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Browned Butter Bananas with Toasted Pecans

Winter or summer, bananas sit prominently on many kitchen counters. One of my breakfast favorites is a peanut butter and banana sandwich made with toasted whole grain bread. It’s fast to make and healthy. Add a glass of milk or cup of hot coffee on the side.

Bananas for dessert? Of course. They’re the foundation for traditional banana splits, but hey, it’s cold outside!  So here is an easy, scrumptious, warm, and rather classy banana dessert – perfect for wintertime (or summer). The bananas are simmered in browned butter, and served with a rum-laced sauce, topped with toasted pecans.

A few kitchen tips:  Browning the butter adds a rich, nutty flavor to the sauce but it’s tricky to see in a dark, coated skillet (as I did for the stovetop photos below). It’s best to use a stainless steel skillet to make sure the butter reaches a golden-brown hue without burning.   Also, I tested the sauce using brown sugar, but it was a bit grainy in the end. And I tried 3 tablespoons rum; it was too strong, masking the browned butter and banana flavors.

Give my dessert a try. Let me know your honest opinion by adding a comment (aka response) at the bottom of this post.

Print This Recipe

Browned Butter Bananas with Toasted Pecans

Prep & Cook time:  23-25 minutes total      Makes 4 servings with about 1/3 cup sauce

1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
Ground cardamom
2  Tbsp. milk
2  Tbsp. dark rum
Grated peel of one lemon
3  Tbsp. butter
3  medium bananas, green at the stem
Toasted pecan halves

In a 1-cup glass measuring cup or small bowl, stir together powdered sugar, cinnamon and a generous sprinkle of cardamom. Add milk, rum and lemon peel; stir until smooth. Set aside.

Melt butter in a 12-inch skillet over medium-low heat. Cook about 5 minutes, swirling butter a few times, until butter just starts to turn golden. Meanwhile, peel bananas, cut in half, then cut in half again lengthwise (see photo below).  When butter is golden, place bananas in pan, flat side down. Cook 2 minutes only. Turn with a spatula; cook 1 minute more. Immediately reduce heat. Transfer bananas to serving plates, 3 pieces per serving.

Pour powdered sugar mixture into skillet. Increase heat to medium; cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Pour sauce back into measuring cup and let cool 5 minutes.

Stir sauce and drizzle over each serving. Add 4-5 pecan halves.  If desired, top with a small scoop of vanilla ice cream.

This is just one of the banana recipes I developed for Coastal Living magazine, March 2012 issue. Click link to see more.

Bananas simmering in browned butter

Bananas simmering in browned butter

Browned butter rum sauce cooking

Browned butter rum sauce cooking

Browned Butter Bananas w Toasted Pecans


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  1. Joyce
    Posted March 4, 2015 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

    I left out the sugar and the milk, also the cardamon, as I’ve no idea where mine is, and I forgot the lemon zest. I also put the pecans in after removing the bananas, and before adding the cinnamon and rum, let them simmer in the butter for a minute sprinkled w/spice and the rum over all.
    took it off the heat and put the bananas back in, shook it a bit to distribute , and almost died it was soooo good.
    thank you, Thank You!

    • Posted March 4, 2015 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

      Joyce, even with your “variations” you liked it! Browned butter and the light amount of rum really give the bananas punch. I also love the toasted pecans. yummmm

  2. Posted March 5, 2015 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    This brings back great memories, Rita, of when I was about 13 and visited New Orleans for the first time. We had brunch at Brennan’s, which included some kind of bananas flambe for dessert. I thought–dessert, with breakfast?!? what an excellent idea! Not sure whether I’ll serve it with breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner, but I’m going to try this recipe–I love the cardamom in there. 🙂

    • Posted March 5, 2015 at 9:17 am | Permalink

      Jill, I’ll be in NOLA this summer (for work) and will go to Brennan’s for breakfast. I’ll let you know if they still serve the bananas.

      • Posted March 5, 2015 at 9:35 am | Permalink

        Lucky you–NOLA on someone else’s dime AND Brennan’s for breakfast! Looking forward to hearing about the bananas.

  3. Susan Sibbring
    Posted May 31, 2015 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

    Rita, I made this several times over an open fire while wilderness camping. Idid not use cardamom or rum since my children were young, nor the rum……although that would have been tempting! Love your blog.

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