These easy caramelized banana pancakes are effortlessly fluffy, and smothered in bananas in a mouth-watering 2-ingredient buttery caramel sauce. With this recipe, you can get the perfect caramelized bananas every time, and serve a romantic or casual breakfast treat with a twist for two – or more!
Why you’ll love them
I grew up eating these thin English pancakes which you could say are a little like French crepes.
They’re absolutely delicious, but there’s no denying the appeal of fluffy American pancakes too. These easy banana pancakes adapted from a recipe from the ever talented Jamie Oliver happen to be my favorite. Here’s why.
- The perfect amount of sticky, caramel-y sauce! The first time I made this caramelized banana pancake recipe, I knew that there wasn’t nearly enough of the sticky banana sauce for Mr. Scrummy. The next time I made them, I scaled down the recipe to feed just 2 of us, but, ahem, ‘forgot’ to scale down the sauce. Oops.
- They’re the best kind of fluffy pancakes! For beautifully light fluffy pancakes for your delicious banana caramel sauce, you whisk up the egg whites as you would if making meringue. Then gently fold them into the pancake batter.
- They’re very easy to make. Apart from the addition of the whisked egg whites, these are classic easy pancakes. The caramelized bananas with 2-ingredient sauce are very easy to make too. Whisking up egg whites might sound like too much trouble, but you might find it quite therapeutic on a weekend morning!
So note that unlike some banana pancakes recipes, these don’t actually contain bananas in the batter. The pancakes are simple and fluffy and complemented perfectly by the sticky caramel banana topping.
About the ingredients
Large eggs: Separate the eggs by cracking the shells and then moving the yolk from each half of the egg shell to the other until all the white drips into a bowl.
Use room temperature eggs for the best fluffy pancakes!
Flour: Just white plain or all-purpose flour. I haven’t tried substituting in any other types of flour to make these. However, since pancakes don’t rely on gluten formation, in theory you could try them with any kind of flour you like.
Baking powder: Just half a teaspoon is all you’ll need. The whisked egg whites are what also help you to get nice fluffy pancakes.
Milk: For the best flavor and richness, use whole milk (full fat) or 2% fat (semi-skimmed). You can, however, use any kind of milk you like, including a non dairy milk.
Try to remember to take the milk out of the fridge a while before you want to make the pancakes (along with the eggs). It helps with their fluffy-ness!
Bananas: Bananas that are too overripe don’t caramelise well. They can easily break up in the pan, as well as creating too much juice. ‘Just right’ is ideal, neither too green nor too ripe. In a pinch, however, just use what you have!
Salt: A good pinch of salt added to the batter goes perfectly with the buttery caramel flavor.
For the sauce
Butter: I usually use unsalted butter, but salted would actually work well too as a contrast to the sweet caramel sauce. Just don’t substitute the butter for margarine or oil. Oh no no, we definitely need it for the most delicious caramel topping.
Brown sugar: I usually use light brown sugar, but dark brown will work, too.
Greek yogurt: I didn’t include this in the photo above, but it’s delicious spooned on top of the pancakes to serve! If you prefer you can use ice cream, crème fraiche or even whipped cream.
How to make caramelized banana pancakes
The step-by-step guide below should help you make the recipe perfectly first time. Scroll down to the end for the full recipe including ingredient amounts.
You start by mixing together the egg yolks, flour, baking powder and milk. For the fluffiest pancakes, it’s important not to overmix.
Then whisk the egg whites until they are white and very fluffy.
Fold them carefully in to make a fairly thick batter.
Cook the pancakes in a medium-hot pan with a little butter or drizzle of vegetable oil. For each pancake, add a small ladleful of batter to the pan.
Wait until little bubbles appear on the top, they’ve risen a little and the underside is golden. They only take a few minutes to cook!
How to caramelize bananas
This is the fun part. But isn’t it a lot of trouble? Nope.
It’s easy. HOWEVER… I’ve made this banana caramel pancakes recipe again and again, and the first few times I did actually mess up my caramelised bananas.
The good thing is, even when my bananas and caramel sauce weren’t perfect, they were still delicious.
So don’t be too hard on yourself if you don’t get it perfect the first time. Just give it another go, and I promise you you’ll get perfect banana pancakes with caramelized bananas eventually.
First, melt the sugar and butter together in a skillet, frying pan or pancake pan. Let cook on a low(ish) heat for a few minutes.
Turn up the heat to medium. Add the bananas to the pan, cut side down. Let cook gently in the sauce for another few minutes.
Then carefully slide the bananas over with a spatula to cook on the other side until they are nice and soft and golden.
Helen’s top tips
- Make your pancakes first. Then pop them into the oven on a ‘keep warm’ setting – or at about 50C/120F. Don’t make them at the same time as the caramelized bananas. Trust me, this is not the time to show off your multi-tasking skills. I’ve tried it and my caramel always ends up hard as nails. Or, worse, burnt.
- When you first add the butter and brown sugar to your frying pan/skillet, let them melt together ON A LOW HEAT.
- Don’t worry! When the sauce and bananas are cooking together, you’ll find that the bananas will release some of their ‘juice’ into the sauce. Especially when they are on the riper side. The butter will also seem to separate from the rest of the sauce for a while. This is fine!
- Flip the bananas over carefully (it doesn’t really matter if they break a little). A spatula or fish slice works well. The sauce is done when it’s lost that ‘separated butter’ look, is golden brown and starts to thicken.
- It’s best to make sure your milk and eggs are at room temperature – for the fluffiest pancakes!
You end up with perfectly soft-but-not-too-soft bananas all drenched in the sticky sauce.
A couple of times I’ve let the sauce bubble for slightly too long and it’s ended up a bit crunchy in parts. Don’t worry too much if this happens to you. You’ll still have absolutely delicious caramelized pancakes!
How to serve
The creamy stuff you can see on the top of my pancakes is Greek yogurt.
I tend to put Greek yogurt on top of a lot of things, but it really does go perfectly with this banana pancakes recipe. The slight sourness of the yogurt contrasts perfectly with the sweetness of the caramelized bananas.
Alternatively, you can serve them with ice cream, or a spoonful of crème fraiche or even whipped cream. If you like you can also sprinkle over a few crushed nuts: pistachios, hazelnuts, almonds, macadamias or even peanuts.
The most important thing is to eat your pancakes immediately when they’re still fluffy and hot and delicious.
These pancakes are perfect for weekend breakfasts or Pancake Day, but as the recipe is for two they also make a great Valentine’s Day brunch or breakfast-for-dinner.
But of course it’s also easy to scale the recipe up for a hungry family!
- Stir a few blueberries through the pancake batter before cooking.
- Add half a teaspoon of cinnamon to the butter and brown sugar while caramelizing the bananas.
- Add around a quarter teaspoon of salt to the butter and brown sugar for more of a salted caramel sauce. Or just use salted butter for a hint of salty flavor.
- Add half a teaspoon of vanilla essence to the sauce and/or to the pancake batter.
- Try substituting the bananas for sliced apples! Just as delicious!
More things to know (recipe FAQ)
The bananas were probably too ripe. The best bananas to use are medium ripe bananas – so not too ‘green’, but not too ripe, either. This way they’ll release lots of juice which will help to make the sauce. But they’ll be less likely to fall apart.
The first couple of times I made these that happened to me, too. Next time, start the caramel off on a low heat. Then when the butter and sugar has melted, turn the heat up to medium. Keep a close eye on things! The caramel is ready when it’s just starting to thicken.
No worries – I bet they were still delicious! Next time, make sure you don’t overmix. Fold the whisked egg whites into the pancake batter very carefully, and only just enough to fully combine them. Then make your pancakes immediately.
For these pancakes – no, not really. It’s better to make the batter just before you want to make the pancakes for maximum fluffy-ness!
You can cover the pancakes and store them in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat either in the microwave for 30 seconds or in a hot pan for about 30 seconds on each side.
The caramelised bananas are best eaten immediately, but in a pinch they will keep for a couple of days in an airtight container in the fridge. Keep them separate from the pancakes. Just microwave very gently for a few seconds at a time until warmed through again.
More delicious pancakes and waffles!
You can also make WAFFLES to go with your caramelised bananas. Just as delicious as the pancakes, and possibly even a little easier to make (if you have a waffle maker of course). I just use a really basic waffle mixture and pile the gorgeous caramelised bananas on top! (See ‘notes’ section of recipe below for the recipe I use!)
Looking for something on the healthy side? Make these healthy banana bread waffles instead! You need just 3 ingredients and 10 minutes to make them.
Or for another go-to breakfast treat, try these incredible gooey 1-hour cinnamon scrolls.
May I also suggest trying these thin English pancakes some time? They’re very different to fluffy pancakes (more like crepes) but JUST as delicious. Try them and see!
More yummy banana recipes
- 5-minute chocolate banana ‘nice cream’ (healthy ice cream!)
- really easy mini air fryer banana bread (with oven version, too)
- Impress with this easy pineapple banana cake with coconut and cream cheese frosting.
- banana sheet cake with peanut butter fudge frosting (that frosting… mmmm!)
- peanut butter, banana and chocolate chip cake (one of my favourite cakes ever!)
- For dessert ’emergencies’ try this gluten free banana mug cake for two.
Fluffy Caramelized Banana Pancakes
Equipment (affiliate links)
Ingredients (UK/Australia? Click below for grams/ml)
- 2 large eggs at room temperature if possible
- ⅓ cup plain flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ⅓ cup milk at room temperature if possible
- small pinch of salt
- a little oil for cooking or melted butter
- 4 tablespoons butter (or about ½ a stick)
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 bananas medium ripeness if possible, sliced across the middle lengthways
- Greek yogurt or crème fraiche to serve (optional)
- Separate the eggs, putting the yolks in one medium-sized bowl and the whites in another.2 large eggs
- Add the flour and baking powder to the bowl with the yolks in, then slowly add the milk, stirring well to avoid lumps.⅓ cup plain flour, ½ teaspoon baking powder, ⅓ cup milk
- Now whisk the egg whites with the salt until fluffy and thick with an electric handheld whisk. Gently fold them into the batter in the other bowl.small pinch of salt
- Drizzle a little oil into a frying pan on a medium high heat, then ladle about a quarter of the batter into the pan. Let cook for a couple of minutes until it’s nice and golden, then flip over carefully and let cook for another minute or two on the other side. Slide onto a plate and keep warm in the oven while you cook the other pancakes.a little oil for cooking
- Now melt the butter and sugar together in another pan and let cook on a lowish heat for a few minutes.4 tablespoons butter, 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- Turn the heat up to medium, then add the bananas to the pan, cut side down, and let cook in the sauce for another few minutes. Then carefully slide the bananas over with a spatula to cook on the other side until they are nice and soft and golden.2 bananas
- Serve the bananas and sauce on top of the pancakes with the yogurt or crème fraiche (if using).Greek yogurt or crème fraiche