The Best Banana Dessert Only Has 3 Ingredients

If the grocery store isn't your favorite place, it should be. We're sleuthing for the best back-of-the-box recipes and every Sunday, Posie Harwood from 600 Acres will share our latest find. 

Today: We interrupt our regularly scheduled Back of the Box content to bring you the next in our "Meet Our Contributors" series—Food52's version of show and tell. We're asking some of the voices behind your favorite columns to share a recipe that represents them (and explain why). Here, Posie talks about why milking a cow makes for better desserts and argues for three-ingredient dishes.

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Tell us about this recipe—what about it makes it you
Have you ever tasted raw cream from a Jersey cow? It’s unbelievably good. If you’ve never had it, I imagine that tasting it will be like living in black and white and suddenly seeing the world in Technicolor. 

My sisters and I were raised on Jersey milk and it is single-handedly responsible for this dessert.

We ate this dessert so often when I was little, I honestly thought that everyone else did, too. I also thought it was all one word. Sadly,  “bananasbrownsugarandcream” will get you nothing but quizzical looks in a restaurant. 

Luckily for you, I am unveiling this super secret recipe. If a three-ingredient dessert doesn't seem like much, consider cinnamon-sugar toast or chocolate mousse. Simple is powerful.

These flavors—cream, bananas, brown sugar—meld together to form something much greater than the sum of its parts. The heavy cream coats the bananas and transforms the brown sugar into velvety, sticky clumps. After a few minutes, the cream turns syrupy. A brown sugar-heavy cream syrup—that's a beautiful thing.

Our Jersey cows, makers of the best cream around

Here's how to make it:

First, you slice bananas thickly into a bowl.

Next, crumble some dark brown sugar over the bowl. Don’t be shy about it.

Finally, douse it all with a few ladle-fulls of raw Jersey cream. If you don’t have Jersey cream, try and get your hands on the freshest, best quality cream you can. If you can only find regular store-bought cream, this will still be excellent. Cream is good in any form! 

This dessert is very humble. But the flavors are worth sharing, so if you want something more presentable, you could finesse it. Whip some cream and layer it with brown sugar and sliced bananas in a shallow glass or tumbler. 

Tell us about your hometown and share a few snapshots (Instagram or otherwise) that represent your world, who you are, and where you live?
I grew up on a farm about forty minutes north of Baltimore. This part of Maryland is all steeplechase country and farms: lush pastures, dark, tangled forest, and low, rolling cornfields. My mother is a mechanical engineer-turned-stay-at-home-farmer. She milks a cow and makes her own yogurt and butter. My three sisters and I grew up running wild: stream-walking and treasure-hunting and fort-building. We had pigs and sheep and chickens and a huge garden and three ponds to swim in. The farm is miles from any grocery store or gas station, so we made most things from scratch and had a lot of adventures.


What is your desert island food (practicalities aside)? 
Oh, hummus and pita I suppose. Or frozen grapes. Or lettuce sandwiches (iceburg lettuce, thick grainy bread, mayonnaise, and Jane's Krazy Mixed-Up Salt).

What is your vegetable spirit animal? 
I do love a good sugar snap pea: crunchy, sweet, juicy. I like the feeling of walking in bare feet through our garden in summer to pick them—the cool dirt on my toes and the warm tangles of vines and pea tendrils. I search through all the greenery to find the peas, then snap them off at their base. I eat one for every three I collect in the bowl for later.

What's one food you pretend to like but secretly hate? 
This isn’t strictly a food, but I’m really not that into wine. Sure, I'll drink it (twist my arm!) but I’ve yet to form a real appreciation for it. I usually fake it—because what sort of person doesn't enjoy wine?!

Here's what I do: Accept a glass and take a few sips. Nod knowingly and murmur things like, “mmm, oak-y” and “look at those legs!” while swishing it around a bit. All the while, wish the drink was bubbly and lemon-y and laced with tequila.

What is your greatest/most exciting culinary failure? 
For a birthday party recently, I made an ice cream cake in advance. I planned to whip up some icing and frost it right before serving. By 10 P.M., I had perhaps had one too many margaritas (yikes, tequila is a theme in this article!). I put cocoa powder, powdered sugar, and COLD butter in my stand mixer and turned it on at full-speed. The dry ingredients went everywhere. I was completely covered in a fine mist of cocoa and sugar, and so was my kitchen. Months later, I can still detect a slightly sugared grittiness to my counters.

Bananas, Brown Sugar, and Cream

Serves 2

2 bananas
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup heavy cream (the best quality you can find)

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Photos by Posie Harwood

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • jane
  • Saffron3
  • Maggie
  • Laura Ellen
    Laura Ellen
  • Irenehope
I like warm homemade bread slathered with fresh raw milk butter, ice cream in all seasons, the smell of garlic in olive oil, and sugar snap peas fresh off the vine.


jane March 15, 2017
We grew up eating fresh peaches, brown sugar and cream! Only the best the best way to eat peaches any time at all!
Saffron3 March 14, 2017
I ate this very bowl of goodness almost every day as a small child. I still do now. So perfect. Kudos to Moms everywhere.
Maggie March 22, 2016
Perfect childhood breakfast/bedtime snack/anytime snack memories. Cinnamon.
Laura E. March 21, 2016
Try it with sour cream. It's delish!
Irenehope June 28, 2015
I grew up with bananas, brown sugar and sour cream. I still crave it every time there's a banana in my kitchen. But no more sugar and sour cream for me. Probably shouldn't have the banana either, but I can only give up so much.
Wout T. June 15, 2015
I used to eat banana's squashed with dark brown sugar, no other ingredients. It was a delicious snack/dessert but no longer viable due to my horrible overweightedness (gee I wonder where that came from).
laurenlocally June 15, 2015
We ate a lot of sour cream, brown sugar and fruit (like banana's or blueberries) and I will have to give this a try!
Bec June 15, 2015
This reminds me of something my dad used to make for me when I was little - such a good combo!
Panfusine June 14, 2015
A Variant of this - using Honey instead of sugar - is served to the bride and groom in a traditional South Indian Wedding by all the older married women from both families, as part of the wedding rituals