Summer, grilling, and fresh fruit go together like bikinis, lounge chairs, and suntan oil. That’s why I’ve combined them to create 10 delicious variations on what is arguably the best summer dessert since the advent of the s’more: banana bread ice cream sandwiches. Keep the basics in your pantry and freezer, and you’ll be able to whip up any one of these scrumptious treats at a moment’s notice.
Simple Banana Bread
Because all of these recipes start with a banana bread base, here’s a look at my favorite recipe – so easy you don’t even need a mixer. You’ll need:
- 4 ripe bananas (quick tip: freeze bananas once the skin starts to look mottled or turns dark, and you’ll always have them on hand for making a loaf.)
- 1/3 cup melted butter or coconut oil
- ¾ cup white sugar
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon vanilla (extract will work fine, but for a richer flavor, consider scraping the inside of a vanilla bean instead!)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
- Chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
Preheat your oven to 375. In a large bowl, mash the bananas with a fork or wooden spoon. Add the melted butter or coconut oil and stir well. Next, add the rest of the ingredients, in order, and mix until well combined. Pour into a loaf pan that’s been coated with non-stick baking spray, and bake for 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out dry.
Now that you’ve got a killer (and oh so easy) banana bread at the ready, it’s time to start turning it into delicious grilled ice cream sandwiches.