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Frosted Banana Bars

These banana bars are always a hit at potlucks in the small rural farming community where my husband and I live. I also like to provide them for coffee hour after church. They're so moist and delicious that wherever I take them, they don't last long. —Karen Dryak, Niobrara, Nebraska
  • Total Time
    Prep: 15 min. Bake: 20 min. + cooling
  • Makes
    3 dozen

Ingredients

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

Directions

  • In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 5-7 minutes. Beat in the eggs, bananas and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; stir into creamed mixture just until blended.
  • Transfer to a greased 15x10x1-in. baking pan. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack.
  • For frosting, in a small bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Add confectioners' sugar and vanilla; beat until smooth. Frost bars.

Banana Bars Tips

How do you ripen bananas quickly?

To ripen bananas quickly, just pop your bananas in a paper bag, fold over to close and check in a day. The enclosed environment traps ethylene, the compound responsible for ripening bananas. For even better results, add an apple to the bag (it also releases ethylene). Don’t want to wait a day? You can ripen bananas in minutes or hours using an oven or freezer.

What are some alternatives to cream cheese frosting?

It’s hard to go wrong with a creamy caramel frosting. Feeling a bit more adventurous? Why not go Elvis-inspired with a chocolate peanut butter frosting? Spread over the top, then sprinkle the banana bars with chopped peanuts or crumbled cooked bacon!

What other toppings can you add to banana bars?

Try your hand at a classic homemade chocolate ganache. Cool and spread over the top, then decorate with dried banana chips or chopped pecans. Or, for the simplest topping of all, lightly dust with confectioners’ sugar. Research contributed by Christine Rukavena, Taste of Home Book Editor
Nutrition Facts
1 bar: 202 calories, 8g fat (5g saturated fat), 38mg cholesterol, 100mg sodium, 32g carbohydrate (25g sugars, 0 fiber), 2g protein.

Reviews

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Average Rating:
  • Trish
    Sep 16, 2020

    I have been making this recipe for 20+ years and anyone who has tried it just loves it. It's wonderful and a quick dessert. My daughter's old boyfriend use to bring over the stuff to make it and I would make a batch just for him.

  • Jodi
    Sep 10, 2020

    I made these and they turned out WAY to sugary and not moist at all. Why two cups of sugar when you have the natural sweetness of the bananas. Really disappointed.

  • GlutenFreeSherry
    Sep 8, 2020

    Made this recipe to the letter except added walnuts to the batter and frosting. Batter mixes up well and bakes quickly in the sheet cake pan. Frosting is tasty, but does not have as strong of a cream cheese flavor as recipes made without the added butter this one has. The cake is relatively moist and has a nice texture, but without any spices, it tastes a bit bland. I will make this again, but will add some cinnamon and/or nutmeg to give it a bit of a boost in flavor.

  • Anthea
    Aug 11, 2020

    Excellent!!! For the frosting I substituted 1tsp banana extract and 1tsp vanilla extract! It made such a huge difference! (I LOVE bananas). I’ve had tons of compliments. I’ll definitely make it again and again and again!,,,

  • tlcrews
    Jul 10, 2020

    Excellent!! I cut sugar in half and used a little brown sugar as some other reviewers did and only made half the icing recipe. Very tender, moist, perfect texture. Best banana bread I have had.

  • Lorna
    Jun 22, 2020

    Made it with a brown butter frosting instead.

  • Sabrina
    Jun 21, 2020

    I have made this recipe numerous of times

  • GrandTina
    Jun 13, 2020

    Karen-I got your recipe when it was first published in Taste of Home. I’m currently living in Egypt and I make it a lot. We have a banana vendor almost at my front door. Thank you so much for sharing.

  • Donna
    Jun 10, 2020

    These bars are AMAZING!! I'd eat the whole pan myself ! I use only one cup of sugar and 4 ripe bananas. They are sweet without the exra cup plus adding the frosting makes them even sweeter. Not sure what 2-star Pamala did back in Feb 2020 but ive been making these for YEARS!! Tried and true this recipe is definitely more then 5 stars!! Its quick to maje as well. Kids and adults will love it!!

  • Karenpoehlmanchappell
    Jun 7, 2020

    I have made this so many times! It is a favorite of ours. Freezes in cut pieces very well. I usually add about 1/2 c ground walnuts just because we love them!