I scream, you scream, we all scream for bananas, bacon, caramel, chocolate, and coconut! Yes, you read that right. We’re serving up some epic Bacon-Banana Nice Cream with Coconut Sugar Salted Caramel! When it comes to flavor and texture, this dessert has got it all. It also provides you with the option to make it both dairy and gluten-free (depending on your chocolate chips of choice).
This recipe came to life when I was thinking about a fun dessert to make for the fam one Sunday afternoon. I wanted to keep it kind of healthy but also sort of gluttonous—because that’s how we roll on the weekends. If you follow me over on @threebirdsonestove, you know I’m all about balance and equality both in life and when it comes to satisfying those taste buds!
So, I took the conversation to the kitchen and evaluated what I had on-hand. Ripe bananas, dark chocolate chips, flaky salt, coconut sugar, and coconut oil. I also had a package of bacon that I had purchased for a failed attempt at family breakfast earlier in the week, and some coconut flakes leftover from a recent recipe test (also a fail). Welp, everything happens for a reason, because they played a critical role in bringing this whole concept together.
I decided that the bananas would be our sweet, creamy, velvety base, making the chocolate chips and coconut flakes the perfect mix-ins for some added crisp, nuttiness, and earthiness. With its salty, smoky flavor and savory crunch, I knew that bacon had a place here too. So I put it in the oven to be used in the nice cream mix, on top of the sundaes, and as a fierce little garnish. Then I began tackling my caramel.
Because I care about the happiness and well-being of others, I feel compelled to advise you off the bat to double up on this caramel recipe. It’s deep, rich, gooey, and decadent, and delicious on basically anything (or straight out of the jar with a spoon, no judgment). It’s also made with coconut sugar, making it lower on the glycemic index; coconut oil, which contains healthy fats; and oat milk, which is creamy and luscious but dairy-free.
That being said, caramel can be tricky, especially when you’re making it in an untraditional way. Here, we have no butter or dairy and we’re using a different type of sugar, so please, pretty please with coconut sugar on top, be mindful of the exact instructions for this part of the recipe. You don’t want to end up like me with a trial run that hardened like burnt rock candy to my pretty little pot. I mess up the first time around so you guys don’t have to.
It’s when you assemble these decadent sundaes that the complexity of the fruity, savory, rich flavors and the creamy, crunchy textures really comes together. You have the bacon-banana nice cream base, a generous dollop of deep, dark caramel, your desired sprinkle of flaky salt, crumbled bacon, and a mouth-watering bacon strip garnish. Next time you’re trying to figure out what to make for dessert, look no further than Bacon-Banana Nice Cream with Coconut Sugar Salted Caramel!
Bacon-Banana Nice Cream with Coconut Sugar Salted Caramel
Prep Time: 35 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Yield: 4 Sundaes
For the Bacon-Banana Nice Cream
1 12-ounce package uncooked Applewood bacon
8 ripe bananas
½ cup dark chocolate chips (opt for a non-dairy option to keep this recipe dairy-free)
¼ cup coconut flakes
For the Coconut Sugar Salted Caramel
6 tablespoons coconut oil
½ cups coconut sugar
4 tablespoons oat milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Flaky salt for topping
Cook the Bacon (can be done the day before)
- Preheat the oven to 375°
- Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Lay the bacon out in a single layer and bake for 10 minutes on one side, then use tongs to flip each strip and bake for 12 more minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
- Use a knife or kitchen shears to cut five of the bacon strips into crumbs. Leave at least four bacon strips whole to use as a garnish.
Prep the Bacon-Banana Nice Cream (can be done the day before)
- Peel the bananas and place them in a large plastic or reusable bag.
- Then add the chocolate chips, coconut flakes, and half of the bacon crumbs.
- Holding the bag, firmly mash until you reach your desired consistency. Place the bag in the freezer overnight, or for at least 5 hours.
Make the Coconut Sugar Salted Caramel (prepare the day of)
- In a small, uncovered saucepot, melt the coconut oil on low heat.
- Once melted, add the remaining ingredients and immediately whisk to combine over low-medium heat.
- Keeping at low-medium heat, bring the caramel to a low boil for exactly three minutes. You want bubbles around the edges. Anytime it begins bubbling all over, just take a spoon or whisk and gently stir.
- Reduce to low heat for exactly 8 minutes. DO NOT STIR. Instead, gently move the pot to swirl the caramel frequently – every minute or so.
- Remove the pot from heat and give it one gentle stir. Allow the caramel to sit under a tilted lid for 30 minutes.
Assemble Your Sundaes
- Remove the bag of nice cream from the freezer so it can thaw for 10-12 minutes. Then, transfer to a large bowl to make it easier for assembling.
- Using an ice cream scoop (or a large spoon if you don’t have one), place two generous scoops of the bacon-banana nice cream into a bowl.
- Gently pour a generous serving of the coconut sugar caramel on top. Sprinkle immediately with your desired amount of flaky salt so it will saturate a bit and stick.
- Top with the remaining bacon crumbs.
- Garnish each sundae with a bacon strip and serve.