Plátanos al Caldero (Caramelized Ripe Plantains)

Plátanos al Caldero (Caramelized Ripe Plantains). A dish that will make you weak in the knees.

Do you remember the saying “we’re all unique”? You need to know other cultures to understand and appreciate your own. This is a lesson that has taken me years to learn, and by learning about other countries’ foods I have understood ours better, and what makes it unique, even if ultimately it is something that is shared with other countries. In the end it’s the sum of its parts that makes it “unique”.

Try these Plátanos al Caldero (Caramelized Ripe Plantains) and you’ll find something that is both unique to the Dominican Republic, and shared with a lot of countries.

Plátanos al Caldero (Caramelized Ripe Plantains). A dish that will make you weak in the knees.

We are not the only country with a penchant for mixing sweet and savory in our meals. In fact Danes serve a similar dish to this one, made with summer potatoes, which are served caramelized. It adds a touch of sweet to the Danish meal, although more discreet as potatoes are not as sweet as ripe plantains.

Several Asian countries add sugar or fruits to their foods in an attempt to tame the fiercely spicy flavors in their cooking. And, of course, we must mention that both Puerto Rico and Cuba also serve ripe plantains with their meals.

Plátanos al Caldero (Caramelized Ripe Plantains). A dish that will make you weak in the knees.

But if you didn’t read all of the above you would suspect we misplaced this recipe and put it with the side dishes instead of the desserts.

No, it wasn’t a mistake. As a matter of fact, this is a favorite Dominican side dish. Sure, Dominicans might have overdone it a bit on the sweet side with this one, but this really is a crowd pleaser, and for a reason.

Plátanos al Caldero (Caramelized Ripe Plantains). A dish that will make you weak in the knees.

The twist to my plátanos maduros al caldero (caramelized plantains) is rum. These are grown-up plantains, but if you want to serve them to children or anyone who would object to the rum, feel free to leave it out.

Try it , I assure you that you’ll like it. 10 million people can’t be wrong.

Aunt Clara
Plátanos al Caldero Recipe (Dominican Caramelized Ripe Plantains)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 6 servings
  • 3 very ripe plantains (see notes)
  • 4 cinnamon sticks cut into 1" pieces
  • 4 tablespoons of oil
  • 1 cup of water
  • 3 tablespoons of brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons of rum (optional)
  • ¼ teaspoon of salt
  1. Peel the plantains and cut into halves.
  2. Stick the cinnamon into the plantains.
  3. In a skillet heat the oil over medium heat, add the plantains and fry and rotate until golden brown all around.
  4. In a separate container mix water, sugar, rum, and salt.
  5. Pour this mix into the frying pan (careful with splatters!).
  6. Lower the heat and cook and rotate until the the liquid turn into syrup left and ⅔ has evaporated.
  7. Serve immediately.
Your plantains MUST be very ripe for this to work. The peel should be almost black and the plantain a bit mushy when you squeeze it.
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{ 15 comments… add one }

  • Ldypylot June 26, 2015, 1:54 PM

    In Canada you can buy platanos (plantains) at Walmart

  • Veronica September 26, 2014, 12:12 PM

    Can I use white sugar

    • Aunt Clara September 29, 2014, 5:16 PM

      Yes, but color and level of sweetness may be different.

  • Caroline May 24, 2014, 12:35 PM

    Hi what kind of rum did u use? The white or dark

  • Rosa April 24, 2014, 4:27 PM


    Your recipe doesn’t mention anything about CLOVES..You say stick the cloves and cinnamom in the plaintains and no cloves are mentioned in this recipe.

    Please elaborate.


  • Eileen February 21, 2013, 10:49 AM

    recuerdos de mi querida abuelita…

  • lilliam Grullon February 3, 2013, 12:56 AM

    por favor traducir la pagina al espan~ol

    • Aunt Clara February 3, 2013, 5:20 PM

      En el menú principal en letra grande hay un enlace que dice “Español”.

  • Jeannette Qui&ntilde April 9, 2012, 4:03 AM

    Deliciosos como guarnición o como postre con helado de vainilla … mi secretito es echarles un poquito de brandy, Mmm…

  • Jesica @ Pencil Kitc April 6, 2012, 8:50 PM

    I'm assuming its close to bananas, and that i can use bananas instead?! oh -drools!

    • Aunt Clara April 7, 2012, 7:03 AM

      Jesica, yes, they are close to bananas but also entirely different fruits. While I assume you could do this with bananas and call it a dessert (I've never done that) the result is a totally different beast. You can find plantains anywhere there is a Caribbean, Latino or African shop.

  • Richard March 17, 2011, 10:33 AM

    so when you say stick the cloves and sticks into the platain do you mean that literally? i thought that you would add those to the remaining ingredients to it gets those flavor.

    • Aunt Clara March 17, 2011, 10:36 AM

      Yep, literally. Your plantains will look like Pinhead from Hellraiser. :)