I may be a dietitian, but I’m still human — a human with a sweet tooth. So naturally, my favorite recipes to concoct are desserts. Granted, my desserts are nutritious, vegan, and gluten-free, but they’re still decadent treats that should be reserved for special occasions.
This cinnamon ice cream with salted caramel and brûléed banana seems complex, but I promise it’s quite easy! The ice cream, shortbread cookies, and salted caramel can be made ahead, and the bananas can be caramelized using a créme brûlée torch or an oven broiler right before serving. And trust me, this will be your new favorite summer dessert!
I decided to put the cinnamon ice cream on top of one of my almond shortbread cookies to add a buttery crunch to the dessert, but feel free to leave it out. This dessert is great with just the ice cream and bananas, or you could serve the bananas by themselves!
If you do decide to make the shortbread cookies, use this recipe, omit the lemon, and be sure to bake them until they’re golden and crispy. You can make them a day or two ahead, but I made mine the morning before serving to ensure freshness.
You will also want to make the cinnamon ice cream at least two hours ahead of time so it has time to solidify in the freezer. I made mine the morning before serving as well. If you have an ice cream maker, this recipe is super easy!
- 2 cans full-fat coconut milk
- ½ cup unsweetened nondairy creamer (I like SO Delicious coconut creamer)
- ½ cup pure maple syrup
- Pinch sea salt
- 1 t. vanilla extract
- ¼ t. almond extract (optional)
- 2 t. ground cinnamon
- In a small saucepan, combine a full can of coconut milk plus the cream half from the other can. Discard the watery portion. Add the nondairy creamer, maple syrup, and salt, and stir over low heat until no clumps of coconut cream remain. Remove from heat and whisk in the extracts and cinnamon.
- Place saucepan in the fridge to chill for at least an hour. Make sure your freezer bowl is in the freezer.
- When your ice cream mixture is chilled, pour it into your ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer instructions. Transfer ice cream to a container with a lid and place in the freezer to solidify.
- Remove from freezer 10-15 minutes prior to serving to soften slightly.
Now that the cookies and ice cream are done, the hard part is over! You can now sit back and relax until your guests arrive, or you can be even more prepared and make the salted caramel sauce.
- 2 T. coconut nectar
- 1 t. pure maple syrup
- Pinch sea salt
- 1 t. tahini (sesame seed paste)
- Simply stir all ingredients together in a small bowl.
- Drizzle over your favorite dessert!
When you’re ready to serve dessert, it’s time for the fun part! Time to caramelize the banana!
All you have to do is peel the banana, cut it in half lengthwise and width wise so that you have four long pieces. Sprinkle the flat part of each banana piece with turbinado sugar (raw) and run a créme brûlée torch flame back and forth over the sugar until it melts and caramelizes. If you don’t have a torch, just place your banana quarters on a baking pan and put them under the broiler for a few minutes.
To assemble, simply place one scoop of cinnamon ice cream on top of one shortbread cookie, drizzle with a generous spoonful of caramel sauce, and place one or two banana pieces on the plate.
And there you have it — a beautiful and nutritious dessert that seems fancy but is easy to make! Your guests will be super impressed.
For another banana dessert, check out my Bananas Foster!