Bananas Foster is the ultimate quick and easy dessert recipe for the 21+ crowd. Learn how to make Bananas Foster a la mode in just 10 minutes.

Bananas foster in a black skillet with a serving spoon resting in it.

Don’t reserve Bananas Foster for restaurant visits alone. You can whip up a batch of homemade Bananas Foster in just 10 minutes!

So what is foster, exactly? In the mid-20th century, New Orleans was the major port where bananas entered the U.S. from Central and South America. Since the imported fruit was in such strong supply, Owen Brennan, the owner of Brennan’s Restaurant, tapped his chef, Paul Blange, to create a banana-focused dessert.

His creation: This showy, fiery, and sweet treat that calls for sautéing bananas with butter, sugar, and cinnamon. Next comes a splash of rum; the fuel for the flame that makes this easy dessert a spectacle and results in a ever-so-slightly-smoky and rum-tinged flavor.

Today, Brennan’s still torches 35,000 pounds of bananas for their signature dessert, and with my quick and easy Bananas Foster recipe ahead, you can savor a similar experience and home.

Table of Contents
  1. Recipe ingredients
  2. Ingredient notes
  3. Step-by-step instructions
  4. Recipe tips and variations
  5. Recipe FAQs
  6. Bananas Foster Recipe

Recipe ingredients

Labeled ingredients for bananas foster.

At a Glance: Here is a quick snapshot of what ingredients are in this recipe.
Please see the recipe card below for specific quantities.

Ingredient notes

  • Bananas: Perfectly ripe and yellow or beginning to brown, ideally. (See below for tips about how to ripen your bunch.)
  • Banana liqueur: Look for this in the liquor store or online under this name or crème de banane. Again, skip it if you’d like this to be spiritless.
  • Dark rum: Also known as black rum, brands such as Bacardi, Gosling’s, and Plantation are widely available. Simply omit for an alcohol-free option.
  • Vanilla ice cream: Or whipped cream, Greek yogurt, or another flavor of ice cream you prefer (like coconut)!

Step-by-step instructions

  1. Brush bananas with lemon juice. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add butter and brown sugar, and stir until butter is melted.
Bananas sliced lengthwise on a plate next to lemon halves.
  1. Add bananas and saute until bananas are tender, about 5 to 8 minutes. Sprinkle cinnamon over bananas and remove the pan from heat.
Cooked bananas sliced lengthwise in a skillet.
  1. Off the heat, add banana liquor (if using) and rum. Carefully ignite the pan using a long match. With a long-handled spoon, baste the bananas with the warm sauce until the flame burns out.
Cooked bananas sliced lengthwise in a skillet.
  1. To serve, in each of four bowls add ½ cup of vanilla ice cream. Add one banana half and top with sauce. Serve immediately.
Bananas foster in a black skillet with a serving spoon resting in it.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: This recipe makes four half-banana servings. Double the ingredients for a splurge-worthy size.
  • Make ahead: The bananas can be cooked in advance and refrigerated, but the bananas will lose some of their fork-tender texture. We recommend making the bananas foster just before serving. 
  • Summer foster: When they’re in season, try peach or nectarine slices instead of the bananas.
  • Dress it up: Beyond serving a la mode, try this Bananas Foster as a topping for French toast, waffles, pancakes, or pound cake. Or double the fun and pile a scoop atop a slice of warm banana bread.
Bananas foster on white plate with a spoon resting next to it.

Recipe FAQs

How can I ripen green bananas?

If you have time to spare, you can ripen bananas in a warm spot in your kitchen. A paper bag can speed up the process. (While I very spotty or fully brown bananas for banana bread, similar to those you’ll see in my roasted banana-ripening guide, you’ll want this fruit to still be firm enough to slice. So with that in mind, stick to those first two methods and feel free to proceed with this Bananas Foster recipe when you begin to notice brown spots.)

How to Ripen Bananas

When you cannot wait for banana bars, but all of your bananas are underripe, what’s a baker to do? Here’s how to ripen bananas for pancakes, muffins, and more.

15 minutes
View Recipe

Put your extra bananas to work

Bananas foster in a black skillet with a serving spoon resting in it.

Bananas Foster

Bananas Foster is the ultimate quick and easy dessert recipe for the 21+ crowd. Learn how to make Bananas Foster a la mode in just 10 minutes.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Total Time 10 mins
Servings 4 servings
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Calories 453

Ingredients 

  • 2 bananas peeled and cut in half lengthwise (see note 1)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (from ½ lemon)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons banana liquor (optional, see note 2)
  • 1/4 cup dark rum (see note 3)
  • 1 pint vanilla ice cream for serving (see note 4)

Instructions 

  • Brush bananas with lemon juice. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add butter and brown sugar, and stir until butter is melted.
  • Add bananas and saute until bananas are tender, about 5 to 8 minutes. Sprinkle cinnamon over bananas and remove the pan from heat.
  • Off the heat, add banana liquor (if using) and rum. Carefully ignite the pan using a long match. With a long-handled spoon, baste the bananas with the warm sauce until the flame burns out.
  • To serve, in each of four bowls add ½ cup of vanilla ice cream. Add one banana half and top with sauce. Serve immediately.

Notes

  1. Bananas: Perfectly ripe and yellow or beginning to brown, ideally. (See below for tips about how to ripen your bunch.)
  2. Banana liqueur: Look for this in the liquor store or online under this name or crème de banane. Again, skip it if you’d like this to be spiritless.
  3. Dark rum: Also known as black rum, brands such as Bacardi, Gosling’s, and Plantation are widely available. Simply omit for an alcohol-free option.
  4. Vanilla ice cream: Or whipped cream, Greek yogurt, or another flavor of ice cream you prefer (like coconut)!

Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 453kcalCarbohydrates: 55gProtein: 5gFat: 19gSaturated Fat: 12gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 67mgSodium: 149mgPotassium: 471mgFiber: 2gSugar: 46gVitamin A: 711IUVitamin C: 7mgCalcium: 168mgIron: 1mg
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