This Flambé-Free Bananas Foster Is All Flavor, No Fire

If you love the idea of a bananas foster but don't want to risk singeing your brows with a flambé, this recipe is just what you need. It has all the classic flavors, but instead of flambéing you heat the alcohol with butter at the beginning of the recipe. That way you still get a rich caramel flavor in your finished dessert — without any flames needed.

Flambé-Free Bananas Foster

Yield: 4 servings (about half a banana per person)


  • 1-2 tablespoons bourbon (more or less to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 medium ripe bananas, sliced into coins
  • ¾ cup light brown sugar, packed
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • A pinch of salt
  • Ice cream, for serving 


1. In a medium bowl, mix together the brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.

2. In a medium, heavy-bottomed skillet, heat the bourbon, vanilla and butter over medium heat until the butter melts and begins to bubble slightly. 

Pro Tip

If you don't want to use alcohol in this recipe, you can substitute water or simply leave it out. Your sauce will just be a bit thicker.

3. Add the bananas and toast them lightly on both sides (about 1 minute on each side). This will help form a "crust" so the bananas don't get mushy.

4. Scatter the brown sugar mixture on top of the bananas and continue to cook on medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thickened and caramel-like. (It's fine if there are some toasty-crunchy bits in the mixture.)

Remove from heat and spoon over your ice cream. Enjoy immediately.

Good to Know

You aren't restricted to ice cream. These brown sugar bananas are also great on top of pancakes, French toast or even a pound cake .

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This Flambé-Free Bananas Foster Is All Flavor, No Fire