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Bananas foster is a rich dessert topping filled with caramelized bananas, nuts, and delicious rum flavoring. The best part, it’s done in minutes!
We love that this delicious bananas foster topping only requires a handful of humble ingredients and really takes no time to prepare. Try this sauce poured over Sugar Pie, Easy Pancakes, or Vanilla Ice Cream.
What is Bananas Foster?
Bananas foster is a New Orleans classic dessert. New Orleans was a major port of entry from Central and South America for bananas so it is not surprising that this delicious dessert was created in that amazing city.
In the 1950’s Owen Brennan, the owner of Brennan’s Restaurant, challenged his chef, Paul Banlge, to create a dish featuring this delicious imported fruit. He did and named it bananas foster after Richard Foster, who, as chairman, served on the New Orleans Crime Commission, a civic effort to clean up the French Quarter.
It‘s essentially a caramelized banana topping filled with rum flavoring.
This sauce is perfect atop ice cream, cakes, or even pancakes! It is a magical sauce that is sure to wow anyone who tries it!
The traditional bananas foster recipe uses rum in it, however, I made an alcohol-free version. I saw in other versions of this recipe that people had used rum extract and a little bit of water instead of the rum, and that worked great for me. The end result was really delicious and super easy to make!
Some other rum substitutes include using 2-3 tbsp of grape juice, pineapple juice, or apple juice instead of the water and rum extract.
Because I didn’t use rum, there was no need to flambé the dish.
How to Make Bananas Foster
This bananas foster sauce is simple and perfect for topping your favorite desserts!
COMBINE. In a medium skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the brown sugar, rum extract, water, vanilla, and cinnamon, and mix to combine.
BOIL. Bring the mixture to a low simmer, then stir in the bananas and walnuts. Cook for 2-3 minutes, until the bananas are warmed through.
SERVE. Spoon the banana mixture over vanilla ice cream, and serve immediately.
Bananas foster vs. bananas flambé. Bananas foster is the name of a dessert dish it may or may not have had flames added to it.
Flambe is a cooking method that means to set on fire. When that is the case you can call it Bananas foster flambé. When bananas foster is made using rum it is typically flambeed to burn off some, but not all of the alcohol.
Thicken the caramel sauce. For a thicker sauce, simmer the banana foster longer so that the liquid evaporates. However, that will also reduce the amount of sauce.
To keep the volume and get a thicker sauce add a cornstarch slurry. In a separate bowl, stir 1 teaspoon of cold water with 1 teaspoon of cornstarch. Add it to the bananas foster and simmer.
Serving + Storing Tips
Serving suggestions. Bananas foster is often served alongside a scoop of vanilla ice cream, but you can serve it with so many other dishes such as Waffles, Crepes, French Toast, Pancakes, cake, and frozen yogurt.
You could even try adding some delicious dessert toppings like:
STORE. Since this recipe is so quick to whip up, you don’t really need to make it ahead of time in order to save time. However, if you happen to have leftovers, you can keep them in an airtight container in the fridge for a couple of days. Reheat it in a skillet on the stove.
When making bananas foster use under ripe-ripe bananas. This means the peels will be a solid yellow. The peel can still have some sign of light green, but zero brown spots.
If you heat the sauce too quickly the sugar will not have time to dissolve which can cause a grainy sauce.
For a thicker sauce, simmer the recipe longer so that the liquid evaporates. However, that will also reduce the amount of sauce. To keep the volume and get a thicker sauce add a cornstarch slurry (see above).
For More Banana Recipes, Try:
Bananas Foster Recipe
- In a medium skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the brown sugar, rum extract, water, vanilla, and cinnamon, and mix to combine. Bring the mixture to a low simmer, then stir in the bananas and walnuts. Cook for 2-3 minutes, until the bananas are warmed through.
- To serve, spoon the banana mixture over vanilla ice cream, and serve immediately.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.