Banana Ice Cream

Banana Ice Cream

The texture and flavor of ripe bananas if often compared to that of ice cream, and yet Americans rarely walk their favorite fruit down that frosty path. Shame.

This recipe is simple, however, it does require some inactive prep time so please do make sure you read the entire recipe in advance. Feel free to also add peanut butter or chocolate chips.

Banana Ice Cream

  • 2 1/4 pounds ripe bananas (about 6)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (freshly squeezed)
  • 3/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 vanilla bean (split and scraped)
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  1. Freeze the bananas, unpeeled, for at least 2 hours or up to overnight.
  2. Thaw bananas for 45 minutes to 1 hour, then peel and puree along with the lemon juice in the work bowl of a food processor for 10 to 15 seconds.*
  3. Add the corn syrup and vanilla bean seeds and turn the food processor on. Slowly pour in the cream and continue processing until smooth.
  4. Chill the mixture in the refrigerator until it reaches 40 degrees F, which should take about 3 hours. Transfer the mixture to an ice cream maker and process according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  5. Transfer soft-serve consistency ice cream to an airtight container and harden in the freezer for 3 to 4 hours before serving.

* The freezing is mostly about softening the texture of the bananas, which takes place when thawed.

1. Clover honey can be substituted for the corn syrup.
2. For Banana Peanut Butter Ice Cream: Add 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter to the food processor along with the corn syrup (or honey) and vanilla.
Makes about 1 quart.


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  1. 2

    The banana peel doesn’t come off cleanly. Crossing my fingers I got it all off but only costs about $3.00 for ingredients. If I have to redo, I’ll peel bananas and wrap in parchment before freezing. Doubt it would make much of a difference. Love the simplicity.

    • 5

      Plantains are normally cooked, I don’t think it would be good with raw ones. You could try experimenting with cooked plantains. If you do want to try it with raw plantains, I would suggest tasting a piece first.

  2. 6

    This would be fabulous if it didn’t have the added corn syrup. Being a type 2 diabetic, I look for things that allow me to still have frozen items. After a lot of tests, I am allergic to almost every chemical sweetener so would this work without the corn syrup?

  3. 8
    Susan Ainsworth

    I don’t have a food processor or an ice cream maker. But I’ll pass on my favorite band a smoothie recipe: 1 peeled, frozen banana, 12 oz milk (or soy, almond, coconut milk). You don’t need sweetener. Amp the protein with two tablespoons of PB2 (powdered peanut butter) for an Elvis shake.

  4. 9
    Stacey E.

    Well, I thought the point of banana ice cream was to bypass dairy products. This is probably wonderful, because his are the only consistently accurate recipes I ever come across, but this seems to have a hell of a lot of ingredients compared to most of the other ones I see. I understand that the point of this was probably not to make Banana ice cream, but banana flavored ice cream. Anyway, I usually love his recipes. Another point is that you really have to follow the directions he gives, because I’ve made his apple pie several times. When I follow exactly what he says, it’s the most perfect pie you’ll ever eat. When I cut corners because I don’t feel like being so anal-retentive, I end up with a sub-par pie. Apple pie with pepper in it. Who would have thought.

  5. 10

    I tried making this and when I froze it, it turned into just a hard block of banana ice cream. It was like freezing soda and how it gets hard. Did I do something wrong? I only had it in the freezer for 2 hours.

    • 11

      I think if it froze solid, it must have had a chance to thaw between the ice cream maker and the freezer. That’s been my experience with ice cream, anyway.

  6. 15

    Great way to use up over ripened bananas.. any way I could substitute the heavy cream with goat’s milk? unfortunately cow’s byproducts do not agree with my hubby’s constitution. If so, what would be the measurements?

  7. 16

    this sounds wonderful, especially with adding peanut butter. i’m thinking served over a piece of warm or toasted banana bread for the ultimate in yummy desserts!

  8. 17
    American of African Descent

    I’ve made this recipe with dark chocolate chips, and also added 1/4 tsp of freshly grated nutmeg. The nutmeg really makes it pop.

    • 19
      Jeff M.

      Yes, I regularly just peel, cut, and chill just the bananas with lemon juice, then use an immersion blender in the same bowl, freeze overnight and enjoy. But I don’t mind the grainy texture.
      The corn syrup and clove honey act as sweeteners, freeing-point depressors, and additional liquid. These could be added in separately, but you’ll have to test the exact amount of each to add. I would start with 1/8 cup water for the additional liquid, a tablespoon of salt (NaCl, KCl if your on a low sodium diet) for freezing-point depression and flavor enhancement (there’s less sugar to do that). I’m not a fan of artificial sweeteners, but those could be added to taste as well.

  9. 20
    Kathy L

    This is one of my favorite ice creams. I usually add 1/2 package of mini chocolate chips just before finishing. Chocolate Covered Banana Ice Cream!

  10. 21

    I would recommend cutting ripe unfrozen bananas into small pieces them freeze them and use them frozen instead of thawed in a good preprocessor instead of a ice cream maker. The “ice cream” can be eaten immediately after processing the ingredients because the bananas are so cold.

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