With Mardi Gras just days away, I thought I’d practice my flambé skills and whip up a Bananas Foster Recipe, a classic New Orleans dessert.

Bananas Foster with a scoop of ice cream on a round white plate

Bananas Foster Recipe

Fat Tuesday AKA Mardi Gras is upon us. Going into this Lenten season, I’m toying with giving up my guilty pleasure, cookie dough, or maybe sweets altogether. There is one last day to gorge, so it’s the perfect time to make a traditional New Orlean’s dessert.

This easy, yet decadent bananas Foster was created in 1951 by Paul Blangé at Brennan’s Restaurant. Their recipe uses banana liqueur along with the rum, but I elected to use vanilla extract instead (my palate is forever scarred after taking liquid banana Dramamine before our family vacations. I’m sooooo wary of banana-flavored anything).  This dessert was named after one of their patrons and friend of the owner, Richard Foster.

Bananas Foster on a square white plate with a scoop of ice cream

Tips for Making Bananas Foster Flambé

This is one simple, delectable dessert, but it takes some patience. Bananas are sliced and sauteed in a mixture of butter, cinnamon and dark brown sugar along with some pecans.

  • My brown sugar didn’t melt into a smooth sauce, but no worries. The taste was uncompromised.  Next time, though, I’ll lower the heat and give the sugar a bit more time to dissolve.
  • For the grand finale, rum and vanilla are added to the pan.  With a flick of my lighter, the dessert is flambéed for a dramatic effect right before serving. 
  • Use an 80 proof rum for the best flambé. Note that most of the alcohol will burn off during this process.
  • Be very careful, though, as the flames shoot high and nobody needs a kitchen fire! Or singed eyelashes. If you have long hair, tie it back and be prepared to step back quickly after igniting the rum.
  • Spooned over vanilla ice cream, these boozy and caramelized bananas will impress your guests. Whipped cream is another delicious alternative.

I’m rethinking my view on banana desserts as this flambéed Bananas Foster was marvelous. If you’re a fan of banana desserts, try this Sour Cream Banana  Cake, too!

Bananas Foster photo and text collage

More Easy Mardi Gras Recipes You Might Enjoy:

Bananas Foster

Bananas Foster

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Yield 4 servings

The classic New Orleans dessert. Adapted from Allrecipes.


  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2/3 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 bananas, peeled, then cut on the diagonal
  • 1/4 cup pecan halves
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons dark rum
  • Vanilla ice cream, to serve


  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Add sugar and cinnamon and mix to combine. When mixture starts bubbling, continue cooking till sugar dissolves; add bananas and pecans. Spoon sugar syrup over bananas and cook till bananas are hot, only a couple minutes. Add vanilla and rum, and using a lighter, ignite alcohol if desired (be VERY careful as flames will shoot high!).
  2. Serve over ice cream.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 437Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 45mgSodium: 127mgCarbohydrates: 59gFiber: 3gSugar: 48gProtein: 3g


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