Plantain desserts are especially popular in places like Ghana, Cameroon, Haiti, Cuba, and most of West and East Africa and the Caribbean.
People in Hawaii also enjoy a wide variety of plantain-based desserts and dishes.
If you live in most of the continental U.S., however, you may never have tried them.
If you have tried plantains, chances are, you don’t eat them all that regularly and may not know that many ways to prepare them.
Luckily for you, there are plenty of fantastic plantain desserts out there, and you can easily find the recipes online.
In fact, you can find 10 of the best ones right here on this list!
*Note: Despite their similar appearances, plantains aren’t as sweet as bananas, and as such, many plantain desserts aren’t as sweet as most people think “traditional desserts” should be.
The ones that are sugary sweet usually take their sweetness from the added ingredients, not the plantains themselves.
1. Plantain Bread
You can think of plantain bread as a lighter, moister, and slightly less sweet banana bread.
The two breads share similar ingredients, and both make use of nutmeg, sugar, and vanilla.
Even so, plantain bread is a bit more savory than banana bread, and its texture is less dense and much fluffier.
That’s not to say that plantain bread isn’t sweet. The sugar, vanilla, butter, and milk see to that.
However, the addition of sour cream and the plantains tone down the sweetness somewhat.
You’ll be left with a soft, unbelievably delicious bread that’s particularly wonderful when paired with tea or coffee.
2. Sweet Fried Plantains
If you’re looking for a super sweet plantain dessert, sweet fried plantains are pretty much the go-to.
Made with brown sugar, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and coconut oil, these can’t help but be incredibly sweet.
They’re also a sticky mess, but they taste divine.
They taste the best if you serve them straight from the pan when they’re still hot and the syrup glaze is slightly crispy around the edges.
These are truly tropical treats.
3. Plantain Cake
Whether you serve it as a breakfast pastry or for dessert, plantain cake will be a hit with everyone.
It’s dense but moist and sweet, but not overwhelmingly so.
The cake contains tender bits of ripe plantains, and there’s zestiness from the lemon juice and zest and spiciness from the cinnamon.
There are several different flavors in this warm, rich cake, but they all compliment each other wonderfully.
4. Plantain Brownies
These vegan-friendly brownies are some of the fudgiest you’ll ever eat.
They contain only six ingredients – overripe plantains, oat flour, cacao powder, coconut sugar, baking powder, and non-dairy milk – and take only 10 minutes to prepare.
They’re tasty, full of fiber, and – perhaps surprisingly – not that unhealthy for you! If you’re a chocolate fanatic, you’ll love these brownies.
5. Chocolate Chip Plantain Cookies
These chocolate chip plantain cookies are vegan-friendly, paleo-compliant, and take less than 30 minutes to prepare and bake.
They’re delightfully crispy on the outside, but they have soft, gooey centers that’ll melt the moment they hit your tongue.
They’re lightly sweet and contain huge chunks of dark chocolate.
There’s a richness and a sweet bitterness to these cookies that makes them almost irresistible, especially when paired with a cup of black coffee.
6. Plantains Foster
You’ve likely heard of bananas foster, and this is the tropical island version of that.
Bananas grow on islands, too! But somehow, plantains seem more tropical to me.
You’ll season the plantains with butter, dark brown sugar, cinnamon, vanilla extract, orange zest, dark rum, and a bit of salt.
All that gives them a marvelous, complex flavor that’ll have your tastebuds begging for more.
Top them off with the traditional vanilla ice cream, and you’ll have a sweet, spiced dessert that’ll have you coming back again and again.
7. Plantain Muffins
These chewy, crumbly muffins combine the flavors of plantains, cranberries, cinnamon, and more for lightly sweet, mostly tart muffins that are unlike anything you’ve ever tried.
They take only 30 minutes to make and are jam-packed with vitamins and nutrients. They make great desserts, breakfast pastries, or mid-day snacks.
8. Sweet Plantain Fritters
These filling fritters are softer than most people think of when they hear the word “fritters.”
They’re more like fluffy pancakes than crunchy potato fritters.
They’re lightly sweet, but also like pancakes, their flavor is mild, and there isn’t a lot of sweetness to them until you add toppings like berries, whipped cream, or syrup.
The nutmeg adds just a hint of spice, but overall, these are light treats that many people pair with eggs and breakfast meats in the morning.
Whether you enjoy them for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or dessert, they’re sure to be a delicious dish that fills you up more quickly than you’d imagine.
9. Plátanos Asados con Coco (Coconut-Baked Plantains)
This five-ingredient dish is hugely popular in Colombia, where people usually serve it as a side dish instead of a dessert.
Like many plantain recipes on our list, it isn’t overly sweet.
Still, if you enjoy desserts that are naturally sweetened and free of additives, coconut-baked plantains will probably be a fast favorite for you.
All you’ll need to make them are plantains, butter, cinnamon, coconut milk, and shredded coconut.
The coconut flakes add sweetness and texture to the softer, milder plantains.
And as you can probably already tell by how many of these recipes call for it, cinnamon is always an exquisite addition to plantain dishes.
10. Sweet Caramel Cinnamon Baked Plantains
Here’s yet another recipe for a paleo-compliant, vegan-friendly way to cook plantains.
Making these sweet plantains takes only 35 minutes and is incredibly easy to do.
You’ll need plantains, coconut oil, coconut sugar, cinnamon, and sea salt. In taste, these are similar to the sweet fried plantains.
However, they aren’t as sticky or as sugary sweet.
The cinnamon adds a delightful dash of spice and flavor, and the sea salt brings a sweet and salty combo that packs a nice punch.
You can serve these by themselves, but I prefer to set them out with a bowl of whipped cream for dipping. It’s extra decadent and extra delicious.
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