Cheater’s Bananas Foster, the Ultimate Glow-Up for Your Nightly Ice Cream

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Photo/Styling: Taryn Pire

We won’t speak for anyone else, but there are some nights that we absolutely can’t (or um, don’t want) to go to bed without indulging in an impromptu ice cream sundae first. That usually means topping a scoop or two with whatever cookie crumbs and sprinkles we can round up in the pantry. But odds are you have all the ingredients to make something way more delicious that requires just as little effort: four-ingredient cheater’s bananas foster.

If you haven’t had the pleasure yet, bananas foster is a dessert that originated in New Orleans, Louisiana in the early 1950s. The O.G. recipe calls for flambéing the bananas in a caramelized rum sauce. Other authentic recipes also call for banana liqueur, nutmeg and sometimes vanilla extract or walnuts. Thankfully, you don’t need all those fancy ingredients (or alcohol-fueled flames) to reach banana nirvana.

We’ve stripped down the recipe to only include the essentials. Dark brown sugar is customary, thanks to its robust molasses flavor, but light brown sugar will work fine in a pinch. Feel free to slice the banana into rounds instead of halving it, too. We’re partial to serving this treat à la mode, but you can also use the decadent banana sauce on pancakes, waffles, French toast, cheesecake and any dessert that suits your fancy instead.


1 tablespoon butter

2 tablespoons dark brown sugar

⅛ teaspoon cinnamon

1 ounce water

1 banana, halved lengthwise

Vanilla ice cream, for serving (optional)


1. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Once it’s melted, add the dark brown sugar and cinnamon. Break up the brown sugar, then add the water. Stir until the sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes.

2. Add the banana halves to the sauce and reduce the heat to low. Cook until they begin to soften and brown, about 3 minutes. Using a spoon, baste the tops of the banana halves with the sauce.

3. Flip the banana halves over and brown them on the other side, about 3 minutes. Continue to baste them in the sauce until both sides are browned and soft.

4. Turn off the heat and place the banana halves on a plate or in a bowl. Top them with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, if desired, and drizzle the remaining sauce on top.

Nutrition Facts
  • 273 calories

  • 12g fat

  • 44g carbs

  • 1g protein

  • 32g sugars

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Note: The information shown is Edamam's estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.

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taryn pire
Taryn Pire

Food Editor

Taryn Pire is PureWow’s food editor and has been writing about all things delicious since 2016. She’s developed recipes, reviewed restaurants and investigated food trends at...
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