Marquesan Banana Delight Recipe: Dessert, Anytime!

Although most people will eat this Marquesan Banana Delight as a dessert, the crew aboard Zephyrus eat it is a special cruising breakfast.

June 14, 2013
Marquesan Banana Delight
Marquesan Banana Delight Lynda Morris Childress

Cruising quickly became a way of life for my husband, Paul, and our three children after we set sail from Marina del Rey, California, aboard Zephyrus, our Lapworth 36, with our larder fully stocked. We reprovisioned in Mexico, then sailed to the remote Marquesas Islands, a 21-day voyage.

There we immersed ourselves in the islands’ culinary delights. We feasted on fish, lobster, pig, fresh goat, coconuts, bananas, and fruits we’d never seen before. It was in the Marquesas that I developed the following recipe. It’s ideal for cruisers because it requires no eggs and can be made with reconstituted dry milk. Although most people will eat this as a dessert, aboard our boat it became a special cruising breakfast that nothing since has ever equaled!

Marquesan Banana Delight Recipe

Makes four to six servings



  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups milk or reconstituted dry milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3 large or 4 small bananas, sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups white rice, cooked
  • 1 14-ounce can coconut milk

To make vanilla pudding, combine cornstarch, sugar, and salt in a saucepan off the heat. Add milk gradually, stirring constantly, until well blended. Heat over medium heat, stirring, until mixture is thick and begins boiling. Remove from heat. Quickly stir in vanilla and butter. Chill for 2 hours. To assemble: Cover the bottom of a medium serving bowl (or of individual dessert bowls) with vanilla pudding. Add a layer of bananas, then a layer of rice. Alternate layers. Finish with a layer of pudding. Whip coconut cream (see “How to Make Whipped Coconut Cream”) and top with a thick layer. Add sliced bananas or any fruit on hand. For an easier alternative: Use boxed vanilla pudding mix. Don’t whip coconut cream; drain as directed in sidebar, stir, and spread thick coconut cream over top.

How to Make Whipped Coconut Cream

Coconut cream is a wonderful alternative to traditional whipped cream. Making it’s easy. Here’s how:

  • Place canned coconut milk in your fridge or on ice, upright, for at least 3 hours; overnight is better. This will separate the solid cream from the liquid.
  • Open can; drain off all liquid. You want only the very firm coconut cream. (You can reserve liquid for another use.)
  • Put only the firm coconut cream in a mixing bowl. Whip with electric or battery-operated hand mixer, or with an old-fashioned egg beater, for 5 minutes or until the coconut cream is the consistency of dairy whipped cream. Notes: This is delicious, but not as sweet as whipped cream. Add a bit of (optional) sugar or a dash or two of vanilla for extra flavor. If you add too much liquid coconut milk, the result will have the consistency of pre-made whipped dairy topping—but it still tastes good!

Can be Be Prepared: At Anchor
Prep Time: 3 Hours
Degree of Difficulty: Medium

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