Easy Caramelized Banana Recipe

If you want to make your ice cream sundae feel even more special, this is the recipe for you. Susan Olayinka of The Flexible Fridge cooks bananas in a rich homemade caramel to create a treat that's positively delightful on its own or — her favorite — paired with vanilla ice cream and crunchy hazelnuts.

"These easy caramelized bananas just taste amazing," she said. "The sugar has turned into a banana caramel, and the bananas are soft and so delicious, and it pairs really well with some cold ice cream."

It might seem scary to make your own caramel at home, but with Olayinka as your guide, the secrets of this delightful dessert are well within your reach. Just be sure to use a large enough pan and to be careful when adding the water to the caramel, and you'll be golden!

Once you've mastered the technique, it's fun to play with the flavor profile, too. Olayinka suggests adding spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, or ginger, or even topping with some nut butter for a sweet-and-savory combo the whole family will love.

Gather the ingredients for the easy caramelized bananas

These easy caramelized bananas boast a super short ingredients list: bananas, butter, both brown and white sugar, and a touch of water. 

For the bananas, don't raid the collection of overripe ones you're saving for banana bread! Olayinka recommends "semi-ripe" bananas for this dessert. "They can't be too ripe or they will turn all mushy, and they can't be unripe or they'll be too hard and won't be sweet enough," she said.

United Kingdom-based Olayinka uses caster sugar, also known as superfine sugar in the U.S., which melts more easily into the butter, but any white sugar will do. The brown sugar has the added benefit of lending a molasses-y aroma to the dessert, which pairs so perfectly with the bananas.

Slice the bananas for this easy caramelized bananas recipe

To begin this easy caramelized bananas recipe, you'll first need to slice the bananas. Olayinka cuts them in half first horizontally and then vertically, so you end up with four even pieces per banana. This method of slicing makes for a very pretty presentation on the plate.

Of course, this isn't the only way to slice the bananas. You can also cut them into coins, so you get more pieces per banana. Just make sure that the pieces are thin enough to cook through to the center before the caramel burns, but not so small that they fall apart in the pan.

Melt the butter for the easy caramelized bananas

To begin making these easy caramelized bananas, first heat a frying pan over medium heat. Add the butter and watch it carefully: You want it to melt but not to brown or burn! When it is just melted and begins to foam, showing you that the water is evaporating out of it, it's time to add the sugars. 

Add first the white sugar, stirring to make sure that it's well incorporated. This will keep it from burning and also help it melt fully into the caramel, so you don't have a grainy texture in the final dessert.

Add the brown sugar to the caramel for the easy caramelized bananas

As soon as the white sugar is incorporated into the butter, add the brown sugar. Brown sugar is much moister than white sugar and has a rich flavor of molasses. It will add depth of flavor to the caramel and thus to the bananas! 

Stir well so that the brown sugar is fully incorporated into the mixture of butter and white sugar before moving on to the next step of this easy caramelized bananas recipe.

Add the water to the caramel for these easy caramelized bananas

It's time to add the final ingredient to the caramel: the water. This is the part of the easy caramelized bananas recipe that requires the most care. "Pour in the water very slowly so that it doesn't splatter," said Olayinka. "Because hot pan, plus sugar, plus water can sometimes can be dangerous!"

Once the water is added, the texture of the mixture in the pan will almost magically change to that of a caramel sauce. Resist the urge to taste it — it's extremely hot!

Add the bananas to the pan for this easy caramelized bananas recipe

Now that the caramel is made, it's time to add the star ingredient: the bananas! Add the banana pieces to the caramel, cooking for three minutes per side. Flip them carefully to avoid splattering yourself with the hot caramel.

After six minutes in the pan, the easy caramelized bananas are ready to serve! Dish them out with vanilla ice cream and chopped nuts, and be sure to spoon some of the hot caramel over the top.

Easy Caramelized Banana Recipe
5 from 45 ratings
If you want to make your ice cream sundae feel even more special, this recipe for easy caramelized bananas is just for you.
Prep Time
Cook Time
easy caramelized bananas served
Total time: 15 minutes
  • 3 bananas
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  1. Cut the bananas in half horizontally, then vertically.
  2. Heat a frying pan over medium heat. Melt the butter in the pan.
  3. Add the white sugar to the pan and stir.
  4. Add the brown sugar to the pan and stir.
  5. Add the water to the pan and stir quickly. The texture will change to that of caramel.
  6. Carefully place the bananas into the frying pan. Cook for 3 minutes per side. After 6 minutes of cooking, they are ready to be served.
Calories per Serving 190
Total Fat 6.0 g
Saturated Fat 3.7 g
Trans Fat 0.2 g
Cholesterol 15.3 mg
Total Carbohydrates 35.9 g
Dietary Fiber 2.3 g
Total Sugars 26.6 g
Sodium 3.8 mg
Protein 1.0 g
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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