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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:
  • Carolyn
    Feb 27, 2021

    I have not made these yet. However, I have a suggestion for all baking followers....I made a journal regarding measurements of all kinds. Start weighing your ingredients, everything.. from fruit to nuts??. You will be very surprised at the differences of volume. Example one cup of flour is 4-1/4 ounces, bisquick, and bread flour is also 4-1/4 ounces per cup. A large banana is approx 4.8 ounces...1/4 cup of brown sugar is 2.0 ounces, same for granulated...Just a few examples. Over the years we have used way too much ingredients that changed the recipe..hence the differences of people’s results. Happy Baking everyone????????

  • amanad
    Feb 3, 2021

    Horrible, bars were super dense no flavor . Super disappointed

  • Kendra
    Feb 2, 2021

    I made these for my daughters school lunches. They were a huge hit! I did 1 cup white sugar 1 cup brown sugar. I also added half a bag of semisweet chocolate chips into the batter

  • Robin
    Jan 31, 2021

    Really delicious and moist! Hubby doesn't like cake but ate three pieces of this! Only changes I made were to half the icing sugar in the frosting and left out the butter in frosting. Everyone loved them.

  • vicfors
    Jan 27, 2021

    I make this recipe several times a year. I find I can cut the sugar to 1.5 cups, and I like to add raisins and walnuts or pecans. They freeze well.

  • Jan
    Jan 4, 2021

    Love, love, love this recipe! Have made it many times. When my bananas get too ripe, I toss them in the freezer, then when I have enough, I make bars! Yum! An extra banana adds extra moist banana -y goodness!

  • NH-rescue
    Dec 30, 2020

    Oh, my, this is good! Nice and moist, with well-balanced banana flavor. My kids said it rivaled carrot cake - which they love. The cream cheese frosting rounds out the flavor. Definitely a keeper recipe - and a great way to use up over-ripe bananas!

  • astarzynski
    Dec 12, 2020

    Absolutely Delicious!!!!

  • 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.