Banana Bread Bars

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I need to vent a little in this post. I guess I can because I am the recipe critic right? I think the most frustrating thing about making a recipe is not have it turn out the way it should. You put so much work into it and it doesn’t even look close to what is pictured. Well friends, that is what happened to me in this recipe. I took the time to make this and when it was finished it did not look close to what it should. I still went ahead and made the brown butter frosting hoping that would save it. It didn’t even cover half of the pan. I kept thinking, why do your banana bread bars look so delicious and thick with plenty of frosting? Fail. But then one lick of the frosting changed my mood instantly. Brown butter frosting is the most amazing frosting I have ever had. So back to the store I go to remake the banana bread bars. And if they fail again, at least I have the brown butter frosting. I re-made the bars in a 9×13 pan this time and they turned out perfectly. You can thank me later for saving you from all this trouble and making them perfectly the first time! Another great recipe for those over-ripe bananas.

Rating: 4 stars  Difficulty of Recipe: 3 stars
Things that I changed:  I made them in a 9×13 and added 1 Tbsp extra of butter.
Things that I would do differently next time: Nothing
Will I make this again? Yes
Recipe From: All Recipes


Banana Bread Bars

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Author Alyssa Rivers
Servings 24 slices
Course Dessert, Side Dish
Cuisine American


  • 1-1/2 c. sugar
  • 1 c. sour cream
  • 1/2 c. butter softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1-3/4 3 or 4 ripe bananas, mashed (I used 4 bananas)
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 c. all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 c. chopped walnuts optional

Brown Butter Frosting:

  • 1/2 c. butter
  • 4 c. powdered sugar
  • 1-1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp. milk


  1. Heat oven to 375F. Grease and flour 15x10-inch jelly roll pan. For the bars, in a large bowl, beat together sugar, sour cream, butter, and eggs until creamy. Blend in bananas and vanilla extract. Add flour, baking soda, salt, and blend for 1 minute. Stir in walnuts.
  2. Spread batter evenly into pan. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown.
  3. Meanwhile, for frosting, heat butter in a large saucepan over medium heat until boiling. Let the butter turn a delicate brown and remove from heat immediately.
  4. Add powdered sugar, vanilla extract and milk. Whisk together until smooth (it should be thicker than a glaze but thinner than frosting). Using a spatula, spread the brown butter frosting over the warm bars (the frosting will be easier to spread while the bars are still warm).
Nutrition Facts
Banana Bread Bars
Amount Per Serving
Calories 374 Calories from Fat 126
% Daily Value*
Fat 14g22%
Saturated Fat 7g35%
Cholesterol 40mg13%
Sodium 202mg8%
Potassium 64mg2%
Carbohydrates 60g20%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 44g49%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin A 331IU7%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 25mg3%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


Alyssa Rivers

I am Alyssa and the blogger behind The Recipe Critic. I started my blog in June of 2012 as a place to share my passion for cooking. I love trying new things and testing them out with my family.

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  1. I can’t wait to make these banana bars! My question is if you changed the pan to a 9×13 what is the exact amount of cooking time??

    1. I use a 9 x 13 pan each time I a make them and I find that they still cook about the same amount of time. It tends to be towards the actual maximum time. For reference I am using a glass pan.

  2. I made these bars this afternoon. My family is bugging my to hurry up and cut them!! I tweaked the recipe a bit, I substituted Almond Milt for the regular and added an extra TBLS milk since I’m lactose intolerant. Oh I still plan on taking my Lactaid before I bite into them, but the frosting is so good.

  3. Ok help I made these this morning but it was a fail. Yes the frosting is great but I have issue with. Your bananas —-
    Is it 1 3/4 cups of mashed banana or Is it One & 3/4 of a banana mashed. Then you say 3-4 bananas. Confused.
    I put 1 3/4 cups of mashed banana and I have a flat bar with not enough flour mixture looks like a cake that had risen and then went flat and lost its air. Taste is good but need to understand how much banana?? I was going to give away to a teacher but not these

  4. I hardly ever bake, but your recipe really interested me.. Not to “beat a dead horse”,but maybe for the last time, how much butter goes into the bars and how much butter goes into the frosting! I know you said you had adjusted it,but… just to make it perfectly clear.. SOOO, the recipe says 1/2 cup of softened butter for the bars and 1/2 cup butter for the that your final answer??(ha, ha)..Thanks so much!!

  5. I am really looking forward to trying this recipe. I have made banana bread for years, typically using a great great aunt’s recipe. My question, possibly a dumb one, is did you add the extra Tablespoon of butter to the bread recipe or the frosting? I only ask because the recipe you give is a little different than my family’s old one, not that it is a bad thing-of course.

  6. Ok I’m going to critique your critiques I followed your suggestion and used a 13 x 9 pan but you didn’t recommend lowering the temperature or baking longer since they are now thincjer. I adjusted the temp to 350 and baked 10 min longer because they were browning quickly on the sides. Hopefully this works out

  7. I made this today. The brown butter icing is sooooo good!
    I forgot the nuts n the batter so I added them To the icing instead

  8. Made the banana bread bars tonight…yum!! Thank you! Used a rounded casserole dish so had to cook it longer. No problem! Moist and cakelike. Had some leftover maple whiskey frosting in my freezer and used that and half the brown butter frosting together (I didn’t have enough powdered sugar to make the whole batch), slathered it on and it was to die for good! Had two pieces! 🙂

  9. I made it for my wife and replaced the nuts with chocolate chips because I know what my wife likes! She absolutely loved it!

  10. This is why I don’t go to Allrecipes anymore, I have had many failures. These look moist and delicious. I just used up my over ripe bananas making, and canning, banana jam. But, I’m going back to the store just to make these! Thanks!

  11. Scrolling through the comments and seeing that I am not the only one that found this recipe and the comments confusing! So many people asking about the additional butter. It seems like you modified the ingredients in the recipe but did not change the recommended pan size or bake time. The bars look and sound yummy but am I correct that the correct amounts of butter are 1/2 cup in the batter and 1/2 cup in the frosting but the correct baking instructions are 30-13 minutes in a 9×13 pan?

  12. I made them in a 9×13 pan but they turned out doughy and heavy. Too much mixing. I’ll stick to one minute next time!

    1. A jelly roll pan I like a sheet pan but smaller than a cookie sheet. Yes, the icing will take 4 cups of powdered sugar. You are welcome to adjust to your needs if you are wanting more or less frosting.

  13. I made this today using the 10X15 pan and everything turned out perfectly. Baked it for 20 minutes just as the sides slightly began to pull away from the side of the pan. I only had 2 bananas so I added some natural peanut butter( maybe a heavy half of a cup). The browned butter frosting is amazing. The banana and peanut butter together compliment each other nicely. My husband who is so sensible never has 2 helpings of a desert had 2 large pieces. Thank his is a keeper for sure. Thank you for sharing.

  14. I have made these before and my family loves them. I had over ripe bananas and decided to make it again. I didn’t have any sour cream so I used strawberry yogurt. Actually tasted really good!

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