Transform Overripe Bananas Into Delicious Treats with Our Best Recipes
From easy snack ideas to special-occasion desserts, there are so many recipes that will turn those speckled bananas languishing in the fruit bowl into something spectacular.
Bananas are one of the most perfect snacks out there. Easy to eat and naturally portable, this tropical fruit is high in fiber, low in fat, and packed with nutrients that help to moderate blood sugar levels and lower blood pressure. In other words, if you're feeling a little hangry, grab a banana to recover quickly. But as great as they are in general, there comes a point in the lifecycle of every banana where it seems like it's not worth eating. Too mushy and bruised to top your cereal or toast, it's a far cry from the firm yellow bunch of fruit you purchased last week.
Whatever you do, don't toss them: It's at this stage of ripeness that a banana unlocks its greatest superpower. With the right sidekicks in tow like butter, nuts, and flour, your overripe banana can transform into something even better than it was before. Whether it is by blending into a no-churn ice cream base, standing in for the egg in an ultra-tender vegan muffin, or becoming the surprise flavor in a batch of whoopie pies, bananas that seem past their prime are actually catalysts for creativity in the kitchen.
Recipes abound on this site and beyond for banana bread, which is the original—if a little tired—use for overripe bananas. If you're in the to prepare one of these delicious loafs, we've include our test kitchen's favorite version as well a second ingenious recipe that combines the best part of a streusel coffee cake with the comforting and complex flavor of banana bread. Beyond that, shake up your baking repertoire with our more inventive ideas, including milkshakes, waffles, cookies, donuts, and more.
If this collection of recipes leaves you feeling plenty inspired but you have no speckled bananas in site, here's a tip: Next time a banana languishes on the counter just a little too long to be appetizing, peel and freeze it in a resealable plastic bag. Keep adding to your stash as the weeks go by, and soon enough you'll be eating banana cake and thanking yourself for such inspired planning.
Banana Lumpia (Turon)
Mashed bananas are seasoned with a bit of cinnamon and brown sugar before being placed in an egg-roll wrapper, rolled into cylinders, and fried for this riff on the popular Filipino delicacy. This is a great recipe to make with any young chefs in the house; while they assist with the rolling process, you can work the fryer station.
Gluten-Free Banana-Almond Butter Muffins
Banana Whoopie Pies
Banana-Nut Buttermilk Waffles
This recipe will perfume the whole house with the smell of delicious toasted waffles, a guaranteed way to wake the sleepyheads up for family brunch.
Test Kitchen's Favorite Banana-Chocolate Chip Bread
Banana bread is usually the first destination for overripe bananas, and in the case of this proven winner of a recipe, it's also the best choice. What sets this one apart? It uses the natural banana syrup that collects from thawed frozen bananas. This elixir is also known as "liquid gold" and imparts a pure, concentrated banana flavor to baked goods.
Bananas bring thickening power and a natural sweetness to all kinds of smoothies. If you already keep a bag of peeled bananas in your freezer, then you're well on your way to this easy three-ingredient smoothie snack.
Banana-Walnut Chocolate-Chunk Cookies
If you're a little bored with banana bread, these cookies are the rut-buster you need in your life. Moist—almost cake-like—and studded with toasted nuts and dark chocolate, they're a wonderful way to use up overripe bananas.
Chocolate, Banana, and Graham Cracker Icebox Cake
Streusel Banana Bread
Part coffee cake, part banana bread, this is the kind of baked good that—if set on the counter unprotected—will be gone by the end of the day due to walk-by grazing.
Vegan Baked Banana Donuts
Banana-Apple Puddings with Toasted Almonds
If you're looking for dessert that satisfies your sweet tooth but keeps the calories on the lighter side, look no further than this pudding; it's filled to brim with the wholesome fruit of bananas and apples. Tapioca and yogurt provide body and creaminess to the pudding, while toasted almonds on top add a pleasant crunch.
Banana Rum Raisin Ice Cream
Making no-churn ice cream is an easy and worthwhile activity to try, especially in the summer when hotter temperatures bring forth cravings for an ice-cold scoop. Fresh bananas added to a traditional rum raisin flavor bring a tropical feel.
Banana Sheet Cake with Passion-Fruit Frosting
The passion fruit juice that is added to the frosting is a tart and refreshing counterpoint to this dense and rich banana cake. It's a stunning bake to make for all sorts of occasions, and no one has to know that you were just trying to use up some old bananas!