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Frosted Banana Bars

Total Time

Prep: 15 min. Bake: 20 min. + cooling

Makes

3 dozen

These 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

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

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. 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.
  2. Transfer batter to a greased 15x10x1-in. baking pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack.
  3. 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.

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Nutrition Facts

1 bar: 202 calories, 8g fat (5g saturated fat), 38mg cholesterol, 100mg sodium, 32g carbohydrate (25g sugars, 0 fiber), 2g protein.