absolutely delicious) dessert. It is just hot, buttery caramelized bananas paired with cold, sweet vanilla ice cream. For an added touch of sophistication, and another dimension of warmth, add a splash of rum. (But only if this dessert is for adults! Make a kid-friendly version by leaving the rum out because the flavor is fairly prominent! Be sure to check my tips below to make the perfect alcohol-free version!)
This classic dessert comes from New Orleans—so it’s not surprising that it’s a little showy when you order it off a fancy menu! But with just a few ingredients, you can enjoy banana foster at home!
Oh, and this recipe is part of my Bold Baking Worldwide series, where I’m bringing you a new recipe from around the world every Monday morning in 2021! Don’t miss my last recipes, Irish Apple Crumble, Gooey Butter Cake, and Sourdough English Muffins.
What Is Banana Foster?
I think banana foster may be one of the most American desserts you can get! Back in the 1950s, if you were eating a banana, chances are you were eating a banana that made its way to you through New Orleans. The city was home to a huge port of entry for bananas from Central and South America. In 1951, a woman named Ella Brennan was told to make a dessert for the then-New Orleans Crime Commission, Richard Foster—on the spot, by the Brennan’s Restaurant owner, her brother Owen.
After allegedly swearing at him, she ran to the kitchen, where she remembered a breakfast her mother used to make, caramelized bananas. She also thought about Baked Alaksa and thought, why not set this on fire?!
The dessert itself is made with just butter, dark brown sugar, a little cinnamon, a couple of bananas, and some dark rum—topped with vanilla ice cream.
What You Need To Make Banana Foster
How Do You Make Banana Foster?
There’s no need to flambé! You can make banana foster at home and keep your eyebrows and any loose-fitting clothing intact! Here is how you make banana foster (and don’t miss the full recipe with measurements, further down the page):
- In a frying pan over medium heat, melt the butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Then add the halved, crosswise, bananas, cut side down.
- Once the bananas are brown and caramelized, flip them over to brown the other side.
- Turn off the heat and allow the pan to cool for a minute or two. You don’t want the pan to be too hot before adding the rum, or else it may flare up! Check out my tips below for safety tips.
- If you are using rum, slowly add it into the pan and turn on the heat. Let the rum simmer for a minute or two.
- Evenly divide the bananas and sauce into your serving bowls and top with vanilla ice cream.
Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips For Making Banana Foster
- Instead of rum, you can use orange juice. You can also replace the rum with 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract and 3 tablespoons of water.
- If you are using rum, be sure that your pan isn’t too hot before pouring it in, or it could burst into flames! (Trust me, this happened to us while testing this recipe!) Keep your face away from the pan as you pour in the liquor and keep a pot lid handy—you can easily extinguish the flames by putting the lid on the pan.
- If you want to make banana foster for a crowd, double the recipe and bake them in the oven. Preheat your oven to 400°F (205°C). Melt the butter and stir with the brown sugar, bananas, and rum (if using), and pour it into a 9×13-inch (23x33cm) pan. Cover with foil and bake until the bananas are tender and caramelized.
- Make banana foster ice cream! Dice the cooked bananas and stir into my vanilla ice cream base just before freezing! Serve with a drizzle of homemade chocolate syrup or salted caramel sauce and a dollop of whipped cream!
- This recipe works best with ripe bananas that are still a bit firm; if they are still a little firm, they retain their shape after being cooked.
- Use dark or spiced rum for the most flavor!
How Do I Store Banana Foster?
Banana foster is best served right away! You could make the banana foster ahead and keep it in the refrigerator and then reheat it (without the ice cream), but the texture isn’t quite the same. The cook time is very short, so it isn’t hard to make when you want a banana foster fix!
Get More Recipes!
- My Signature Caramel Sauce
- Spiced Rum Caramel Sauce
- Homemade Twix Bars
- Homemade Granola Bars
- Clotted Cream Caramels
Don’t forget to buy a copy of the Bigger Bolder Baking Cookbook so you can get my Irish Shortbread Recipe!
Easy Bananas Foster Recipe
- 2 tablespoons (1oz/30g) butter
- 4 teaspoons dark brown sugar
- 1 pinch cinnamon,
- 2 bananas (peeled, halved crosswise and lengthwise)
- ¼ cup (2floz/57ml) dark rum
- Melt the butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a frying pan over medium heat and then add the bananas, cut side down.
- When the bananas are brown and caramelized, flip them over and brown the other side.
- Turn off the heat and let the pan cool for a minute or two.
- Slowly add the rum. Return to the heat and let the rum simmer for a minute or two, then evenly divide the bananas and sauce into your serving bowls.
- Serve straight away topped with scoops of vanilla ice cream.