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These bananas foster pancakes are the best way to eat pancakes. Ripe bananas are sautéed in a butter, brown sugar, cinnamon and rum extract sauce, with pecans and walnuts mixed in for some crunch. The banana foster sauce is then poured over a stack of fluffy, golden pancakes.
These banana foster pancakes are even better than your regular pancakes. These are perfect for a weekend family brunch or get together with friends.
- It’s a decadent breakfast. This banana foster sauce turns pancakes into an indulgent dessert-like breakfast.
- They’re made without rum. This recipe uses rum extract instead of rum which makes it a family-friendly recipe.
- It uses up bananas. It’s a great way to use up a couple bananas before they go bad.
What Is Bananas Foster?
Traditional bananas foster is a dessert originally from New Orleans. Bananas are cooked in a sauce made of butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, rum and banana liqueur.
The sauce is then set on fire (flambéed) which burns off most of the alcohol. The bananas foster is then served over vanilla ice cream.
These bananas foster pancakes are based off of this dessert. However, this recipe uses rum extract rather than alcohol, and skips the flambé step so they’re easier for making at home in your kitchen.
Instead of being served over ice cream, the sauce is served over fluffy pancakes.
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Bananas: Use bananas that are ripe but firm. Don’t use bananas that are too mushy or they will become too soft when cooked.
- Brown Sugar: If you have it, use dark brown sugar as this adds more flavor, but you can use regular brown sugar as well.
- Flour: Use all purpose flour. You can substitute this for a gluten free flour if needed.
- Baking Powder: A small amount of baking powder helps the pancakes rise. This can’t be substituted with baking soda.
- Nuts: A combination of toasted pecans and walnuts add crunch and flavor.
- Rum & Vanilla Extract: Rum extract adds rum flavor without using alcohol. You can substitute the rum extract for amaretto extract or almond extract. Vanilla extract adds a bit of sweetness.
- Cinnamon & Nutmeg: Cinnamon and nutmeg add a bit of flavor to the pancakes and bananas foster sauce.
- Salt: A small amount of salt brings out the other flavors.
- Milk: Use 1% cow’s milk, or substitute for a dairy free milk such as almond milk or oat milk.
- Egg: Egg acts as a binding agent to hold the pancakes together.
- Butter: Use unsalted butter. You can substitute this with margarine or vegan butter.
- A baking sheet and parchment paper to toast the nuts.
- A kitchen scale to measure the ingredients.
- Mixing bowls to mix the ingredients.
- A rubber spatula to mix everything together.
- A large non-stick pan or a griddle to make the pancakes.
- A small skillet to make the bananas foster sauce.
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lay out the walnuts and pecans in a single layer. Toast for 7 to 10 minutes, flipping halfway through.
Step 2: In a large mixing bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt together.
Step 3: In a medium mixing bowl, mix the melted butter and brown sugar together. Beat in the egg, vanilla extract and rum extract.
Step 4: Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, alternating with the milk.
Step 5: Melt a small amount of butter on a griddle or a saucepan over medium heat. Once the butter has melted, use a ⅓ or ¼ measuring cup to scoop the batter onto the pan.
Step 6: After a couple minutes, when you start to see bubbles appearing in the batter, flip the pancake. Cook until cooked through and golden brown on both sides.
Step 7: On a separate small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Mix in the brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and rum extract. Continue to heat the sauce for 2-3 minutes until the brown sugar is melted.
Step 8: Add in the banana slices, pecans and walnuts. Stir to coat in the sauce. Cook for another couple minutes. Don’t overcook the bananas or they will get mushy.
These bananas foster pancakes are delicious just as they are. However, if you want to add some optional toppings to make them even more decadent, here are some ideas:
- Ice Cream: Serve the pancakes with a scoop of ice cream, topped with bananas foster sauce. Vanilla ice cream, rum ice cream or butter pecan ice cream all go perfectly with these pancakes.
- Fresh Fruit: Besides bananas, you can add even more fruit on top of these pancakes such as fresh strawberries, raspberries or blueberries.
- Maple Syrup: Drizzle a bit of maple syrup on top of the pancakes.
- Extra Sauce: If you want to drench these pancakes in even more sauce, double the amount of the bananas foster sauce.
- Dairy Free: Use almond milk or oat milk instead of cow’s milk. Use plant-based margarine or vegan butter instead of regular butter.
- Gluten Free: Use gluten free flour instead of all purpose flour for the pancakes.
- Chocolate Chip Pancakes: For a chocolate twist, add in ½ - ¾ cup of chocolate chips to the pancake batter.
To save time on the day of making the pancakes, toast the walnuts and pecans in advance.
Store them in an airtight container at room temperature until ready to use in the bananas foster sauce.
- Fridge: Store leftover pancakes in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. The banana foster sauce is best served fresh.
- Freezer: To freeze the pancakes, first let them cool to room temperature. Place a piece of parchment paper in between each pancake and store the stack in a freezer friendly container or a large ziplock bag.
If the pancakes are frozen, let them thaw in the fridge first before using on of these methods to reheat them:
- Oven: Reheat for 15 to 20 minutes at 350F.
- Stove: Reheat on low heat for a couple of minutes each side until warmed throughout.
- Microwave: Heat for 30 second intervals until warm. This method may result in a slightly softer pancake.
- Don’t use mushy bananas. For other baking recipes, mushy brown bananas work great. However, for this recipe, they will become too soft in the sauce. Use firm, ripe, yellow bananas.
- Don’t overcook the bananas. Add the bananas just in the last couple minutes of cooking the sauce. Cooking the bananas for too long will make them mushy.
- Use a kitchen scale. It is easy to accidentally add too much flour when measuring with measuring cups. A kitchen scale is the most accurate way to measure ingredients.
- Don’t overmix the pancake batter. There will be some clumps in the pancake batter. This is ok — don’t overmix the batter.
- Don’t heat the bananas foster sauce too much. If you heat the sauce on too high a temperature or for too long, it may become too thick. If this happens, add more butter while cooking the sauce on low heat until it smoothes out.
- Keep the pancakes in a preheated oven. If you find it too difficult to make the pancakes and sauce at the same time, make the pancakes first and keep them warm in an oven preheated to 200F until ready to serve.
Yes, you can use any pancake recipe you like for the base pancakes, including pancake mix.
If the sauce is too thick, it may have been heated at too high a temperature for too long. If this happens, add more butter, stirring while heating on low until the sauce smoothens up.