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Bananas Foster For One

Bananas Foster is a decadent rum-laced dessert made with sliced bananas, brown sugar, and butter. This famous New Orleans dessert is typically served over ice cream and tastes absolutely amazing! This single serving recipe features steps for making Bananas Foster with a perfect flambé and also without the flame.

A spoon diving into a dessert glass of vanilla ice cream that is topped with bananas mixed with brown sugar, butter and vanilla on a metal tray with a floral cloth napkin and a bunch of bananas

If you’ve spent much time here on One Dish Kitchen then you know that I’m originally from New Orleans and many of the single serving recipes on our site are recipes from home. This Bananas Foster recipe is one of those recipes and it’s truly one of my favorite desserts.

Bananas Foster is a magical dessert where humble ingredients such as butter, cinnamon and brown sugar transform sliced bananas. The mixture is cooked on the stove and the bananas soften and caramelize. Then the sweet, warm bananas with the decadent sauce are poured over vanilla ice cream.

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I’ve scaled down the ingredients in a traditional Bananas Foster recipe and created this Bananas Foster For One.

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What Is Bananas Foster?

Bananas Foster originated at the famous New Orleans restaurant, Brennan’s in the 1950’s. At the time, New Orleans was a major port of entry for bananas being shipped from Central and South America. As a way to promote the use of bananas, Owen Brennan asked his talented chef to create a recipe using bananas. The rest as they say, is history.

The dessert got the name, because it was named after Richard Foster, a good friend of Brennan’s and head of the New Orleans Crime Commission.

At Brennan’s, this dessert is usually prepared tableside using a flambé where the rum is dramatically set on fire. I’ve included the steps below for making Bananas Foster with a flambé and also without the flame.

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A dessert parfait glass filled with sliced bananas.

Ingredients

See recipe box below for ingredient amounts and full recipe instructions.

  • Butter: Use salted butter.
  • Brown sugar and ground cinnamon: These ingredients create the glorious sauce.
  • Banana: 1 banana is all you need.
  • Rum: Rum is optional but necessary if you are going to flambé the Bananas Foster.
  • Vanilla ice cream: For serving.

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Banana slices cooking in a pan with melted butter and brown sugar.

How To Make This Recipe

Unless I’m entertaining and I want to make a dramatic presentation, I don’t light the rum in the Bananas Foster sauce on fire. You can definitely make Bananas Foster without using a flame, the heat from the stove will cook most of the alcohol off.

This dessert comes together quickly so make sure you have all of your ingredients handy when you begin.

Making A Flameless Bananas Foster

Even without the flame, this banana dessert is a real show stopper and deceptively easy to make.

Method 1

The process is simple.

  1. Combine the butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a small to medium-sized skillet over medium heat.
  2. When the butter melts, add sliced bananas and rum and cook, stirring occasionally for a couple of minutes.
  3. After the bananas have softened, remove from the heat and pour over a bowl of vanilla ice cream.
A spoonful of vanilla ice cream that is topped with bananas mixed with brown sugar, butter and vanilla in a dessert glass on a metal tray with a floral cloth napkin and a bunch of bananas

How To Flambé Bananas Foster

Method 2

Flambé is a cooking procedure where alcohol is added to a hot pan to create a burst of flames. It is a French word meaning “flaming”.

  1. Combine butter, the brown sugar, and the cinnamon in a medium stainless steel skillet or small cast iron skillet.
  2. Place pan on medium-low heat and cook, stirring until the sugar melts.
  3. Add sliced bananas to the pan and cook, stirring until bananas soften, 2 minutes.
  4. Add rum and continue to cook until rum is hot. Remove pan from the stove and tip the pan slightly to ignite the rum with a long tapered lighter. (Keep a fire extinguisher and the pan lid handy in case you need to extinguish the flame).
  5. Let the fire burn and go out, vigorously shaking the pan usually extinguishes the flame. Spoon the sauce over the bananas and pour over ice cream. Enjoy immediately.
A dessert glass of vanilla ice cream that is topped with bananas mixed with brown sugar, butter and vanilla on a metal tray with a floral cloth napkin and a bunch of bananas

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Expert Tips

  • When lighting the Bananas Foster on fire, use a long match and slightly tip the pan to the flame to ignite the alcohol in the pan.
  • Shake the pan occasionally to settle the flame down slightly. Once the flames burn out, serve immediately over ice cream of french toast.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher and the pan lid handy in case you need to extinguish the flame.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Bananas Foster Be Made Without Alcohol?

Yes, it can! You don't need rum to make Bananas Foster. In the traditional recipe, alcohol is used. But I often leave it out, especially when I make Bananas Foster French Toast or Bananas Foster Bread Pudding.
You might consider adding a splash of vanilla or rum extract if you have any on hand instead.

Can Bananas Foster Be Made Ahead?

You can make it ahead of time but really, Bananas Foster is best enjoyed right after it has been cooked.
If you want to make the sauce ahead of time, keep it covered and in the refrigerator until you are ready to heat it again and pour it over the ice cream. It will keep well in the refrigerator for two days.

What Size Skillet Is Best?

For this single serving Bananas Foster recipe, I recommend using a 10-inch stainless steel skillet or a 6.5-inch cast iron skillet. For best results use a pan of similar size.
More information on the cooking and baking dishes I use in our “recipes for one” is available on our FAQ page.
For examples of the dishes used at One Dish Kitchen, please visit our Store page

Other Banana Desserts You Might Enjoy:

If you’ve tried this Bananas Foster recipe or any recipe on One Dish Kitchen please let me know how you liked it by rating the recipe and telling me about it in the comment section below.

If you take a picture please tag us on Instagram (@onedishkitchen) we’d love to see!

bananas foster

Bananas Foster For One

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: French
Keywords: bananas, bananas foster, dessert
Servings: 1 serving
Calories: 559kcal
Author: Joanie Zisk

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons salted butter
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar , packed
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 medium banana , sliced
  • 2 tablespoons rum
  • vanilla ice cream

Instructions

  • In an 8-inch or 10-inch skillet, melt butter over medium heat.
  • Add brown sugar and cinnamon and cook stirring, 30 seconds. Add banana slices and rum and saute, 1-2 minutes. 
  • Pour over ice cream and enjoy immediately.

Notes

If you would like to Flambé Bananas Foster, follow these easy directions.
Flambé is a cooking procedure where alcohol is added to a hot pan to create a burst of flames. It is a French word meaning “flaming”.
  1. Combine butter, sugar, and cinnamon in a medium stainless steel skillet or 6.5-inch cast iron skillet.
  2. Place pan on medium-low heat and cook, stirring until sugar melts.
  3. Add sliced bananas to the pan and cook, stirring until bananas soften, 2 minutes.
  4. Add rum and continue to cook until rum is hot. Remove pan from the stove and tip the pan slightly to ignite the rum with a long tapered lighter. (Keep a fire extinguisher and the pan lid handy in case you need to extinguish the flame).
  5. Let the fire burn and go out, and then spoon the sauce over bananas and pour over ice cream. Enjoy immediately.
Expert Tips
  • When lighting the Bananas Foster on fire, use a long match and slightly tip the pan to the flame to ignite the alcohol in the pan.
  • Shake the pan occasionally to settle the flame down slightly. Once the flames burn out, serve immediately over ice cream of french toast.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher and the pan lid handy in case you need to extinguish the flame.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 559kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 60mg | Sodium: 208mg | Potassium: 422mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 37g | Vitamin A: 775IU | Vitamin C: 10.2mg | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 0.3mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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7 thoughts on “Bananas Foster For One”

  1. 5 stars
    I just made this and it was delicious! I ate mine with plain Greek yogurt. I used to get a brand of yogurt that had a Bananas Foster flavor, but it is no longer available, so I wanted to create my own. I will definitely make this again!

    1. Yes, you can use rum extract. I would suggest starting out by adding 1/4 teaspoon and add a little more if you’d like the flavor to be stronger. You won’t be able to flambé if you use extract.

  2. This SIMPLE recipe was very good. I will definitely keep it in my files for future use. Thank you for posting.

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