Top hat bananas, which are pan-fried bananas topped with a mixture of cinnamon-sugar and cheese, great as a dessert or for serving on toast for breakfast or a snack.

Servings 2 people


  • large ripe but firm bananas
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 ( 1/4 inch thick slices mozzarella manchego or butterkase cheese
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
  • *1/8 tsp ground nutmeg optional
  • *A pinch of ground cloves optional
  • * 1 tsp vanilla extract optional
  • * 1/3 cup chopped pecans optional
  • * 2-4 scoops vanilla bean or coffee ice cream

* Chocolate sauce to drizzle (recipe follows)

* These ingredients are not part of the traditional recipe of Cartola. It's my personal touch for this already wonderful dish!!


  1. Preheat the oven to 350F (180C).
  2. In a small bowl, combine the sugar and the cinnamon as well as the vanilla extract and the 2 other spices if desired. Reserve.
  3. About 30 minutes later, slice the bananas in half crosswise, and then lengthwise. You'll end up with 4 halves per banana.
  4. In a large non-stick frying pan, over medium heat, heat the butter for about 2 to 3 minutes or until it melts and bubbles. Add the banana halves and pan-fry them until both sides are golden brown. Remove from heat, then drain the bananas on paper towels. Reserve.
  5. Grease a 5" x 9" glass baking pan with additional unsalted butter or butter flavor cooking spray. Arrange the reserved bananas, lining up every four halves parallel and closely together in a single layer. You will have two sets of bananas.
  6. Top each set with the toasted pecans (optionaand then a slice of cheese of approximately the same size. Sprinkle the cheese generously with the sugar/spice mixture.
  7. Place the glass pan in the preheated oven and bake for 5 to 7 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
  8. Remove each portion carefully with a spatula and place on a plate. Serve immediately. It can be accompanied by a scoop of vanilla or coffee ice cream drizzled with a warm chocolate sauce.