Bananas Foster Trifle Recipe

María del Mar Sacasa

Rum-spiked brown sugar walnut cake is layered with vanilla custard, meringue, and sticky bananas foster to make this decadent treat.


  • This cake keeps well and can be made up to 3 days in advance. Wrap on plastic wrap and store at room temperature.
  • I like to eat the trimmings of the cake with peanut butter. They're also wonderful buttered and griddled.
  • When separating the eggs, reserve 4 egg whites for the meringue.
  • Custard can be made 1 day in advance. Press plastic wrap directly on custard to prevent a skin from forming and refrigerate. Whisk to loosen prior to using.
  • Recipe Details

    Bananas Foster Trifle Recipe

    Active 2 hrs
    Total 2 hrs
    Serves 12 to 16 servings


    For the Brown Sugar-Walnut Pound Cake:

    • Baking spray

    • 2 1/2 sticks (20 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature

    • 1/4 cup vegetable oil

    • 2 cups packed dark brown sugar

    • 1/2 cup sugar

    • 4 large eggs, at room temperature

    • 3 cups all-purpose flour

    • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

    • 1 teaspoon salt

    • 3/4 cup milk

    • 1/4 cup dark rum

    • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

    • 1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped walnuts

    For the Custard;

    • 2 1/4 cups half-and-half

    • 8 large egg yolks, at room temperature (see notes)

    • 1/2 cup sugar

    • 2 teaspoons cornstarch

    • 1/4 teaspoon salt

    • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

    For the Rum Simple Syrup:

    • 1 cup dark rum

    • 3/4 cup sugar

    • 1 cinnamon stick

    For the Meringue:

    • 1 cup sugar

    • 1/4 cup water

    • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup

    • 4 large egg whites, at room temperature (see notes)

    • 1/4 teaspoon salt

    For the Bananas Foster:

    • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter

    • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar

    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

    • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

    • 1/8 teaspoon salt

    • 6 firm bananas, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch rings

    • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

    • 1/4 cup dark rum


    1. For the Brown Sugar-Walnut Poundcake: Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 325°F. Spray tube pan with baking spray. Beat butter, oil, brown sugar, and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

    2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in medium bowl. Combine milk, rum, and vanilla in liquid measuring cup. Decrease mixer speed to low and add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with milk mixture. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl with rubber spatula as needed. Add walnuts and beat just to combine.

    3. Spoon the batter evenly into prepared pan. Bake until cake tester inserted in center of cake comes out clean, about 90 minutes. Transfer cake to cooling rack and cool in pan 15 minutes, then, turn out directly onto rack and cool completely, about 1 hour. With a serrated knife, trim off brown crusts of cake (See Notes) and cut cake into approximately 1-inch cubes. While cake is cooling, make the custard.

    4. For the Custard: Bring half-and-half to boil over medium heat in large heavy-bottomed saucepan or in (glass) liquid measuring cup in microwave. In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan whisk together egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch, and salt. While vigorously whisking, add 1/4 cup hot half-and-half, then, add remaining half-and-half in a slow steady stream, all the while whisking.

    5. Bring mixture to boil over medium heat, whisking constantly until mixture thickens to the consistency of pudding. Once mixture reaches the boil, continue to boil for 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.

    6. Strain custard into large bowl and cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally. Alternatively, place custard bowl in ice bath and cool, stirring, until it reaches room temperature. (See Notes). Meanwhile, make Rum Simple Syrup

    7. For the Rum Simple Syrup: Stir rum, sugar, and cinnamon stick together in medium heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat until sugar is completely dissolved. Boil until syrup is reduced to 3/4 cup, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove and discard cinnamon stick. Keep warm.

    8. For the Meringue: Stir sugar, water, and corn syrup in heavy-bottomed medium saucepan over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to medium-high and boil syrup until it registers 238°F on candy thermometer, about 5 minutes.

    9. While syrup boils, with electric mixer or a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, whip egg whites and salt on medium speed soft peaks form, about 2 minutes.

    10. When syrup reaches temperature, with mixer running on medium-high speed, slowly and carefully pour into egg whites. Beat until outside of bowl is cool to the touch and whites are thick and glossy, about 7 minutes.

    11. For the Bananas Foster: In large skillet over medium-high heat, melt butter with sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. In medium bowl, toss bananas with lemon juice. Add bananas to skillet and cook, swirling and gently tossing to coat, about 2 minutes.

    12. Remove skillet from heat. Add rum, and ignite with match. Allow flames to die out, then cool bananas about 7 minutes.

    13. For the Assembly: Arrange cooling rack over baking sheet. Arrange cake cubes in single layer on rack. With pastry brush, brush rum simple syrup over cake cubes.

    14. Arrange 1/3 of cake cubes in bottom of trifle dish. Top with half of custard, spreading out to coat. Dollop 1/3 of meringue over custard, spreading out into even layer. Top meringue with 1/3 of bananas and sauce.

    15. Top bananas, with 1/3 of cake cubes. Top cake with remaining half of custard, spreading out to coat. Dollop with additional 1/3 of meringue, spreading out into even layer over custard. Top meringue with additional 1/3 of bananas and sauce.

    16. Top bananas with remaining 1/3 of cake cubes. Top cake with remaining 1/3 of meringue. Torch top until browned, if desired.

    17. Refrigerate trifle at least 2 hours to chill prior to serving.

    Special equipment

    Tube pan, electric mixer, rubber spatula, cooling rack, serrated knife, baking sheet, pastry brush, medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, large heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk, strainer, large skillet, candy thermometer, trifle bowl or large clear glass salad bowl, pastry torch (optional)

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    Nutrition Facts (per serving)
    790 Calories
    39g Fat
    97g Carbs
    12g Protein
    Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
    Nutrition Facts
    Servings: 12 to 16
    Amount per serving
    Calories 790
    % Daily Value*
    Total Fat 39g 50%
    Saturated Fat 17g 87%
    Cholesterol 217mg 72%
    Sodium 368mg 16%
    Total Carbohydrate 97g 35%
    Dietary Fiber 3g 9%
    Total Sugars 72g
    Protein 12g
    Vitamin C 5mg 23%
    Calcium 148mg 11%
    Iron 3mg 14%
    Potassium 411mg 9%
    *The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
    (Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)