This classic New Orleans dessert is perfect for your Mardi Gras celebration. Who wouldn’t love their own individual bananas foster full of buttery, rum flavor? Grab your favorite vanilla ice cream to serve with it. It’s also incredible served over pancakes for brunch.
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History Of Bananas Foster
This dish dates back to 1951 when in New Orleans, Louisiana, Owen Brennan, the owner of Brennan’s Restaurant, asked his niece, Ella Brennan to create a special dessert in honor of the New Orleans Crime Commission chairman, Richard Foster.
Ella decided to recreate a dish that her mother often made for breakfast. She caramelized bananas in a mixture of brown sugar, butter, and cinnamon to serve over vanilla ice cream.
For dramatic effect, she decided to ignite the rum as they did with a Baked Alaska dessert at another New Orleans restaurant.
The dessert was an instant hit and has been on the Brennan’s menu ever since where it is usually prepared tableside.
- Butter – use salted butter. The salt enhances the sweetness of this dish.
- Brown sugar – I like using dark brown sugar for a richer flavor, but light brown also works.
- Toasted nuts – I used finely chopped pecans, but walnuts, hazelnuts, or almonds would also work.
- Bananas – choose bananas that are ripe, but firm.
- Banana liqueur – this is optional, but it really highlights the fruity flavor of the bananas. It is only 25 proof and the alcohol will burn off when you flambe it.
- Rum – I used dark rum for more flavor, but light rum or even spiced rum would be delicious. Look for one that’s at least 60 proof so there is enough alcohol vapor to ignite, but anything over 120 proof is too flammable and dangerous. If you don’t want the alcohol, use a teaspoon or two of rum extract.
- Vanilla ice cream – use a good quality ice cream.
Steps To Make This Recipe
- Melt the butter and sugar together in a skillet until the sugar is dissolved.
- Pour in the vanilla, chopped nuts, and cinnamon. Cook for two minutes.
- Add the sliced bananas and cook to caramelize them on all sides.
- Remove the pan from the heat source and pour in the rum.
- Use a long match to ignite the rum and allow it to burn off.
- Top the mixture with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Tips And Tricks
- The dish comes together so quickly, you will need to have all the ingredients measured out and ready for you at the start of the recipe.
- Look for bananas that are 6 or 7-inches long.
- Be sure to use long matches or a lighter when igniting the rum. Also, tilt the pan away from you before lighting the alcohol.
- Shake the pan a few times. This will help the alcohol evaporate. Once the flame goes out, top with ice cream and serve immediately.
If you enjoyed this recipe, keep your Mardi Gras party going by trying a few more of our New Orleans recipes:
- King Cake Shots
- Classic Shrimp Etouffee
- Spicy Shrimp Creole
- Easy Dirty Rice
- Millie’s Meaty Red Beans And Rice
- Florida Gumbo
This classic New Orleans dessert is perfect for your Mardi Gras celebration. Who wouldn’t love their own individual bananas foster full of buttery, rum flavor?
1 tablespoon salted butter
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
¼ teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon chopped toasted pecans
⅛ teaspoon cinnamon
1 banana, sliced lengthwise
2 tablespoons dark rum
1 tablespoon banana liqueur (optional)
1 scoop vanilla ice cream
In a 6 ½-inch cast iron skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the brown sugar and cook, stirring often, until the sugar dissolves – about two minutes.
Add the vanilla, pecans, and cinnamon. Stir until well combined.
Place the bananas, sliced side up, in the skillet, and cook for two minutes.
Gently turn the bananas so the sliced side is facing down. Continue to cook for another two minutes.
Remove the skillet from the heat and pour in the rum and banana liqueur. Slightly tilt the skillet away from you. Use a long match or long neck lighter to carefully ignite the rum. Keep a fire extinguisher nearby and the skillet lid in case you need to extinguish the flame.
Allow the fire to burn out in the pan and spoon the sauce over the bananas.
Add a scoop of ice cream. Enjoy immediately.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Bake
- Cuisine: Creole/Cajun
Keywords: individual bananas foster, Mardi Gras, individual desserts, copycat recipes, restaurant recipes,