Bananas Foster

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Bananas Foster is a traditional New Orleans dish. It’s the perfect dessert dish of ice cream topped with sliced bananas, and a cinnamon, vanilla, rum sauce.

This Bananas Foster recipe is a surprisingly easy Dessert. Though you can find a classic Bananas Foster dish in many Southern restaurants, you may be surprised just how simply you can make the decadent treat yourself. To make an entirely homemade dish, serve it with your own fresh Vanilla Ice Cream.

Bananas Foster in bowl with ice cream


This Bananas Foster recipe is a delicious soul food that you can make on your own stove in just a couple of minutes. The warm sauce of brown sugar, ground cinnamon, and rum is served over sliced bananas and a portion of ice cream for an unbelievable dish with a unique and rich flavor. It’s a rich and decadent dessert that’s perfect for a special occasion. 

If you want to enjoy the flavors of this New Orleans specialty, outside of dessert, you can make it in a sweet breakfast recipe. Many people enjoy Bananas Foster over French Toast. We’ve even recently posted a recipe for Bananas Foster Baked French Toast, which is great to serve for the holidays or a family get-together


Bananas Foster is a classic regional fare of New Orleans’ French Quarter. The New Orleans Dessert was first made in Brennan’s Restaurant in the 1950s and has now become a soul food tradition. The dish was named after Richard Foster, who was on the New Orleans Crime Commissioner and a friend of the restaurant owner Owen Brennan. Now, you can enjoy this delicious dessert all over the south, and in your own kitchen courtesy of Brennan’s Restaurant.



  • Sugar mixture: Add the butter, sugar, and ground cinnamon to a stainless steel skillet, cast iron skillet, or flambé pan over medium heat. Whisk the mixture together in the hot pan until the sugar has dissolved. 

Bananas Foster sauce in saucepan

  • Bananas: Toss the banana peels aside and slice them lengthwise. Add the sliced bananas to the hot pan and cook for 30 seconds. Then add the rum and cook for another 30 seconds. Remove the bananas and top them off with vanilla ice cream.

Bananas Foster sliced bananas on cutting board

  • Igniting the rum: For a different cooking procedure, you can ignite the rum. To ignite the rum tilt your pan to one side when you add the rum. The pan will ignite with a dramatic flame that will go out in 10-15 seconds. Then you can go straight to the next step. 
  • Finish sauce: Add the vanilla to the sauce and mix it together. Then, use extreme caution when pouring the sauce over the ice cream, and bon appetit!

Bananas Foster bananas in saucepan before cooking

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  • Rum: In place of the rum in the recipe you could use 1/4 cup banana liqueur. 2 fluid ounces banana liqueur will give lots of extra banana flavor to the recipe. 
  • Sauce ingredients: You can try adding different flavors to the sauce ingredients by mixing in some extra ground cinnamon, you could also add nutmeg, ginger, or add some almond extract. For some different texture mix in chopped walnuts, or almonds. You can also mix in heavy cream for a richer, thicker sauce.

Bananas Foster sauce ingredients

  • Family style: Despite the burst of flames, not all the alcohol is cooked out of traditional Bananas Foster. If you’re serving the dessert to kids and worried about the alcohol content, you can either cook the sauce a little extra time to ensure it all cooks out, or use an alcohol-free rum extract in the recipe to get the flavor without the alcohol. 



  • Serve: Due to the ice cream, you shouldn’t leave your Bananas Foster out. Serve and enjoy it right away so the ice cream doesn’t melt. 
  • Store: Although you can’t store the Bananas Foster after you’ve assembled the whole dish, you can store the sliced bananas and sauce separately from the ice cream. Store the ice cream in the freezer as usual, and the Bananas Foster topping in the fridge. Put the bananas and sauce in an airtight container in the fridge. It’ll stay good for 2-3 days. 

Up close shot of Bananas Foster on ice cream bowl

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Bananas Foster

  • Yield: 4 Servings
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Course: Dessert
  • Cuisine: American
  • Author: Sabrina Snyder

Bananas Foster is a traditional New Orleans dish. It's the perfect dessert dish of ice cream topped with sliced bananas, and a cinnamon, vanilla, rum sauce.


  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar , packed
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 medium bananas , halved lengthwise in 3" segments
  • 1/4 cup dark rum
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


Note: click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.

  1. Add the butter, sugar, and cinnamon in a medium skillet on low heat, whisking until the brown sugar has dissolved.
  2. Add in the bananas, cook for 30 seconds then add in the rum and either cook for 30 seconds.

  3. Removing bananas to serving plates and top with vanilla ice cream.
  4. Add vanilla extract to pan sauce, stir well, and top bananas with sauce.
  5. If you want to ignite the rum, tilt pan carefully after adding rum and let it ignite until the flame goes out naturally after 10-15 seconds. You don't need to cook the additional 30 seconds if you do this.

Nutrition Information

Yield: 4 Servings, Amount per serving: 403 calories, Calories: 403g, Carbohydrates: 68g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Cholesterol: 30mg, Sodium: 15mg, Potassium: 477mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 55g, Vitamin A: 425g, Vitamin C: 10g, Calcium: 47g, Iron: 1g

All images and text © for Dinner, then Dessert.

Keyword: Bananas Foster

Bananas Foster collage

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