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Banana Boats – Our Favorite Campfire Recipe


Banana boats are a campfire recipe from my childhood! Warm fire-roasted bananas topped with marshmallows and chocolate chips with the whole family sitting around the campfire laughing and making memories. It just doesn’t get much better than that!

Discover the simple steps to creating delicious and decadent campfire banana boats, filled with your choice of toppings. We are sharing photos of all our favorite creations to inspire your minds and tastebuds. We can’t wait for you to enjoy this tasty summer dessert!

a campfire banana boat stuffed with mini marshmallows and mini chocolate chips ready to be wrapped up and roasted on the fire.
Original Banana Boat

Saved By Banana Boats

Childhood is really hard.

It’s wonderful for sure and if you’re like me you have a little inner ache to climb your way back to it. But there’s a lot of growing pains, literally and figuratively to endure. Thankfully we had our camping trips and lake visits that smoothed out any roughness of life.

And banana boats.

We had many banana boats.

Who thought up such a magical creation and let children’s hearts fly free with the unwrapping of a simple piece of aluminum foil and charred banana?

Growing up we only did chocolate chips and marshmallows, but all these years later we’ve got a plethora of talented kids to lead us to new adventures, even with this classic camping dessert.

a photo of a banana sitting in crumpled foil, split down the middle and filled with chopped up Reese's peanut butter cups, gooey marshmallows and topped with peanut butter sauce and hot fudge.
Reese’s Banana Boat

What is a Banana Boat?

A banana boat is like a s’more and a banana split fell in love and had a baby. It takes a few things from each parent and is perfect! Banana boats consist of bananas sliced down the middle, stuffed with yummy toppings like marshmallows, chocolate chips, nuts, m&m’s, caramel, etc. and then wrapped in foil and cooked over the campfire. It is a favorite campfire recipe of ours!

a photo of a strawberry shortcake banana boat sitting in parchment paper and foil
Strawberry Shortcake Banana Boat

What is the Difference Between Banana Boat and a Banana Split?

A banana boat does not have any ice cream in it and is cooked over campfire or on a grill. It does have many of the same flavors and joy that a banana split brings though! In fact, we even made a banana split inspired banana boat for this photo shoot which can be seen below. Banana boats are a fun alternative for a campfire dessert rather than s’mores.

a photo of a roasted banana boat topped with banana split inspired toppings - strawberries and chocolate chips
Banana Split Banana Boat

Ingredients for Banana Boats

The ingredients list for banana boats are simple…bananas and whatever toppings you want to put on them. I will share a section below for all the toppings we’ve tried. You can really let your imagination and taste buds run wild on this one!

a photo of a charred banana boat sitting on a piece of foil and filled with gooey marshmallows and melty chocolate chips.
Original Banana Boat

How to Make Banana Boats Campfire Recipe

Making a banana boat campfire recipe successfully isn’t rocket science, but I have found a few tips that will help them turn out perfectly every time.

  1. Hold a ripe banana in the palm of your hand and slice into it with a paring knife down through the banana but not through the peel on the back side.
  2. Gently open the peel and spread open the banana. Stuff it with all the toppings you desire and then wrap the banana in foil loosely but make sure it is sealed.
  3. Using tongs, place the wrapped banana boat into the coals of a fire or on a grate over the top of a fire and let it roast.
    • PRO TIP: Campfire banana boats can also be cooked in the oven or on the grill if you are just sticking around the house. In the oven, bake them at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes. Heat on the grill for about 10 minutes over medium-high heat.
  4. If you gently squeeze the wrapped bananas they should feel squishy. Nothing needs to be cooked, you just want the toppings to melt and get gooey. They shouldn’t need too long to be ready. Be careful to not scorch the bananas.
  5. Carefully unwrap the foil. It will be quite hot and beware of steam when you open the foil. Use a fork or spoon to scoop out bites of banana with toppings you added.
a photo of several cooked banana boats topped with different toppings

Banana Boat Toppings:

My basic equation for creating an impeccable banana boat is…

melty/gooey + crunchy + sweet = just right

You can let the kids run wild with this! My kiddos have made the most amazing creations and they have so fun much getting their culinary creative juices flowing. Here are some ideas for toppings:

  • Graham Crackers
  • Peanut Butter
  • M&Ms (all varieties)
  • Caramel Sauce
  • Candy Bars
  • Vanilla Wafers
  • Pretzels
  • Nutella
  • Berries and Cream
  • Biscoff
  • Reese’s Pieces and Cups
  • Chocolate Sauce
  • White Chocolate Chips
  • Chopped Fruit
  • Oreos
  • Butterscotch Chips
  • Chopped Nuts – Pecans, Walnuts, Peanuts, Almonds

Our Banana Boat Dessert Creations

When we decided to experiment with different campfire banana boat toppings, we let everyone get creative. These are the 9 different concoctions we created:

  • Original: mini marshmallows and mini chocolate chips
  • Samoa: coconut flakes, chocolate sauce, caramel sauce, crushed Nilla Wafers
  • Strawberry Shortcake: diced fresh strawberries, crushed Nilla Wafers, and whipped cream
  • Banana Split: diced fresh strawberries, chocolate sauce and chopped peanuts
  • Reese’s: chopped Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, mini chocolate chips, chocolate sauce and peanut butter
  • Biscoff Crumb: crushed Biscoff cookies, Biscoff spread, and mini marshmallows
  • Berry Crisp: mixed berries and berry crisp topping
  • Almond Joy: almonds, chocolate sauce, and coconut flakes
  • Peach Crisp: diced peaches and peach crisp topping

The Biscoff crumb ended up being my favorite which totally surprised me!

a photo of a samoa inspired campfire banana boat topped with caramel, coconut and chocolate chips.
Biscoff Crumb Banana Boat

Move this campfire recipe right to the top of your list the next time you are camping or headed up the canyon for a bonfire! You can go ahead and sail that campfire banana boat right into my belly!

a photo of two banana boats one topped with diced strawberries, whipped cream and crumbled cookies and the other topped with chopped Reese's peanut butter cups and peanut butter sauce

More Mouth-watering Summer Fruit Desserts:

Servings: 2

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Prevent your screen from going dark

  • Take a banana with its peel still on and cut it down the middle (carefully along the concave side) making sure to not cut through to the other side but go half into the banana so you can open it.

    2 Bananas

  • Pull the peel and banana slightly apart and stuff the chocolate and mini marshmallows (or other fillings, see note) into the center of the banana.

    1/4 Cup Milk Chocolate Chips, 16 Mini Marshmallows

  • Wrap the banana back in its peel and then in foil. Place on a campfire or grill until fillings have melted and banana has warmed through, about 10 minutes.

  • Unwrap banana and Enjoy!

Additional toppings could include: graham crackers, berries and cream, Biscoff, Reese’s, chocolate sauce, caramel, white chocolate chips, sliced strawberries, whipped cream, etc.

Serving: 1bananaCalories: 236kcalCarbohydrates: 47gProtein: 2gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.1gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.04gTrans Fat: 0.04gCholesterol: 3mgSodium: 21mgPotassium: 423mgFiber: 4gSugar: 32gVitamin A: 126IUVitamin C: 10mgCalcium: 32mgIron: 1mg

Author: Sweet Basil

Course: 500+ Best Dessert Recipes

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