Campfire Banana Boats 9 Ways

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Learn how to make campfire banana boats: a classic camping dessert and beloved campfire tradition.

Learn how to make Campfire Banana Boats - a classic camping dessert!

What is a Banana Boat?

Like a cross between a s’more and a banana split, a banana boat is a quick and easy dessert to make while camping. Just split a banana in half, stuff it with toppings, wrap it in tin foil, and place it over the fire.

How to Build Your Campfire Banana Boat

The concept behind a banana boat is simple. Take a banana with its peel still on and cut it down the middle (along the concave side). Not all the way through, but until the tip of your knife just grazes the peel on the other side. You can then pull the peel and banana slightly ajar.

You then want to fill your banana with some ingredients. We’ve listed a bunch of specific flavor combinations below, but the basic idea is to include:

Something Melty + Something Sweet + Something Crunchy

Toppings are usually stuffed in a single line down the center of the banana. Feel free to mash your banana to either side to make some extra room.

Or, if you want to make yours a double stuffed banana boat, you can also put toppings between the banana and the peels as well. (Actually, if you stuff the center as well as the left and right edges, it would be a triple stuffed!) Don’t get too carried away otherwise you’ll have a hard time wrapping it in the next step. So stuff your toppings responsibly!

Learn how to make Campfire Banana Boats - a classic camping dessert!

How to Wrap Your Banana Boat

Traditionally, banana boats are wrapped with aluminum foil. However, we’re not super crazy about cooking our food directly in aluminum. While there isn’t complete consensus about the overall health risks aluminum, we prefer to err on the side of safety. So we use a combination of aluminum foil and parchment paper instead.

Depending on the size of your bananas, you will want to cut about a 1 ft x 1 ft section of aluminum foil. We used heavy duty Reynolds Wrap. Then cut out a 1 ft x 1 ft section of parchment paper. We use the If You Care brand which we because it’s FSC certified compostable, unbleached, and 100% chlorine-free.

Place the parchment paper on top of the aluminum foil. You can crimp the aluminum foil over the parchment paper at the corners to help it stay in place. Then wrap your stuffed banana completely, using the parchment paper on the inside and the aluminum foil on the outside.

Learn how to make Banana Boats - a classic camping dessert cooked over the campfire!

How to Cook Your Banana Boat

Depending on the state of your campfire, you have a couple different options to warm your banana boat. The goal here is just to warm the banana and melt the toppings, not turn the whole thing into a carbonized meteor. A controlled, even heat is what you’re looking for.

If your campfire is hot and there are still a lot of flames coming off it, you might want to cook your banana boats on top of a grill grate. Most campfires have adjustable grill grates and often time your banana boats will nest perfectly between the grates. Raise your grate so it’s up and out of the flames, place your wrapped banana boats topping side up, and let the heat rising off the fire warm it up for a few minutes.

If your campfire is low and starting to die down, then you might want to cook your banana boat in the embers. With a stick, spread out the embers a little bit and then nestle your banana boat – topping side up – amongst the coals. It will only take a few minutes to completely warm up.

When your banana is done, remove with a pair of tongs. A good way to check it to give it a light squeeze with your tongs. If it’s still really firm, it’s probably not done yet. If it’s a little squishy, then it’s ready to eat.

The aluminum foil should cool down very quickly once it is removed from the heat, but be careful about releasing trapped steam when unwrapping.

The end result should be a warmed banana filled with melty, delicious toppings. Grab a spoon and dig in!

9 Campfire Banana Boat Flavor Combos

Looking for some topping combinations to get you started? We’ve tested out 9 different versions so there is something everyone at your campfire will enjoy!

Campfire banana boats are an easy camping dessert to make for a crowd!Easy camp cooking: Campfire Banana Boat dessert, cooked right on the grill!Campfire Banana boats: a fun camping dessert that kids will love!

CLASSIC S’MORES: Banana + Milk Chocolate + Mini Marshmallows + Crumbled Graham Crackers

STRAWBERRY HAZELNUT: Banana + Strawberries + Nutella + Chopped Hazelnuts

SAMOAS: Banana + Chocolate Chips + Caramel Sauce + Toasted Coconut

DULCE DE LECHE: Banana + Chocolate + Dulce de Leche sauce + Coconut shreds

VEGAN: Banana + Dark Chocolate + Dandies Mini Marshmallows

PB & C: Banana + Peanut Butter + Chocolate Chips

HONEY GINGER: Banana + Honey + Candied Ginger + White or Dark Chocolate

BANANA SPLIT: Banana + Milk Chocolate + Marshmallows + Cherries

PECAN PRALINE: Banana + Pralines + Dark Chocolate


What’s your favorite way to top a banana boat? We’d love to hear your creative ideas in the comments!
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Learn how to make Banana Boats - a classic camping dessert cooked over the campfire!

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