Banana Ripple Ice Cream

Today’s 12 Days of Oscar feature shifts us into films that have won at least one Academy Award.  Nominated for eleven Oscars, the 2004 film The Aviator won five.  In addition to winning Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design, Best Film Editing, Cate Blanchett won Best Actress in a Supporting Role, making her the first actress to win the award for her portrayal of a previous Oscar winner.  In The Aviator, Leonardo DiCaprio portrays film maker and aviator Howard Hughes.  The film follows Hughes from his work on Hell’s Angels, through his relationships with Catherine Hepburn (Blanchett) and Ava Gardner (Kate Beckinsdale), his ownership of Trans World Airlines and his development of the “Spruce Goose” which led to investigations for war profiteering.  The film also depicts Hughes’ continually worsening obsessive compulsive disorder, and shows a period in which Hughes took to living in is screening room due to severe depression and pain caused by a terrible flying accident.

The movie ends before Hughes moves into and later buys the Desert Inn in Las Vegas.  During his time there, Hughes took a liking to Baskin-Robbins banana ripple ice cream, and his aides arranged to purchase 200 gallons of the discontinued flavor, only to have Hughes get bored with it and take a liking to chocolate marshmallow instead.  Left with a surplus of banana ripple, the Desert Inn distributed free banana ripple ice cream to its customers.  I couldn’t find out anywhere what exactly the banana ripple flavor was like, and so I decided to make a vanilla ice cream rippled with a banana puree mixture.  M and O graciously volunteered to try out the results of my experiment, and rated it a huge success.  To ripple fruit or other sauces into ice cream, the ice cream and sauce are made separately and then layered together.  I mashed bananas with a little bit of brown sugar and vanilla extract, then pureed the mixture until it was smooth and layered it with a simple vanilla ice cream.  The banana flavor is there but doesn’t overpower the ice cream, you get two distinct flavors throughout which is nice.

banana ripple ice cream

Banana Ripple Ice Cream


for the vanilla ice cream:

  • 2 C. heavy cream, divided
  • 1 C. whole milk
  • 3/4 C. sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 3/4 tsp. vanilla extract

for the banana ripple:

  • 1 1/2 C. banana slices (3-4 medium bananas)
  • 3 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract


In a medium saucepan, combine 1 C. of the heavy cream and the sugar.

Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the pot and add the empty pod to the pot as well.

Heat over medium heat, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved.

Remove from the heat and add the remaining cream, whole milk, and vanilla extract.

Chill the mixture in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours.

When the mixture is ready to churn, remove the empty vanilla bean and freeze the mixture in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions (for my ice cream maker, this took about 25 minutes).

While the ice cream is churning, make the banana ripple by mashing the bananas, vanilla extract and brown sugar together with a fork or immersion blender until the mixture is smooth (some small chunks of banana are fine).

Spread 1/3 of the ice cream mixture into a 2 quart, lidded, freezer safe container.

Spread 1/2 of the banana mixture on top of the layer of ice cream.

Spread another 1/3 of the ice cream mixture on top of the banana layer.

Spread remaining banana mixture on top of the ice cream layer.

Finish by spreading the remaining ice cream on top of the banana layer.

Cover and freeze until ice cream has hardened, about 2 hours, before serving.

Makes about 1 1/2 quarts.

Source: vanilla ice cream from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz; banana layer Diana Dishes original


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