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Banana Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

Banana Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

I make these moist bars whenever I have ripe bananas on hand, then store them in the freezer to share later at a potluck. With creamy frosting and big banana flavor, this treat is a real crowd-pleaser. -Debbie Knight, Marion, Iowa
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 15 min. Bake: 20 min. + cooling YIELD:36-48 servings

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 medium ripe bananas, mashed (about 1 cup)
  • FROSTING:
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3-3/4 to 4 cups confectioners' sugar

Directions

  • 1. Preheat oven to 350°/ In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, sour cream and vanilla. Combine flour, baking soda and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture. Stir in bananas.
  • 2. Spread into a greased 15x10x1-in. baking pan. Bake 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean (do not overbake). Cool.
  • 3. For frosting, in a large bowl, beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla until fluffy. Gradually beat in enough confectioners' sugar to achieve desired consistency. Frost bars. Store in the refrigerator. Yield: 3-4 dozen.

Recipe Note


Test Kitchen Tips

  • For the most intense flavor, use bananas with plenty of brown spots on them. Great way to use up leftovers in your fruit bowl!
  • Get crunchy by adding toasted walnuts or black walnuts to the batter, or sprinkling them over the frosting.
  • Nutritional Facts

    1 each: 148 calories, 7g fat (4g saturated fat), 28mg cholesterol, 96mg sodium, 21g carbohydrate (16g sugars, 0 fiber), 1g protein.

    Reviews for Banana Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

    Sort By :
    MY REVIEW
    GaitherMom User ID: 6038554 263512
    Reviewed Mar. 15, 2017

    "I made this exactly as written except I didn't have sour cream so I used the Dannon light and fit vanilla Greek yogurt, and I added semi sweet chocolate chips. I put it in a 13x9 pan and baked it for 35 minutes. It is moist and light. My husband gave it a 4.5 and my 5 year old gave it a solid 10. My 20 year old has not been here to try it. I am keeping this recipe for taking places. It is fantastic."

    MY REVIEW
    KFTLR User ID: 6230867 255692
    Reviewed Oct. 20, 2016

    "Made these in a 13 x 9 glass dish, baked for 28 minutes & my friends & family just raved about them! Will definitely make the same way again."

    MY REVIEW
    shetried User ID: 5542961 253658
    Reviewed Sep. 4, 2016

    "Absolutely the best recipe for banana bars I have ever baked and eaten. My husband can't keep out of them, and I took them to a sick friends house and her husband and son were hiding them from each other! Didn't and wouldn't change a thing except I did add walnuts to the batter as we love nuts with anything banana."

    MY REVIEW
    jjsm4552 User ID: 826864 253200
    Reviewed Aug. 26, 2016

    "Best recipe that I've found for banana bars."

    MY REVIEW
    For40him User ID: 8905304 252138
    Reviewed Aug. 2, 2016

    "These were a giant hit at my house. My 3 daughters each have boyfriends and they all loved them. The sour cream made them so moist. I may use 3 bananas next time and I know I'd love some nuts in them. I did find that as delicious as they were right after frosting them, they were even better the next day! I think the flavors got more intense as it sat overnight. Only lasted till the second day!"

    MY REVIEW
    salisuz User ID: 8868466 248791
    Reviewed May. 29, 2016

    "i really liked this recipes cause it only has... 96 mg of sodium and when u go to make this - use unsalted butter! I added some applesauce and some roasted pecans and every1... Loved it!"

    MY REVIEW
    LYNN3029 User ID: 8496179 248523
    Reviewed May. 23, 2016

    "Fabulous! Moist and tender. My daughter who doesn't care for banana loved these. I was shy some banana and used applesauce. Will make again. This replaces beloved favorite banana cake recipe."

    MY REVIEW
    manga User ID: 4211076 247890
    Reviewed May. 5, 2016

    "Big hit at work. Everyone loved them and asked for the recipe. I added chopped walnuts to the top of the frosting. I also cut back on the confectionary sugar to 2 1/2 cups. I used 3 bananas."

    MY REVIEW
    Dee-n-Abby User ID: 8284436 247655
    Reviewed Apr. 29, 2016

    "This is a good recipe. I tried it using a muffin-top pan (350? for 20 minutes). It was easy to make, also."

    MY REVIEW
    Trrd User ID: 8581461 246221
    Reviewed Mar. 28, 2016

    "I just added raisins and nuts. Delish"

    MY REVIEW
    Sandy.cheeks User ID: 8817949 246044
    Reviewed Mar. 26, 2016

    "Reminds me of when I was a kid!??"

    MY REVIEW
    blajr User ID: 1425815 244500
    Reviewed Feb. 26, 2016

    "These were absolutely delicious. I didn't make the homemade frosting (used a canned cream cheese frosting) but the bars were perfect! My whole family loved them and my son in law said "these are the best things I've ever eaten" !!! Raves all around"

    MY REVIEW
    randcbruns User ID: 828588 242795
    Reviewed Jan. 29, 2016

    "This recipe is so simple and so delicious! These are my go to when someone wants something banana. I don't hardly ever make banana bread anymore!"

    MY REVIEW
    Epatton-whiteside User ID: 8285350 232326
    Reviewed Sep. 5, 2015

    "My family raves about this recipe."

    MY REVIEW
    jhunnybunny User ID: 1664398 227976
    Reviewed Jun. 15, 2015

    "I've been making this recipe since I first read it in TOH quite a few years ago. It is absolutely delicious! It has become a family favorite that I have shared at many occasions and has been a big hit. Great way to use ripe bananas. I prefer baking it in a stoneware bar pan."

    MY REVIEW
    grannysue4 User ID: 7455994 225040
    Reviewed Apr. 18, 2015

    "I have made these bars many times and it is my go to recipe for banana bars. Not only are they my sons favorite, whenever I make them to serve at church people tell me how much they enjoyed the wonderful banana taste and how moist they are."

    MY REVIEW
    doylescott User ID: 7230721 221355
    Reviewed Feb. 25, 2015

    "just got and made your banana bars. I don't mind saying that I was NOT surprised at all. as all the rec. u have given me where so DAM good I just had to let u know how much I LOVE your rec. thanks again scotty."

    MY REVIEW
    tkwhite User ID: 5197197 219437
    Reviewed Feb. 1, 2015

    "easy and great tasting!!"

    MY REVIEW
    momtomomnwi User ID: 8204717 217329
    Reviewed Jan. 9, 2015

    "These are amazing though I did make some slight modifications. I used 3 bananas (slight,y over one cup and I used a 9x13 pan and had it cook about 35 minutes (I checked after 25 and still runny in middle. Check it after 5 min, 2x). I also used about half the confectioners sugar it called for the frosting and it was perfect!!!!"

    MY REVIEW
    MyFoodCravings User ID: 3797392 53429
    Reviewed Oct. 25, 2014

    "Made these last night and they are really good. I used 3 bananas that were just over the 1 cup and I added extra vanilla - Sorry - They are wonderful. Thanks for the recipe."

    MY REVIEW
    Phillips206 User ID: 8011660 79661
    Reviewed Sep. 27, 2014

    "Oh my goodness this is the best banana bread with the cream cheese frosting, I really never liked banana bread but it's on and craken, when my son and his in laws eat this my might switch from me making so many sweet potatoe pies."

    MY REVIEW
    nopalito User ID: 3750663 27792
    Reviewed Aug. 22, 2014

    "I have baked these bars for several years and there are never any left for the next day. My daughters and daughter-in-law and grandkids bring me very ripe bananas as a hint to make these. My only recommendation would be to make one half of the frosting as it really makes a lot. Would give these 10 stars if I could."

    MY REVIEW
    krindfleisch User ID: 1643865 39534
    Reviewed Jul. 24, 2014

    "So good!"

    MY REVIEW
    LAAndersen User ID: 5936855 41956
    Reviewed Jul. 18, 2014

    "I make there all the time. It's a great use up for bananas. My family loves them and they're a nice change from banana bread. Sometimes I add chopped walnuts to the batter or sprinkle on top of the frosting."

    MY REVIEW
    HeatherWisconsin User ID: 7771715 73879
    Reviewed Jun. 26, 2014

    "Above it says that you can freeze them to pull out for later. I really like this idea :) but can you please help an unexperienced baker to ensure I do that correctly? I'm pretty good at messing things up lol. Do you frost them before you store them in the freezer? Do they need to cool before placing in the freezer? How do you store them in the freezer, in a pan, ziplock bag, etc.? How long can they be stored in the freezer? Thank you for your help :)"

    MY REVIEW
    tommypoo User ID: 1263135 86009
    Reviewed Jun. 11, 2014

    "A co-worker brought this and used whipped vanilla frosting instead. It was not only a time saver but worked perfectly with the bars. I'm going to make them for the next family gathering!!!"

    MY REVIEW
    mkaskela User ID: 6061564 69989
    Reviewed Apr. 7, 2014

    "I made them in a 13x9 pan instead and just baked it longer so it turned out more like a really moist cake. Delicious!"

    MY REVIEW
    misscoffeepot User ID: 7519492 27101
    Reviewed Mar. 29, 2014

    "great recipe! I have made them just as written, wonderfull, moist, delicate flavor...then the next time, I did not have sour cream so used vanilla yogurt and added toffee pieces- still good. I have made them as cupcakes and they rise very nicely and stay moist."

    MY REVIEW
    grandmaverna User ID: 7263213 73878
    Reviewed Dec. 14, 2013

    "Yummy!"

    MY REVIEW
    JulieS211 User ID: 5434916 41953
    Reviewed Oct. 29, 2013

    "I had a houseful of company coming and bananas that were overripe and needed to be used. This recipe was perfect! It makes a big pan full, and the flavor was great. Since not everyone likes cream cheese frosting and I didn't want to have to worry about having to store these in the fridge, I decided to go with a cinnamon one instead. I got lots of compliments on them from my guests, and I still have plenty to take to work to share tomorrow! I'll definitely be making these again."

    MY REVIEW
    oeg1kallee User ID: 152044 32303
    Reviewed Oct. 10, 2013

    "wow- I have a new go-to recipe for my ripe bananas- very moist light, and addictive- they make at least 48 bars."

    MY REVIEW
    farm diva User ID: 6995846 32300
    Reviewed Oct. 5, 2013

    "Made these bars last nite, using bananas, that I had froze, but be sure to thaw them out good. Had them for a luncheon, today, very good and easy, will make again."

    MY REVIEW
    karla81 User ID: 2234427 73877
    Reviewed Jul. 11, 2013

    "I followed this recipe exactly as is except I used 3 bananas and it is so delicious and moist. easy to make and great for potlucks."

    MY REVIEW
    just17310 User ID: 1692684 95027
    Reviewed Jul. 7, 2013

    "Great as is and also makes great cupcakes"

    MY REVIEW
    Troi User ID: 63638 53427
    Reviewed Jul. 3, 2013

    "I have made this wonderful recipe since TofH published it in the magazine. I use Betty Crocker cream cheese frosting, though. If you get a few leftovers since it makes a big batch, try wrapping cut pieces in plastic wrap and putting them in the freezer to put in lunch bags. They are outstanding."

    MY REVIEW
    redednpam User ID: 6807386 69988
    Reviewed Apr. 11, 2013

    "Absolutely the best banana bars ever!! These were a huge hit with my family!"

    MY REVIEW
    GoWyoming User ID: 7219591 77056
    Reviewed Apr. 9, 2013

    "yummy and easy"

    MY REVIEW
    Babycat724 User ID: 5869249 27790
    Reviewed Feb. 20, 2013

    "YUMMMMMMM"

    MY REVIEW
    amandamhm User ID: 6164424 30606
    Reviewed Oct. 16, 2012

    "Delicious"

    MY REVIEW
    janrn96 User ID: 4256238 77055
    Reviewed Sep. 25, 2012

    "Girls at work loved it!"

    MY REVIEW
    yesdrew User ID: 4399134 69983
    Reviewed Sep. 20, 2012

    "Made these yesterday and my family said this recipe is a keeper!I also made the cream cheese frosting but used my recipe: 1/2 stick butter,1-8oz cream cheese,2 cups powdered sugar,1 1/2 tsp.vanilla extract. Made my bars in a 9x13 pan and the frosting amount I made covers perfectly also garnished w/ crushed nuts."

    MY REVIEW
    tamed1234 User ID: 5326076 23325
    Reviewed Sep. 9, 2012

    "My husband never wants to be without these banana bars!"

    MY REVIEW
    deb1710 User ID: 3480047 39483
    Reviewed Aug. 31, 2012

    "do you freeze with the frosting ?"

    MY REVIEW
    mrs.heredia1202 User ID: 6716268 23276
    Reviewed Jul. 13, 2012

    "I loved these bars but i dident even use icing on them. by the time they were cooled they smelled to good they had to be eatin. The kids loved them as is also!"

    MY REVIEW
    Momof4sweeties User ID: 6748457 203629
    Reviewed Jun. 22, 2012

    "These bars are AMAZING!!! So delicious and my entire family loves them!!!"

    MY REVIEW
    baby_iron User ID: 6675636 79660
    Reviewed May. 3, 2012

    "This recipe is outstanding and I wouldn't change a thing. I would not dream of cutting the frosting to half or two thirds as suggested by some other reviewers. I bake all the time for my co-workers and they love these bars. It's perfect just the way it is. But then again, we love frosting. Thanks for the recipe!!"

    MY REVIEW
    BakinGymnast User ID: 5767825 41952
    Reviewed Jan. 29, 2012

    "Yum! Next time I may even reduce the sugar a bit more! I didn't even make the frosting though, and these were still very good! They're very moist! I brought these to my gymnastics meet and they were a big hit!"

    MY REVIEW
    scubadiva953 User ID: 3502191 77914
    Reviewed Jan. 23, 2012

    "Best bars ever. I make these twice a week. One for home and one for work. All my cowokers are always asking for them."

    MY REVIEW
    [email protected] User ID: 3550398 32299
    Reviewed Jan. 22, 2012

    "I've been making these for years, since I first saw them in the magazine & they are the best! A family or office favorite for sure!"

    MY REVIEW
    lurky27 User ID: 1251896 27782
    Reviewed Sep. 17, 2011

    "YUM! Make these now! I used 3 bananas and they turned out great.

    ~ Theresa"

    MY REVIEW
    Jessica2783 User ID: 5112860 79659
    Reviewed Sep. 10, 2011

    "These bars are SO good! I made some alterations and they still turned out great! (cut back on sugar, used 3/4 cup of vanilla yogurt & 1/4 cup sour cream, 3 bananas, added walnuts.) I also halved the frosting and STILL thought it was a little too much (but soooo tasty)"

    MY REVIEW
    heathernb User ID: 3490715 69982
    Reviewed Aug. 3, 2011

    "When I mix up a batch of these, I bake them using my muffin-top pans, then sandwich the "tops" together with the frosting. These freeze well!"

    MY REVIEW
    billandconnier User ID: 3946938 203628
    Reviewed Jul. 22, 2011

    "Favorite banana bar recipe ever! I use 3 bananas and cut the frosting recipe down to 2/3 batch. Delicious!!!"

    MY REVIEW
    Magsks User ID: 3249144 203627
    Reviewed Jul. 18, 2011

    "This is one of our family favorites! They sure don't last long! :)"

    MY REVIEW
    cate22 User ID: 1725156 76990
    Reviewed Jun. 27, 2011

    "These were great! They have a strong banana flavour, which we love. I used 3 mashed bananas and halved the frosting recipe, as suggested by another reviewer. The frosting was still very sweet. I will make this again and sometimes without the frosting."

    MY REVIEW
    momme4x User ID: 4745932 79627
    Reviewed May. 20, 2011

    "This gets RAVE reviews every time I make it! Everyone wants the recipe. I've had my kids request this for their birthday cake!"

    MY REVIEW
    momme4x User ID: 4745932 53426
    Reviewed May. 20, 2011

    "This gets RAVE reviews every time I make it! Everyone wants the recipe. I've had my kids request this for their birthday cake!"

    MY REVIEW
    thinthing User ID: 5776394 86003
    Reviewed Mar. 9, 2011

    "I thought these bars were very "heavy". I don't think I will make again."

    MY REVIEW
    karaspunky User ID: 1794077 23275
    Reviewed Mar. 7, 2011

    "I found this this morning and made them. They are tasty,moist and big on taste. I did have to bake a few min. longer but they are delish....."

    MY REVIEW
    Josy_Dee User ID: 5657417 76984
    Reviewed Mar. 3, 2011

    "This recipe was delightful! The flavors are big and delicious. I had family over for supper and they couldn't get enough dessert. I will definitely be making this recipe again and again..."

    MY REVIEW
    Southernmama User ID: 81270 86002
    Reviewed Mar. 1, 2011

    "Thanks to the many potlucks I've taken these to, there are lots of people sharing this recipe with others and getting rave reviews. I've made them at my grandson's request, into cupcakes, used the same frosting, for his classmates and the teacher made copies of the recipe while I was still passing out the cupcakes. Big, BIG hit at my house!!"

    MY REVIEW
    deej0619 User ID: 1539602 69981
    Reviewed Mar. 1, 2011

    "A+ recipe; this is hands down my two adult nieces favorite! Highly recommend..."

    MY REVIEW
    jrdail User ID: 5813498 73876
    Reviewed Mar. 1, 2011

    "Love these cake bars! Have been making this recipe for years. I usually half the frosting recipe."

    MY REVIEW
    CakeLadyPHX User ID: 5845655 27098
    Reviewed Feb. 26, 2011

    "Fabulous and easy recipe. I cut them for lunches putting iced sides together before placing in wrappers. Definitely a favorite to find in the lunch bag!"

    MY REVIEW
    jonesy85 User ID: 5812465 27781
    Reviewed Feb. 25, 2011

    "These truly are a pot luck pleaser, I make them all the time.. Perhaps too much , hehe.. Never the less EVERYONE asks for the recipe, no matter where i take them...Yummy"

    MY REVIEW
    mdolan User ID: 1969721 53419
    Reviewed Jan. 9, 2011

    "This is a hit with my family everytime I make it!"

    MY REVIEW
    alexadian User ID: 4613941 76973
    Reviewed Dec. 8, 2010

    "Took these to work--received many compliments and requests for the recipe. Definitely a keeper and so easy and quick!"

    MY REVIEW
    bosmom50 User ID: 1435961 76971
    Reviewed Nov. 28, 2010

    "Made them for fellowship after church. The were a hit! It's nice to have such a delicious use for just two ripe bananas...my banana bread recipe requires three."

    MY REVIEW
    lynnrh User ID: 3009868 32298
    Reviewed Oct. 6, 2010

    "I made these bars for the first time for the past weekend get-away with family. Were a big hit!! I also think I would cut the frosting recipe in half (I only used 3/4 of it), or maybe add less powdered sugar so not so sweet. I will definately make these again. Nice change from the usual banana bread!! Would also be deliscious with the tiny chocolate chips, or adding peanut butter to the frosting also."

    MY REVIEW
    snowman71 User ID: 4775630 94901
    Reviewed Sep. 13, 2010

    "These are outrageous!"

    MY REVIEW
    sammy12384 User ID: 3941312 94645
    Reviewed Aug. 11, 2010

    "I baked these bars for less than the recommended 20 minutes, as they were already pulling away from the sides of the pan. Otherwise, everything went off easily and without a hitch. Delish!"

    MY REVIEW
    lsanders31 User ID: 4454276 86001
    Reviewed Jun. 21, 2010

    "Will make again: nice and moist. Only used half of the ingredient for the frosting (and it was still quite sweet)"

    MY REVIEW
    Ellen Z User ID: 2187380 27779
    Reviewed Apr. 15, 2010

    "These banana bars are simply the best!!! Whenever I make them, my family devours them. When I take them to a party or dinner, I am always asked for the recipe. Yum-o!!"

    MY REVIEW
    KKungu User ID: 4193292 32296
    Reviewed Apr. 6, 2010

    "These bars are so good! They are very moist and flavorful. I brought them to work and my co-workers commented on how good they were. I did cut the frosting recipe in half, and it turned out to be just enough. I will surely make them again."

    MY REVIEW
    radcook User ID: 1444409 30598
    Reviewed Jan. 3, 2010

    "Been making these for awhile now. Never disappointing."

    MY REVIEW
    alavacot User ID: 2493930 41898
    Reviewed Dec. 16, 2009

    "I rarely rate recipes -- but this one was SO delicious I needed to! I followed the directions - and got rave reviews from my co-workers! I need to make another batch for Christmas!"

    MY REVIEW
    janetwolhart User ID: 3782718 27091
    Reviewed Dec. 13, 2009

    "I have made this recipe for years and every time I serve them for company several will request the recipe! easy and delicious!"

    MY REVIEW
    Kym Ray User ID: 2667900 79626
    Reviewed Sep. 8, 2009

    "These have been a family favorite since the recipe came out in the cookbook. Took it to potlucks when we were raching and it was a big hit. Thanks for a great and easy recipe!"

    MY REVIEW
    colleyho User ID: 359762 94643
    Reviewed Jul. 13, 2009

    "I have been making these bars since the recipe first was posted. They are a hit with my family, co-workers, and friends. THis is always the first choice n my home now with over rip bananas. Thanks for the great share."

    MY REVIEW
    cherrylady User ID: 1073547 30556
    Reviewed Jun. 4, 2009

    "We loved these bars! I saw the suggestion adding walnuts -- can't wait to try that. YUMMY!"

    MY REVIEW
    josiezanker User ID: 3325499 39480
    Reviewed May. 8, 2009

    "These are very good banana bars. I think next time, I will cut the frosting in half, too much frosting for me. The bars were already good, so much frosting seemed to overpower them."

    MY REVIEW
    mom48*60 User ID: 4089733 32294
    Reviewed Apr. 27, 2009

    "Ditto to the above comments. An added bonus is that it is so easy to make, great for a crowd, and turns out perfect everytime."

    MY REVIEW
    jillgingras User ID: 2114369 79612
    Reviewed Mar. 14, 2009

    "This is the best banana bar recipe. It is a favorite in my home. I've made these for potlucks and they are a huge hit!

    Jill"

    MY REVIEW
    colleyho User ID: 359762 32293
    Reviewed Mar. 8, 2009

    "Ever since I discovered this recipe in the magazine it has become a standard in our house."

    MY REVIEW
    saw-whet User ID: 2849135 94641
    Reviewed Feb. 14, 2009 Edited Oct. 16, 2009

    "This is excellent."

    MY REVIEW
    mochayoda User ID: 1950253 23272
    Reviewed Jan. 26, 2009

    "These bars are very tasty. The only change I made to the recipe was to add 1 cup of chopped walnuts to the batter. The bars are still deliciously moist after 5 days. They also taste great without the frosting, just sprinkled lightly with powered sugar."

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