You don’t have to be an “Arrested Development” fan to appreciate the genius of frozen bananas

Nearly 20 years after the debut of “Arrested Development,” I discovered that the banana stand thing is real.

On a brilliant Orange County afternoon, I recently found myself wandering around Balboa Island, which is the home of a robust and fiercely competitive frozen banana economy. I had neither expected to find myself in town nor discover such a wealth of frozen banana options. 

RELATED: Ice cream loaf is your new favorite kitchen sink frozen treat

I only wish I’d been able to stay in California longer to determine a favorite. What I can do, however, is recreate a Bluth family delicacy in my New York home in relatively little time.

Dipped in dark chocolate and coated in sprinkles, a frozen banana just feels like the kind of thing you should have in your hand while strolling toward a ferris wheel (even when reality brings you April showers on the East Coast). It’s an easy slice of sunshine, any time.


Recipe: Balboa Island Frozen Bananas
Inspired by CucinaByElena


6 servings

Cook Time

10  minutes


  • 3 ripe bananas, peeled and cut in half
  • 6 popsicle sticks
  • 8 ounces chopped dark chocolate or chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Toppings of choice: sprinkles; crushed nuts; cookie, pretzel or graham cracker crumbs


  1. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

  2. Cut each banana in half. Insert a popsicle stick into the cut end.

  3. Place all of the bananas on wax paper and freeze for 1 hour, or until firm.

  4. Place the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl with the butter. Melt in the microwave for about 30 seconds and stir. (You may need to microwave the mixture some more; do it in 10-second intervals until everything is melted.)

  5. Meanwhile, lay the toppings on separate plates, or in different piles on a large sheet pan. 

  6. Remove the bananas from the freezer. Dip one banana at a time in the chocolate, coating it well. (You’ll need to spoon some around to get it covered.)

  7. Roll each banana in your toppings of choice to coat well. 

  8. Return to the freezer to firm up further, or eat right away, Bluth style.

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