These pan-fried bananas with brandy are a riff on that Southern classic, bananas foster, and take their sweet richness from a spoonful of coconut cream and their unexpectedly citrusy lilt from orange juice reduced to a syrup. No flaming requiring. (Though next time you have a hankering that just can’t wait, you could probably do without the reduced juice, simply in the interest of saving time.)–David Leite

A white plate of pan-fried bananas with brandy that have been drizzle with coconut cream with a fork resting on either side.

Pan-Fried Bananas with Brandy

5 / 3 votes
These pan-fried bananas with brandy are a lot like bananas Foster minus the flambé. It’s a New Orleans-style dessert full of boozy bananas lavished with brown sugar, butter, brandy, and coconut cream.
David Leite
Servings4 servings
Calories278 kcal
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time25 minutes


  • 1 1/4 cups fresh orange juice, (from about 4 oranges)
  • 4 large firm, medium-ripe bananas
  • 3 tablespoons (1 1/2 oz) unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon brandy
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Large pinch salt
  • Coconut cream, chilled, for lavishing (from a can of coconut cream or skimmed from the top of a can of coconut milk)


  • Pour the orange juice into a small pan and simmer vigorously until reduced to about 3 tablespoons, about 20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, peel the bananas and cut each in half crosswise, then cut each half in half lengthwise.
  • Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons butter and heat until it’s melted and nutty brown.
  • Add the bananas and quickly sauté until lightly browned and just tender, about 1 minute, turning once halfway through with a spatula. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon sugar over the butter and gently shake the skillet until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat.
  • Carefully divvy the bananas among 4 dessert plates. Add the remaining sugar and butter, reduced orange juice, brandy, water, and salt to the skillet and simmer for 1 minute. Drizzle the sauce over the bananas and serve with a spoonful of coconut cream.
Spanish Flavors Cookbook

Adapted From

Spanish Flavors

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Serving: 1 portionCalories: 278 kcalCarbohydrates: 48 gProtein: 2 gFat: 10 gSaturated Fat: 6 gMonounsaturated Fat: 2 gTrans Fat: 1 gCholesterol: 24 mgSodium: 6 mgFiber: 4 gSugar: 32 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2013 José Pizarro. Photo © 2013 Emma Lee. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

This pan-fried bananas with brandy recipe couldn’t be simpler or more delicious. Simmering down the orange juice took a bit over 20 minutes. As the juice cooked down, it became almost neon in appearance.

I’d recommend using a spatula to remove the cooked bananas as I found they didn’t all survive my tongs. A ton of flavor with very little time or energy!

Wow—this is an amazing and memorable dessert. The sauce is unbelievably flavorful and the drizzle of coconut cream is a must, as it provides a great balance to the slightly tart sauce. It comes together quickly and includes simple ingredients that are easy to keep on hand for those last-minute dessert cravings. I was impressed with how combining so few ingredients could come together to achieve such greatness.

For some added texture, consider topping this dessert with a handful of toasted chopped walnuts or pistachios. l found that while the quantity of bananas in the recipe serves 4, the sauce could be doubled. Two of us polished off the sauce in one sitting—it’s that good.

I loved the use of the coconut cream! I’d a hard time finding coconut cream, but discovered that if you put a can of coconut milk in the refrigerator, the cream will rise to the top. With the addition of the nuts for a great texture balance with the soft bananas, I’d give this recipe a 10!

A simple, elegant dessert without much effort. The nutty flavor of the browned butter paired well with the delicate sweetness of the bananas. Topped with the wonderful orangey-caramel brandy sauce and balanced by the creaminess of the coconut cream, this dessert makes a flavorful end to any meal.

I decided to halve this recipe since it was only hubby and me, but I’m happy I got enough ingredients to make this one again since we both loved it. We really enjoyed the addition of the coconut cream; the cold went well with the hot bananas and syrup. The orange juice and brandy added such a nice touch and I was surprised that it wasn’t overly sweet with the brown sugar. This is a recipe I’ll be using again.

It’d be a great entertaining dessert since you could do the reduction of the orange juice ahead of time and then it only takes a few minutes to finish the dish.

This is a straightforward recipe that highlights the natural flavor of the bananas. It’s good exactly as written, except for the coconut cream—mine refrigerated to a solid state. I think this’d be just as good as bananas Foster (well, almost) if it were served over a scoop of ice cream!

About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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Recipe Rating


  1. I’ve done something like this for years for brunch as a side dish. Began with butter and brown sugar, and eventually added bourbon, cognac or Grand Marnier. If you flame it, it dazzles the crowd. A fine go-with for many morning foods. My bananas tend to be underripe so they stay firm. No-recipe cooking at its best.

  2. 5 stars
    Nice addition of the orange and coconut cream to make this a little more complex. Serving over ice cream would probably be fantastic!