Bring on the baked banana boats!
This campfire classic gets an indoor update for all the city slickers, stay-at-home enthusiasts, and couch surfers who prefer staying within the safe and bug-free confines of four walls with a roof over their heads.
On the other hand, it’s also dedicated to all nature lovers who want to enjoy this popular outdoor staple inside when the weather isn’t exactly behaving itself – whether there’s a torrential downpour on the horizon or a crazy blizzard brewing.
Not familiar with this fruity delight named after an aquatic vessel?
You don’t need to buy a new means of transport, or invest in any stock for a particular brand’s sunscreen!
In the recipe world, a banana boat is an easy dessert made by stuffing a whole banana with assorted sweet fillings. It’s then wrapped in aluminum foil and typically heated over a beautifully blazing fire until warm.
Because the fruit is kept whole with just a slit cut through the top to insert the stuffing, it resembles a boat-like vessel carrying deliciously precious cargo.
And even though an outdoor fire is the most popular cooking method, it’s easy to adjust the recipe to achieve an indoor preparation.
Our baked version is a simple dessert that’s easy to make with just a few basic ingredients and minimal prep work. After a quick assembly process, wrap each boat in aluminum foil, place it in a baking dish, and bake.
Just like s’mores, this is a fun, kid-approved dessert that can easily be customized – more on that at the end of the article!
In our recipe, we use a popular combo of semisweet chocolate chips and mini marshmallows. When baked in the oven, they become soft, warm, and gooey – a melt-in-your-mouth mix for your spoon to dive right into with ease and delight!
Don’t worry about hunting for a perfectly ripe banana at the grocery store, or keeping a close eye on the ones you already have at home sitting in your fruit bowl – as long as the fruit is not too green, this recipe will turn out tasty results whether you’re using slightly underripe or overripe options.
Ready to set sail to dessert paradise? Lend a “hand,” and let’s build some banana boats together right now!Print
Learn how to make banana boats, a fun dessert with mini marshmallows and chocolate chips stuffed in whole fruit and baked until warm and gooey.
- 4 ripe medium bananas
- 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup miniature marshmallows
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 325°F.
- Using a paring knife, carefully slit the top (or concave side) of each banana lengthwise through the peel and halfway through the banana. Leave about 1/4 inch unsliced on both ends of the banana.
- Using your hands, gently pull apart the peel and the fruit that you’ve divided on each side of the slit, creating space for the filling.
- Stuff each banana with 1/8 cup chocolate chips and 1/8 cup miniature marshmallows.
- Keeping each banana facing up with the stuffing held intact, wrap each banana completely in a piece of aluminum foil 1 1/2 feet long, gathering the excess at the top and leaving some space on top to prevent the foil from touching the fillings.
- Place the wrapped bananas in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish, touching each other so they stand upright. Use crumbled balls of aluminum foil or small heatproof ramekins to provide additional support if needed.
- Transfer the baking dish to the oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the chocolate chips and marshmallows have melted slightly.
- Remove the baking dish from the oven. Carefully open the aluminum foil to expose the stuffing, rolling the excess foil around either side of the banana to hold it for easy serving. Transfer each to a dessert plate.
- Drizzle the top of each banana with 1/2 teaspoon honey and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon. Serve immediately, with spoons.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Category: Fruit
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: Dessert
Keywords: banana, boat, chocolate, marshmallow, cinnamon, honey
Cooking by the Numbers…
Step 1 – Prep
Preheat your oven to 325°F and position a rack in the center of the oven for the most even baking.
Set out a sturdy cutting board, and a sharpened paring knife.
Cut 4 rectangles of aluminum foil that are about 1 1/2 feet long each – and keep the foil out in case you need extra later!
Set out a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. You’ll need a dish with tall sides to keep the boats upright as they bake.
Set out a few heatproof ramekins or small, heatproof bowls that can be placed in the oven. The ramekins can be used to provide extra support if there is too much space in the pan that allows the boats to move around, but you can also use crumbled balls of aluminum foil if you don’t have ramekins available.
Set out four bananas, and measure out the semisweet chocolate chips, miniature marshmallows, honey, and ground cinnamon.
You will be using 1/8 cup each of chocolate chips and marshmallows to fill each banana, as well as 1/2 teaspoon of honey and 1/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon to garnish each one before serving.
If desired, you can divide these ingredients now so they’ll be portioned for each serving – a great idea if you’re hosting a fun build-your-own banana boat party!
Step 2 – Slit the Bananas
Use the paring knife to slit the top, or the concave side, of each banana lengthwise. Your boats will rest on the convex side.
Go through the peel and about halfway through the banana without slicing entirely through the fruit – essentially, you are creating a pocket for the stuffing.
Leave about 1/4 inch of both ends of the fruit unsliced to keep the fruit intact.
Use your hands to gently pull apart the divided sides, creating more space for the filling.
Step 3 – Stuff
Leave that spoon in the drawer – you’re better off using your hands to fill each slit with these ingredients!
Stuff each slit with 1/8 cup chocolate chips and 1/8 cup miniature marshmallows.
You don’t have to do this in any particular order. I like to alternate between the chips and marshmallows, going back and forth to create a fun mix of textures and colors, but you can also layer the chips and marshmallow separately.
Some of the fillings may spill out – you can place them back inside when you’re wrapping them in aluminum foil in the next step.
Step 4 – Wrap in Foil
Keeping the bananas facing up with the stuffing held intact, wrap each one completely in a piece of aluminum foil.
The curved bottom of the fruit will move around a little as you are assembling the wrapper, so try to keep it as stable as possible.
Gather and tent the excess foil towards the top of each boat, leaving some space between the foil and the stuffing – you don’t want to risk having too many half-melted marshmallows and chips sticking to the foil!
Step 5 – Assemble in the Baking Dish
Place the wrapped bananas in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. They will need to touch each other in order to stand upright.
If there is extra space in the dish, use your ramekins or crumbled balls of aluminum foil for additional support.
Step 6 – Bake
Transfer the baking dish to the oven.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the chocolate chips and marshmallows have softened and melted slightly. The skin will also darken significantly.
You can check to see if the boats are ready at the 15-minute mark by carefully removing the baking dish from the oven and opening one aluminum foil pack, keeping your hands and face away from the opening to avoid being hit with any steam that escapes.
If the marshmallows are not puffy and chips still look solid and dry, bake for an additional 5 minutes. If the marshmallows are puffy and the chips are glistening, your dessert is warm and ready!
Step 7 – Unwrap, Garnish, and Serve
Remove the baking dish from the oven and place on a heatproof surface.
Working with one boat at a time, carefully unwrap the top of the aluminum foil and roll the excess around the sides, leaving the banana in the foil. The extra foil on the sides will help keep this delicious dessert in place when serving.
Place each boat on a dessert plate and drizzle it with 1/2 teaspoon of honey. Sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon on top of the marshmallows and chocolate chips.
Serve with spoons while they’re still warm. Enjoy!
There’s Room to Play with Flavors
If you stop to think for just a moment of allllll the different ingredients that complement banana, you’ll soon have a long list of options available to you to customize this recipe.
The super sweet chocolate-and-candy route is only the start – this recipe is easy to modify for different diet plans, and can be a great dessert option to support a healthy lifestyle.
Here are just a few creative suggestions for fillings and final garnishes:
- Nut butters
- Fresh or dried fruit
- Crumbled cookies
- Toasted or candied nuts
- Toasted coconut flakes
- Chia or flax seeds
- Berry syrup
- Chocolate syrup or caramel sauce
- Jams and jellies
- Toffee pieces
What’s the ideal mix of ingredients you’ll use to build your own customized dessert? I would love to spend more time with you chit-chatting about fun flavor combinations, so leave a comment below!
And don’t stop now – we have more bold and beautiful banana recipes for you to try next to satisfy any sweet craving, starting with these:
- Overnight Oats with Banana, Coconut, and Raspberries
- Simple Chocolate Chip Breakfast Cookies
- Gluten-Free Banana Bread
Photos by Nikki Cervone, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published by Shanna Mallon on May 13, 2014. Last updated on February 10, 2023.
Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Nikki Cervone
Nikki Cervone is an ACS Certified Cheese Professional and cheesemonger living in Pittsburgh. Nikki holds an AAS in baking/pastry from Westmoreland County Community College, a BA in Communications from Duquesne University, and an MLA in Gastronomy from Boston University. When she's not nibbling on her favorite cheeses or testing a batch of cupcakes, Nikki enjoys a healthy dose of yoga, wine, hiking, singing in the shower, and chocolate. Lots of chocolate.