This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

Embrace the rich flavors of New Orleans with a classic Bananas Foster recipe! While this timeless treat is perfect for a celebratory dessert or a fun tableside presentation, it’s surprisingly easy to whip up as a single serving dessert. This Banana Foster recipe features a caramelized banana bathed in a decadent rum sauce, perfect for serving over ice cream or savoring on its own. With just one banana and a few common ingredients, you can enjoy Bananas Foster in just 10 minutes!

If you’re searching for more single serve New Orleans-inspired recipes, you’re in luck! Our collection includes a delightful Seafood Gumbo, a personal-sized Jambalaya, a mini Muffuletta sandwich, and a small batch of sweet Pralines. Perfect for satisfying your cravings for Southern flavors in just the right amount!

Being a native of New Orleans, I have a soft spot for classic recipes from the Crescent City, and many of the single serving dishes you’ll find here reflect that love. One of my all-time favorites is this Banana Foster dessert recipe.

In this delightful treat, everyday ingredients like butter, cinnamon, and brown sugar work culinary wonders on simple banana slices. When cooked together on the stove, these elements blend into a sauce that softens and caramelizes the bananas. Finally, spoon this sweet, warm concoction over a scoop of vanilla ice cream for a taste of dessert heaven.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Quick and Easy: One skillet and just 10 minutes. You can indulge in this delicious dessert in almost no time at all!
  • Customizable: Whether you like it traditional with rum or prefer an alcohol-free version, this recipe has got you covered. Plus, you can flambé it for that wow factor or keep it flame-free.
  • Minimal Ingredients: Simple yet flavorful ingredients you most likely already have in your pantry.
  • Rich Flavor: The combination of butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon creates a rich and decadent sauce that’s out of this world.
  • Perfect for Doubling: Hosting a dinner party? This recipe easily scales up so you can delight your guests with this New Orleans classic.

RELATED: 15 Easy Dessert Recipes For One

What Is Bananas Foster?

This iconic dessert has its roots in the 1950s New Orleans dining scene, specifically at Brennan’s restaurant. Given that New Orleans was a significant entry port for bananas arriving from Central and South America, Owen Brennan sought to capitalize on this abundance. He tasked his skilled chef with developing a banana-based recipe, giving birth to the now-famous Bananas Foster.

The dish takes its name from Richard Foster, a close friend of Brennan and the then-leader of the New Orleans Crime Commission. Traditionally at Brennan’s, the preparation of this dessert includes a spectacular flambé technique, where rum ignites in a burst of flames right at the table.

Ingredients

bananas foster ingredients on a wooden cutting board in a kitchen.
  • Butter: Both salted and unsalted butter work well. If you’re using unsalted, consider adding a pinch of salt to balance flavors. For a dairy-free option, you can use coconut oil.
  • Brown sugar and ground cinnamon: Opt for either light or dark brown sugar to create the delectable sauce. The cinnamon infuses the sauce with a hint of warm spice.
  • Banana: One ripe banana is all it takes to make this dish a hit. Ensure it’s ripe for the best flavor and texture. If you’ve got extra bananas, consider using them in a single serving Banana Bread or in a mini Caramelized Banana Upside Down Cake.
  • Rum: While rum adds a traditional flair, especially for flambéing, it’s optional. Choose from light or dark rum depending on your preference. If you want an alcohol-free version, simply skip the rum.
  • Vanilla ice cream: Ideal for serving and elevating the experience of the caramelized bananas.

Transform this dish into Bananas Foster French Toast by layering the cooked bananas and sauce atop freshly made french toast. A perfect twist for an unforgettable breakfast.

This is just an overview of the ingredients I used and why I used them. For the full recipe please scroll down to the recipe box at the bottom of the post.

Recipe Variations

Banana Foster is one of those versatile dishes that lends itself to creative tweaking. If you’re interested in adding a unique twist to your dessert, here are some tempting options:

  • Spiced Up: Add a dash of nutmeg or cardamom to the sauce for a more complex flavor profile.
  • Tropical Flair: Swap out the banana for other fruits like mango or pineapple for a tropical twist on this New Orleans classic.
  • Nutty Finish: Toss in some toasted chopped pecans or almonds to give the dish a crunch that contrasts beautifully with the softness of the bananas.
  • Maple Syrup Substitution: If you’re out of brown sugar, use maple syrup for a different yet equally delicious caramel sauce.
Send Me the Recipe!
Never lose this recipe! Get it in your inbox now. Plus, get weekly recipes for delicious single serving meals – all for free.
Banana slices cooking in a pan with melted butter and brown sugar.

How To Make Bananas Foster

These step-by-step photos and instructions help you visualize how to make Bananas Foster. See the recipe box below for ingredient amounts and full recipe instructions.

Personal Note: When I’m just whipping up Bananas Foster for a cozy night in, I often skip the whole flambé spectacle. Trust me, you’ll get all the flavors and satisfaction even without lighting the rum on fire. If you prefer to go alcohol-free, a splash of vanilla or rum extract does the trick beautifully. This dish is all about making it your own!

This dessert whips up fast, so ensure all ingredients are at arm’s reach before starting.

  1. Melt the Butter: Using either an 8-inch or 10-inch stainless steel or cast-iron skillet, melt the butter over medium-low heat.
  2. Create the Sauce: Add brown sugar and cinnamon to the melted butter. Stir until the sugar melts, which should take around 30 seconds.
melted butter and brown sugar in a small skillet.
  1. Add Bananas: Slice a ripe banana (but not overly ripe) and toss it into the skillet. Frequently stir as the bananas soften; this should take about a minute.

Pro Tip: Aim for a just-ripe banana for optimal texture and flavor.

slices of bananas in a small skillet with melted butter and brown sugar.
  1. Include Rum (Optional): Pour in 2 tablespoons of rum and let the mixture simmer gently.

Note: If you prefer an alcohol-free version, swap the rum for a dash of vanilla or rum extract.

Pro Tip: Don’t pour rum directly from the bottle. Measure it out into a bowl or cup first to avoid any mishaps.

pouring rum into bananas foster.
  1. Ignite (Optional): If opting for the flamboyant flambé, tip the pan slightly and carefully ignite the rum with a long lighter. Ensure the surrounding area is clear and you have safety measures like a pan lid and fire extinguisher at hand. Let the flame burn out.

Pro Tip: If the flames linger, swiftly cover the pan with its lid and turn off the heat.

lighting bananas foster on fire in a skillet.
  1. Serve and Enjoy: Immediately spoon the delicious sauce over a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
bananas foster in a dessert dish on a silver tray.

Whether you choose to include rum or ignite your sauce, this Bananas Foster recipe offers versatility to suit your preferences.

Expert Tips

  • Measure Rum Separately: Avoid pouring rum directly from the bottle into the skillet. Measure it into a separate bowl first, then add it to the pan. This ensures both safety and accurate measurement.
  • Use a Long-Reach Lighter: If you’re opting to flambé the Bananas Foster, employ a long-reach lighter for added safety. Slightly tilt the pan towards the flame to help ignite the alcohol vapor, rather than the liquid itself.
  • Shake to Moderate Flame: Periodically shake the skillet to moderate the flame. This technique not only helps in controlling the flame but also contributes to even cooking.
  • Safety First: Always have safety gear like a fire extinguisher and the skillet’s lid within easy reach. These are crucial when dealing with open flames in the kitchen.
  • Bonus Tip for Extra Rum: Got a rum surplus? Consider making a quick small batch of small batch of rum balls. It’s a tasty and efficient way to use any extra rum.

Serving Suggestions

You might be wondering, what’s the best way to enjoy this delectable dessert? While the classic Bananas Foster pairs exquisitely with vanilla ice cream, there are plenty of other delicious options to consider:

  • Sundae Twist: Take your Bananas Foster to the next level by turning it into a sundae. Add whipped cream, a cherry on top, and maybe some crushed nuts for texture.
  • Over Pancakes or Waffles: Why not make breakfast extraordinary? Spoon your Bananas Foster over a stack of pancakes or a freshly-made waffle for a gourmet start to your day.
  • On Toasted Brioche: For a special treat, consider serving your Bananas Foster on toasted slices of brioche. The buttery, tender bread complements the rich sauce perfectly.
  • Layered Parfait: Create a layered dessert by alternating between Bananas Foster and your choice of Greek yogurt or cottage cheese in a tall glass.
  • Crepes: Fill a crepe with Bananas Foster. The light, airy crepe provides an elegant touch to this already luxurious dessert.
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.

RELATED: Best Homemade Food Gifts

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Bananas Foster be made without alcohol?

Yes, simply omit or use rum extract.

What is the difference between Bananas Foster and Bananas Flambé?

Flambé is a method of cooking where alcohol is added to food and ignited. Bananas foster typically uses the flambé method and is often referred to as bananas flambé.

Does alcohol burn off in Bananas Foster?

Some of the rum will burn off, but not all. This is because the sauce only simmers for a short amount of time.

What rum is best to use in a Bananas Foster recipe?

Any type of rum can be used to make bananas foster. I mostly use 80 proof or higher because it is easier to ignite. Be aware that this alcohol is highly flammable and caution should be used when making this recipe.

You can use a lower-proof rum but the sauce will need to be brought to a light boil in order for it to light.

Can Bananas Foster be made ahead?

You can make it ahead of time but 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 recipe, I recommend using an 8 or 10-inch stainless steel skillet or a 6.5-inch cast iron skillet with sloped sides. For best results use a pan of similar size.

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.

Additional Banana Recipe Ideas

Got a couple of overripe bananas lying around? Don’t let them go to waste! Check out these simple yet scrumptious banana recipes, each tailored for using just one or a few bananas:

Ways To Use Leftover Ingredients

If you have any ingredients leftover from this recipe, check out our Leftover Ingredients Recipe Finder or you might like to consider using them in any of these single serving and small batch recipes:

If you’ve tried this easy 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 it!


Your Cooking For One Source
Because you’re worth it

Bananas Foster For One

4.93 from 27 votes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 10 minutes
Servings: 1 serving
Embrace New Orleans’ rich flavors with a classic Bananas Foster recipe! Warm, caramelized banana bathed in rum sauce – perfect over ice cream. With just one banana and a few common ingredients, you can enjoy a Banana Foster in just 10 minutes!

Ingredients 
 

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

Instructions 

  • Using either an 8-inch or 10-inch stainless steel or cast-iron skillet, melt the butter over medium-low heat.
  • Add brown sugar and cinnamon to the melted butter. Stir until the sugar melts, which should take around 30 seconds.
  • Slice a ripe banana and toss it into the skillet. Frequently stir as the bananas soften; this should take about a minute.
  • Pour in the rum and let the mixture simmer gently.
    Pro Tip: Don’t pour rum directly from the bottle. Measure it out into a bowl or cup first to avoid any mishaps.
  • If opting for the flamboyant flambé, tip the pan slightly and carefully ignite the rum with a long lighter. Ensure the surrounding area is clear and you have safety measures like a pan lid and fire extinguisher at hand. Let the flame burn out.
    Pro Tip: If the flames linger, swiftly cover the pan with its lid and turn off the heat.
  • Spoon the bananas foster over ice cream and enjoy immediately.

Video

Notes

  • Measure Rum Separately: Avoid pouring rum directly from the bottle into the skillet. Measure it into a separate bowl first, then add it to the pan. This ensures both safety and accurate measurement.
  • Use a Long-Reach Lighter: If you’re opting to flambé the Bananas Foster, employ a long-reach lighter for added safety. Slightly tilt the pan towards the flame to help ignite the alcohol vapor, rather than the liquid itself.
  • Shake to Moderate Flame: Periodically shake the skillet to moderate the flame. This technique not only helps in controlling the flame but also contributes to even cooking.
  • Safety First: Always have safety gear like a fire extinguisher and the skillet’s lid within easy reach. These are crucial when dealing with open flames in the kitchen.
  • Bonus Tip for Extra Rum: Got a rum surplus? Consider making a quick small batch of small batch of rum balls. It’s a tasty and efficient way to use any extra rum.
The nutritional information is calculated without ice cream.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving, Calories: 416kcal, Carbohydrates: 50g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 23g, Saturated Fat: 15g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 6g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 60mg, Sodium: 187mg, Potassium: 461mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 38g, Vitamin A: 775IU, Vitamin C: 10mg, Calcium: 33mg, Iron: 1mg

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.

Receive Our Latest Single Serving Recipes!
Sign Up for the weekly One Dish Kitchen Newsletter!!
Red 5-inch square baking dish with One Dish Kitchen branded paper sleeve around it.

Make 80+ Recipes With This Dish!

Ideal for home chefs, this individual square ceramic baking dish is safe for oven, microwave, freezer, and dishwasher. Simple to use & easy to clean!

Welcome!

I’m Joanie and I’m incredibly happy you’re here! Our aim is to inspire individuals with access to single serving recipes, education, and a supportive community that will enable them to enjoy the preparation of a meal that will nourish both body and soul.

Leave a comment

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

Recipe Rating




24 Comments

  1. I don’t think I have ever enjoyed a desert as much as I did this! This is incredible. My husband requested I made it after finding this recipe.

    Oh my, it’s absolutely delicious, but incredibly naughty. I’ll need to up my walking distance tomorrow!

    Thank you for this pure delight, I’ll definitely be making this again.

    1. I doubled everything as there’s my husband and I.

      No one can enjoy this alone, this is definately to be shared!

    1. Linda, an even better idea would be to simply click on the “heart” found on the right side of every page. When you do this, you will be able to save this recipe as a favorite of yours. This means that you can find the recipes you love (and want to find fast) all in one place.

  2. 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.

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