Banana Bread Bars

Banana bread bars are moist and flavorful and land somewhere between a cake and a bread with the most amazing brown butter frosting on top! Great for breakfast or an afternoon treat with a cup of coffee, both the texture and flavor are crave-worthy!

If you love the moist, sweet flavor of banana try my Award Winning Banana Bread or Banana Bread Crumb Cake. Be sure to follow the Recipe Critic for other latest and greatest recipes, by liking us on Facebook or following us on Pinterest!

Banana Bread Bars

Well friends, I have found another great recipe for those over-ripe bananas!  If you are like me, you do your best to get your kids to eat healthy, but many times in my house, a little brown spot on a banana is enough to keep my kids from eating it.  Well, now those seemingly over ripe bananas have a great use!

This banana bread bar recipe is so delicious and filling and best of all easy to make!  My kids love helping me mash the bananas! In just a little over 30 minutes, I have a full 9 x 13 pan of banana bread bars that I can cut into servings that are ready to go for busy weekdays.  I love having them on hand to grab and eat on the way out the door in the mornings.

The moist, dense texture of the banana bread bar is both hearty and satisfying and the brown butter frosting is the most amazing frosting I have ever had!  Somewhere between a glaze and a frosting, it is the perfect amount of sweetness that is not overpowering.  This recipe is too good not to try, so stop what you are doing and go preheat your oven for this winning banana bread!

Ingredients:

  • Sugar: Adds sweetness
  • Sour cream: Adds moisture without thinning the batter, adds fat for creaminess, and activates the baking soda.
  • Butter: Allow to soften to room temperature on the counter while you are prepping so that it will mix in easier.
  • Eggs: Stability and structure
  • Bananas: Make sure the bananas are ripe by using bananas that are at least spotted or a dark brown or black color. Mash them up with a fork or a mixer.
  • Vanilla extract: Brings out the flavor of the banana and add its own rich flavor.
  • All purpose flour: Thickens and adds the base of the bread bars
  • Baking soda: This helps the bread rise as it is baking.
  • Salt: Just a pinch
  • Optional: Chopped walnuts or pecans.

Frosting

  • Butter: The butter makes this frosting rich and smooth.
  • Powdered sugar: Adds sweetness without being grainy.
  • Vanilla extract: The great flavor you would expect from any great glaze.
  • Milk: Thins the frosting to keep it somewhere between a regular frosting and a glaze.

Let’s Make Banana Bread Bars!

  1. Prep: Heat oven to 375F. Grease and flour 15×10-inch jelly roll pan.
  2. Make batter: 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 nuts here if using.)
  3. Cook bars: Spread batter evenly into pan. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown.
  4. Make frosting: While your bars are baking, heat the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat until boiling. Let the butter turn a delicate brown and remove from heat immediately.  Add powdered sugar, vanilla extract and milk. Whisk together until smooth (it should be thicker than a glaze but thinner than frosting).
  5. Frost the bread bars: 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).

Recipe Adapted From: All Recipes

Variations:

Whether you are out of an ingredient or have a food sensitivity, there will be times where swapping ingredients is necessary. (Options shown below).  What I would definitely not change is the 9 x 13 pan.  I tried this recipe in other pans, but I find that it works best using that pan.

  • Applesauce: Replace the butter in these banana bars with unsweetened applesauce by using half of the amount of applesauce as the amount of butter called for in the recipe.  Or even use it as an egg substitute.  Use a quarter cup of unsweetened applesauce in place of one egg.  (Optional: Mix the applesauce with half a teaspoon of baking powder). If all you have on hand is sweetened applesauce, then cut down on the amount of sugar you add in.
  • Vegetable Oil: You can substitute 3/4 cup of vegetable oil for every 1 cup of butter called for.
  • Yogurt: Swap out the sour cream for yogurt.  The yogurt will add moisture to this banana bread.  In fact, you can use the two interchangeably in most baking recipes.
  • Nuts: 3/4 cup of chopped nuts give a great toasty crunch to each bite of bread.  Not to mention the nutrients they will add.  I like to use walnuts or pecans.
  • Brown Sugar: Use brown sugar instead of white sugar for a richer taste.

Moist Banana Bread Bars:

We all want our banana bread to be moist and flavorful, but not wet in the middle or gooey.  Here are my tips to ensure your bread has that soft even texture you are looking for.

  • Mash the bananas well:  Using a fork to mash the bananas works great, but if you are having trouble getting a good mash try beating with a mixer after you have mashed them with a fork. Gradually increase from low speed to medium-high speed as the bananas break down further. This will keep the texture more even and avoid over moist areas in your bread.
  • Perfect batter: Do not over mix the batter, simply stir all ingredients together until incorporated.  Otherwise it will turn out too dense and rubbery. Also, avoid the urge to add extra bananas, or more liquid if you feel it is too thick.

How to Store Banana Bread Bars:

As I mentioned, I love to make these on the weekend with my kids and have them ready to grab during the week for a quick snack or breakfast.  To be sure they are fresh and tasty for days, I have learned some great ways to store my bread bars.

  • Wrap well: I prefer using plastic wrap, but storing in Aluminium foil, or an airtight container would also work to keep the bread bars from drying out or spoiling too quickly.
  • Refrigerate: To extend the life of your banana bread by up to about a week, refrigerate it after wrapping tightly.
  • Freeze: I like to keep some bread on hand in the freezer for unexpected overnight company.  It will freeze well for up to 3 months.  Use freezer wrap or a heavy freezer bag.  I like to freeze mine in slices for easier thawing.
  • Cool it!  Allow your bread cool completely before storing it to prevent mold from developing faster due to the condensation of the warm bread.  Take out of the pan immediately after cooking and turn upside down on a cooling rack so that the bottom does not become too moist.

More Sweet Breakfast Bread Recipes to try:

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

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  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).

Recipe Video

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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Categories
Cookies and Treats

Comments

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  1. I have a freezer full of over-ripe bananas that need to be used, I hate the thought of throwing them away!! I’m going to give this one a go on the weekend 🙂

    1. I made this recipe but made a few small additions in a quest for something with lots of flavor yet still easy to make. First I made mine in a 9 x 13 cake dish which did increase the baking time by 10 minutes.. To the cake I added about a 1/2 teaspoon.of orange zest, added and 2 teaspoons cinnamon, 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves & 1/2 cup of shredded coconut. .I added another 1/2 teaspoon of orange zest to the frosting and an extra teaspoon of milk to the frosting it was just a little to thick to spread.

      The cake is a bit heavy, making a small piece the perfect serving. The flavor is amazing, light hints of orange in the background with the banana yummy. Give it a try. Thanks for the base recipe it is delicious making my small changes that much bettter.

  2. Omg! These are scrumptious. I saw the recipe on Pinterest yesterday, and saw that I had three bananas. They were very ripe, used them so they wouldn’t spoil, it came out perfectly delicious. The frosting is amazing and just be sure to put it on as soon as it’s out of the oven. Thank you so much for the recipe. 😀

  3. Did anyone else have to bake this longer?

    Started out doing … 20 minutes – checked/added 5 more — checked/added 5 more — checked/added 5 more … thinking next time will go 30 minutes and check then add additional time, if required. Opening the oven to check – definitely caused the additional time – but didn’t want to ruin a good thing!

    We LOVE recipe and LOVE using our over-ripe bananas.

    Haven’t made the frosting — just can’t imagine it on banana bread. 🙂

  4. Did you add the 1 Tbs of extra butter to the batter or the frosting? I really want to try this and I want to make it “right” with the suggestions you added above.

    1. I am scrolling through looking for the same answer! Butter in both the bars and the frosting, so left wondering too.

  5. I made these this morning and Omg they are good!! I also used 9×13 pan and I added Chocolate/peanut butter morsels on top of the Frosting!! They came out Amazing!!

  6. I just made this and OMG! The recipe was easy and they are moist and oh so delicious. I used a 9 x 13 pan sprayed with baking spray. I added 1/3 cup flaxseed meal instead of walnuts and 1 cup of dark chocolate chips (chopped). The time between when I made the frosting and when the bars came out of the oven must have been too much because the frosting was way too thick to spread. I scooped spoonfuls onto the top after I took it out of the oven (baked mine about 27 mins). I spread it out as best I could then popped it back in the oven for about 5 mins. This was enough to help soften the frosting to make it easier to spread. Thank you for the recipe!

    1. I like to use skinnytaste.com or myfitnesspal.com for all my nutritional information. I hope you are able to find what you are looking for! Thanks so much for following along with me! XOXO

  7. SO GOOD….very TASTY, the FROSTING IS super yummy. Forgot the nuts and made a slight error in the oven temp.. But it is Still the best banana cake .I WILL BE making it again….

  8. I only had 2 ripe bananas, so I halved the recipe exactly how it was written and baked in an 8X8 pan for 15 minutes. Turned out beautiful!

  9. The banana BARs look delicious. I can’t wait to try the recipe out, so I can make them for my sister-in-law when she comes home from Florida for her daughters graduation from high school.

  10. Hi!! In your receipe for the Banana Bread Bars you said you made 2 changes. The pan is now to be 9 X 13 and you added an extra 1 TBS of butter. Is that extra butter going into the bread batter or the Frosting? Thanks, Sparkie from Fowler, IN USA

    1. I like to use skinnytaste.com or myfitnesspal.com for any nutritional value. Hope that helps and you are able to find what you are looking for. Thanks for following along with me! XOXO

  11. This looks wonderful. Going to try it the second I can get all the items together. I really need to learn to do more baking.

  12. I made the banana bread bars today and they are simply amazing! The brown butter frosting is to die for and the bars came out perfectly moist using 4 over ripe bananas! Thank you for sharing this recipe!

  13. Hi Alyssa
    Your recipes are wonderful and enjoy making them myself. As i am in Australia we use metric measurements snd wonder if you might include those in your posts. I’m sure my conversions are not always as accurate as they should be

  14. You might want to mention that in going to a 13×9 pan I found the cooking time increased to about 35 minutes. It was perfect! Also, you might want to suggest if you are using chopped walnuts, setting aside 1/2 -1 cup of chopped walnuts to sprinkle over the frosting right after pouring it over the top (if nuts are y.our thing.) I find the oil in nuts keeps any quick bread very moist throughout! I also used Crisco in place of butter in the main recipe. I’ve done this with Toll House cookies for years as I found while butter might taste a bit better, the cookies tend to flatten out after coming out of the oven.

  15. You said you added an extra tablespoon of butter to the banana bread bars…..was this added to the bar batter or the frosting? Looking forward to making these….thanks for the tips!

  16. Hi Alyssa! So it says to use 9×13 in your post but the recipe within the post says 15×10…also is the butter amount adjusted accordingly? Thanks! Can’t wait to try it!

    1. You can use either a 9×13 pan or a 15×10 jelly roll pan. Which ever you prefer. The butter is already adjusted in the ingredients. Thanks so much! Hope you enjoy your banana bread bars! XOXO

  17. First off I do not cook my husband loves cooking and always shoos me out of the kitchen. I made this and it was a hit. My husband wanted to know which store I bought it from.
    I did have to pass on the milk because my daughter can not have it and the icing still came out so good! I was so excited. Guess what I am making every holiday.

  18. I made this and it was AWESOME. The only changes I made was dividing the batter Into 2 square glass dishes, and halved the frosting recipe. Only did this because My Husband and older son don’t like frosting (?still no idea why, but to each his own I guess)
    Both dishes were gone in one day! The kids saved a piece for their school lunches as well ?

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