Banana Ice Cream with Peanut Butter Swirl

I don’t buy bananas often, because even though I hang them from my handy dandy dough hook, they turn from green to brown. The yellow stage is skipped altogether, and I’m left with a bunch of inedible bananas. Sure, I can make banana bread, banana muffins, or banana cookies, but one tires of those pretty quickly.

So last time I found myself in the fruit store, I made an impulsive decision and bought a beautifully green bunch of bananas. I thought that this time it would be different, I’d get to eat the bananas during their yellow stage, before they had any brown spots, and maybe mix some into my morning yogurt. I was wrong. But it did give me the chance to revisit this banana ice cream recipe I’ve been thinking about ever since the first time I made it. I tweaked the recipe a bit since the last time I made it, and I think I like my version better. This recipe is loosely adapted from Alton Brown‘s. He uses more cream, more bananas, a vanilla bean, and corn syrup. I just lightened and cheapened up the recipe, and added a delicious flavor twist.

It’s really the perfect ice cream to make summer smoothies with – just add a few frozen strawberries and you have a strawberry banana smoothie, no fresh bananas needed! And yes, a strawberry-banana-peanut butter smoothie sounds pretty delicious right now.


  • 3 overripe (I mean really grossly brown) bananas, frozen overnight and then defrosted on the counter till soft (30-45 minutes)
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 3/4 cup simple syrup, recipe to follow*
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter, at room temperature (I use chunky)


1. If you haven’t done so already, put your freezer bowl in the freezer. If your freezer bowl isn’t completely frozen, you can’t make ice cream.

2. Did you freeze your bananas, too?

3. Once your bananas are soft, pulse them in the food processor a few times, until smooth. Add the lemon juice and combine.

4. Pour in the simple syrup and vanilla, pulse again.

5. While the food processor is running, drizzle in the milk and heavy cream until just combined.

6. Refrigerate mixture until it’s really cold.

7. Freeze according to your ice cream maker’s instructions. This usually takes about 20 minutes.

8. During the last 5 minutes, add spoonfuls of the peanut butter. If your peanut butter is very hard, microwave it for about 10 seconds to soften it up.

9. Put into a freezer-safe container and freeze for a few hours until it sets.

*Simple syrup is a 1:1 ratio of sugar to water. Boil them together until the sugar is dissolved, and you have simple syrup; it’s that easy!