Bananas Foster Recipe (with video)

I just couldn’t wait to post this bananas foster recipe. It’s truly amazing. Scott and I had it made tableside on our honeymoon, so I will always think of it as a special, romantic dessert.

But you don’t need any special occasion to serve bananas foster. I loved it just as much this past Sunday for dessert after our lunch.

bananas foster with vanilla ice cream in cast iron skillet on wooden cutting board, next to metal spoons and crumpled white napkin
A scoop of vanilla ice cream melting in the middle of caramel-rum banana slices. What could be better?

What is bananas foster made of? 

This traditional New Orleans treat is a flambé dessert with bananas cooked in a caramel rum sauce and served with vanilla ice cream. The main ingredients are:

  • bananas
  • butter and heavy cream (forget about the calorie count for this very special dessert!)
  • brown sugar for the caramel
  • cinnamon
  • banana liqueur or banana flavoring
  • rum or rum flavoring
  • vanilla ice cream

Sometimes a chef will add walnuts or pecans. I’m a purist, so I leave them out. 

Whether or not you flambe’ your foster bananas, this recipe will dazzle your family and guests. Be sure to watch the video for a step-by-step demonstration!

What is a substitute for the rum in a bananas foster recipe? 

You can use 2 tablespoons rum extract to substitute for the rum in this recipe. If you don’t like the rum flavor, you can substitute vanilla extract. 

Does the rum burn off? Mostly not, but you aren’t using much at all for this recipe. It’s only going to give the dish an amazing flavor. 

Can you make this dish ahead? Yes, you can make the sauce ahead of time, up to 3 days before using. Make the sauce up to the point of adding the bananas (don’t add the rum), allow it to cool, and place it in a mason jar and store in the refrigerator. When ready to serve, heat slowly on the stove top, add the bananas and then flambe’.

Can you store the leftover caramel sauce?

You can also store leftover sauce in the fridge for about a week and use it over ice cream, pound cake, or even oatmeal.


How to Flambe’ Your Dessert

Flambe’ is French for “flamed” or “flaming.” Flambe’ simply means adding alcohol and lighting it for a moment. The flame is quite showy and impressive for guests! 

First, turn off the burner. Add the rum to the pan with the ingredients. Then use a stick lighter (for safety) to light the alcohol. Make sure to remain a safe distance from the pan so the flame doesn’t burn you. For cooking safety, always keep a kitchen fire extinguisher handy!

I like to have a large sheet pan or lid to place on top of the fire if it gets out of control. I have never had that happen, but it can’t hurt to be prepared! 

Tips for Making Bananas Foster

almost ripe banana on a pink background
  1. Use barely underripe bananas. You don’t want them green, but almost. This will give the best texture. 
  2. Because you’ll be using barely ripe bananas, you’ll need a little more banana flavor by adding banana liquer. No worries though if you don’t have the banana liquer; it’s still going to be luxurious. 
  3. Be PATIENT! Do not walk away from the butter as it is melting. Stir constantly over very low heat. Once it’s almost all melted, add the brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt and continue cooking over LOW heat. Once it’s almost dissolved, add the cream. You can then bring the temperature up to medium. 
  4. BE PATIENT! Add the bananas and continue to spoon the caramel mixture over the bananas, being sure to cover them all. Wait to flambe’ until the bananas are soft. You should be able to lightly press with the spoon and make an indention into the banana. 
  5. Pour the cream in slowly. This will help the sauce to come together better for a smoother texture. 
bananas foster with vanilla ice cream in cast iron skillet on wooden cutting board, next to metal spoons and crumpled white napkin

Authentic Bananas Foster

Servings 6


  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter 1 stick
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 6 ripe bananas halved lengthwise, and then halved crosswise
  • 3 tablespoons banana liqueur or 1 teaspoons banana flavoring
  • 1/4 cup dark rum or 2 teaspoons rum flavoring
  • Vanilla ice cream for serving
  • 4 sprigs of fresh mint for garnish


  • In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add brown sugar, salt, and cinnamon, and cook for about 2 minutes, or until the sugar is dissolved. Pour in the cream and stir until combined.
  • Add bananas and cook over medium, gently spooning mixture over the bananas for about 5 minutes, or until bananas are soft.
  • Pull the pan off the burner, and carefully add the banana liqueur and the rum. Place the pan back on the stove and shake back and forth on the eye of the stove a few times to incorporate the rum with sugar mixture and to ensure even cooking. Be careful here, as the pan will flame. If it doesn’t flame, using a utility lighter or match, ignite the flambe’. Carefully spoon the sauce over the bananas until the flame burns out, about 2 minutes.
  • To serve, equally distribute the bananas among 6 bowls. Add a large scoop of ice cream over the bananas and spoon the sauce over the top of the ice cream. Top with a sprig of mint. Or you can serve it like we do at our house: give each person a spoon, top with 6 scoops of ice-cream, and serve straight from the skillet!
If you like this recipe, please give it a star rating to help other cooks find it!
Follow me on Instagram and tag #stacylynharris so I can see all the SLH recipes you make. ♥
Tried this recipe?Let me know how it was!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating