Our Best Banana Recipes
Bananas are a divisive fruit. It's an infamously hated flavor, and to be fair, examples like banana Runts and Laffy Taffy aren't the best representative of its potential. Bananas are very sweet and need a neutralizing element, like chocolate, walnuts, or a carbohydrate of some sort, to really work. They can be great when treated right, and these recipes prove it. You've just got to tame them.
Banana Pudding Cake
One of our testers called this "the ultimate banana pudding in cake form." Tender laters of cake, creamy vanilla custard, and bananas come together to create a mouthwatering dessert. Warning: There won't be leftovers.
Fried Banana Bread (a.k.a. Mangalore Buns)
While one side of the globe was frying bread and calling it fried bread, we called it Mangalore buns (banana puri). This comes from Mangalore, a land of pretty ladies, they say. I feel extremely lucky to have friends like family in every stage of my life. Moving from a cozy apartment to our own home was a new venture, and an exciting one. My very pretty neighbor and I formed a bond over the fence. From passing a cup of sugar or liquid detergent, nothing was out of bounds when it came to needing something urgent. One rainy day she shared this banana puri with spicy lentil curry. All I could say was that I wanted more. Served with something spicy, it makes the slight sweetness of the puri a bit subtler and the sharp spice of the curry a bit milder. It’s a little deviation from the usual puri (a deep-fried flatbread); this has a bit of a spongier and denser feel to it, with a breadlike texture.
Fried Banana Bread
From Masala & Meatballs by Asha Shivakumar, Page Street Publishing Co. 2018
From Masala & Meatballs by Asha Shivakumar, Page Street Publishing Co. 2018
Mini Bananas Foster Sticky Buns
We turned one of New Orleans’ famous desserts into a sweet brunch treat. These Mini Bananas Foster Sticky Buns are perfect served alongside your usual breakfast casseroles and egg dishes, or alongside a hot pot of tea or coffee. And because they are made with refrigerated crescent roll dough, they’re much easier to whip up than cinnamon rolls. Choose bananas that are starting to show signs of ripeness (small brown dots). They will have just the right amount of sweetness and won’t turn to mush when cooked.
Strawberry-Banana Pudding Icebox Cake
Strawberries add brightness to this fun take on banana pudding. Instead of the usual vanilla wafers, use graham crackers, which make neater slices. An instant hit with your family and guests, this recipe makes delicious use of the fresh strawberries you pick up at the local farmers’ market.
Grilled Bananas on Sugared Rum Toast
Who knew toast could be so delicious? Brushed with butter, dipped in sugar, and grilled, the bread (a nice enriched challah) becomes almost brûléed. The riper the bananas, the quicker they will soften during cooking; be mindful when handling.
Classic Banana Bread
This healthier take on banana bread uses yogurt instead of butter, but it's just as moist and indulgent as classic recipes. This banana bread recipe isn't just easy. It's also highly customizable and can adapt to a number of flavors and substitute ingredients. Banana bread should form a crack down the center as it bakes--a sign the baking soda is doing its job. Serve toasted with a smear of cream cheese, Greek yogurt, or peanut and top with mixed nuts, if desired. You can even customize your bread with a crunchy streusal topping that the kids will love.
Boozy Banana Split Bites
These banana split-inspired, vodka-soaked cherries are the perfect adult rendition of a childhood favorite.
Peanut Butter and Banana Cheesecake with Candied Bacon
It's a cake fit for a king.
Chocolate-Banana Cream Tartlets
Individual tartlets are ideal for entertaining and this recipe is like an elegant version of a banana cream pie with a sweet chocolate crust.
While the dishwasher runs after dinner, whip up a batch of this blended treat. Honey sweetens the banana-strawberry-yogurt mixture. Serve thick for a fun beat-the-heat dessert.
Banana Split Waffle Cake
Talk about a birthday breakfast—inspired by the flavors of a classic ice cream treat, this impressive waffle stack makes for such a fun way to kick off an extra-special day. Using store-bought waffle mix keeps this decadent breakfast-for-dessert recipe easy to execute, while sprinkles, whipped cream, and a cherry on top make it feel like a total party on a plate.
Chocolate Banana Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting
Banana-Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
"Mashed ripe banana adds sweetness and flavor to these chocolate chip cookies. I found I could reduce the usual amount of sugar and butter." --Cathy Brixen, Phoenix, Ariz.
Berry-Banana Overnight Oats
Speed up your morning routine with a low-maintenance breakfast made the night before. Studies show frozen blueberries have considerably greater polyphenol concentrations than fresh, while most other nutrient levels are comparable between the two. Walnuts deliver a one-two punch of crunch and nutrition: They are a top nut for brain health thanks to the powerful combination of omega-3 fats, vitamin E, and antioxidants.
Salted Caramel Banana Pudding
Chocolate-Tahini Banana Bread
Bananas and peanut butter are a likely duo, but bananas and tahini? Mind-blowing. For those with nut allergies, tahini is a great, slightly more complex, substitute. Try spreading Soom's chocolate-sesame spread over each slice for an extra tahini hit.
Fried Bananas Foster
The Big Easy’s signature banana and caramel dessert—invented at Brennan’s in the French Quarter—gets a sweet and inventive update. Wrap baby bananas, available at Asian and Latin markets, in spring roll pastry wrappers, fry, and serve over butter pecan ice cream—topping with caramel rum sauce not optional.
Caribbean Mahimahi with Banana Chutney
No-Waste Banana Trifle
Cold Brew-Banana Smoothie
Who says you can't caffeinate and fill up on a hearty, wholesome breakfast smoothie all at the same time? In this cozy java concoction, prepared cold brew is blended into a banana and almond milk smoothie. Rather than using ice cubes which will dilute the flavor of the smoothie, the cold brew is cleverly frozen. With a dash of cinnamon and agave nectar, this healthy breakfast smoothie tastes like banana bread in a glass.
Miso Banana Bread with Yuzu Glaze
Banana Rice Cake
Breakfast On The Go: Not hungry yet? These quick single-serving ideas are perfect for packing up for when hunger strikes. Lose weight the 5:2 way. This healthy, quick and easy recipe is featured in the breakfast section of the new 5:2 Starter's Guide to The 2-Day Diet. The book provides a selection of over 100 tasty recipes that meet the daily 500 calorie allotment for the 2 days of intermittent fasting, as required by the 5:2 Diet.
Caramelized Banana Split
Give your favorite ice cream treat a serious upgrade by caramelizing the bananas before building your sundae. Broiling the banana with brown sugar and a dash of cinnamon intensifies the fruit’s sweetness and adds a layer of rich depth to your dessert. This recipe is for a single split, but is easily multiplied to serve more.
Banana Pudding Milk Shake
This Banana Pudding Milk Shake is cool and refreshing. This treat doesn’t have to be just for dessert; we love it for an afternoon snack as well. You only need 5 ingredients for this creamy drink. Chances are you already have a few on hand. If you have bananas, vanilla bean ice cream, and vanilla wafers, you can create this summer treat in just 10 minutes.
Copycat IHOP Strawberry Banana King's Hawaiian French Toast
A partnership between IHOP and King’s Hawaiian Sweet Bread led to the creation of the ultimate breakfast mashup—Hawaiian sweet bread French toast… Yeah, we are just scratching our heads wondering why we hadn’t thought of this first. This dish has transformed the classic, cult favorite dinner rolls into a morning must-have, that may just replace basic sliced bread forever. The pillowy rolls are dunked in a rich vanilla custard and pan-fried with butter to golden perfection. The French toasts are then topped with a simple strawberry syrup made from fresh berries and sugar, simmered for just a few minutes, followed by a handful of banana slices for a sweet finish.
Avocado Matcha Banana Bread
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with banana bread. It’s a breakfast classic, like a plain bagel or a glazed doughnut. However, there are times when a classic just doesn’t thrill. That’s when we pull out the green stuff. Avocado and matcha green tea powder may not be part of your regular baking routine, but not only do they dye banana bread a delightful deep green, they add earthy flavors that tone down the banana-ness of the loaf.
Pureed avocado adds moisture to make the quick bread even more tender, plus a mild vegetal note you just can’t find in plain ol’ sweet banana bread. Then, a hit of matcha ups the complex flavors where avocado drops off, and doubles up on the vibrant color. Slice into the bread while it’s still warm (or pop it in the toaster) and smear it with a thick swipe of cream cheese or Greek yogurt.
Avocado Matcha Banana Bread
Banana Bread Hummus
Banana bread has the power to bring on so many feelings. Maybe it’s the sweet aroma that reminds you of Grandma’s house. Or the fact that you saved those overripe bananas from the trash—again. There’s a lot of potential reasons why those emotions take over. Regardless, you can’t deny the greatness of homemade banana bread. But when you’re having a day, you don’t want to deal with baking. Sure, there’s always pancake batter banana bread. But that involves bowls and loaf pans. The next best thing? Banana bread hummus.
This hybrid dip combines the best elements of banana bread with the faint nutty notes of hummus. (Thanks for that, tahini.) It only makes sense to combine the two. And while most hummus flavors are savory or spicy, this one stands out from the crowd/fridge. For ultimate customization, treat this hummus as real banana bread batter. Mix in some mini chocolate chips, chopped strawberries, or crushed cookies. Walnuts are classic, but not necessary. Basically, if you’d use it in the bread, use it in the hummus. It might sound weird, but trust me on this one.
Banana Bread Hummus
Pan-Fried Cinnamon Bananas
Dealing with bananas is an art. You need to buy them when they have just enough green. The colors should provoke a sense of equilibrium, suggesting that they’re running on the same schedule as you. How else will you make that banana smoothie approximately 4.6 days from now? And then you need to do the math (or cross your fingers) and hope that your beloved bananas will be ready when you are. Yet, even after all the sweat, blood, and research—you’ll probably have overripe bananas anyway. Hey, you tried. But now you have an excuse to make pan-fried cinnamon bananas.
If you’re on Team Banana Bread, hear me out. Yes, homemade banana bread is objectively the best thing you can bake. Heck, you can even make an easy three-ingredient banana bread if you’re feeling lazy. Or what about three-ingredient banana pancakes? And then there’s banana bread hummus, a unique alternative to the typical dip.
Don’t limit yourself, though. You’re better than that. Pan-fried cinnamon bananas are the answer to all of life’s questions. (Or at least the ones you have in the kitchen.) All you need is cinnamon, sugar, and ten minutes.
Pan-Fried Cinnamon Bananas
Berry-Banana Smoothie is a classic combo that's perfect for breakfast or a snack, and it's made even healthier with the addition of old-fashioned oats.
Roasted Banana Pudding
Many folks say banana pudding is best the next day, after the flavors have blended overnight and the cookies have softened.
Eggnog Banana Bread
A mash-up of the retro holiday drink and the classic quick bread makes perfect sense: Booze, cream, and nutmeg pair perfectly with banana, vanilla, and brown sugar. These whole-grain mini loaves are a great alternative to cupcakes, and much easier to package without a dome of messy frosting. If you don't have mini loaf pans, you can use 12 muffin cups lined with cupcake liners. For a kid-friendly drizzle, you can swap the alcohol for fresh orange juice.
Bananas Foster with Pound Cake
The quick dessert popularized in New Orleans in the 1950s features bananas warmed in a dark-brown-sugar caramel sauce. It’s even better made and eaten outdoors.
Chocolate Banana Puddings
Baked Bananas with Ice Cream and Shaved Chocolate
Looking for a way to sneak in a serving of fruit? Here's one, and we made it especially yummy with the addition of chocolate shavings. To make them, warm a square of chocolate, still wrapped, in your hands. Then use a vegetable peeler to form the shavings.
Peanut Butter-Banana Milk Shakes
Try this thick and creamy Peanut Butter-Banana Milk Shake as a nutritious breakfast or an indulgent after-dinner treat. Perfect for any nut-lover, this decadent, frozen treat packs on the protein that is sure to keep you full and satisfied. Not only is this simple drink kid-approved, they'll be asking for it again and again.
We like the nutty flavor of roasted walnut oil; if you can’t find it, though, you can use regular walnut oil for more subtle walnut notes. Freeze extra slices with wax or parchment paper between them. Reheat in the toaster oven on dark toast setting, or broil 1 to 2 minutes per side.
Banana Upside-Down Pancake Cake
This incredibly tender, delicious spice cake has a secret… Aunt Jemima pancake mix. That’s right, this brunch-worthy cake starts with boxed pancake mix (but no one would guess it). The added bonus of brown sugary caramelized bananas, toasted pecans, and a hit of rum only makes the idea of cake-for-breakfast all the more appealing.
3-Ingredient Banana Bread
When you’re baking a loaf of homemade banana bread, you no longer have to fuss with flour, baking powder, eggs, etc.—all of that stuff’s included in just-add-water pancake mix. Okay, it might seem a little weird at first glance, but it’s totally possible to make bread with pancake batter. (Uh, hello, it’s darn cheap, too.) This budget-friendly banana bread is perfectly tailored for those of us trying to save a few bucks (a.k.a. all of us) since it just calls for three ingredients: pancake mix, banana, and peanut butter. It’s also the perfect way to use up the overripe bananas that are all beautifully speckled and brown in your fruit bowl.
3-Ingredient Peanut Butter Banana Bread
Banana Snack Cake
Garnish this fun cake with glossy roasted bananas for a chic, modern spin, or simply gild it with the cream cheese frosting.
Susan’s Banana Cake with Chocolate Frosting
On the surface, so simple. A moist, richly banana-flavored, two-layer cake with a dark chocolate frosting. No frills or fancies. No nuts, chocolate chips or chunks, no crispy bits or coconut. Just a basic banana cake with a simple chocolate frosting. And yet, in the marriage of these two tastes something extraordinary happens. It is cake alchemy.