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Hello! I’m Anjali. I’m a board certified health coach, author, wife, mom and food lover from the SF Bay area (now living in Seattle, WA!); with a passion for delicious food and a desire to make healthy eating easy, tasty and fun! Learn more about me here and stay for a while!

Anjali Shah

Caramelized Bananas

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Super easy caramelized bananas are a warm, cozy, indulgent treat. They’re absolutely delicious on their own, but also taste amazing paired with ice cream, pancakes, waffles, cake, oatmeal, french toast, frozen yogurt, and more! Ready in just 15 minutes, naturally gluten-free, and easily made vegan too!

Caramelized bananas in a large skillet.

Caramelizing bananas might sound fancy, but it’s surprisingly easy to do! The process of caramelizing brings out the natural sweetness of the bananas, and transforms a healthy snack into an unforgettable treat.

Whether you are looking to elevate your morning brunch or add an extra level of indulgence to dessert, this caramelized bananas recipe is for you! Even a simple scoop of vanilla ice cream is transformed with slices of these bananas.

This recipe comes together in just 15 minutes total, so you can make it even on busy days! And once it’s ready, you’ll bite into tender bananas with warm cinnamon and perfectly sticky caramel, instantly satisfying your taste buds. 

Are you ready to discover your new favorite dessert?! Grab a handful of simple ingredients, your skillet, and spatula, and you are ready to go!

👩🏽‍🍳 Why You’ll Love These Caramelized Bananas

  • Easy To Make: With minimal ingredients and only a few simple steps, these brown sugar bananas are a convenient and easy dessert. Even beginners can master this recipe!
  • Family-Friendly: Everyone will enjoy bananas in caramel! They are sweet with a sticky, creamy texture, and make a great topping for so many different things. This is the easiest way to make everyone happy!
  • Versatile: These stove top caramelized bananas can be used in so many ways. Check out my suggestions later in this post. The best part? They are gluten-free and are easily made vegan and dairy-free!
  • Quick Dessert: If you need something to satisfy your sweet tooth quickly, these bananas will be ready with just 10 minutes of cooking time. Bananas caramelized is truly amazing!

Latest Recipe Video!

🥘 Ingredients

This easy caramelized banana recipe needs just 5 ingredients (not including salt), many of which you may already have on hand! See the recipe card at the end of this post for daily values and nutrient information.

Ingredients for caramelized banana recipe on a white background.
  • Bananas: The star of this recipe, fresh bananas are transformed to bring out maximum flavor. While you do not need to use green bananas, it is best to use ripe bananas that are firm as they’ll hold up better in the cooking process!
  • Butter: It is best to use unsalted butter for this recipe, so you can control the saltiness yourself!
  • Brown Sugar: The brown sugar will melt in the frying pan alongside the butter and cream, to perfectly caramelize the cooked bananas.
  • Heavy Cream: This is our secret ingredient to really transform these bananas! This thick cream combines with the brown sugar to create the most indulgent caramel sauce.
  • Cinnamon: Ground cinnamon complements the caramel and banana, adding warmth and comfort to the dessert.
  • Salt: A pinch of salt elevates all the flavors, giving the perfect balance for this recipe.

🍲 Ingredient Substitutions

  • Butter: If you do not have butter on hand, you can try making these sauteed bananas with coconut oil.
  • Sugar: While I love the boost of flavor from brown sugar, you can make these with white sugar or coconut sugar.
  • Cream: You can use full fat coconut cream, evaporated milk, or a milk/butter combination in place of the heavy cream.
  • Spice: Instead of cinnamon, try these bananas with nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice, or even a sprinkle of vanilla bean powder.

🔪 How To Make Caramelized Bananas

Follow along with these simple steps to learn how to caramelize bananas! You’ll be pleasantly surprised by just how easy it is to make this tasty treat, ready in minutes.

Melt Butter, Add Sugar: Melt butter in a large skillet or nonstick pan over medium heat. Sprinkle in the brown sugar. Stir to combine and bring the mixture to a boil.

Brown sugar and butter sauteeing in a pan.

Add Cream, Cinnamon, & Salt: Pour in the heavy cream and add the cinnamon and salt. Stir to bring the sauce together.

Brown sugar and butter sauteeing in a pan.

Add Bananas: While the sauce is simmering, add the banana slices to the skillet in a single layer.

Bananas sauteed in caramel sauce in a large skillet.

Cook Bananas: Cook for 2-3 minutes and then flip the sliced bananas over to cook for another 2-3 minutes, until golden brown. Stir while cooking to prevent the sauce and bananas from burning.

Bananas sauteeing with brown sugar and butter in a pan.

Serve & Enjoy: Serve the caramelized bananas on their own, with vanilla ice cream, or see more ideas in my “serving suggestions” section!

Caramelized bananas served with ice cream in a bowl.

💭 Expert Tips

  • Get Creative: Bananas can either be sliced into rounds or sliced in half lengthwise. Choose whatever method you prefer, and consider how you plan to serve the bananas! I prefer rounds on top of ice cream, but halved bananas look beautiful served on a plate with a dollop of whipped cream too!
  • Choose The Right Bananas: You will want to use bananas that are still a little firm so that they hold together when cooked. I recommend using bananas that are yellow but still have a little bit of green left. Overripe bananas are already soft and will quickly become mushy in the skillet.
  • Use The Right Pan: Since bananas are a bit fragile to work with, it is best to use a nonstick skillet. You’ll also want to ensure that you use the correct measurement of butter and proper heat setting.
  • Keep A Close Watch: The bananas will only need to cook for about 2 minutes on each side so stay nearby! The cook time may vary a bit depending on your stove top, pan, and banana thickness/ripeness.

📖 Variations 

  • Caramelized Apples: Not a banana fan? No worries! Follow along with this recipe, using apples instead! They may require a little longer to cook and soften, but will be so delicious when ready.
  • Caramelized Peaches: I love caramelized peaches for a tasty summer treat! Serve with ice cream or whipped cream, just as you would the bananas.
  • Banana Pudding: Keep things simple, adding the sweet bananas with caramel to vanilla pudding. You can blend them up for a smooth consistency or mash them. Top with whipped cream and crushed Nilla wafer cookies.

🍽 Serving Suggestions

This caramelized bananas recipe is super versatile and can be enjoyed any time of day! Here are some of my favorite ways to serve this delicious treat:

  • Breakfast Or Brunch: Take breakfast to the next level, adding brown sugar bananas and a drizzle of maple syrup over top of pancakes, waffles, or french toast. You can also use them as a topping for a warm bowl of oatmeal, peanut butter banana overnight oats, chia seed pudding, or creamed cottage cheese. Pair with your morning coffee or orange juice!
  • Ice Cream Bowl: Make the most indulgent banana split, transforming an ordinary scoop of ice cream into something gourmet and decadent. Drizzle some caramel sauce or chocolate sauce on top and add in crushed nuts! If you want to really play on that banana flavor, try out this chocolate banana ice cream!
  • More Desserts: Aside from making the best ice cream ever, you can use these for caramelized banana pudding parfait, creamy banana milkshake, or as the perfect topping to a banana cake. I love using these caramel bananas as part of a fancy dessert for special occasions! You can also use any leftover banana brown sugar sauce as a drizzle!

🙌 Dietary Adaptations

This delicious recipe for caramelized bananas is gluten-free, soy-free, and vegetarian so it will likely work for many diets! However, if you have a personal or medically restrictive diet here are a few adaptations:

  • Dairy-Free & Vegan Option: To make these candied bananas vegan swap the butter for vegan butter and the heavy cream for coconut cream!
  • Refined-Sugar Free Or Low Sugar: If you are looking to make this simple recipe a little healthier, substitute the brown sugar for coconut sugar. You can also reduce the sugar by half for a lower sugar option.

🫙 Storage Directions

  • To Refrigerate: These bananas are best served immediately for best results! However, you can store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 1-2 days. 
  • To Reheat: If you’d like to warm the leftover bananas before serving, heat them over low heat in a skillet with a little bit of coconut oil. They should be ready after about one minute on each side, as you do not want them to overcook and become mushy.

❓Recipe FAQs

HOW DO I CHOOSE THE RIGHT BANANAS FOR CARAMELIZING?

The best bananas will be recently ripened, with only a few green spots. Avoid over-ripe bananas with black or brown spots, as these will be too mushy and not hold shape.

CAN I USE FROZEN BANANAS?

You can use frozen bananas for this recipe, but keep in mind that they will have more moisture when cooking and may not hold up as well. If you have to use frozen bananas, it may be best to let them thaw first, draining and absorbing excess moisture with a paper towel.

HOW DO I PREVENT THE CARAMEL FROM BURNING?

To prevent the caramel from burning, keep a close eye on the mixture while cooking the bananas and make sure the heat is not too high. It’s important to stir everything often to avoid sticking and burning.

WHAT TYPE OF SUGAR IS BEST FOR CARAMELIZING BANANAS?

I personally find brown sugar to be the best for caramelizing bananas, as it melts down easily and provides a rich, flavorful glaze for the bananas. Other granulated sugars like basic white sugar could work but won’t have that deep molasses flavor that brown sugar has.

SHOULD I USE BUTTER OR OIL?

I find that butter or coconut oil both work well for this recipe. They both have a taste that complements the sweetness of the banana! I would not recommend using an oil that caters to a more savory profile, like olive oil, as it will throw off the taste.

CAN I MAKE CARAMELIZED BANANAS WITHOUT SUGAR OR WITH A SUGAR SUBSTITUTE?

If you don’t use sugar, you won’t get that caramel sauce for the bananas to cook in. However, you can saute butter and banana slices for a 2-ingredient option. The natural sugars in the banana will still caramelize as they cook! You can also use healthier options such as coconut sugar, agave nectar, or honey.

Caramelized bananas with brown sugar in a large skillet.

🍌 More Tasty Banana Recipes!

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📋 Recipe Card

🎥 Watch How to Make It

https://youtu.be/mfXDbcKAplY
Caramelized bananas in a large skillet.
Print Recipe
5 from 6 votes

Caramelized Bananas

Super easy caramelized bananas are a warm, cozy, indulgent treat. They're absolutely delicious on their own, but also taste amazing paired with ice cream, pancakes, waffles, cake, oatmeal, french toast, frozen yogurt, and more! Ready in just 15 minutes, naturally gluten-free, and easily made vegan too!
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time15 minutes
Course: Brunch, Dessert
Cuisine: American, Vegan, vegetarian
Diet: Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings: 4
Calories: 206kcal
Author: Anjali Shah

Ingredients

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Instructions

  • Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat.
  • Sprinkle in the brown sugar, stir to combine and bring to a boil.
  • Pour in the cream, add the cinnamon and salt, stir to bring the sauce together.
  • While the sauce is simmering add the banana slices to the skillet in a single layer.
  • Cook for 2-3 minutes, flip the banana slices over and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
  • Stir while cooking to prevent the sauce and bananas from burning.
  • Serve the caramelized bananas on their own or with vanilla ice cream.

Notes

  • The caramel sauce will reduce and thicken as it simmers.
  • Keep the skillet on a medium heat to reduce the chances of burning the sauce and bananas.
  • Bananas are best served immediately however they can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days.
  • Bananas can either be sliced into rounds or sliced in half lengthwise.
  • Use bananas that are still a little firm so that they hold together when cooked.
  • Cream can be substitututed with coconut cream if preferred.
  • For a vegan option use vegan butter and coconut cream instead of heavy cream.

Nutrition

Calories: 206kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 31mg | Sodium: 74mg | Potassium: 240mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 21g

10 responses to “Caramelized Bananas”

  1. These fabulous, caramelized bananas are so easy to make and go perfectly with both breakfast and dessert dishes.5 stars

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