Bananas Foster


My husband asked me to make Bananas Foster for his birthday recently, and how could I argue! Neither of us is much of a sweets eater, or we like to pretend we’re not, but with Bananas Foster, you make it to order and there are no leftovers! Unlike a cake or pie…

The recipe I’ve always used for Bananas Foster, is from the cookbook, American Cooking: Creole and Acadian.

From the book: This elegant dessert of flamed bananas and ice cream, created at Brennan’s over 20 years ago (this book was published in 1971!) for a regular patron named Richard Foster, has become one of the restaurant’s most popular dishes.

Bananas Foster
To serve 4
printable recipe below

4 ounces unsalted butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 firm ripe bananas, peeled and cut lengthwise
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup banana liqueur
1/2 cup rum or spiced rum
1 pint good vanilla ice cream

Slice the bananas horizontally so they lay flat.

Combine the butter and brown sugar in a skillet and stir until the mixture becomes a smooth syrup.

Add the bananas and baste them with the syrup for 3 or 4 minutes, then sprinkle in the cinnamon.

Carefully pour in the banana liqueur and rum, and let the liquors warm for a few seconds. They may burst into flame spontaneously. If not, ignite them with a match.

Slide the pan back and forth until the flames die, basting the bananas all the while.

Place two banana halves in each elongated dish. Add a scoop of ice cream to each serving, then spoon the sauce over the top.

Serve at once.

And don’t forget some freshly grated nutmeg.

If you don’t have elongated individual serving dishes, slice the bananas evenly before sautéing, or at least cut them in half crosswise. Then serve in a shallow bowl.

Bananas Foster can also be prepared at the table in a flambé pan, such as a crepes Suzette pan.

Note: The original recipe calls for twice the amount of both rum and banana liqueur. If you enjoy alcoholic desserts, double your liquors!


56 thoughts on “Bananas Foster

  1. I’d never heard of this, nor banana liqueur, but it looks delicious and I’ll have to try it sometime.
    Some time ago you asked me what brand of fish sauce I used. Sorry for the long delay in answering but I had none in the cupboard and the shop was out of stock. Now I have some. It’s called ‘Blue Dragon’ and comes from Thailand. I may have used others but if so I don’t remember.

    • Oh, thank you. I’ll see if I can find it. I also tried to comment on your spam stir fry and I couldn’t. Must have been because I was using my iPad. Bananas Foster is really fabulous!

  2. We had this dessert in the restaurant few months ago and I just did not manage to make it the way it should be; my son will be glad to know there is Ms. Mimi that knows….. will do and let you know how wide was his smile :-) ! Thank you !

  3. I love Bananas Foster and I’ve probably had this exact version. My mom had that cookbook (and every other one in the large collection from Time. As soon as I saw the spiral bound book I was immediately transported. Thanks GREG

  4. Never heard it called bananas Foster before! That’s definitely the US classic version. I’m not sure what it’s supposed to be called in the UK… it’s not seen much now but was a really popular dessert here a while back, possibly 80s/90s. I remember my eldest sister making this for our family when she cooked for us all the first time (and getting slightly panicky by the flames). I think it’s just boringly called caramelised bananas with ice cream… Bananas Foster sounds much better. Gorgeous recipe and photos as ever!! xx

  5. What a terrific dish! Used to see this a lot on restaurant menus, but I seldom see it these days (although I’m sure it’s pretty common in New Orelans — haven’t been there for a while, though). I’ve made this, but it’s been years. Been thinking I should do it again, so I appreciate the inspiration. Your version looks terrific! Happy Birthday to your husband!

  6. Haven’t had Banana Foster since my days of living in Louisiana. You’ve done an excellent job of teaching or reteaching us how to put this famous dessert together, as well as making me very hungry for Bananas Foster. Do you remember the Golden Cadillac cocktail?

    • It’s just such a great dessert – at least if you like bananas! I’m 62, so I remember a lot of stuff, including the Golden Cadillac! Remember the Grasshopper green drink?!!

    • Thanks, Angela. It’s classic but it doesn’t seem awkwardly retro to me. It still works, I guess!

      • Ha ha. Thanks!!!! I’m healing…slowly, but surely. This is a common problem of mine, over doing – and truly believing I can do everything. I actually proved that I CAN do everything, but my body fought back! :-)

  7. One of my favorite treats. I remember the first time I had bananas foster and it was served with the banana mixture inside a crepe with a scoop of ice cream on top. I was young and had never made crepes so I bought a ‘crepe’ maker (before I realized a good skillet would do just fine) and an entire cookbook on crepes which I still have!

    This is a bit easier and I love the use of the slices…thanks!

  8. I remember my first time in New Orleans, my wife and I went to Brennan’s just for this. They seated us, put bread on the table, we ordered only dessert, and the server took the bread away! Great recipe, Mimi, thanks!

  9. Since having them at Brennan’s over 30 years ago, this has been one of our favorites. Good to be reminded to slice lengthwise instead of ‘couns’ That we typically do! Much better presentation.

  10. One of those dishes that seem to have been lost in the mist of time, and you wonder why. Because it’s so good. And we can see from your post, not at all hard to make, either. Thanks for reminding us of this classic dish!

  11. OMG my favorite dessert, yet I’ve never tried making it at home. Maybe its because I don’t have the banana liquor in my liquor cabinet? :) Wow! gonna make it now, thanks for sharing the recipe.

  12. What a beautiful banana fosters! Love the old cookbook that you got it from. I have about 6 or more cookbooks from Louisiana but this isn’t one of them. Now I want to find it :) Love the simplicity of this fosters. Looks perfect!

    • Oh, I hope you can. This series is so old, but probably through a used book store via Amazon. They can locate anything!

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