Jamaican-Style Key Lime Bananas

And now for a Caribbean interlude. This post is inspired by my recent cruise to The Bahama Islands and Key West, Florida. Food, of course, was a highlight of my trip. One afternoon in Key West, I visited the famous Kermit’s Key West Key Lime Shoppe. True to its name, it featured Key lime EVERYTHING. That day I deviated from a traditional lunch, and instead dined on chocolate-dipped Key lime pie on a stick, and washed it down with a glass of limeade. After all, I was on vacation! I couldn’t leave the shop without a keepsake, so I picked up a bottle of Key lime juice along with a recipe book by Joyce LaFray.

Amongst the plentiful Key lime desserts in the book, I discovered the star of this blog post. This dessert is reminiscent of Bananas Foster (a personal favorite), but with a spicy Caribbean twist. Most of the ingredients can be found in any grocery story, and you can either squeeze the limes for the juice, or purchase Key lime juice. Tia Maria is a dark liqueur made with cane-based spirit, Jamaican coffee, and a hint of vanilla. I have a feeling that the remainder of the liqueur will not go to waste.


  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup Tia Maria Liqueur
  • 1 tbsp Key lime (or Persian lime) juice, strained
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Grated peel of 3 Key limes (or 1 Persian lime)
  • 8 small bananas
  • Vanilla Ice Cream


In a sauce pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add sugar and water and cook at a low boil, stirring occasionally for about 15-20 minutes (until reduced to a heavy syrup). Remove from heat and add the Tia Maria, Key lime juice, vanilla, and grated lime peel. Peel bananas and slice lengthwise once, and crosswise once. Add to hot syrup and cover until just warm. Serve warm over vanilla ice cream. The syrup can also be prepared ahead and reheated along with bananas right before serving. As the saying goes: betta belly buss dan good food waste. Enjoy!

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