This luscious, gooey cinnamon roll has a warm, nutty bananas foster taste and feel. And best of all. . .it’s made with crescent rolls! It comes together so quickly and easily!
Awhile back I purchased several cans of refrigerated biscuits to try out some new recipes (like my Apple Pie Monkey Bread Muffins). I randomly bought a container of crescent rolls, too. I had no idea what I would make with them. In fact, I stuck them in the back of my refrigerator and promptly forgot about them.
While shuffling some things around, I saw them in there.
Baking with Crescent Roll Dough
There are a host of recipes out there on the web that use crescent rolls. I looked up several, including this Crescent Cherry Cheesecake Cobbler. (Doesn’t that sound yummy?) I had a can of cherry pie filling on hand and thought about using it.
Want to know what stopped me? I’m supposed to be dieting. And I love cherries. I figured, if I made a cherry dessert I’d fall so far off the wagon there would be no coming back. So, I needed a different plan.
I looked at other recipes, but, in the end, decided to come up with something original.
Baking with Bananas
As is often the case, I had some bananas that needed to be used. Of course, I recently did a full post on ideas for using up ripe bananas, but I’ve already tried all of those recipes–from my banana chocolate chip muffins, to my caramel banana cake. I’ve got a yummy old-fashioned banana bread recipe that calls for mayonnaise and even a healthy gluten-free, sugar-free banana muffin.
I wanted. . .and needed something different. Preferably something I could take to a friend who’s sick. And, of course, it needed to incorporate those crescent rolls.
So, y’all. I made up a recipe. I stared at those crescent rolls and got to thinking about my recent pie crust cinnamon rolls. I started to wonder if, perhaps, the crescent rolls would be strong enough to hold the gooey goodness of a bananas foster-type concoction if I rolled it up in similar fashion.
It was worth a try.
Bananas Foster. . .in a Cinnamon Roll?
I’d honestly never heard of such a thing but it sure sounded good! So, I grabbed some familiar ingredients and starting pulling together what I believe is a totally original recipe.
I knew that I wanted to start with a skillet-prepared bananas foster filling. I did something similar in my Caramel Banana cake and it was super tasty and gooey. (Yum!)
What is Bananas Foster?
For those of you who don’t live in the south, I’d probably better explain. Bananas Foster might be unfamiliar to you.
I live in south Texas. There’s a restaurant in our area called Brennans. It’s well known in the south. I have a vivid memory of going to that restaurant with my dad nearly thirty years ago and eating Bananas Foster. It was a sweet banana treat (bananas slices, brown sugar, and butter) served with ice cream. When they brought it to the table, the server poured rum and banana liqueur over it and set the whole thing on fire.
It was quite the experience!
But, where did this idea come from? Whoever said, “Hey, I have an idea: let’s light bananas on fire!”
The History of Bananas Foster.
Bananas Foster is a classic New Orleans dessert that dates back to 1951 when Brennan’s first opened in New Orleans. Owner Owen Brennan tasked his sister, Ella, with coming up with a new dessert, something super fancy a very important guest–Richard Foster–would remember.
Boy, did she!
Ella remembered a sweet treat her mother would make–a split banana covered in butter and brown sugar and then sautéed. She took it a step further by adding the liqueur and rum and lighting it on fire table-side.
You can read the whole story on the Nola.com site. They named it “bananas foster” to honor Richard Foster, their special guest.
No doubt he was wowed, just as I was in the 1980s when I went to the south Texas Brennans for my first experience with the yummy concoction! I’ve never forgotten it. And that’s how I hope people will feel after they taste these Bananas Foster Cinnamon Rolls.
They’re gooey and sweet, but also light and fluffy. Truly, the perfect combination!
What Ingredients Will I Need to Make Bananas Foster Cinnamon Rolls?
This is a simple recipe with very few ingredients.
You’ll find a full printable recipe at the bottom of this post, but here’s a quick glance at what you’ll need to make these easy cinnamon rolls.
- salted butter
- light brown sugar
- crescent rolls
- over ripe bananas
- toasted walnuts, chopped
- powdered sugar
- cinnamon (not pictured)
- flour for dusting (not pictured)
How to Make These Tasty Bananas Foster Cinnamon Rolls
This recipe doesn’t even require a stand mixer or electric mixer. Talk about easy-breezy! Here’s what you’ll need to do to whip it together.
Start by mashing up your bananas in a small bowl. Set aside.
Toast your walnuts. Put them in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 8-10 minutes. Watch them closely so they don’t burn. Set aside.
I toasted a lot because I wanted to set aside a bunch for snacking.
Place three tablespoons butter in a medium sized skilled and bring it to a simmer over a medium heat.
Add the brown sugar to the melted butter and simmer for a couple of minutes until incorporated.
Add the bananas to the mixture on the stove. Mix well. (I used mashed bananas but you might opt to slice yours.)
Add the toasted walnuts. Stir well. Remove from heat. (Doesn’t that look delicious?!)
Open your crescent rolls. Place on a floured surface (waxed paper is perfect) and add a tiny bit of dusting flour on top.
SIDE NOTE: At this point in the journey I realized how much I enjoyed using the crescent rolls. I recently used biscuits for cinnamon rolls and they were super tasty, but I have to confess, the crescent rolls were easier! I mean, you pull them straight out of the container in a perfect rectangle.
Look at all those dough rectangles!
Using a rolling pin, thin down the crescent rolls, enlarging your rectangle slightly. (Don’t roll too thin, just enough to enlarge it about an inch on every side.)
Close up the center perforation as best you can.
Now it’s time to take your filling and add it to the crescent roll. Spread evenly. It’s not necessary to add a thin layer of softened butter to the dough before adding the filling. (That would be the norm with typical cinnamon rolls, but not these.)
It’s time to roll! This is when your waxed paper comes in handy. Use it as a guide to roll the mixture up. (Think jelly roll style!)
Cut in half. Then cut each half in half. And then cut those pieces in half. You’ll end up with 8 cinnamon rolls total.
Grease a muffin tin. Carefully wedge the cinnamons rolls into the individual muffin cups. (Place cut side down.)
You might want to lift each one with a fork. (They are gooey, but manageable.)
Place muffin tin in a preheated oven and bake for 18 minutes or until golden brown.
Remove from oven and place on a wire cooling rack.
Put the powdered sugar, milk, and cinnamon into a small bowl and stir until smooth.
Remove the cinnamon rolls from the pan and drizzle cinnamon glaze over the top.
What to Expect
I truly have no words. I cut one of the cinnamon rolls in half just to make sure it was fully baked. I was mesmerized by the light, fluffy texture, all intermingled with that rich gooey bananas foster! It has just the right amount of sweetness.
Yes, I ate one. Just one, though. All of the others were given to a new friend.
These sweet rolls would be perfect for special occasions, a delicious dessert, a sweet brunch treat, a mid-afternoon snack, or a sweet breakfast treat. In fact, I think this is the most delicious way to enjoy bananas! I plan to make these again and again.
Variations on this Recipe
Now that I know how simple it is to use crescent rolls as a foundation for cinnamon rolls, I’m tempted to try other fruity concoctions to roll up inside of them. Here are some different ways I might make them next time.
To add more flavor, you can always use a bit of bananas liqueur in your glaze. You can also use dark brown sugar in place of light for more of a caramel flavor. Another option would be rum extract. (Use sparingly!)
Instead of rolling these up like cinnamon rolls, make them like popovers. Stuff the filling into a crescent roll and bake until golden.
Using bits of crescent roll dough, make mini bananas foster sticky buns.
A Bananas Foster French Toast Bake sounds yummy! Skip the crescent rolls and make French Toast, then top with the bananas foster mixture.
Skip the crescent rolls and serve the banana mixture with scoops of vanilla ice cream.
Cherry pie filling. If you use this as a filling, be sure to dice/chop up the cherries so that the filling is easy to roll.
Traditional cinnamon rolls. Skip the bananas foster and use the crescent rolls with brown sugar, cinnamon, butter, and pecans.
Use an apple mixture in place of bananas. (I think an apple cinnamon mixture would be yummy with brown sugar and butter.)
Other Easy Recipes to Try:
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If you love great recipes you’re going to want to check out Miz Helen’s Country Cottage. She’s got some amazing recipes every single week–everything from savory to sweet.
I hope you enjoyed this Bananas Foster Cinnamon Roll recipe. It’s a new favorite. I can’t wait to bake it for my family! Let me know your thoughts if you make it, friends!
About the Author
Janice Thompson is an author, baker, and all-around mischief maker! She has overcome a host of baking catastrophes, including a toppled wedding cake, to learn more about the baking process. Janice has published over 150 books for the Christian market but particularly enjoys writing recipes and baking devotions. To learn more about Janice or to drop her a note, visit her About the Author page.
- 3 tablespoons salted butter
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1 package crescent rolls
- 2 over ripe bananas
- 1 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (not pictured)
- flour for dusting
- Start by mashing up your bananas in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Toast your walnuts. Put them in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 8-10 minutes. Watch them closely so they don't burn. Set aside.
- Place the butter in a medium sized skilled and bring it to a simmer.
- Add the brown sugar and simmer for a couple of minutes until incorporated.
Add the bananas to the mixture on the stove. Mix well.
- Add the toasted walnuts. Stir well. Remove from heat.
- Open your crescent rolls. Place on a floured surface (waxed paper is perfect) and add a tiny bit of dusting flour on top.
- Using a rolling pin, thin down the crescent rolls, enlarging your rectangle slightly. (Don't roll too thin, just enough to enlarge it about an inch on every side.)
- Now it's time to take your filling and add it to the crescent roll. Spread evenly.
- It's time to roll! This is when your waxed paper comes in handy. Use it as a guide to roll the mixture up.
- Cut in half. Then cut each half in half. And then cut those pieces in half. You'll end up with 8 cinnamon rolls total.
- Grease a muffin tin. Carefully wedge the cinnamons rolls into the individual muffin cups. You might want to lift each one with a fork. (They are gooey, but manageable.)
- Place muffin tin in a preheated oven and bake for 18 minutes or until golden brown.
- Remove from oven and place on a wire cooling rack.
- Put the powdered sugar, milk, and cinnamon into a small bowl and stir until smooth.
- Remove the cinnamon rolls from the pan and drizzle cinnamon glaze over the top.