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Transform Those Spotty Bananas into These 19 Desserts

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When buying a bunch of bananas, I always start out with the best intentions. I’m going to eat them as a healthy on-the-go snack, or slice them over my morning cereal or yogurt. I’m going to tuck them into the side pocket of my backpack to save me from hanger. But inevitably, I don’t eat all of the bananas, and after a few days I’m left with some very brown, mushy specimens.

At this point, I rejoice! Because now I get to do what I wanted to do all along: make them into desserts. Sure, that typically means banana bread—be it a deep, dark chocolatey version or one spiked with brown butter and bourbon—but the world of banana-based sweets does not stop there. Turn your mature bananas into a whipped-cream-layered Bavarian cake, whirl them into a nutty shake (or a boozy, tropical daiquiri), or use them to make fluffy, powdered-sugar-dusted fritters. So next time you “accidentally” over-purchase bananas and suddenly find that they've all gone spotty, put them to good use with these 19 desserts.

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Pro tip: If your bananas are starting to turn but you’re not quite ready to use them, stick them into a Ziploc bag and freeze them, peels and all. Then once you’re ready, let them thaw in a bowl on the counter or microwave for 20 seconds, until they’re at room temperature. Voilà! You’re one step closer to chocolate banana streusel muffins.

the classic: banana bread (and cake)

Black Sesame Banana Cake with Peanut Butter
Black Sesame Banana Cake with Peanut Butter
Banana Bread with Nutella Swirl and Cocoa Nibs

Banana Bread with Nutella Swirl and Cocoa Nibs by Erin McDowell

Brown Butter Banana Bread With Peanut Streusel

Brown Butter Banana Bread With Peanut Streusel by Phyllis Grant

Dark Chocolate-Olive Oil Skillet Banana Bread
Dark Chocolate-Olive Oil Skillet Banana Bread
Banana Cake with Penuche Frosting

Banana Cake with Penuche Frosting by Lindsay-Jean Hard

Banana, Coconut, Chocolate Chip Snack Cake

Banana, Coconut, Chocolate Chip Snack Cake by ATG117

Brown Butter Bourbon Banana Bread

Brown Butter Bourbon Banana Bread by Jennifer Perillo

Chocolate Banana Streusel Muffins

Chocolate Banana Streusel Muffins by Posie Harwood

Banana Bread
Banana Bread
Bavarian Banana Cake
Bavarian Banana Cake

now go bananas!

Tahini Date Shake
Tahini Date Shake
Banana Pudding

Banana Pudding by Merrill Stubbs

Banana Butterscotch Pudding

Banana Butterscotch Pudding by Yossy Arefi

Lil’s Favorite One Bite Banana Cookies
Lil’s Favorite One Bite Banana Cookies
Banana Fritters
Banana Fritters
Your Ten-Minute Bowl of Bananas in Coconut Milk

Your Ten-Minute Bowl of Bananas in Coconut Milk by Nicholas Day

The Kitchn's One-Ingredient Ice Cream

The Kitchn's One-Ingredient Ice Cream by Genius Recipes

Frozen Banana Daiquiri
Frozen Banana Daiquiri
Banana Bread Blondies
Banana Bread Blondies

How do you salvage older, brown-speckled bananas? Or are you one of those people who prefers your bananas extra-ripe? Tell us below!

Automagic Spring Menu Maker!
Automagic Spring Menu Maker!

Tags: Dessert, Banana