This platanos homestay recipe comes with a Caribbean twist!

If you love Bananas Foster, the iconic dessert where bananas tossed in a caramelized and drizzled sauce are flambéed and served with vanilla ice cream, this is for you. Paola Velez shares her recipe for Platanos Foster, which gives the classic a Caribbean twist by using plantains instead of bananas and adding hot spices and coconut water to the caramel sauce. She also likes to pair cooked plantains with rum and raisin ice cream, the rum flavor of which pairs beautifully with the rum in the caramel sauce. From start to finish, this impressive dish only takes 20 minutes to prepare, so you can even make it on a weeknight if you want.

Read the Platanos Foster recipe and follow the steps below

Prepare and cook the plantains

Platanos Foster Recipe
Image Courtesy: Chris Ralston/Unsplash

You will need two extra ripe plantains for this recipe. Peel each, cut in half widthwise, then carefully cut each piece in half lengthwise. Next, take a large cast iron skillet and melt the coconut oil and butter in the skillet over medium heat. Add the plantains flat side down and cook until lightly browned, about two minutes on each side.

Next, add some coconut water to the pan, stir in the plantains, then cover the pan with a lid. Reduce the heat to low and cook the plantains for a few minutes until tender, turning once. Then transfer them to a plate so you can start the caramel sauce.

Compose the sauce

Increase the heat under the skillet to medium and add the light brown sugar, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, ground cloves, kosher salt and a little more coconut water. Stir the mixture until the brown sugar has melted, then return the plantains to the pan, cooking another minute on each side.

light this up

It’s time to blaze! Remove the pan from the heat and add the rum and banana cream. Carefully – carefully! – use a long match to ignite the liquor and have the lid of your stove handy in case the flames get out of control and you need to smother them. Paola also notes that if your microwave is above your stovetop, you need to make sure you’re not flaming directly under the grease trap.

Once the flames are out, you can return the pan to medium heat and add the rest of the coconut water. Stir until a caramel sauce forms and allow the plantains to cook in the sauce for a few more minutes until evenly coated.


At this point you are ready to eat. Take bowls and divide the plantains and sauce between them. Then top each bowl with two scoops of rum raisin ice cream. Drizzle a little more caramel sauce from the skillet over the Platanos Foster if desired, then scoop up and savor every caramel bite.

“Wow,” she said. “That’s to say surprising. It’s just like a warm hug. I don’t know, I always say that. But really, sometimes we just need a warm hug in the form of Plantains Foster.

Get the recipe

(This story first appeared on

(Image courtesy of Hero and Feature: Greg DuPree / Food styling by Ali Ramee / Props styling by Christine Keely)

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Michael M. Tomlin