Caramelized bananas are so simple, but OMG, are they heavenly! I’ve made this recipe countless times, and it never ceases to delight.
Better still, it needs just two pantry staples you likely already have in your kitchen.
This recipe really couldn’t be more simple. It’s just sliced bananas pan-fried in sugar.
Think creme brulee, but instead of a custard filling, you’ll get sweet, luscious bananas inside the crunchy caramel candy coating.
Seriously, it’s so good; you’ll go bananas. Let’s get started.
Easy Caramelized Bananas
Bananas are always fantastic if you ask me. But these caramelized bananas are next-level incredible!
And all it takes is a quick coating of caramelized sugar.
Minimal ingredients, maximum flavor.
This simple recipe creates a glorious combo of crunchy caramel on the outside and tender bananas on the inside. Try it once, and you’ll yearn for it again and again.
Bananas – Use bananas that are at your preferred level of ripeness. I like to pick ones with deep, bright yellow skins and a few brown spots here and there. That way, they’re wonderfully sweet and still quite firm.
That said, if you like more bite, go for bananas that still have a tinge of green.
You can even use very or over-ripe bananas if that’s your jam. They’ll turn out a little mushy, but they’ll have the most banana flavor and natural sweetness.
Sugar – It’s what creates the crunchy caramel coating. I use regular granulated sugar for this recipe, but you can also use light brown sugar. Just expect a darker hue on the caramel.
You can also use Splenda for a lower calorie count.
Butter or Spray – I prefer butter because it tastes so much better!
How to Caramelize Bananas
1. Slice and coat the bananas with sugar. They can be in the form of round coins or lengthwise strips. The important thing is to slice them thickly and evenly and to coat each slice generously with sugar.
2. Grease and preheat the skillet. This step is crucial because you don’t want the sugar and bananas to stick to the pan. Preheating is also vital because it gets the caramelization going.
3. Caramelize the bananas until they are light to golden brown at the bottom. Lift them carefully with a fork to check.
This will take about 4-5 minutes, but the time will vary from one stove to another. That said, be sure to keep an eye on the sugar and bananas at all times.
4. Flip the bananas over and cook the other side. This will take a lot less time, about 1 minute. Again, keep a close watch on the sugar and the bananas to ensure they don’t burn.
5. Serve and enjoy!
Tips for the Best Caramelized Bananas
- Whether you prefer round coins or lengthwise slices, be sure to slice the bananas thickly. They’ll be too hard to flip over when they’re sliced very thin. You also want to make uniform slices to ensure even cooking.
- If you want long, lengthwise strips, it’s easier to slice before you peel. Just slice through the entire banana from end to end and then peel.
- It’s important to preheat the pan to get the sugar to melt and caramelize, but you also don’t want to overdo it. Sugar burns pretty quickly.
- Be sure to grease the pan generously with butter or cooking spray. If you skip this step, the sugar and bananas will stick to the pan.
- Don’t overcrowd the pan – this’ll make flipping the bananas a challenge. Cook in batches if you have to.
- The cooking times will vary depending on your stove and pan, so keep a close eye the entire time. Sugar burns in the blink of an eye, so be cautious.
- For easier clean-up, soak the pan in hot water immediately after cooking. I like to add a dash of dish soap and hot water from the kettle.
- Arrange the bananas in a single layer without overlapping to keep the bananas from sticking to each other. This will ensure they all get nice and caramleized and that no chunks of grainy sugar gets caught between the fruit.
- Caramelized bananas are at their best and crunchiest the same day they were cooked. They’ll taste good up to 1-2 days after, too, but they’ll start to lose their crunch. Store leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate. Reheat in the microwave or enjoy them chilled.
- Cinnamon – We all know bananas, sugar, and cinnamon go well together, so this one’s a no-brainer. Just whisk a pinch of cinnamon into the sugar before you coat the bananas.
- Liqueur – A splash of rum or brandy will do wonders, plus it makes for a great show. At the last minute of cooking, tip the skillet over the flame, pour the liqueur, and (carefully) watch the bananas blaze.
- Orange or Pineapple Juice – the sweet and tangy juice will enhance the caramel’s flavor.
How to Serve Caramelized Bananas
Oh, there are many, many ways, and all of them will bring joy to your day.
These are some examples:
- Ice Cream – Besides the heavenly flavor and texture combinations, I also love the contrast between the warm bananas and cold ice cream. Choose any flavor you like! My personal favorite is butter pecan, what’s yours?
- Breakfast – this can be anything from pancakes and waffles to French toast and crepes to banana loaf and chocolate bread. Oh, and coffee cake and muffins, too! The list goes on and on.
- Cake or Cupcake Filings – the bananas will not only add flavor but will make your baked dessert extra moist for days!
- Healthy Options- In case you’re looking for more wholesome alternatives, caramelized bananas also taste awesome with cottage cheese or on top of oatmeal and yogurt. Make it extra tasty with a sprinkling of chopped nuts (macadamias, walnuts, and almonds go so well with bananas) and/or granola. bibhihb
- On their own – Just serve them up in a bowl and enjoy with a fork. When it’s something this good, there’s really no need for any additions.
Recipes To Serve With Caramelized Bananas
Brioche French Toast
Deliciously Moist Banana Bread
Bisquick Banana Muffins
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