Bananas Foster

Fresh bananas are simmered in an indulgent cinnamon sauce, then covered with rum, ignited with gentle flames and served over a scoop of vanilla ice cream. This easy recipe will help you make flawless Bananas Foster every time!

Extra bananas foster sauce being drizzled over a dessert bowl filled with bananas foster and vanilla ice cream

A Classic Banana Dessert Done Right

I’m a massive fan of all things banana and cinnamon. So naturally, bananas foster is one of my favorite treats. The soft, sweet cinnamon bananas warm on top of the creamy vanilla ice cream—it’s pure and utter heaven!

I’m also very fond of adding rum to my desserts, which is certainly no exception here. It adds a touch of spice that ties everything together, and it really lends itself well to the other flavors in this dish. Plus, setting it aflame is always so much fun! When it comes to quick and easy homemade desserts, this bananas foster is a showstopper.

What is Bananas Foster?

Bananas foster is a classic dessert made of sliced bananas that have been cooked in a buttery cinnamon sugar sauce. It’s usually served over a scoop of vanilla ice cream. The warm, soft bananas and the cold, creamy ice cream go together like a dream come true!

What is the Difference Between Bananas Foster and Bananas Flambé?

Once your bananas have finished cooking in the cinnamon sauce, you’ve made bananas foster. Bananas flambé is when cooked bananas are covered in rum and lit on fire. So you can think of this particular dessert as bananas foster flambé! Best of both worlds, am I right?

A bowl full of bananas foster and ice cream on top of a marble counter with cinnamon sticks and more bananas beside it

Recipe Ingredients

You only need a few ingredients to prepare this classic treat. Round up the following items.

  • Salted Butter: Or unsalted butter with an added pinch of table salt.
  • Brown Sugar: Either light or dark brown sugar will work – just remember to pack it into the measuring cup.
  • Ground Cinnamon
  • Heavy Cream: This adds just a touch of creaminess to the sauce.
  • Bananas: They should be ripe but not overripe. Cut them in half lengthwise, then halve them again crosswise.
  • Dark Rum: You could also use additional cream or water if you don’t want to use alcohol. To get the rum flavor without adding any alcohol, simply use 3 teaspoons of rum extract plus 6 teaspoons of water or juice. If you’d like to do the flambé, you’ll need to stick with the rum (or opt for bourbon instead).
  • Vanilla Ice Cream: For serving.

How to Make Bananas Foster

Even though bananas foster is fancy and luxurious, it’s remarkably easy to make! Yet another reason why I’m such a big fan of it.

Make Sauce: Add the butter, brown sugar, cinnamon and cream to a large skillet or saucepan over medium heat.

Brown sugar inside of a metal saucepan with seven squares of salted butter

Cook Gently: Allow the butter to melt and continue to whisk while cooking until the sugar has melted and the sauce is smooth, about 3-5 minutes. Do not raise the heat above medium.

Add Bananas: Add in the bananas and allow them to cook for 2-3 minutes, or until they’re lightly softened.

Add Rum & Ignite: Remove your pan from the heat and pour the rum over the bananas and the sauce. Use a long lighter to ignite the rum. Gently shake or swirl the sauce around until the flames burn out, about 30 seconds. The flames will burn blue and can sometimes be very subtle.

Enjoy! Spoon the warm bananas and the sauce overtop the ice cream and serve right away.

Bananas foster inside of a bowl with a small scoop of vanilla bean ice cream on top

Can I Prep This in Advance?

If you’d like to get started on this recipe ahead of time, you can go ahead and make the sauce up to 2 days before moving on with your bananas foster. Keep it refrigerated in an airtight container and warm it up in your skillet before adding the bananas.

Tips for Success

Don’t forget to check out these handy tips and tricks before you hit the kitchen. Happy cooking!

  • Keep the Heat at Medium: It’s super important to keep your stovetop set to medium heat (or lower if necessary). Any higher and the sauce will heat up too quickly before the sugar gets a chance to melt, which can cause a grainy sauce.
  • Take Precautions While Flambéing: Always take the necessary precautions when you’re working directly with fire. These include using a long lighter, swirling the sauce around until the flames burn out, and keeping the lid of the pan, as well as a fire extinguisher, beside you in case you need to put out the flame.
  • Serve Immediately: For the best results, spoon your bananas foster over the ice cream as soon as the flame has burnt out and serve it immediately.
Bananas foster in a speckled bowl over a melty scoop of ice cream

Serving Suggestions

If you’re not crazy about ice cream, I really can’t relate. But in all seriousness, there are plenty of other ways you can serve your bananas flambe! Try rolling it into a crepe, spooning it over French toast, dressing it up with a dollop of homemade whipped cream or simply topping it with chopped walnuts or pecans.

Storage and Reheating

Even though bananas foster is best served fresh, it can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 days after it’s made. Keep it in an airtight container and pop individual servings into the microwave for 25-30 seconds at a time before digging in. I don’t recommend storing this dish in the freezer.

Read Transcript

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A close-up shot of cooked bananas inside of a bowl with homemade cinnamon sauce
Recipe

Bananas Foster

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Stove
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Fresh bananas are simmered in an indulgent cinnamon cream sauce, then covered with rum, ignited with gentle flames and served over a scoop of vanilla ice cream. This easy recipe will help you make flawless Bananas Foster every time!


Ingredients

  • 6 tbsp salted butter
  • 3/4 cup (168g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp heavy cream
  • 3 bananas, halved lengthwise, then halved crosswise
  • 3 tbsp dark rum
  • Vanilla ice cream, for serving

Instructions

  1. Add the butter, brown sugar, cinnamon and cream to a large skillet or saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Allow the butter to melt and continue to whisk while cooking until the sugar has melted and the sauce is smooth (about 3 to 5 minutes). You don’t want to cook on too high heat or it will heat too quickly before the sugar fully melts.
  3. Add the bananas and allow to cook 2-3 minutes, to lightly soften the bananas.
  4. Remove the pan from heat and pour the rum over the bananas and sauce. Using a long lighter, ignite the rum. Gently shake or swirl the sauce around until the flames burn out, about 30 seconds. The flames will burn blue and can sometimes be very subtle.
  5. Spoon warm bananas and sauce over ice cream and serve immediately.

Notes

  • Can replace rum with heavy cream, or 1 tbsp rum = 1 tsp rum extract plus 2 tsp water or juice (orange/pineapple/apple)
  • To Store & Reheat: Even though bananas foster is best served fresh, it can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 days. Keep it in an airtight container and pop individual servings into the microwave for 25-30 seconds at a time before digging in.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 531
  • Sugar: 57.9 g
  • Sodium: 171.1 mg
  • Fat: 26.9 g
  • Carbohydrates: 68.5 g
  • Protein: 3.1 g
  • Cholesterol: 97.1 mg

Keywords: bananas cooked, dessert with bananas, easy dessert few ingredients

More Bananas Foster Recipes

Want more tasty ways to enjoy bananas foster? I’m way ahead of you!

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Lindsay
About Lindsay

I'm a wife and mom to twin boys, a baby girl and a sweet black lab with a serious sweets addiction! Bring on the sugar!

Scripture I’m Loving

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12