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Bananas Foster | A simple, classic New Orleans dessert. Perfect for Mardi Gras!

Bananas Foster

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

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

Bananas Foster

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’sRestaurant. 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).

Bananas Foster

Tips for Making Bananas Foster

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. 
  • Be very careful, though, as the flames shoot high and nobody needs a kitchen fire! Or singed eye lashes.
  • Spooned over vanilla ice cream, these boozy and caramelized bananas will impress your guests.

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

More Easy Mardi Gras Recipes You Might Enjoy:



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Bananas Foster

The classic New Orleans dessert. Adapted from Allrecipes.

  • Author: Liz Berg
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 10 mins
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Saute
  • Cuisine: American


  • 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.
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72 comments on “Bananas Foster”

  1. Such an incredible dessert! Definitely perfect for a dramatic presentation.

  2. The perfect classic ending to a Mardi Gras meal!

  3. I absolutely love bananas foster, but when I made it before I didn’t use pecans. I must try that next time!

  4. These look amazing! I know what I want to make for our Mardi Gras dessert now!

  5. Sorry but LOL…Banana dramamine appears to have dramatic results…But so do your bananas foster…Beautiful dessert and tips =) Great for Mardi Gras and the Oscars!

  6. Not the cookie dough!!! Noooooooo! I don’t blame you on the banana flavor either. I love banana baked goods but not so much on the flavorings. Let the real deal shine through!

  7. I don’t know why, but I just never associated these with NOLA. Beignets and Shrimp Creole and Gumbo and King Cake, yes. Now I will add this to my association.

  8. All I can say is yes to everything about this! YUM!

  9. This looks delicious! I love Bananas Foster!

  10. Your photos are so pretty and I love that you flambeed these. Such a tasty dessert!

  11. This looks good. I’ve never tried it but I’ve always wanted to visit New Orleans at Mardi Gras 🙂

  12. I’ve always wanted to make Bananas Foster Liz! It looks and sounds great. With Fat Tuesday looming, it’s time to indulge one last time! Thanks for sharing!

  13. This sounds like the perfect, delicious dessert to make when you forgot to make dessert! I love how simple yet fancy it is!

  14. First of all, I can’t believe banana flavored dramamine is a thing. Second, this looks delicious!

  15. This is such an elegant classic for Mardi Gras, and if you are truly giving up sweets for Lent, I admire your willpower! 🙂

  16. This is my all time favorite dessert I would get once a year at our getaway weekend place. I never made it a home. Thanks for a great recipe. I’ll skip the banana liquor too!

  17. Man, did your Banana’s Foster bring back a memory. I’ve had Bananas Foster one or two times but only at New Orleans’ restaurants. Loved. When Stephen and Melissa were dating, just two college kids at St. Olaf, they visited us in Aspen. For dessert one night, Michael decided he would do Bananas Foster on the grill. Well, Missy and Stephen were granola kids and a fancy flaming dessert was probably not their style or anything they had seen before. Plus, I don’t know what Michael did, but those bananas were a disaster. Stephen said very little that weekend but he did mention that there were some fruits that probably shouldn’t be “grilled.” I still am carting around 1/2 bottle of dark rum! Yours looks delicious so this summer I might finish off my bottle of dark rum and treat my friends to a flaming dessert.

  18. There is nothing like the Banana’s Foster at Brennan’s! What a spectacle that is. We haven’t been there in ages and really must plan a trip back to see our friend Daniel. In the meantime we will have to try your version at home.

  19. A yummy classic that goes so well with ice cream!

  20. Simple and extravagant all in one. I really got a kick out of the flaming bananas.

  21. Wow. That’s a real decadent dessert we’d both love to try with lots of kaimaki (Chios mastic-scented) ice cream on the side. We buy lots of organic bananas lately (for some strange reason), the are a staple in our home now:) So the timing is perfect, now that the Spring is FINALLY here:) Pinned!
    Sending you lots and lots of hugs,
    Mirella and Panos

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