Platanos Foster


Pastry chef Paola Velez gives Bananas Foster, the classic flambéed dessert, a Caribbean twist by swapping out bananas for plantains and adding warm spices and coconut water to the caramel sauce. If you can't find extra ripe plantains, place them in a brown paper bag and leave them in a warm, dark place until they ripen—very green plantains could take a week or more. When flambéing, make sure to have the lid for your skillet on hand in case the flame gets out of control and you need to smother it. Rum raisin ice cream is the perfect accompaniment to the caramelly plantains.

Active Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
20 mins


  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil

  • 1 tablespoon butter

  • 2 extra ripe (black skin) plantains, peeled, cut in half crosswise then lengthwise into 4 pieces

  • 5 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon coconut water, divided

  • ½ cup light brown sugar

  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • teaspoon ground clove

  • Pinch of kosher salt

  • 1 tablespoon golden rum

  • 1 tablespoon crème de banana

  • 1 pint rum raisin ice cream


  1. In a large cast-iron skillet, melt coconut oil and butter over medium. Add plantains, flat-side down, and cook until light golden brown, about 2 minutes. Carefully turn plantains over and cook until light golden brown, about 2 minutes more.

  2. Add 3 tablespoons of the coconut water to the skillet, then give the plantains a stir, and cover the skillet. Reduce heat to low and cook until plantains are soft, turning once, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer plantains to a plate. Increase heat to medium and add brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, salt, and a teaspoon of coconut water to skillet. Stir until sugar is melted, about 30 seconds. Return plantains to skillet and cook for 1 minute on each side.

  3. Remove skillet from heat and add rum and crème de banana. Very carefully, using a long matchstick, ignite the liquor (keep the lid handy to smother out the flames if they get out of control). Once flames burn out, return skillet to medium heat. Add remaining 2 tablespoons of coconut water and stir until it forms a caramel sauce. Cook until plantains are nicely coated with caramel sauce, about 2 minutes.

  4. Divide plantains and caramel sauce among bowls. Top each with 2 scoops of ice cream and enjoy.

    Plantains Foster
    Photo by Greg DuPree / Food Styling by Ali Ramee / Prop Styling by Christine Keely
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